Letter from a pro-Government humorist to Zapata by Claudio Nazoa

February 28, 2005

This will be a night of translations, a few interesting articles that I thought I should bring to people’s attentions. Pedro Leon Zapata is an artist and cartoonist that has now published his daily cartoon for forty years, usually with political undertones. His friends have been celebrating his 40 year anniversary with tributes and testimonials to both his paintings and his cartoons. Today, humorist Claudio Nazoa paid his tribute with this piece in today’s El Nacional, in which he writes as a Chavista cartoonist paying tribute to Zapata. It is funny, but it is also very serious at the same time.


Letter from a pro-Government humorist to Zapata by Claudio Nazoa


Sr. Zapata:


If this Government were from COPEI or AD, these testimonials on your 40th.anniversary of your cartoons would be well deserved.


Sr. Zapata, let’s agree that you paint and draw well, but that gives you no right to not recognize that this is also a pretty revolution.


Sr. Zapata, our Commander in Chief, our dear leader, our unique an unquestionable guide, our almost God, was right when he showed one of your drawing saying “Zapata, how much were you paid for this?”


Unfortunately Sr. Zapata, we have learned that you get paid by the daily El Nacional to criticize the Government. What a foolish thing to do! Do what we do, we also get paid, but only by the Government.


Do you remember Sr. Zapata when at the auditorium at Central University all of the humorists and intellectuals would criticize the people from AD and COPEI? Those were the good times Sr. Zapata! Particularly because the people from AD and COPEI would later hire us without asking why we were criticizing them; moreover, they were so dumb that they had no AD circles or COPEI circles, to go kick our butt after the events or to go around the city destroying murals, sculptures, historical monuments, religious images and any work of art of the kind that rich people like.


Do you remember Sr. Zapata, when we were all left-wing? In that I belive we continue to agree. We both continue to be left-wing, with the only difference being that I, being left-wing, back this rightwing Government that looks leftwing from abroad.


Sr. Zapata, you now paint us with frog faces pulling a rope (Pulling a rope means sucking up to someone in Spanish). Yes, you are right, let’s recognize we suck up to them and tell all. But we are part of the revolution! That is the difference Sr. Zapata, you have not realized that we are in a revolution and that those things that we did not like about the AD or COPEI people, are now considered good. Look around you.


Little kids no longer drink milk, but they drink gasoline at traffic lights so that you give them a tip; poverty is higher every day. The indians, like hungry automata, invade the cities. Corruption can be seen in the RV’s  of Government leaders and officials. Never have human rights been abused so much in the prisons and hospitals of Venezuela. To get an ID card or a passport is no longer like it was in the previous ominous 40 years. It is now impossible for everyone!


Sr. Zapata., wake up! What good is the love your friends claim they have for you? Come with us, join us in sucking up to the Government and we promise that we will give you plastic surgery, so that so that when you support what can’t be supported, not even a single wrinkle will be visible in your face.


Come on Mr. Zapata! Forget about poetry. You have to recognize that, as a man, you feel vindicated in that a true macho man, capable of giving any women what they deserve now is now our leader.


In closing, I have to confess I envy you Sr. Zapata, that extraordinary brain that during 40 years, while many of us lived off scholarships, donations, cultural attaches of embassies, heads of the Cultural Office, “consulting” to Ministries, cultural representations to any world Congress that was held, you, like now, worked night and day, to reveal that the king was naked.


The king has been naked for 46 years Sr. Zapata, but now we are accomplices and we are afraid to say it.

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