Yes To Life

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting

are the words of one of Milan Kundera's characters in his book The Book of Laughter And Forgetting where the author brilliantly depicts the lethal ever present desire of totalitarian forces (1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia) to achieve absolute control of geographical territories and the minds of its inhabitants by manipulating, changing or erasing their history and thus their collective memory and identity.

In Venezuela, on the fourth of February of 1992, a failed military Coup d'Etat led by lieutenant Hugo Chávez Frias against President elect Carlos Andrés Pérez, seriously wounded the evolution of the country's democratic history. After being jailed for a couple of years and then pardoned by another democratically elected government, Chávez runs as a presidential candidate and wins in 1998. His government, in its tireless pursuit and amazement of power, imposes on Venezuelans, in the academic school calendar of 2005-2006, the celebration of the Fourth of February as a patriotic holiday. It would seem counter intuitive for a democratic regime to celebrate an event that violently attempted to brake the Constitutional order and left many innocent civilians dead, but totalitarian forces are arbitrary and their thirst for power insatiable.

President Hugo Chávez's interpretations of history and current events to serve his personal aspirations and his Bolivarian ideology are disrespectful to the intelligence of all of those who hear him make things up or just simply lie. Lately, in an effort to avert attention from the huge problems affecting Venezuelans today (poverty, collapsed health system, double digit inflation, food shortages, unemployment, complete absence of personal security from street crime, homicides or kidnappings, drug trafficking, unspeakable corruption, etc), Mr. Chávez has decided to pick a fight with Colombia.

After nine years of utter inefficiency in governance during one of the greatest oil bonanzas Venezuela has ever seen, Mr. Chávez hides once again behind his continuous diatribes. Mr. Chávez wants to play with the facts and portray the FARC as a bunch of freedom fighters because the FARC has pledged loyalty to the Bolivarian ideology, in other words, to Chávez.

In reality, during at least the past 20 years, the FARC has been kidnapping and killing civilians and protecting the bloody and illegal drug cartels in Colombia and Venezuela for money. Mr. Chávez wants to blame the empire and its allies and not take responsibility for the suffering of the majority of Venezuelans. Most Latin American citizens, at one time or another, have suffered innumerable injustices and wasted so much valuable time in the hands of self proclaimed messiahs.

We, the citizens say: Enough is enough! The fourth of February instead of celebrating some made up and self exulting Venezuelan patriotic holiday, we will be supporting, here in Boston, the efforts of our Colombian brothers and sisters worldwide that want to say:

NO More to taking political power through violence; No More kidnappings; No More death; No More FARC and Yes to liberty; Yes to honesty; Yes to healthy political differences; Yes to justice and peace; Yes to life.

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