h1

Jpm2000000pmThu, 15 Feb 2007 16:23:59 +000007 23, 2007

Hugo Chavez has denied  that he restricts the freedom of the press; yet, he continues to blame the media — currently privately owned, but for how long? — for conspiring and attempting to overthrow his leftist government.   In the most recent news, the government of Venezuela has fined the newspaper Tal Cualfor an editorial written by humorist Laureano Márquez in which the President has a fictitious talk with his daughter.  From what I gather, Márquez ridiculed Chavez’s decision (using his daughter) to change the Venezuelan coat of arms (old) so that in the new coat of arms the horse is no longer running to the right, but is switched around so that it is heading to the left to mirror the political views of Chavez.  Furthermore, in the article Márquez writes:

“…she ask her father to trade the horse on the new coat of arms for a devoted house pet, such as a Golden Retriever or tortoise — ‘a good symbol of our sluggishness in everything.'”

With the current decision by the government to allow Chavez to rule by decree, and his moves to nationalize some of the resources in the country, it is baffling to think what his next move might.  By fining Tal Cual, it appears he is attacking this left-of-center paper, which is running out of funds already, and moving towards eradicating the free press in his Bolivarian Revolution.  In the ongoing debate as to whether Chavez is defending democracy or moving towards an authoritarian government, the decisions he has made of late (and that of the government) seem to point to a more authoritarian government. 

Here is the article in Spanish:

¿Cómo estás? Espero que bien y con la posibilidad de disfrutar de televisión con cable para poder ver algunas comiquitas. Te sugiero las de Boomerang, que si no nos hicieron daño a nosotros (¡creo yo!), tampoco les harán a ustedes. El oso Yogui, la pantera rosa, la hormiga atómica, Simbad, Shazzan, etc. No te recomiendo Los Picapiedras, porque a lo mejor a tu papá no le gustan, porque presentan el modelo capitalista como algo natural y propio del hombre que existía incluso desde las cavernas.

Supe de tus preocupaciones por el caballo del Escudo Nacional mirando hacia atrás. Coincido plenamente contigo. Todos los escudos tienen leones rampantes (Cuando se paran en las dos paticas de atrás), águilas, caballos, pero ninguno tiene un Golden Retriever, por ejemplo. Con lo nobles que son esos animales. Yo le pondría al escudo un Golden con un palito en la boca a los pies del amo. O una morrocoya, como la que tú tienes; un buen emblema de nuestra lentitud para todo. En todo caso, si le vamos a dejar un caballo, que sea uno de la Rinconada, con su numerito, jinete y todo. Porque si algo nos identifica, es el azar y las apuestas.
De todas maneras, el propósito de esta carta es pedirte ayuda. Ustedes los niños tienen mucho poder y yo sé que tu papá te hace caso. Probablemente, eres la única persona a la que escucha con atención. Además, tú y tus sobrinitos son los únicos capaces de hablar francamente con papá, sin el miedo que nos da a nosotros. El otro día, tu papi nos contó que su nieto le había dicho: “¡pirata tú!” ¡Qué envidia!. Bueno, pero para no desviarme del tema, como yo sé que él te presta atención, hazle estas peticiones:

– Pídele que saque también del escudo a un señor de uniforme verde oliva y barba blanca como San Nicolás (con el debido respeto al nuevo manual de la navidad). Un señor que se mete mucho en nuestros asuntos. Es como si la niñita de al lado de tu casa, aprovechándose de que tú la quieres mucho, se llevara tus Barbies, tus peluches o tus libros de cuentos y trajese a sus hermanitos a jugar a tu cuarto.

– Dile también que no hable de cosas que va a hacer más allá del 2021. En estos días, nos contó de un pocotón de bicentenarios que va a celebrar: del 1810, 12, 14 y siempre habla del 2021. Aunque vaya a quedarse hasta esa fecha, no debería decirlo tanto, porque a los que no estamos de acuerdo con él (no te asustes, cada vez somos menos según las estadísticas oficiales ) nos entra como una desesperanza que tampoco es buena.

– Una última cosa para que le pidas: que no se ponga tan bravo con los que no pensamos como él y que no nos regañe tanto. A veces nos llama golpistas y fascistas y le provoca a uno responderle como tu sobrinito: “!pirata tú!”.

Rosinés: Con estas cosas que te pido la larga convivencia que nos espera con tu papi será más llevadera. A cambio, nosotros le ofrecemos nuestro conformismo. Por cierto, pídele también que no haga tantas cadenas. Eso sí, todo esto como cosa tuya.

And here is a rough translation:

Dear Rosinés

How are you? I hope well and that you have the chance to enjoy some cartoons on cable TV. Let me recommend the show called Boomerang, which if it didn’t harm us (I think!), it won’t harm you either. As well as Yogi Bear, The Pink Panther, Atom Ant, Simbad, Shazam!, etc. I don’t recommend The Flinstones, because maybe your dad doesn’t like them, since they represent the capitalist model as something natural and belonging to humans, and which even existed during cavemen times.

I heard about your concerns regarding the horse on the Coat of Arms looking backwards. I completely agree with you. All coats of arms have roaring lions (when they stand up on their little hind legs), eagles, horses, but none have a Golden Retriever, for example. And those dogs are so noble. If it were up to me, I would put a Golden Retriever on the Coat of Arms, with a little stick in its mouth standing at its owner’s feet. Or a turtle, like the one you have: a good emblem for our slowness in everything. In any case, if we’re gonna leave a horse on ours, let it be one from the Rinconada racetrack, with its little number, its jockey and everything. Because if anything identifies us, it’s chance and betting. Anyways, the purpose of this letter is to ask for your help. You children have a lot of power and I know that your dad pays attention to you. You’re probably the only person he listens to closely. Besides, you and your little nephews are the only ones who can talk to your dad honestly, without the fear the rest of us feel. The other day, your papi told us that his grandson said to him: “No, you’re a pirate!” I’m so jealous! Well, so as not to go off-the topic here, since I know he listens to you, make these petitions to him:

– Ask him to also take out of the Coat of Arms a man dressed in olive green fatigues and with a white beard like St. Nick (with all appropriate respect towards the new manual for Christmas). A man who interferes too much in our affairs. It’s as though the little girl who lives next door to you, taking advantage of how much you like her, were to take your Barbies, your teddy bears or your story books and bring over her little brothers and sisters to play in your room.

– Tell him to also stop talking about the things he’s gonna do up through 2021. Recently, he told us about a whole bunch of bicentenaries he plans on celebrating: 1810, 12, 14 and he always talks about 2021. Even if he does plan on staying in power until that date, he shouldn’t say it so often, because those of us who don’t agree with him (don’t be scared, each day there’s fewer of us, according to official statistics) end up suffering a desperation that isn’t good either.

– One last thing for you to ask him: that he stop getting so mad at those of us who don’t think like him and that he stop scolding us so often. Sometimes he calls us coup plotters and fascists and one feels like answering back like your little nephew did: “No, you’re a pirate!”

Rosinés: With these things I’ve just asked you to mention, the long coexistence that awaits us with your papi will be easier to bear. In exchange, we’ll offer him our conformity. By the way, ask him also to not make so many required TV and radio broadcasts [cadenas]. But of course, pretend like these are all your ideas.

Although some content in the translation may have been lost and confusing, from what I read it was fairly funny, and just seemed to be rather harmless.  More importantly though, it made me think about what is written and said here in the United States in articles, comic strips, newspapers, by comedians, and overall opposition about our President Bush.  For instance, just check out the strip Doonesbury (which is mild in comparison to the late night comedians).  It really puts into perspective how free our press is in comparison to much of the world, and in this case Venezuela. 

The actual articles written by Marquez were obtained through these two sites.

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laureano_M%C3%A1rquez

and

http://venepoetics.blogspot.com/2007/02/querida-rosins-laureano-mrquez.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: