Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / March 5, 2018
Five years have gone by without the physical presence of Commander Hugo Chávez and, without exaggeration, Latin America has completely changed. Once again, it resembles the situation that Simon Bolívar wrote about with a heavy heart: a continent enslaved by the greed of the United States.
Chávez’ passing away (or his murder at the command of the Washington hawks) meant for Latin America such a big involution in such a short amount of time, that sometimes it seems that we’re having a bad dream. As in the times of the colonies, when we were ruled by the King’s minions, we have representatives of the Empire in the presidential seats of our countries: Macri, Temer, Cartes, Santos, Peña Nieto. Following the commands of the OAS, the United States, the Group of Lima and Trump, they are using their power to undermine the achievements made by the peoples of Latin America in the first part of the 21st century.
In this context, the legacy of Chavez (like Fidel Castro and Evo Morales) is growing in such a way that it gives us strength to keep trying to turn around this scenario of death that is capitalism and believe once again in making a second emancipatory revolution.
When in the midst of the storm and bad omens, the peoples (especially those that uphold Bolivarianism) affirm that “Chávez lives”, they are sending out the message that anonymous men and women will do whatever they can in order to carry on his legacy. They will remember the words and apply the theories of the Commander, and confront those who try to colonize us in order to better dominate us. This is what it is about, in the end: remembering today how much Cháves taught us about defying our enemies.
He was uncompromising when making decisions , especially those that regarded the interests of his dear Venezuela. Passionate and enthusiastic in defense of the poorest, to whom he dedicated each and every one of his days in power. Committed to building unity to fight the Empire together, not only at the internal level but at the Latin American level and even at the global level. Cerebral and down-to-earth when it was time to debate, even with his most ferocious enemies, and capable of formulating ideas in a way that brought together people with different points of view. That was what Chávez was like.
Chávez, who was a feminist, brought gender equality into Venezuela’s politics as nobody had done before. He strengthened social missions and turned them into indispensable instruments for his government. Through them, he bypassed bureaucracy and brought literacy and free medical attention to the people. He enabled the poorest (for the first time in decades or centuries) to attend universities, and in another strategic area took land from big landowners and gave them to peasants. Intelligent and daring, he was ahead of his time and didn’t hesitate to give strength to the Communes, embracing the recurrent slogan in times of imperialist offensive: “Only the people will save the people”.
In times like these, when heads of state are outwardly selling out across the continent, praising their masters, one is reminded of different times, like the defeat of the FTAA in Mar del Plata, the creation of UNASUR and CELAC, the independent policy of the bloc of ALBA countries (another achievement of Chávez’ brotherhood with Fidel), or the initiatives to support countries that were hurt by the global capitalist crisis, creating the Petrocaribe and using his natural resources in order to close the gap of inequality in which these people are immersed.
Now that the legacy has been picked up by millions around the world, and his comrade of many struggles, Nicolás Maduro, is getting ready to continue carrying out this task which needs more years and more popular power in order to secure the things that were achieved, nobody should doubt which side they are on. Right now, as rappers say in the neighborhoods of Caracas, “We are with Chávez”, in order to cement a new victory in May.
Five years later, the figure of the Commander and the example he gave us, reinforce our need to double down on our solidarity with Bolivarian Venezuela. It’s the least we can do for a nation that has been attacked with non-conventional warfare methods, with an heroic people that resists because the know how far their class enemies are willing to go. That’s why, in order to help Venezuela achieve its socialist dream, the best way to honor Chávez is renewing the need to be critical with anything that doesn’t work and help Nicolás Maduro triumph in May in order to take the revolution further.