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Until the lambs become lions

By Luis Manuel Aguana

There was an interesting discussion in the Pío Tamayo Chair on March 9, in response to my statement, supported by academic studies carried out by researchers from a recognized academic institution, that a characteristic that defines the Venezuelan is that he is incapable of confronting, hence I concluded that because of this condition is under the arbitrariness of the criminals who govern the country and under the control of those who still claim to represent them as their opposition (see The silence of the lambs, in https://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/p/the-silence-of-de-lambs.html). It therefore seeks to get out of the serious problem we have in the country by peaceful means, trying to use means that can only be valid and successful with civilised interlocutors, and that definitely do not work with a drug-criminal mafia. And the opposition leaderships, avoiding confrontation for one reason or another, most of them associated with corruption, negotiate with the regime ways out that perpetuate it in power, to the detriment of those I compared to lambs ready for slaughter, recycling themselves in every election.

Indeed, until today's sun, Venezuelans have NOT CONFRONTED this regime, in the internationally known terms, that is, in a violent manner. I say this with all responsibility. A confrontation of this type occurs when two sides confront each other in the traditional manner: with armed troops. What has happened here is that hundreds of Venezuelans have taken to the streets to protest, being massacred by the regime's security forces and its paramilitary gangs. This has happened since 2002 with the April 11 massacre on Baralt Avenue, and has not stopped so far.

Real armed confrontations have occurred and continue to occur in Latin America. It happened at the end of the last century with the movement of the "contras" of Nicaragua, and the until now Colombian guerrilla of the FARC, ELN, etc., financed by the drug trafficking. All of them are alive in Venezuela because 21st century socialism has been their refuge since our tragedy began with Hugo Chávez as President of the Republic. Those guerrilla movements, which at their best had more than 60,000 armed troops, confronted and continue to confront the Armed Forces of the legitimate Colombian government in order to take it out of power by violent means, without any success.

The question we are rightly asking ourselves in Venezuela is why, with the gravity of what has happened in the country, with the levels of destruction of our institutions and infrastructure, added to levels of corruption never before seen on the planet, Venezuelans still behave like lambs ready for slaughter. From that Venezuelan who bravely went out of the borders to liberate 4 nations apart from his own, we have become a flock easily manipulated by those who in bad times represent us. What happened to us? I could even say that of those legendary parties that assumed an active clandestinity of truth against the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez, with leaders of the stature of Alberto Carnevali, what remains is a sad puppet that lends itself to continue the narco-terrorism. I ask myself again, what happened there?

I want to make it clear that my question is purely theoretical. I am not posing it with the avant-garde intention that a careless reader might imagine to turn Venezuela into a bloody powder keg. I am asking it precisely because what could be happening is that this level of meek tolerance may be reaching its limit. It cannot be that in the face of so much iniquity there does not begin from one moment to the next to be a response that is consistent with the violence that is being applied to us.

We Venezuelans have lived a peaceful time for more than 100 years. Our last armed confrontations were ended by General Juan Vicente Gómez when he unified the country more than a century ago. Before that, our political differences were resolved with gunshots, and whoever had the greatest strength of arms was right. Years of forced peace, at the beginning by 27 years of an iron dictatorship like that of Gomez, and after a brief democratic period, another dictatorship, that of Perez Jimenez, forced us to change our way of approaching the struggle, exchanging weapons for peaceful political confrontation.

Not even under the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez did anyone in Venezuela consider building an army to take power. There were even clandestine armed movements of outlawed parties whose members refused to accept the regime's impositions. However, during the Gomez dictatorship, the movements did go in that direction. The case of the Falke invasion was one of them. It should be noted that with time this inclination has been lost.

Already after 1958, another level of confrontation was definitely established in Venezuela, and despite the interest of Castro-communism in taking us down this violent path by convincing some young Venezuelans of the possibility of assaulting power by force of arms, the extraordinary quality and capacity of the political leadership that our country possessed prevailed. Romulo Betancourt's hands did not tremble to apply all the violence that a State can have to the armed incursions that Fidel Castro's Cubans dared to make on Venezuelan soil.

Perhaps very few Venezuelans are aware of the existence of the Vargas Swamp Monument in Boyacá, Colombia, erected to commemorate the battle that sealed the victory of the liberating army for the independence of New Granada, today's Colombia. That monument was raised in gratitude of the Colombian people to the 15 lancers, led by a Venezuelan Llanero from the State of Guarico, named Juan Jose Rondon, responsible for breaking the Spanish battle lines with only 15 men, putting the enemy in retreat. The Liberator skillfully takes advantage of this opportunity to consolidate the victory of his army. They were only people who were up to the historic moment. Do you think that a people like the Venezuelan, who crossed the Páramo de Pisba on foot, badly dressed, and on a plateau at more than 2,600 meters, performs the feat of facing a structured army as the Spanish army was at that time, and come out victorious, are not capable of facing with the response due to this mafia of drug criminals? What is the difference? I am convinced that the difference is found in the leaders.

Before, they were our liberators as in the example of the Vargas Swamp, and then, our best political class in democracy. Both led Venezuelans to victory over what I always try to impose on the freedom of our country. With the same material, two artists, one mediocre and one excellent, are capable of making, the first a bad work without quality and the second an extraordinary and imperishable one. The material has nothing to do with it! The difference is in the artist. Those who lead the people have the responsibility to make the difference between freedom and slavery.

And just as I remembered in a previous note the film "Silence of the Lambs", I now remember the - "Robin Hood" by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe. The protagonist is lucky to get a sword that has the following inscription: "Rise and rise again until lambs become lions". He does not understand its meaning until he is reminded that as a child his father is responsible for the act of commitment of the rulers to their people, and that they are obliged to rise and rise again until they become lions so that they may fulfill that commitment. That costs him his life. How interesting! Lambs turned into lions! But that conversion doesn't come out on its own, it requires first-rate political leadership.

So we have some lambs that a mediocre leadership wants to take back to a slaughterhouse, and not just an electoral one. From this herd of lambs, a new leadership must emerge that will impose itself, from new leaders who are capable of rising up and becoming extraordinary artists, turning this herd of lambs into lions. I am not saying that it is easy but it is definitely and absolutely necessary if we want to get out of this hell.

Caracas, March 16, 2020

Email: luismanuel.aguana@gmail.com
Twitter:@laguana

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