Good article in Analitica by Trino Marquez
One dollar by Trino Márquez
When Cayo Caesar Augustus Germanico, better known as Calígula, designated his horse as Consul, he did it with the express intention of degrading the Roman Senate, along with the political class that had sunk together with the Emperor, in the marsh of corruption and the immorality. The purest and simple scorn was what that mentally weak personality, turned tyrant, distilled. In the modern world “emperors” like Jean Beadle Bokassa or Haile Salassie, lacked the needed insolence to reach the extremes of Caligula, even if they approached him. Bocassa did not have enough designating himself lifetime President of the Centro-African Republic, but in 1976 he proclaimed himself “Emperor”, surrounded by pomp that hit in the face one of the most miserable people in the world. Salassie, King of Kings of Ethiopia, used to have fun throwing succulent stakes at his tigers, while his people died of hunger. Each despot has a particular style of demonstrating his absolute disdain for his fellow men. Presidents elected via popular vote, and obligated by circumstances to meet in electoral contests every once in a while, also have their style which identifies them.
The rally last Sunday in Avenida Bolivar was the postmodern equivalent of the designation of Caligula’s horse as Consul. It is no longer enough to force public institutions to submit themselves to the orders of the Chief of State. It is not sufficient to give them orders, via the media, to the President of the Supreme Court or the Attorney General, or to place in the Electoral Board four unconditionals to the “process”. In the new phase of the pretty revolution the President of the Republic feels obligated to show the leftists of the world, especially those in Latin America, that he is capable of laughing, up to the point of ridicule, of the President of the US and his Secretary of State, that illiterate called Condoleezza Rice.
The mocking of Mrs. Rice did not have the touch of humor and irony that the great statesmen usually exhibit. Winston Churchill was famous by the whip that he unloaded on his adversaries. Caustic language that perforated the skin of the enemy, but maintained the respect. With the ladies, not even with the petal of a rose. He would trash Hitler up to the point of turning him into nothing; however, he would not even attack that mass murderer at the personal level. He did not do it for consideration with that reincarnation of evil, but for respect to the audience meeting at the Parliament and the British people that would listen to him on the radio. What Chavez did with Mrs. Rice is not so much an affront to a lady that occupies a high position in a foreign country, but an insult to the intelligence and dignity of Venezuelan women. Machismo, bragging and the militaristic style of Chávez’ words do not offend the Foreign Minister of the most powerful nature of the world. Eagles do not hunt flies. But it does demonstrate the decomposition of power in Venezuela and the handing over and submission of the institutions to a personalistic President who assumes himself to be above the laws, the institutions, morals and good manners.
Placing himself in that plane of superiority he launches his one dollar bet to Bush: Let’s see who stays more time governing, challenging the US President. People, in fact, think Chavez will stay more time at the Miraflores Palace than Bush at the White House. What the man from Barinas should not forget is that since 1779, every four years in the country from the north there has been a transmission of power in peaceful form, In the US there has never been a military coup, a coup attempt, a scare that has placed in danger constitutional continuity. The same can not be said of Venezuela. Chavez himself was the main actor in one in 1992. We all hope that no early surprise will ever take place again here, but in this region of the world, one never knows.
Another interesting point is that Bush was reelected after being selected candidate in primary elections in which he had to face other candidates from the Republican Party, certainly weak ones, but who dared compete with the person that governs from the White House, We can not say the same here in Venezuela. Democracy is seriously wounded both in the country, as well as well as within MVR itself. As far as I know, Hugo Chavez already is the candidate of officialdom for the elections in December 2006, without any organization of democratic participation choosing him. The leader (caudillo) does not even concern himself with keeping appearances. He accuses Bush the tyrant, but he does not ask his party’s grassroots about any of the decisions he makes, least of all those related to the democratic dynamics of political parties, despite the fact that the Law of Parties and Political Participation obligates the selection of presidential candidates in elections that can not go beyond two levels in the selection of the candidate. He chose the candidates for Governor from MVR with the same dictatorial style. Even this type of legality irritates the sensitive skin of the autocrat.
The superiority of the advanced democracies consists in that their leaders are elected so that they fulfill, during a certain period of time, the responsibilities established in the Constitution. Those societies do not bet, nor look for a Messiah. They are happy to nominate Government officials that obey and make obey the laws. AD and COPEI sunk, because they thought power was eternal and that with it you could commit any folly.