Unnecessary Portraits / Fernando Damaso

A banner of Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez is seen at the Venezuelan embassy in Havana March 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Fernando Damaso, 9 January 2016 — In Venezuela it appears that the “Chavista circus” is coming to the end of its work in some public spaces, in this case in the Legislative Palace where the National Assembly meets, from where some portraits of the “eternal president” — as designated by himself before his death — have been removed, leaving only those of the Liberator Simon Bolivar, uncontaminated and unadulterated by fanatical Chavez propaganda.

This practice of placing yourself under the protective shadow of some independence leader to better sell yourself to the masses, seems to be a tactic conceptualized by the majority of “populist” Latin Americans: their principal victims being Bolivar, Sucre, San Martin, Marti and others.

The Chavistas have extended this practice to their embassies and here, in Havana, on 5th Avenue in the Miramar district, they have imposed on us an enormous photograph of their smiling “eternal president”on the facade of their embassy. Fortunately this bad example has not spread, freeing us from converting this avenue and others into a portrait gallery of different specimens of political fauna, further spoiling the city.

Mr. Venezuelan Ambassador can put a photo of his “eternal president” any place he wants in the building, even in the bathrooms, but should not impose it on every Cuban who travels down that avenue. In addition to a provocation, it is disrespectful, because not all of us commune with the ideas of the man in the portrait, and it is a violation of public adornment laws, which should be taken into account by the appropriate authorities.

Given what is happening in Venezuela now, it is being demonstrated more convincingly every day that the Supreme Court has been an organ subjugated to Chavismo, and has been used and is being used to legitimate its misdeeds. This is happening right now with the absurd contesting of the election results obtained by some deputies, which shows that the court lacks impartiality and, what’s more, credibility.

The same thing is happening with the TV channel TeleSur, which is nothing more than a propaganda channel for Chavismo and Latin American “populism,” lacking seriousness and, even more so, impartiality in its judgments, offering only manipulated news, convenient to its own interests.

Everything that is happening today in Venezuela, should serve as in incentive for many to finally understand the real danger of “populism” and the need to remove it from our continent, if we want to progress, develop ourselves, and march in step with the world, not against it.