People around the world share a curious appeal for “classic matches”, where two teams with a long history of sport rivalry clash against each other on a game that usually tends to froze the city, and put on maximum alert the city authorities. It is not uncommon that the final result published on newspapers includes, not only the score, but also the final numbers of injuries and other damages to private and public property.
The favorite sport in Venezuela is baseball, and, of course, we have our classic match too: The “Lions” (the team from the capital) vs. “Magallanes” (the team with the most nationwide group of fans).
But in a country full of violence, where unofficial numbers claims that there are 4.5 millions of unregistered fire weapons, the baseball games between these teams have a very rare component: no violence at the stadium, no violence on the streets, only two clusters of fans teasing and screaming to each others. Violence is the exception, not the rule. Until last week.
Seizing the opportunity of major tv ratings of one of those games, a group of students unfold a giant message around the wall of the outfield. The message was: “3 strikes: no light, no water, no security…Chavez: you’re out”. It was a direct message to the president of the country, Hugo Chavez, who is currently facing a major energy crisis in one of the most oil-rich country of america.
Some statements are like guilt: they get bigger when you try to hide them. So, when the national guard attacked the 4 young students that displayed the banner against Chavez policies, although they were trying to hide the message, they ended up being recorded on camera, not the ones of commercial tv, of course, but in several cellular phones that are increasingly becoming, in every part of the world, the most dangerous weapon against authoritaniarism.
So the classical match of baseball in venezuela, ended up being transformed in the classical match of the world history: authoritaniarism against freedom of speech, censorship against word of mouth (now, “word of youtube”), uniforms against teenagers trying to get their voices heard on a country that is increasingly suscribing the terrible idea that violence, and not peaceful protest or negotiation, is the only way to move forward. Venezuelan young men and women (from all political views) are demostrating that hope, wisdom and even good humour are the only antidote against that dangerous thought.
Good for them, because actually history tends to repeat itself, and only those who lead through it give the nuance necessary to make it interesting.
History is a boring tale written by mirthful guys.
Here is the video