I won’t judge the politician or military man, I’ll identify with the man, the son, the father, the grandfather, the Venezuelan leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and the idol of his supporters: Hugo Chávez died, the 52nd president of Venezuela. On February 2, 1999 he became the elected ruler of his country and this past October 2012 he was reelected one more time for another term. Beginning with his arrival at the throne of government, he tried to goodly prolong his stay in power and to accomplish this he was behind a ’just’ referendum and modified the constitution — a practice repeated in other so-called revolutionary processes — to guarantee the continuity of a small group at the head of the country and to eternalize himself in the job with the “revolutionary” pretext of developing his programs of government.
Fidel Castro took note of him in February 1992 when he headed a “justified and good” coup d’etat against the constitutional president Carlos Andrés Pérez. For that event he spent two years in prison — had he done so in Cuba, they probably would have sentenced him to more than three decades (although it’s speculative there are certain precedents) or condemned to death — and he was invited by the Cuban government to visit our country.
Here they treated him like a head of state and apparently arrived at commitments that marked his journey in politics, which culminated with his arrival at the presidency of Venezuela, his eternal thanks to the Cuban ex-ruler sealed publicly and repeatedly. Nobody has described the genesis of the political marriage between a high-ranking official of the savannah like Chavez with a mountain fighter like Fidel; between a man from humble roots like Chávez and one of bourgeois origin like Castro; between a dictator who killed the liberal structures of Cuba and the commander with the most democratic image recorded in the history of Latin America.
A form of government has to be created in the countries of our America in which the leaders who come to power democratically defend the maintenance of the mechanisms that made it possible for them to get there; no political system that sustains itself on duress, physical or verbal violence, the violation of rights, or on the denial of freedom of expression on the part of the people, and fear can really consider itself free.
Although I never sympathized with the ideas and plans of Chávez’s so-called Boliviarian revolution — so similar to those that have impoverished Cuba for over 54 years — I lament his death and identify with the pain of his family, and with that of the millions of followers who still mourn his physical loss.
Translated by: JT
14 March 2013