Saturday, April 10, 2004

Vzla: You sign, you lose

Signing a recall request implies receiving a dismissal letter, threats, politically-motivated lay-offs, payment freezing and denial of identity. These are some of the most common revenges against the people who exercised their constitutional right to ask for a presidential recall election. As if they were members of the Buendía family - around which Gabriel García Márquez developed his novel A Hundred Years of Solitude - public employees that dared signing the petition for a recall against President Hugo Chávez cannot erase the ash signal on their foreheads. The Constitution says they have the right to and protects them against persecution for their ideas of whichever kind, but that seems to be worthless now.

Although unconstitutional, the reprisals ordered by the threatening voice that sounds through the microphones and the darkness of fear have taken many forms depending on who looks over the signer.

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