Yon Goicoechea, one of the most important student leaders, during a press conference just two days after the movement raised their voice against the RCTV closure, said what it has been for me the main line of the White Hand student movement, their major concern. He said that he could not get why for the rest of the people it was so hard to understand and imagine that the students had come out with an original and independent way of struggle for the Civil Right – “I just don’t get it” – He said moving his head in denial while the campus fell on applauses. It was a moment that it still trills me inside whenever I think about it.
But months later my mom brought me a magazine that had Yon in the cover as the “man of the year” and seriously, all I can said is that the report, even if speak good of the student movement, was simply trash. The article simply made look Yon as some saint, incredible student with no sins at all. An innocent man attacked with no mercy by the powerful forces of the government.
After seeing that, I can really understand my parents concerns and I feel the need to speak about it. And what way could be better than to tell my version of what the White Hand (movement) has been and it is at the moment? My version comes now as a series of entries that words more, word less pretend to make a reconstruction of the history of the White Hand (student) movement. I’ve been preparing a book about it since the movement raised last June so what it follows it’s in part random translations of what I wrote in that book in progress.
My story will talk from the same perspective this entire blog has been written since I started: over all, a personal perspective. I’m also writing it from the student perspective since I was – still in a big part am – a student during most of the events I’ll talk about on the lines that follow. For sure, I won’t talk much about the big mass demonstrations of the past few months – I have talked about them before and I think I have said enough. I will talk about what’s behind those mass demonstrations, what came before and what might come after. I will steal many of the comments my friends and people more involved than me with the movement have made. The reader must also know that I won’t reveal more than what it is necessary because at this point of my life, to preserve the friendship and to protect the ones I care about is more important than to publish a good story in a blog that at the end, not many people actually read.
However, I consider this task a hard but a valuable one because I studied at one of the universities that leaded the movement (UCAB) and I personally met and share with the people who were directly responsible of the way things developed between the movement.
I want to answer to the concerns many – not only my parents – have about the White Hand (student) movement and the media treatment to that movement. I promise this can really clear up must of the doubts that the people – and foreigners especially the ones who only have the media as a source - might have about this movement. My story doesn’t want to glorify neither demonize the student movement; my objective is to rather, dignify the movement and the ones who at some point of our lives, have felt we are a part of it. I think that what I’m going to tell it has not been written yet and it will not unless I speak about it. This blog started as a mere catharsis but it has become an attempt to bring a different version of the ones the radicalized sectors of the Venezuelan political spectrum has and especially the media distortions (here and abroad) make basically for not having enough knowledge on the situation.
The vision of the White Hand (student) movement is, like I said before, distorted by the media on both sides of the political struggle. The opposition paints Gods and Goddess (yes, with capital letters, I’m not over reacting) while the government paints Devils and Puppets. And the thing is we are neither and the good and the bad fame that are not entirely based on reality can benefit the movement, even more, can’t benefit the understanding of the recent political history of Venezuela.
Nonetheless, this story can’t be taken as the “truth of the White Hand (student) movement”. I think I know more details about the movement that the people ignore, but still they are many things that I ignore as much as the people outside of the movement. Plus, many conspiracy theories speak about dark forces acting over me and other members of the movement… forces that are smart enough to act in a way we do not notice what they do at our expenses. This is the government theory mainly but believe it or not, some people of the opposition side are bound with this theory as well. I’m not here to deny it because since “I don’t notice them” seems like I don’t have the authority to deny them either. At the end, like I have made on this entire blog, I will speak from my heart, from my experience and my very simple, youth and perhaps naïve thoughts on that. I believe in freedom – you know I do – and I’ll leave the reader the freedom to decide and to judge how much of this story really holds the truth. Either way, you have the comments section available for make your own conclusions.
I hope the reader is patient enough to follow my journey and if he does, he’ll find out that the couple of words “Reaction and Revolution” I picked for the title are far from being a random choice (or a cheap plagiarism of an Artz book or a bad copy of the must recent Revolutionary propaganda, hahaha). They are there for a reason.
And with all that been said, on the next entry, the story starts.
About the pic: I took it on June 3rd, 2007 at one student demonstration - obviously