Father Alfredo Infante said that the infrastructure in the educational institutions in the neighborhoods deteriorates and there is no investment to fix them. He stated that the political decisions that are currently being made are aimed at social exclusion and that inequality is not only in education, but is spreading to all areas of the country.
The parish priest of the La Vega parish in Caracas and Human Rights coordinator of the Gumilla Center, Alfredo Infante SJ, considered that there is currently a system in Venezuela that is deepening economic inequality and sociocultural inequality, since he warned that many young people in popular areas of the country, who have the talent and ability to enter the world of culture and knowledge, cannot do so and that implies that they are staying out of the system and generates this unequal process. For this reason, he believes that education is headed for strong privatization.
This was Father Infante’s opinion in an interview granted to Dialogue With in Televenwhere he expressed his support for the protest of basic and university teachers in favor of better salary claims and denounced that there is mistreatment of this union through the poor working conditions to which they are subjected.
He indicated that the State has shrunk and therefore the educational budget. In that sense, he said that the infrastructure in the educational institutions in the neighborhoods is deteriorating and there is no investment to fix them. Therefore, the great challenge that unfolds is to fight against inequality and provide an education that allows the same opportunities for all.
Similarly, he stated that the political decisions that are currently being made are aimed at social exclusion and added that those institutions that maintained a policy of solidarity in the popular sectors have had to make decisions that allow them to survive and rethink strategies, in many cases closing possibilities of allowing access to universities.
He put the specific case of UCAB when telling that the budget for scholarships, which are obtained through the collaboration of alumni and solidarity, have had to be redirected to allow those who are still studying to finish doing so. However, he stressed that this institution of higher education maintains its support program for the areas of La Vega, Antímano and Caricuao with the Manuel Aguirre Social Park.
Father Alfredo Infante commented that inequality is not only in the educational sector, but that there is evidence of a greater restriction on the guarantee of human rights of people who live in popular areas and that can be seen through the deficiency of public services such as internet and drinking water. In his opinion, what is happening is that a “privatization” is being prepared in all areas, as has already happened with the issue of gasoline as international prices are “normalizing.”
He emphasized that citizens must think as a cohesive society in order to improve the country. Therefore, he recalled that a presidential election will be held in 2024 and the participation of the Venezuelan is important as a factor of change. He then asked the political parties to hold public debates on issues that affect the country so that the citizen can choose someone by their own decision and not as the only possible alternative.
In his opinion, there are emerging politicians who have proposals that can be made visible in favor of the country. He believes that one of them is the member of Primero Justicia Roberto Patiño. In his opinion, that opposition politician has taken politics seriously; he dialogues and shares with the communities and handles a proposal for reunion and reconciliation.
He affirmed that recovering the political issue is key to making transformations that lead to the common good, an element that is important to rethink ourselves as a country and improve the quality of life. He encouraged citizens to get more involved in the process and to have a more active role in the construction of a new Venezuela.