Reafirmo que firmo by Laureano Marquez

November 30, 2003


Laureano Marquez is a humorist that writes in local daily El Nacional, he wrote this article which is more on the serious side of things:


I reaffirm that I sign (Reafirmo que firmo) by Laureano Marquez


The act of signing is something complex. The signature is a personal act, private and intimate, but which transcends publicly. That is, one does not sign for oneself, because in the loneliness of the spirit, one knows who one is or thinks one does. One signs for everyone else; so that others have the certainty that one is approving the document that you have signed, with your own fist and letters, the most personal thing you have: your name. Because, in some sense, the name is the person and the person is the name. Each signature is unique, like the fingerprint, and both conform the most distinctive characteristic of our individuality, that conquest of modernity that subjects us to both  duties and rights.


I respect the reasons that others may have to either sign or not sign, the same way I expect they will respect mine, which I would like to leave in writing in what follows:


·          I am going to sign, in the first place, because the Constitution allows me to.

·          Because I am convinced that President Chávez does not believe in democracy, but simply uses it to consolidate an arbitrary and personalized power that he believes he exercises in the name of the people, whose destiny he knows better than anybody else and thus he does not need to ask anyone about it.

·          Because this Government has made evil about the few noble things we had. It has forced us to fight one against each other, for no reason whatsoever; has converted the country into a society of squealers, cynics, and traitors, has promoted violence, has manipulated the poor, taking advantage of either the hunger and the needs of the people as blackmail and instruments of pressure.

·          Because the President has no respect for the laws, even to the point of disobeying them and inciting people to do so, with which he violates his dying oath. (Note: This refers to the fact that Chavez when first sworn in as President said he was taking his oath over the dying instrument that the old Constitution represented for him)

·          Because the Government which originates in a rebellion against corruption, has turned into something much worse than what we had, something which seemed quite difficult to achieve.

·          For his human rights violations, including those recently denounced about the prison in Ciudad Bolivar which fills us with horror.

·          Because this Government has taken us back to the worst of our history.

·          Because public powers have been put to the service of a military strong man attacking one of the fundamental values of democracy: the division and independence of powers.

·          Because culture has been relegated, cornered and threatened, if not placed at the service of the regime.

·          Because the abandoned children of the streets have not been picked up, but have actually increased in number. (Note: Chavez made this issue a campaign promise)

·          For his nationwide TV addresses and the insults that go with them.

·          Because I don’t like it that Chavez uses luxurious watches while he talks about misery and the luxury planes that he uses to go to summits where he rants  against summits and luxury planes.

·          Because the chief has kidnapped the freedom of thought of men that thought freely before and are now silent because of  fear or for comfort disguised as consistency

·          For the look of the Indian baby whose mother asked me for money at the stoplight and who lives in a country whose President condemns the bad treatment of the aboriginal population by the conquistadors.

·          Because poverty has increased just at the moment in which the country has had the highest (oil) income in its history.

·          Definitely because I want to freely express my right to dissent, to disagree, and not to back what I dislike or shames me.


And I say this Ismael (the Head of Chavez’ program to oversee the signings) to save you the work of taping me in the line of the Reafirmazo, so that you have it in writing and with my name on it, the reasons for each trace in the drawing of my signature as well as the folds of my fingerprint.

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