Talking About the Legacy of Hugo Chavez

Vincent Morin Aguado

Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — A sea of people bid farewell to their president, the president of the poor. Not since Bolivar had there been anyone like him in Venezuela.

He wasn’t perfect, but nor was the “Liberator,” which was noted by Marti when he wrote: “The sun has spots. The ungrateful talk about those spots while the grateful speak of the light.”

Chavez led the way like an authentic Elegua of our Santeria, the route followed by others whose paths weren’t exactly the same but always pointed South, basing themselves on the left: Lula, Correa, Evo, Kirchner, Aumala Tabare, the aims of Zelaya, the unfortunate Lugo and the return of Ortega.

Even the right-wing minorities ruling in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica and other countries of Our America have been forced to catch up with the times by the wave that has enveloped them.

Where is their unity, what’s impossible to erase, that which leaves his opponents without arguments?

Chavez started a democratic revolution, respecting the constitution approved by popular vote during his fourteen years in power, without excluding his enemies, while accepting the “No” to his proposals when they were voted down.

During his fourteen years leading the government, Chavez showed that a socialist revolutionary project can be sustained — from the left and led by the majority — though not excluding the rest of the population.

Even after his passing away, respect is being given to the right to multi-party elections, the media and electoral campaigns.

This political commitment has demonstrated its validity in many other nations of the New World, strengthening institutionalism in the face of past dictatorships.

The traditional right wingers tried to kill the new reality that contradicted them, but fortunately they were defeated in the most important arena. This demonstrates that the time has come for political maturity in engaging in politics.

In oil-producing Venezuela and resource-poor Nicaragua — to mention only two extreme cases — the left governs without crushing the opposition, other parties, the media or the simple right to access to the Internet. This is a matter of history. Political processes have emerged and developed under these constraints, accepted by all, while the leftist leaders have learned to live with this reality.

During his fourteen years leading the government, Chavez showed that a socialist revolutionary project can be sustained — from the left and led by the majority — though not excluding the rest of the population. This meant accepting the challenges of the opposition, including criticism (excessive or not), but always within an ethical framework attached to constitutional legality.

Even the right-wing minorities ruling in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica and other countries of Our America have been forced to catch up with the times by the wave that has enveloped them.

This last and permanent political demonstration is rarely discussed, but I think it’s important to underline that still among the Latin American left there remains the outdated idea of ??achieving a supposed system, idyllic for comfortable tutelage, in which opponents disappear before the “supreme truth of infallible leaders.”

Of the many other legacies of Chavez that are spoken of, ideas that are not new and are yet to be fulfilled, although positive results are beginning to be seen: Latin American integration, the rescue of indigenous peoples, a fairer distribution of income earned by the substantial natural resources that are possessed as a common right of the citizens of a country … It’s a long list, but nothing new, here the contribution will be in making it a reality.

However, something new is being proposed, fought for and won. People are seeing the possibility that the previous long list of popular demands can become a reality within democracy, increasingly participatory, with innovations being adopted in each specific country, as has been done in Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil.

The omission of this authentic legacy, not mentioning that there is democracy in Venezuela, with opposition parties, their media and the ability to answer their adversary, is frightening to me. The fact is there exists a democracy, endorsed by Hugo Chavez, where he even lost a referendum and accepted the results, a concept worth reiterating into infinity.
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To contact Vincent Morin Aguado, write: [email protected]

 

 



5 thoughts on “Talking About the Legacy of Hugo Chavez

  • “Even the right-wing minorities ruling in Mexico, Colombia”…excuuuuuuuse me! The ruling parties in the countries you listed are in power because they won democratic elections by a MAJORITY of the vote. By the way, with the debatable exception of Brazil, why is it that these left-leaning economies do not enjoy the same economic growth indices as the right-wing countries you listed? Empirically, it would appear that socialism does not pay as well as capitalism.

    Reply
  • Our Hugo has been gone now for over a week; and so, perhaps it’s okay to say a brief and tiny word that might be considered negative regarding his leadership.

    I have thought for a long time that his guiding vision was a European-type of social-democratic capitalism, perhaps a Norway-on-the-Caribbean.

    This might well have been possible, except for the steady subversion of US imperialism, and the slimy Venezuelan traitors who were–and still are–in league with it.

    Perhaps his vision ought to have been a post-capitalist, socialist cooperative republic. But then, he had no concept or strategic program for such a country, and so that was never an option.

    It is to Hugo’s credit–to his genius, patriotism and raw courage–that he accomplished so very much, sparking an enormous movement against US hegemony in the region. Regardless what his detractors might say, he is a part of our living history, and will always be remembered with affection and honor.

    Reply
  • Without a name attached to the previous comment, I could never assume this could, was or would ever be written by Mr. Moses Patterson. Have you read or followed for the past couple of years, the financial disaster of right wing economies in the First World, such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, not to mention others in the Third World?

    Reply
    • My comment is directed solely at the use of the word ‘minorities”. Mexico and Colombia, for example, are democracies. The ruling party in place is the MAJORITY. Moreover, in both of these cases, Pena Nieto in Mexico and Santos in Colombia are inaccurately described as ”right-wing’. They both ran against and beat right-wing candidates. BTW, thank you for the backhanded compliment. There is still hope for you yet.

      Reply
    • I hear you on this one, Alberto. He apparently is disoriented by the fact that a certain section in these capitalist countries are making even bigger profits these day, while the working people suffer unemployment, poverty and hunger.

      Here on the west side of Los Angeles, the Mercedes, BMW and Audi dealerships are selling high-priced cars at quite a clip. It seems that, for landlords, times are pretty good!

      Reply

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