It has become harder to go on Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo these days – my feeds are full of the most ghastly news about Venezuela. Good men forced to steal; not violent men but hungry and with families – burned alive for their troubles. Feral gangs hunting cats and dogs for meat. Food riots, prison riots – the wholesale destruction of the human soul. The apocalypse.
Above it all sit the new oligarchs, sweaty and fetid – desperate as they scurry around in a futile attempt to find the way to exist beyond the madness. Blame, anger, scheming – anything to not admit that they failed; that they should better run. That soon – sooner than they know – it will all catch up with them.
I know I write too much about Venezuela. How could I not? When you are the unwilling participant of something so bizarre – so horrible and twisted and vile that you are forced to just watch in horror. When it takes your breath away – the evil does – and you have to sit down. When it overcomes you; and you are powerless to act – all you can do is watch – and in my case write.
So here I go again.
This piece I am dedicating to you. And you know who you are. Let me digress. It’s been more than a decade now that I started working on, oh let’s call it “21st Century Socialism”. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua – the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA). All of it, the entire nasty, smelly, stupid mess. “Working on” in my context means trying actively to foil – to slow down – to interrupt: to stop. To explain to those who should know better why they were willing, enthusiastic participants in their own destruction. Why it would all end in gasoline bonfires of human flesh beside a bread line. I did this through many ways – none of which I will go into here but all of which involved the attempts to awaken people’s minds; to reintroduce them to the world of flesh and blood where ideas matter, where actions have consequences and decisions are existential, especially for those in poverty. I worked on the street – in policy environments – in think tanks. Hell, I even wrote two fiction novels (in English and Spanish) about the inevitable outcomes of this nightmare. Of course I wasn’t alone. I accompanied great men and women, friends all who sacrificed so much – who continue to sacrifice for the cause of liberty.
And all the while you fought us; those of us trying to bring light to the darkness. You know who you are. You who marched against us. You who trolled our accounts, filling them with sewage. You who wrote articles making the case for the evil; who went on television to defend the idiocy; who attended events to hurl insults at the presenters; who offered excuses for the abuse and sought out scapegoats for the failure. You – the apologists of evil; the devils advocates. I have known many of you – because I have fought you too; though not through hate – which is your favorite tool. But through truth – though in your double speak you branded it as lies.
Now you are seeking to hide – most of you are. You know the end is near – and you are trying to find a way to pretend you had no part in the madness. That you saw it coming – that yours was the middle way that was missed; that it was not your fault. You should not hide –you should instead be ashamed, you should agonize, and you should apologize. Because it’s your fault too.