Mr. Andrés Bello, teacher of Simón Bolívar when he was a child, wrote in London many years later, a poem in homage to the Liberator, in which he compares him with Güere’s Samán, the famous tree in which Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías would swear -along with five of his comrades- to reform the Venezuelan Army and begin the struggle for the construction of a new republic. The decade of the eighties began and nobody imagined the repercussions.
Over the next three decades the figure of Chávez has grown to historic dimensions. Venezuela, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America saw him pass quickly, with the audacity of a llanero expert in the taming of wild colts, riding safely and firmly holding the reins, amid the hostilities of the great world powers and his country’s oligarchy, directing his homeland and his people in an all-out struggle.
Since his release from prison in 1994 until his death 4 years ago, 19 years of continuous agitation took place, a time similar to that of the battles of Simon Bolivar for the independence and happiness of our continent. Like the latter, Hugo Chávez also saw his life truncated at the best of times, leaving us the irreparable void of his absence, but also the certainty that his thought and example will live forever.
And they will be in charge of directing the culmination of his work. Chávez drank from the fountains of American indigenism, Bolivar, Zamora, Rodriguez, Marx, Engels, and Lenin, in the revolutions of the remote past, in the great uprisings of the 20th century, in the most committed of the universal culture. That’s why he liked to repeat what Rosa Luxemburg used to say, socialism or barbarism. And so he understood the greatness of Fidel and the Cuban revolution.
On February 4, 1992, the whole world became aware of him when the military coup in Caracas failed. More than the daring colonel who had led the uprising, the people discovered a supremely sensible man, who not only recognized his defeat and invited his people to surrender to save lives, but at the same time assumed his responsibility and made clear -despite circumstances- that the struggle would not cease until the destiny of his country changed.
Ten years later, when he returned on the shoulders of the people to power after the coup plotted against him by the Bush administration and the Venezuelan reaction, and then by overcoming the imperialist onslaught for taking over PDVSA by the most unjust of the strikes, the world came to learn that the greed and violence of savage capitalism had given rise to an adversary of formidable magnitude, Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution were a tsunami.
A powerful wave that advanced over Our America. Perhaps at the moment of their greater arrogance and brutality, the empire and oligarchies of our continent blinked in surprise at the resurgence of the left. Chávez spoke openly of socialism, the model that the ideologists of capital considered buried forever after the disappearance of the Soviet Union. And the FTAA was shipwrecked by advanced progressive governments.
He was hated by the centers of world capital, the financiers in whose favor the adjustment plans in our countries had been imposed, the landlords, the great industralists dedicated to the neoliberal logic, the promoters of war and the totalitarian policies, the anachronistic political parties and governments that clung to power through crime in the rest of the continent, the media conglomerates saw their ideological domination shattered.
No one has the right to call into question the conspiracy or aggression unleashed with all the imperialist and oligarchic power against the Bolivarian revolution, the progressive governments and the revolutionary movements of the continent. Whoever has not understood that the great powers have tried and done everything to destroy them must do so as soon as possible. Even the strange disease that struck Chávez is indicative.
Henry Kissinger said in 1970 before Allende’s imminent triumph, the United States could not remain indifferent, seeing Chile fall into the hands of communism because of the irresponsibility of its own people. President Richard Nixon indicated the tactics to follow, make the Chilean economy scream. Joining that to a media conspiracy, corruption and violence ended up overthrowing the Popular Unity government.
The so-called right-wing turnaround in Latin America is nothing more than the product of that clear determination of the American government, which is compounded by the most reactionary and corrupt parties and movements in our countries. The great capital and the landlords are united in their common purpose. The media monopolies join them. Our people are victims of the most powerful ideological, political, judicial, police and paramilitary attack in history.
Chavez felt it coming, he knew it would accentuate. That is why he called to the conscience and unity of peoples, to resistance and rebellion. His cold head allowed him to intuit that the empire was creating an immense provocation to counterattack through war and violence. And that is why their strong determination to defend peace and overcome with the masses the great enemies of our peoples. That is why he struggled for democracy, for the peoples to have a leading role.
How much do all the peoples of the world miss you today, Chavez! How much we miss the thunder of your voice on the world stage, how much we miss your just analysis and your wise advice. Venezuela is again besieged by Boves forces in the service of the empire. Bolivia and Ecuador are close to the threat. To peace in Colombia coward ambushes emerge daily against it. Today more than ever is necessary to dig in your ideas, to feed from them, everyone, united, strong.