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The use of the word “chusma”(riffraff, rabble), among other insults, by a lady who lives in that sector, as she referred to a group that “dared” set up an electoral patrol stand in favor of president Chávez in a public place, was pathetic.

People on both sides are concerned about this regrettable incident. This distinguished lady’s visceral and disproportionate behavior made her fall into a deep and black pit of human nature. In screaming the concept of the word “chusma” in its contemptuous Spanish meaning: “group of rude ,vulgar people” or “group of low class people”, this lady only degraded herself, and with no doubt inspires in a citizen living in this area a feeling of embarrassment for her. One might wonder in what school this lady received formal education, or whether deep within, her emotional state “made her literally lose her temper” as a result of the poisoning from the propaganda systems that today’s Venezuelan media are using.

The fact that this phenomenon has led these people, who have a certain level of instruction, to behave in such a brutal way, showing so much contempt towards their fellow citizens just for expressing political ideas that are different from theirs, is something to be seriously concerned about in terms of civic coexistence and acceptance of the rules in a really democratic society.

What seems to be true is that this intemperate behavior will win few followers for their noble cause of assembling an opposition against the government. It would be good if those displaying such intemperate behavior and lack of good judgement, acted with a greater dose of humility and respect towards their fellow citizens whose rights -which are the same as theirs- they intend to violate in an openly brutal way.

Opposed to such deeply hidden malicious feelings that came out at that moment, are the feelings that have erupted as from a volcano among most Venezuelans, with the organization of patrols for the “Santa Inés” referendum campaign in favor of Chávez. Unleashed emotions, channeled in a civic way through the so called Electoral Battle Units (UBE), that provide the citizens with orientation and information about their Voting Centers. There is a contrast between the traditional way of deciding election results, through “political cliques”, and its alter ego, the energy emanating from the bases of the organized people. It’s a struggle between two different models of democracy: On one hand, representative democracy -the form of government for several decades- ; on the other hand, the incipient participatory and “people- as- protagonist” model of democracy, based on the principles of the new Bolivarian Constitution.

Political clique versus electoral patrol, fraud versus transparence of the popular will, concealment versus clarity, the rude expressions of the lady in question versus the “riffraff” she tried to belittle, are some traits that show a different way of doing things by the patrollers “on their way to Santa Inés”.

The defense, by the people from below, of the voting results, and the right that they have to express themselves openly in urban spaces, are manifestations of this new challenge that the Venezuelan people are facing. Confronted to the old culture of fraud -more technologically sophisticated each time - , are a growing popular conscience, and a new popular awareness of constitutional rights and obligations based on the principle of shared responsibility.

A counterpoint facing emotions against malicious feelings, this situation should serve as scenario and showcase to illustrate what is at stake: the old elitist politics versus the new way, the people as protagonists.

A patrol is a civic electoral unit that organizes the bases of society for the defense of the values proclaimed in the CRBV. We are before a new way for the people to be direct actors in the construction of their own destiny. Fighting fraud, consolidating the forces that support this process of changes, neutralizing the opponents of the process in their intentions, propitiating political inclusion and isolating coupmongers are some of the guidelines in this struggle that will not only teach “the uncontrolled passions” within the country a lesson, but also serve as an example for other countries in Latin America and perhaps for those countries worldwide that are known as developed.