Political Apartheid in Venezuela: what did Chavez know and when did he know it? (Part II)

March 31, 2006

When, in a few years, or in a few decades, people think
about the Chavista era, they would probably remember that this was the first
regime that institutionalized intimidation and apartheid in Venezuela.

When the President is shown on TV reminding his viewers that
if they sign for a Revocatory Referendum their names and ID numbers will be
known, that is called intimidation. And later, when workers are fired or citizens
are denied access to jobs, passports or ID’s because they signed, that is a
state of political apartheid.

That had never happened before in Venezuela
and it is probably the darkest political and social legacy of President Chavez
and of any president of the so-called democratic era. I certainly hope that
History remembers Chavez on that account.

Last year, upon hearing president Chavez ask his followers
to bury the infamous “Tascon” fascist list, I wrote this
ghost posting demanding that Chavez assumes his responsibility and that the
country asks a single question:

“What did Chavez know and when did he know it?”

Almost a year has passed since that post, and nobody has asked
let alone answered that question. There has been no investigation, nobody put
on trial, no one, except some private newspapers to register the abuses that
the state of political apartheid has created in Venezuela.

However, in my view, two positive things have happened: the
List has no longer been referred as the “Tascon list” and the documentary called
“The list” has been created.

Referring to the list as Tascon’s, was a way to minimize the
importance of the political blacklisting. A way to overlook the fact that the
political apartheid system was instaured well beyond the petty views of a member
of the National Assembly with fascist tendencies.  We, Venezuelans, are happy people that do not
take ourselves or our governments  too
seriously, so talking about the list as a local colorful issue probably helped
us escape the reality that this was a serious matter that could change forever
our everyday lives.

So when the Tascon list becomes “la Lista” we, as
Venezuelans, are giving a step forward towards questioning the state of our
civil liberties and questioning a State that submits its citizens to a
systematic apartheid.  Remarkably, this
consciousness has happened in less than a year, which was also a year of high
oil prices that greatly improved the economy of the country.

Today, I watched the short version of La Lista that appeared
in Tal Cual multimedia and that you can see here.

I am not going to repeat what
and Miguel  have already written about that film, all I
am going to tell you is that you should watch it and see that the country is
little by little increasing its civic and political awareness. 

Ironically, despite the depressing subject, I was more
optimistic after watching it. I said to myself that maybe sooner than expected
Venezuelans will ask and even question the government with my original

What did Chavez know and when did he know it?

Jorge Arena
Distinguished ghost blogger




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