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Hasta siempre comandante Chávez

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Hasta_Siempre_Comandante_ChavezFour short and insightful tributes to Chávez in Monthly Review’s MRZine.

From ‘Farewell Comrade Chávez’, by Fred Magdoff – “With the death of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela and the world have lost a leader whose primary concern was to bring a new system into existence – one he referred to as 21st Century Socialism. Hugo Chávez was well aware, as many Venezuelans are, of the problems that remained in the country. But this remarkable man has created space to try new ideas and begin the process that will hopefully lead to a lasting transformation to a more humane society.”

From ‘Por Ahora: A Few Words for Hugo Chávez’, by Chris Gilbert – “Most people won’t remember well the details of the moment in which Chávez implied that George W. Bush was the devil. The truth is it wasn’t planned at all. I believe the ‘mot juste’ simply occurred to Chávez there in UN in 2006. Who smelled more of sulfur than Bush? The words traveled around the globe.”

From ‘The World-Historical Importance of Hugo Chávez’, by Jay Moore – “On a world-historical scale, Chávez was of enormous significance because he and his Bolivarian Movement put revolutionary socialism back onto the global agenda. Chávez was first elected as Venezuelan president in 1999. The Zapatista guerillas with the iconic Subcomandante Marcos had emerged from the Chiapas jungles in 1994 and inspired some new hope. But the world was still reeling from the collapse of “really existing socialism” in the Soviet bloc in 1991. Then, seemingly bursting out of nowhere but actually, as we began to learn, out of a long tradition of struggle against neo-liberalism in Venezuela, came Hugo Chávez, a man incorporating in his physiognomy all the colors of the hemisphere and a highly gifted orator.”

From ‘Chávez’s Chief Legacy: Building, with People, an Alternative Society to Capitalism’, by Marta Harnecker – “Chávez conceived of socialism as a new collective life in which equality, freedom, and real and deep democracy reign, and in which the people plays the role of protagonist; an economic system centered on human beings, not on profits; a pluralistic, anti-consumerist culture in which the act of living takes precedence over the act of owning. [the creation of] communal councils (self-managed community spaces), workers’ councils, student councils, and peasant councils is so important, for the purpose of forming a truly collective structure, which must express itself as a new form of decentralised state whose fundamental building blocks should be communes.”

Written by makanaka

March 7, 2013 at 20:59

3 Responses

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  1. Thanks for sharing these tributes Rahul.
    As expected, within few minutes of the death of Hugo Chavez, CNN was quickly analysing how much more oil Venezuela would produce now since Chavez,the “Dictator” was out of the way.
    It is interesting to see how the western media went into attack mode hardly a few minutes after the death of Hugo Chavez was announced -they hated him – the rich and the powerful hated him – he had the courage to stand up to the Americans and all the other oligarchs – and expel the oil companies out of Venezuela. They hated him because he worked for the poor . He knew that no improvement to human kind or the marginalised communities would ever come from banks and corporations – and how right he was !
    For the western media to call him a Dictator is absurd. Chavez was elected repeatedly with overwhelming majorities that made all other leaders envious – that’s why they all hated him.

    In the end, for all his contradictions and flaws, he gave back the Venezuelans their dignity,
    Today Venezuela has the fairest income distribution in all of Latin America – and atleast for that he needs to be saluted and not vilified.


    March 8, 2013 at 10:19

    • Thanks for that view Viva. The government-industry-finance combines that rule the western so-called democracies saw, rightly, in Chavez a threat to their programme of impoverishing labour and the working classes and the robbing of public and natural resources. Hence the campaign waged over years to demonise Chavez (they did so too unsuccessfully with Castro), because of the socialist alternative he presented to the world. I feel sad that in India, we paid little heed to what has been happening in South America and Venezuela.


      March 8, 2013 at 18:02

  2. […] poor people’s vulnerability. In the past ten years, countries particularly in South America (we salute you, Hugo Chavez) have incorporated food sovereignty into their constitutions and national […]

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