Señora Bachelet, You Surprise Me.

Matías Bosch Carcuro

I am surprised, Mrs Bachelet, that you spoke today of the criminalization of protest in Venezuela. You have left me almost convinced that I hallucinated when I remembered that while you were President, Carabineros de Chile in front of La Moneda and throughout the Alameda as far as Santa Lucía, bombarded with gases, water and detentions a workers’ demonstration in which I participated.

You almost convinced me that I hallucinated when I remembered that while you were President, Carabineros de Chile in front of La Moneda and along the entire Alameda as far as Santa Lucía, you bombarded a workers’ demonstration in which I participated with gases, water and arrests. They were throwing gas in the faces of teachers who only held banners.

We were forced to flee and hide in the labyrinth of Paris and London streets so as not to be arrested. We could count dozens of times such as this.

I also remembered the marches of the “penguins” defending themselves against police attacks. High school students treated like “vandals,” and even arrested, for protesting in the name of the basic human and social right (that which you defend today regarding Venezuela) to a quality and egalitarian public education. At the beginning of your term in 2006, you still did not raise the flag of free education, which was fought over in the streets in spite of you and your ministers of the Interior and Education.

I realized that I didn’t hallucinate when I read your paragraphs on the Warao “ethnicity” (people say) in Venezuela, because I remembered Matías Catrileo Quezada, a Mapuche shot by the police under your mandate; I remembered Johnny Cariqueo Yañez, killed after a brutal police beating; and Jaime Facundo Mendoza Collío, another Mapuche, shot in the back by a policeman, all during your presidency. In the government of Ricardo Lagos, in which you served as Minister of Health and Defense, seven Mapuche were assassinated. Have you ever accepted responsibility for that or promoted the filing of charges before the State of Chile? Do you really want to talk about the criminalization of protest, with the burden of the Law of Internal Security of the State to claim terrorism right and left?

Moreover, it is curious at best that your report on Venezuela includes as “conclusions” and “findings” what are textual phrases that can be found in twitts and retwitts of you and of your team MADE ALMOST A MONTH AGO (February 24, 2019). A supernatural capacity for premonition that science does not understand?

Señora Bachelet: it is impressive that a person of the rank and international prestige that you hold, asserts that the first sanctions were imposed on Venezuela in 2017, when they began much earlier, on Obama’s orders. It is also what you base your statements on things like “according to polls,” “presumably,” “I’m worried,” “I’m worried,” ” I know it”; a whole document full of assertions without offering a single source, but at the same time stating that a team “from your office” is in Venezuela (for which you ask for guarantees again, implying that you don’t have them. What does this team do, which certainly is very well paid, and can only send you a list of conjectures, without providing a single corroborated information? Why does it not address – not even for the sake of selectivity – the suspicions of sabotage to the electrical system linked to the general blackout of recent days?

Regarding the crisis of the health system and the fact that you are a doctor and were Minister of Health, other organizations have mentioned this, including the serious mother-child situation and infectious-contagious diseases. Yet as smaller and more limited organizations, without the GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY OF YOU AND THE UN, they have produced MUCH MORE SERIOUS REPORTS without the political ambiguity of this “report”.

You, Senora Bachelet, dare to say that Venezuela today is a “disturbing factor in regional destabilization,” with little to say that it constitutes a cause for humanitarian intervention. You assert and confirm what your co-religionist of ideas, Rodríguez Zapatero, denies everywhere, and your supposed adversary, Piñera, proclaims to the four winds. Has Michelle Bachelet, who stood in the way of the coup in Bolivia and who welcomed the ousted Manuel Zelaya with honors in La Moneda, fallen?

It is regrettable that you, Señora Bachelet, a woman, Latin American and daughter of a dignified general murdered by Pinochet’s coup, the Chilean right-wing, Nixon’s government and the CIA, handle yourself in such a way in this scenario of a country threatened with an invasion by the United States and other neighbouring countries, governed today by mercenaries and pirates such as Bolsonaro and Duque, who could lead us without fear into a regional conflagration, as was perpetrated against the Dominican Republic in 1965 and attempted by Uribe between 2007 and 2008.

Let it be clear: none of this is intended to be an argument “ad hominem” or “ad feminem” to divert attention to you and relativize the gravity of the situation, whatever the country.

Any violation of Human Rights of any State must be condemned. The suffering and injustices against all people must outrage us; this is what Allende and Che taught us.

Only one should claim that reports and findings of this magnitude comply with a minimum of seriousness, equanimity and methodological and ethical honesty, so as not to be weapons of destruction disguised as legality. All the more so when what Trump and company are planning is at issue, and the rights of millions of people for whom you must advocate. There is Haiti waiting for someone to deign to assume UN responsibility for the mass crime of the cholera epidemic. Who better than you to do it, with your direct participation in the deployment of Blue Helmets in that country?

There are two things I would like to mention to you: that you promised a factual report in June, and that we will be waiting for instead of today’s quasi-pamphlet. And although your report dealt with the plight of other countries, including Colombia, the entire mass-media network only speaks of one: Venezuela.

That is clearly not your fault, Señora Bachelet, but someone with your experience and curriculum should have taken into account which basket the eggs you were going to throw fall into. In a position like yours, you are obliged to always know for whom you are working.

Translation by Internationalist 360°