A Jesuit priest highlights the connections between communal socialism and liberation theology.
Numa Molina is a Jesuit priest, theologian and journalist who committed himself fully to the Bolivarian Process when most of the Catholic church’s hierarchy took sides with the fascistoid opposition. In this interview, Molina talks about dialogue and reconciliation, the ethical crisis that some sectors of Chavismo are experiencing, and the non-material dimensions of emancipation.
You have talked about the need for dialogue and reconciliation in Venezuela. How and in what way can there be reconciliation between two antagonistic projects?
It is true that there are two opposite views [in Venezuela], and I agree that they are irreconcilable. However, when it comes to a process of reconciliation, we must look for what unites us, rather than that which brings us apart. For example, in a family, there can be different opinions and ways of interpreting the world, but when it comes to the interests of the family group as a whole, the differences should be put aside and, instead, its members should turn to what effectively unites them, which in this case would be love for the family.
It is possible to have a dialogue among those that differ insofar as identity is not lost. When it comes to dialogue, the “identity” is the love for the country.If you and I love this country, then we can engage around that common identity, which unites us. We can dialogue and reconcile.
The importance of dialogue becomes visible now that a nationalist opposition – a sector that cares for the country – is emerging in Venezuela. They [the government and the democratic opposition] were able to sit down and talk because they found common ground.
On the other hand, dialogue with the far-right opposition is not viable, as it is impossible to reconcile and find a minimum common ground. This is due to two reasons. First, they would not accept being penalized for the crimes against humanity they have committed. The second reason, related to the first, is that a person or group that does not accept having committed a crime cannot be the subject of reconciliation. As such, it is impossible to speak of forgiveness. Reconciliation begins with the aggressor’s conscious acceptance that he sinned, that he did wrong.