EspañolBy Isaac Nahón Serfaty
The sowing of hate, carefully cultivated by Chavismo, has spread beyond the borders of Venezuela. Groups of activists, many times with the financial and logistical support from the diplomatic corps of Venezuela and Cuba, gather in various countries to repeat the lies that the regime, headed by Nicolás Maduro, repeats on a daily basis in Venezuela.
Recently, I witnessed the actions by these groups — mostly made up of nationals from various countries, with very few Venezuelans — who dedicate themselves to disrupting activities that seek to present a different vision, abroad, of the sociopolitical dynamic in Venezuela. This past May 7, a few agitators tried to sabotage a talk given by Venezuelan elected representative Maria Corina Machado at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa.
The program, which had been arranged by the Venezuelan community, with the support of the University’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, was open to the public. As such, these militants, no more than a dozen, started to scream slogans against the elected representative, labeling her as an “assassin” and a “traitor,” while showing large, all-color posters that surely must be very costly.
These networks of hate function in a well-coordinated manner. They’re on the hunt for any representative of Venezuela’s democratic opposition, or for some peaceful protest by Venezuelan nationals abroad, before mobilizing their few souls, distributed in various capitals of the world, to make noise, scream empty slogans, and repeat the whine of the “pretty revolution.” They multiply and disseminate their lies and hate-filled speech through Facebook, blogs, and Twitter.
At times, these militants appear with officials from Venezuelan consulates and embassies, participating in activities of open political proselytism, as they did during the campaign that swept Maduro to the presidency, in April of 2013. All this they do openly, leaving proof in the public sphere of acts that could be considered illicit and that speak, at the very least, of a supposed misappropriation of funds from the Venezuelan State. But what is another brick in the wall for a government that has trademarked its disrespect for the Constitution and its laws?
Attracted to these networks of hate are certain academics who openly defend Venezuela’s authoritarian regime with weak arguments that do not withstand a minimal confrontation with the facts. These academics are blind and deaf before evidence, even when it is irrefutable and speaks for itself. One Canadian professor from the University of Ottawa, Susan Spronk, recently published an article in which she practically justifies the repression against the students because they have participated in a “revolt of the rich.” Spronk’s article deserved a forceful response from another Canadian academic, Victoria Henderson, who reasonably asked why professors legitimize state repression against Venezuelan students (you can read Henderson’s article here).
It seems as though ideological motivations disable the comprehension from some professors. Worse yet, ideology annuls the ethical judgment and the natural, moral repulsion against assassination, torture, and the jailing of citizens who protest. One could present these professors with multiple forms of evidence, as collected by the most recent report from Human Rights Watch about state violence against the protesters in Venezuela. It will do no good. Their moral blindness will not allow them to see reality.
Hate International will keep doing its work, although with each passing day, it will be more difficult to fool people.
Isaac Nahón Serfaty is a Venezuelan journalist and professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada.
Translated from Spanish by Canadian-Venezuelan photographer/writer, Sydney Hedderich.