Recent efforts to give amnesty to people who have committed violent acts during political protest have been blocked by Venezuela’s High Court. They stated that the law would support “a scandalous impunity to the detriment of public morals,” and would interfere with order and civil stability in this already troubled country.
Much has been said about the Socialist revolution of the past, but violent activity does little to bring about change for the better. The 2002 coup to oust the socialist leaders of the time is said by Venezuelaanalysis to have been U.S. sponsored, a charge the States has never been comfortable with. The difficulty is that such things, and later violent protest known as guarimbas, do little to establish confidence that some new order of things would be superior to the existing one.
The opposition-led legislature passed the law, which according to Danilo Diaz would have been in effect were it not for the court’s ruling. It described the nature of political protest and pardoned people for acts of violence when conducting protests or holding meetings. The law was detailed in a My Space post, and described actions that anyone in a truly civilized country would consider reprehensible.
It remains a fact that non-violent protest, such as that performed by Mahatma Gandhi and his followers, is successful at bringing about change. Explosive rancor does more to divide society than it does to strengthen it. Hopefully, the High Court’s ruling will lead Venezuela to more positive change.