Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chávez is dead, viva Chávez!

Chávez with the guns of Simón Bolívar.
His sword, the Liberator sent it to Haiti.
As you surely know by now, one of the most influential political leaders of our time, Hugo Chávez, has died. But his political project, Bolivarianism, is still very much alive and kicking. 

I have to admit that when I first heard of Chávez in 1998 I was very skeptic and imagined him as just another Bonapartist leader arisen from military ranks. Nationalist maybe but never imagined that he and his movement, eventually unified as Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) would have such a wide influence, not just in Venezuela but in all America and throughout the World. 

I did not imagine either that the socialdemocratic ways they promoted would hold for long. Of course I hoped the best but the excessive rhetoric and personalization of the leadership made me suspect. But then America is not Europe, where personal leadership is less dramatically cheered or even dismissed as personality cult, and where Chávez' fiery verb would have rather caused laughter than driven crowds. Another major difference between our continents is the role of religion: you would never expect so many crucifixes, appeal to prayers or that imaginary being they call "God", not even in the parade of a Conservative, much much less in that of a Revolutionary. 

And notice that I say America and not just Latin America because all these traits seem to be shared by all countries of the New World, Latin or Anglo. 

But then came the victories of other leaders with similar programs: Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and the return of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And then came the ALBA or Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (the acronym also meaning "dawn" in Spanish), founded in 2004 with the intent of partly exit the dictatorship of International Capitalism, creating schemes of mass barter between their members: oil for physicians and stuff like that. The ALBA initially only had two members: Venezuela and Cuba but gradually expanded to the eight states that constitute it today: Bolivia joined in 2006, Nicaragua in 2007, Dominica in 2008, and finally Antigua & Barbuda, Ecuador and St. Vincent in 2009. In addition to these Surinam and St. Lucia are special guest members and Haiti, now observer, plans to join soon.

While there are many who think that socialism in Venezuela and most allied countries is still very imperfect, ceding too much room to Capitalism, there are also many others who accept this pragmatic real socialdemocracy (nothing to do with the raw neoliberalism of so many self-proclaimed socialdemocrats of our time, like Tony Blair or Papandreou) is working well for the developing countries of Latin America and is also keeping the torch of socialism alive through rather bad times.

Of course there is also the rabid ultracapitalist opposition but I don't care about what the reaction thinks because the cycle of reaction is reaching its end, trapped in their own unsolvable contradictions. Also they do not love you, only their wallets. 

I really began believing, always critically, in Chávez and Bolivarianism anyhow when the Bush-Blair-Aznar alliance of the most evil staged a coup against him in 2002. If the Creationists and the Opus Dei were so badly against him, it was obvious that he posed a real threat to the Imperial Capitalist Regime (aka NATO-plus).

Another epic moment was when he spoke to the United Nations from the same tribune that the mass-murderer George W. Bush had used the day before. His first words were: It smells to sulfur here, what was applauded and cheered by the representatives of way too many nations. 

Love him or hate him or just watch him critically between amusement and admiration, one could not and cannot in the foreseeable future remain untouched by this lion. The people of Venezuela have rallied around him and the wider Bolivarian project many times, last one in a total roll-over. But not just them, in Latin America and around the World the project he lead and his overwhelming personality have left a strong mark and a very positive one no doubt. 

Viva Chávez!

Update (Mar 7): a huge crowd bid farewell to the most charismatic President they had since Bolívar himself (source: LINyM[es]):

Evo Morales and Nicolás Maduro


  1. Social democracy in Venezuela now? Do you believe that?
    Where do you get your sources from, Maju?
    And now your Maduro is governing in the name of the Eternal Leader. Where did I hear that before?
    Chavismo is a fascist movement that happens to rule in a country that exports oil and that oil is now at > 100 dollars a barrel, over 8 times what it was in 1998. The Chávez family is richer than the Capriles family. The personality cult is utterly pathetic. The Boliburgueses steal from the poor by using the CADIVI mechanism and giving people the crumbles. A few weeks ago the fascist government had to devalue the currency a lot to get some fresh money and be able to pay for more imports - also from the USA - to distribute in Venezuela. We are now importing black beans from the Caribbean islands, maize from the USA, coffee from Nicaragua.
    Maju, you seem to be getting your information from North Korea. The murder rate, which in 1998 was about 19 x 100 000, now is over 65. Are you going to say it has to do with the CIA and Colombian paramilitary, perhaps?

    Was Chávez killed by Mossad or the CIA or both?

    1. Surprised you did not comment here. Last time you rushed out when I asked about your life, motivations and money sources. I'm still awaiting for a reply...

      Anyhow, in Venezuela there is a formal and quite real democracy, in Venezuela the major companies, banks, TV channels have not yet been nationalized (hope it happens soon, Maduro seems the man). That is what a real socialdemocratic system is: state-controlled capitalism with some welfare state.

      I do not like socialdemocracy too much. You say you do but not in Venezuela? Or your "socialdemocracy" is the Blairite empty discourse in nothing different to Thatcher?

      I don't like the personality cult either but that's a problem generalized in all America, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

      "... you seem to be getting your information from North Korea".

      LOL, you bet I don't. Damn I forgot about the conference that the Capitalist liason of the Capitalist Fascist North Korean regime was giving in Bilbao these days. I planned to throw peanuts at him (metaphorically speaking).

      "Was Chávez killed by Mossad or the CIA or both?"

      Honestly I do not know. Does it matter?

    2. Really funny you talk about this from capitalist Bilbao (oh, yes, because you are too old to migrate, sure). At least I am consistent...although to tell you the truth: Belgium is way more "socialist" than anything the Bolivarian milicos and pseudo-leftists have in place in Venezuela.

      I went to a public school in Venezuela. Do you think the Boliburgueses, including Maduro, send their children to a public school? No way. Their quality has gone further down the drain. Literacy was 93% in 1998, over 50% of those who couldn't read were over 60 years old. Now literacy has risen to 95%. Plot that chart. And Venezuela stopped taking part in open evaluation programmes of its education because the military do not want transparency. They just want to tell fairy tell "Marxist" stories to the useful idiots abroad.

      When I mentioned your sources, I mean information. It doesn't matter to me where you work. OK, perhaps you should get your information more from here:

      It's fresher, not filtered by European "socalists" who make it more palatable for you.

      There isn't really much to nationalize in Venezuela now. The only channel that is critical of the military will be taken over by a boliburgués right after the elections (it's a deal).
      Private companies? Apart from Polar, not much. If they take over Polar, your revolutionary friends would have to import even maize flower from Colombia because the country wouldn't produce anything more.

      Private companies importing whisky and salmon and Italian meat and French cheese for the revolutionaries who have merged very nicely with the old bourgeoisie will keep existing. The "revolution" couldn't live without all those nice things.

    3. You still owe me a reply on your motivations...

      Have they nationalized what? There's no genuine socialist program in Venezuela, sadly enough: it's just nationalist capitalism with a progressive discourse. Whether those bourgeois are from this or the other faction seems trivial to me. Or is it better Russia now than with the Tsar just because the capitalists come from a different background? Please!

      "Belgium is way more "socialist" than"...

      You tell me a couple of years from now: the illusion of Europe is simply collapsing as we speak. Belgium anyhow has a GDP per capita that is not comparable. Look at Spain, look at Portugal, look at Greece! People are losing their jobs and savings and left with absolutely nothing. Look at Germany where even retired elderly people have to work in the so-called "minijobs" in order to survive!

      Socialism, or better even real Communism (i.e. beyond the state stage: total democracy), is the only way ahead: freed from the tyranny of the banksters and the whim of opportunist greedy bourgeois corrupting dictators.


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