Monday, 6 September 2010

Ideas for Venezuela: learn history

The more I think of it, the more I read what Chávez supporters write and what Chávez says, the more I believe this: if we want to get rid of this military regime, we must promote the study of Venezuelan history on a systematic and objective manner.

The thing is: most Venezuelans haven't got a clue about history, national or else. They all know when Bolívar was born and when he died (both are holidays), but most haven't got a clue about the things that mattered. That is how Chávez and all the military honchos before him have managed to use the Bolívar myth to manipulate people. That is how they have used the "we-as-eternal-victims" story to promote resentment without accepting responsibility. That is how Chávez says "native Americans were all socialists" and people with no proper schooling believe it. That is how the military propaganda machine gives heroic status to the murderer who would become Chávez's great-grandfather and how they justify the bloody coup of 1992 by crimes committed in 1989 in part by their peers, in part by themselves and in part provoked by left-wingers.

We need to promote the demystification of Bolívar, of what really happened in the Caracazo (extreme left planning the "spontaneous" riots, not just the military under Carlos Andrés Pérez being trigger-happy), we need to reveal the connections between Chavismo and the worst of the maligned IV Republic -Aristóbulo Isturiz, Freddy Bernal, Rodríguez Chacín to name a few-.

Above all, Venezuelans - specially opposition leaders - need to learn about history on a world scale. They need to learn not about specific dates or people, but about the development of the ideas that took countries on the road to decline or prosperity.

We can learn a thing or two about how Europe or North America, South Korea or Japan became what they are now. The answer is not just "hard work" or "colonies".

What could opposition "leaders" Luis Borges or Corina Machado tell us about that? I am afraid not much. And it is a pity. You really don't need to be a history scholar.

We need leaders who can tell stories that are more compelling and above all real than the myths military caudillos have been telling our people for centuries. We need leaders who tell stories that explain our true history and help us produce some ideas for a real future.

If you speak Spanish, listen to this old video from minute 3:56 onwards
"The Mayas lived in was all socialism, there was no private property, all belonged to everyone, the Caribs as well, the Jirajaras as well...and the Caquetíos...the Cayones...all of them...socialists...there was no rich and not one in poverty"

Well, this is what happens when you don't know history.
Jade figure representing Maya King Pakal

No comments:

Post a Comment

1) Try to be constructive and creative. The main goal of this blog is not to bash but to propose ideas and, when needed, to denounce
2) Do not use offensive language
3) Bear in mind that your comments can be edited or deleted at the blogger's sole discretion
4) If your comment would link back to a site promoting hatred of ethnic groups, nations, religions or the like, don't bother commenting here.
5) Read point 4 again