Saturday, June 04, 2005
Who is afraid of Sumate?
In a previous post, I wrote that one of the first milestones that took me out of my political lethargy was the persecution of the Sumate directive. It made no sense to me then and it makes no sense to me now that the government would spend precious time and resources persecuting Sumate for receiving a small foreign grant. It makes no sense either that they dusted an old Juan Vicente Gomez article of the Penal Code and kept it there so that the Sumate directive could be put in jail for 8 to 16 years if found guilty. And, finally, it makes no sense that they react in such a visceral manner every time Sumate makes the news and that top government officials, and even the President, get out of their way to publicly voice vicious verbal attacks against the Sumate directive.
The question is why? Why do they pay so much attention to Sumate? Why are they so afraid of Sumate?
The answer is that the people of Sumate are efficient and effective, and the government is not. They are quite different from the old opposition political entities that can be as incompetent as the government. Sumate delivers and the government knows it. Sumate is Chavez’s real threat.
Sumate is composed of a particular generation of people; a generation of prepared, intelligent, dynamic Venezuelans. They represent what did not go wrong in the old
When Chavez stepped in, he had all the popularity, all the powers to make use of that wonderful resource that was left from the old
First, a subtle apartheid system, never before experienced in
So, a large part of the population realized that the subtle apartheid was not so subtle anymore. That Chavez meant business, and that he would not stop at anything to retain power by any means. The division of the country and the risk of a civil war were not enough reasons for him to step down. Quite the opposite, he kept and still keeps, his divisive inflammatory discourse to put Venezuelans against Venezuelans.
But Venezuelans are fighters. One must not forget that South American independence from the mighty
It was not easy. The government can claim in the web page of their
That, of course, does not appear in the cheerful VIO webpage.
But I digress.
So who is afraid of Sumate? Chavez is. Because he knows that they are a mightier enemy than the good old boys of AD or Copei. He knows that Sumate has the potential to expose to the world the undemocratic face of his revolution.