Friday, February 6, 2015

Viveza criolla and the economic war according to Reinaldo Iturriza

When a conspiracy theory becomes the official State discourse, many public officials feel compelled to make original contributions to the theory in their fields of expertise. Not all those contributions have been included in this blog. But here is a good example: In his article “The Economic War: not just business as usual”, the Minister of Culture, Reinaldo Iturriza, develops some historical and cultural aspects of the economic war the government claims is being waged by its enemies.

After analyzing three phases of opposition strategy since 1998, Iturriza discusses the roll the myth of “Venezuelan quick wittedness” (viveza criolla in the original), plays in the political culture of identity creation, both for chavismo and anti-chavismo.

“Profiteering from the government ‘s CADIVI dollar control system, small scale contraband at the border, queue jumping etc.” are all part of viveza criolla practices, and not of the control system stablished by the government. Viveza criolla is, according to Irurriza, a myth “stimulated and created” by the oligarchy with the purpose of stigmatizing the working people, but it really describes the oligarchy itself as “mediocre and unproductive.” This dialectically produces an identification of the chavista subject with the worst characteristics of anti-chavismo: “the exacerbation of individualism, of selfishness and the imposition of the survival of the fittest.”

The final aim of the oligarchy with this cunning use of the myth of viveza criolla is the “moral decomposition of the social base of the Bolivarian Revolution.” For this cultural evil Iruttiza proposes a cultural and moral remedy: the people must return to the moral referent of Comandante Chávez.

Here is the original article as published by Iturriza in his blog. Here is the English translation I quote here by Rachael Boothroyd for Venezuelanalysis.

(Image from Iturriza’s blog Saber y Poder

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