I was fortunate to have met and known Comandante Hugo Chavez, and just like any good friend, he always kept-in touch. He was always committed to ending oppression in Africa-particularly; Congo, Uganda,Sudan and Rwanda. He once called me late at night and told me that “do you remember what we discussed, don’t change the system using arms, the Yankees will finish you off before you even capture a single town”. I could say that, his advice transformed me from a radical leftist anarchist to a 21st century leftist activist.
“We have assumed the commitment to direct the Bolivarian Revolution towards socialism and to contribute to the socialist path, with a new socialism, a socialism of the 21st century, which is based in solidarity, in fraternity, in love, in justice, in liberty, and in equality” Comandante Chavez in mid 2006:
Comandante Chavez was a humanitarian leader, who was committed to fighting against the traditional political class-just like in most countries, they’re only interested in protecting their prosperous positions, while denying the masses their rightful share of wealth and political participation.
To be frank, Comandante Chavez was also a champion for the forgotten masses of Latin America and the world. Thus, he corrected the power and wealth imbalances that had long plagued Latin American indigenous communities and was always a good listener when you articulated to him the suffering of African people.
After Venezuela gained its independence from Spain, the people expected there to be a major change in Venezuela. However, the ruling elites returned to power and establish a system even more repressive than the one which prevailed during the colonial period. As a result, people longed for the return of Bolivar, but since he had already died, his ideas of freedom and equality became the people’s last resort and creed.
After Venezuelans becoming tired of forty years rule of two parties as we we see in western ponzy models of dictatorships in USA and Britain ie. the Republican, Democrat, Labour, and Conservative parties-the Venezuelan masses unanimously rejected Accion Democratica (AD) and Comite de Organizacion Politica Electoral Independiente (COPEI).
The leaders of these two parties had ruined Venezuela, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s, by being involved in numerous corruption scandals and adopting policies which only benefited the wealthiest sectors of the population. And second, the shortcomings of neo-liberal policies, particularly cuts in social spending and privatization, augmented inequality in Venezuela, placing more than 70% of the populace in abject poverty.
The Venezuelan masses needed a new way to get them out of the savage Anglo-capitalism, nor were they for real-bureaucratic socialism, or the Utopian socialism, but a new 21st century socialism that had to be fresh, like the one Simon Bolivar constantly aspired for and it should reflect the values and ethics that Venezuelans have built in over a century.
However, this did not sound good music to Anglo Capitalists savages in Washington, they saw Chavez as a power-hungry dictator who had disregarded the rule of law and the democratic process in the name of Bolivar’s ideals.
Thus, they accused Comandante Chavez for leading Venezuela to the abyss by denying Oil profits to the multinationals and handing them to the dirty poor to build homes,schools,hospitals,etc.
However, the Washington savages failed to realise that under Comandante Hugo Chavez;
There were no mass executions or concentration camps in Venezuela, Civil Society had not disappeared, as it did in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Rwanda,etc. There was no systematic state-sponsored terrorism that leaves scores of dead civilians in-other countries, as it has happened in Congo,Rwanda,Uganda,Somalia,Sudan, etc. And there was certainly no efficiently repressive and bureaucratic secret security services. Thus, one could still find an active and vociferous opposition, elections, a feisty press, and a vibrant and organised civil society.
I could go on..and on, but as Comandante Hugo Chavez always said, “keep it simple”.
So what’s next for Venezuela?
The world always makes a few men that keep generations after generations admiring their work for humanity, and with no doubt they become icons. Comandante Hugo Chavez has earned that place in our history.
He courageously and unselfishly fought for the poor and the oppressed citizens of this world. He was a true human being that will continue to be admired around the world-thus, his popularity will make him a living legend.
Will Comandante Hugo Chavez’s revolution die with him?
What we might see, is that many aspiring caring politicians will emulate his model, as its the nearest thing we have to creating a justified society in terms of wealth distribution.
Also the future electoral process system in Venezuela is likely to favor a candidate with Comandante Chavez’s model of a fair distribution of wealth and not Anglo Capitalistic Savagery of greed.
“I swear before you, I swear to my parents’ God and to them, I swear to my honor and I swear to my homeland, that I will not allow my arm to rest, not my soul, until I have broken the chains that oppress us!!” (Bolivar).
The loss of Comandante Hugo Chavez is so hard to face, I just wanted to hide, go somewhere and escape! But death is something, we all must go through!
On behalf of Africa, I send Comandante Hugo Chavez’s family and all Venezuelans our condolences during your time of grief
May God bless his soul!
Great Photos of Hugo Chavez here: