Wednesday night I was frustrated about being cooped up. As I posted about earlier, people had begun to collect rocks at my building to throw, presumably, at cars attempting to pass the makeshift barriers.
What is not clear to me is the objective of these protests/blockades. As a teacher, it is hammered into us that each lesson needs to have a clear, feasible objective–something that we are working towards. At certain schools, a teacher can get reprimanded for poorly written objectives or for not having the objective clearly displayed on the board.
So, I wonder, what is the objective here in Venezuela?
The wish for Maduro to step down, in my opinion, is not a reasonable objective. As I would say to my mom, “He ain’t going nowhere.”
Power is addictive and few people–from world leaders, to bank leaders, to school leaders–step away from it willingly or peacefully.
So, now what? Is the city going to remain crippled for the sake of capturing a man’s attention who, quite frankly, isn’t perturbed that the city is crippled?
Am I going to continue to watch from a stoop with a neighbor who, on that day, couldn’t go out to look for milk for her baby because things had heated up outside our building?
I completely respect the protest, but there’s a lot of work to be done after the protests too.
First off, dialogue needs to improve. From my experience, people can’t even fathom why others would support or vote for Maduro. The common response is the elections were rigged.
Maybe. I don’t know.
But maybe not.
If I was struggling to make ends meet I would shut-up and vote for a man who gave me social services and a house when everyone else was looking at me like “keep struggling, nothing I can do” while enjoying a clearly higher-standard of living too.
An inability to put oneself in another’s shoes is a big problem. If you can’t fathom it, you can’t imagine it. If you can’t imagine it, you can’t have a discussion with it. And if you can’t have a discussion with it, you can’t bring about a solution.
A shift in mindset will have to occur for any feasible change to occur.
Thus, although it completely resonated with me–on a visceral level–when a man yelled out into the night “Maduro, vaya!!” (Maduro, leave!), it’s not practical.
I close with this quote from The New York Times:
“Many protesters are calling for Mr. Maduro to resign, but beyond that, the rallies seem to be general expressions of outrage, often with few specific demands. Even some opposition activists admit to being bewildered about how to direct the anger into concrete political objectives.”
And I’m right there with them: bewildered too.