Chávez, el salvador / Oswaldo Barreto

Chávez, the Savior

The concrete work of the artists who have come to Caracas to participate in the World Forum in Defense of Humanity is only available to us through the media, since we haven't had access to the ceremonies of such a great event. It is through the media, as we've pointed out in previous editions of this column (Pórtico), that we've found out about the transmutation that was performed on the forum's agenda. Such that the crusade in defense of humanity ended up becoming a Resolution of Support for President Chávez and the regime he has been able to impose on Venezuela.

This not-so-innocent transformation of such a vast topic of research and analysis into a proclamation of solidarity with Hugo Chávez can perhaps be understood most effectively by referring to the special edition the weekly magazine Temas published, by coincidence, during the days when the "congress" was being held: "Bolivarian Revolution: A Hope for the People of the World. How They See Us From Abroad." In 40 crowded pages, we can find the decisive steps of this magical reduction of humanity's affairs to the actions of Hugo Chávez, narrated by a gamut of respected analysts present at the "congress," ranging from Richard Gott to Ignacio Ramonet. As an emblem of scientific rigor and the respect for history and his own fame, we will comment on the decisive steps of the latter's dissertation on "Bolívar's Example."

1. Ramonet reveals for us that "Chávez models himself on Bolívar the politician and visionary, the economist, the constitutionalist, the soldier, the democrat." Thus, we find out, thanks to the untouchable allusion to the father of the country, that Chávez is all of those, from visionary to economist.

2. Besides these attributes, Ramonet discovers a very interesting faculty in the Liberator: "[H]e tries to understand his historical moment and to produce original ideas, genially establishing them in practical-political actions." This is to remind us that "in these recent years we have also seen spectacular mutations, radical changes that are, effectively, making us change eras." "Technological, economic, political mutations."

And, of course, that one, the Savior, will find the genial means for responding with practical-political actions to the requirements that all era mutations require.

3. As a reinforcement of his logic, Ramonet, in a third decisive step of his revelations, tells us: "Although Bolívar has always been invoked in Venezuela, his doctrine and thought have rarely been practiced. In fact, one wonders if any President prior to Chávez had read Bolívar."

Allow me a confession to conclude: I don't know if Ramonet has read Bolívar but in the dozens of articles he has written precisely about these modern mutations, he has never cited the venerable man who today serves him as a shield for...defending Humanity.

Translator's note: This English version is dedicated to Amiri Baraka.

{ Oswaldo Barreto, TalCual, 9 December 2004 }

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