Hasta siempre comandante Chávez
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.”
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