Right now, Venezuela’s future looks like a big, black swan.
Yesterday, (Maunday Thursday, in a very catholic country) a man -in the middle of a catholic mass- gathered his close ones, embraced his mortality and asked God for bravery and life, regardless of the pain.
It wasn’t a priest remembering the words of Jesus.
It was the president of Venezuela.
“Give me your cross, give me your crown of thorns, give me your pain, but let me live, for I have so much still to do…” Implored Hugo Chavez to the image of the crucified Jesus, broadcasted to the whole country via the state TV, (VTV).
Venezuelans are starting to get used to “Miraflología” (a term coined to refer to the “deciphering” of the messages from the government building “Miraflores” and similar to the ancient “Kremlinology” of the cold war), specially since Chavez started to: a) denied any health problem (to accept he had cancer afterwards) b) assured that he was cured (to start radiotherapy days later) and, c) ultimately, guaranteed that he was on the path to total cure (days before the pray I described before).
So, within minutes of the televised mass, social networks started to boom with messages -full of hope from recovery (from chavistas) and full of three types of content from the rest of the people:
- The paranoids: people trying to convince the rest that it is all a big scam, that he is not even sick, and that the strategy is to convert him in a “living miracle” for the upcoming elections.
- The jokers: a big chunk of the population (specially those on vacation) chose not to take seriously any news, protecting themselves of any stress with the “weapon of choice” of any Venezuelan: our hyper developed sense of humor.
- The transition planners: people urging politicians to develop a plan to make a swift transition to avoid the phantom of any coup.
And there is one more category, which involves people with and against the actual government.
They are the apocalyticals
They are the people which shudder only at the thought of someone putting them on the same basket, people trying to convince the rest of us that the destiny of the country relies on the end (or the continuity) of one man on the presidency.
They are the people pushing for the consolidation of the worst of these administration, or pushing for the opposition showing the worst of itself trying to topple Chavez.
They are the people who think that the life and dead of a country like ours can be tied to the life and dead of a man.
They are not right, but they have an advantage, though:
They talked. And tweet.
But jokers, planners, chavistas… and yes, even paranoids (and, of course, all the Venezuelans that reject to be categorized by an unknown blogger) know that we live in one of the countries with more history (and education) about democracy in the world, and that we had managed to survive ill leaders, mad leaders and the more disastrous of all: BAD leaders.
We know -and we are proud of it- that any attempt to kill, to topple, or to organize a successful coup during the last 6 decades in our country had failed. Even the ones organized by the actual president, and the ones organized for his worst enemies.
I don’t know what is going to happen in the upcoming weeks (that’s the definition of a black swan, right?) but I know one thing:
This time won’t be the exemption.
It might look as if Venezuela’s democracy is crumbling, but it is not.
Only the faith of the authoritarians in their endlessness power is.