A few days ago I had a sudden brainwave: of course Venezuela’s socialist government cannot give up on its revolution, because for 17 years its followers have believed every single word the great comandante Hugo Chávez, who passed away in 2013, told them. To tell them now that Chávez might have been wrong or at least not completely right, would be the cruelest thing to do. Like trying to convince a firm believer that God doesn’t exist.
Only people with at least the charisma and authority of Chávez could pass on such a message. ‘Dear chavistas: we are modifying the revolution’s track and choosing a different road to follow. We need to do that to save our country and your future.’ There is nobody in Venezuela who could do the job.
Chávez had that certain problem that many caudillos have: they are so attached to power that they prefer not to surround themselves with qualified people. That would be threatening. And then suddenly he got cancer and it was devastating. Within a few years he was dead. Nobody, absolutely nobody in chavismo was able to fill the gap that Chávez left.
The country is living the consequences now. In the fiercest of economic crises – scarcity, hyperinflation, lack of water and energy – the government is indecisive and acts ‘too little too late’. Where is this going to end? Rumours about an upcoming coup by part of the army – officially pro-government – are increasing. Protests of citizens are increasing as well.
Many speak of a ‘social bomb’ that will explode soon.
I was in Venezuela in the beginning of December 2015, when the opposition won two thirds of the National Assembly at the elections. Since then the government is doing everything to break the political power of the National Assembly that is now dominated by the opposition. Pretending it is following ‘the will of the people’. Which is nonsense, because the majority of the people said No to president Nicolás Maduro and his lot. But there are still forty something percent of the Venezuelan people who firmly believe in the socialist dream. That’s an amount to take into account, for everybody who is involved in the country’s politics, left or right. Chávez may have made big mistakes, he changed the country forever.
I want to go back to Venezuela in March and need some 500 euros, about 550 dollars, to pay my ticket (part of the ticket, the rest is for a trip to Colombia) and the staying costs. You can support me here and, for non-Dutch supporters, you can also pay with creditcard, Paypal and even Bitcoin. The amount you see at the campaign information is 1650 euros. 1600 of that money has already been spent. Yournalism gave me the chance to go on with the campaign and therefore I decided to try to get another 500 to cover the travelling costs for my next trip.