Democratic Revolutionaries of Latin America

A little random. But I felt like posting Chavez’s ‘infamous’ or ‘inspired’ speech, depending on your political allegiances, at the UN ‘way back’ in 2006. Interestingly Chavez recommends Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival at the UN prior to his speech on the 20 September 2006. Will Northern policy makers take note? Almost certainly not. As Chavez himself said in his speech, the onus lies with the American people to resist and protest their nation’s leaders’ predatory and arrogant imperial policies, no one else can do it for them. Many intellectuals, artists, journalists, activists, and concerned citizens inside the US are working incredibly hard to call the Administration to account.

Not surprisingly the US delegation was barely in evidence during the speech, except for a young man, almost certainly an intern, frantically jotting down notes as fast as he possibly could, to what end who knows. It’s not like the Bush Administration is interested in what the democratic revolutionaries of Latin America a la Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and others have to say. The Middle East i.e. the Iraq War, has kept US officials preoccupied for the last 5 years and will most likely continue to do so for the time being, the next 100 years if McCain’s vision for the future of American policy vis-a-vis Iraq is realized.

In some twisted work of fate, it seems the catastrophe that has befallen the Iraqi people, at least in part, has provided Latin America with some much needed breathing room from the hawkish machinations of American policy makers, to reinvigorate the democratic grass roots movements within their societies, which had been suppressed by decades of military and oligarchical dictatorship under the cover of the neoliberal economic agenda and usher in a new era whereby the hitherto horrendous chasm separating the desperately poor from the ruling oligarchs can finally be overturned.

The devastation inflicted by the US and its proxies in Latin America it fully laid bare in all its bloodiness and brutality in the work of Chomsky, and more recently Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Mike Davis’ brilliant work, Planet of the Slums, exposes the forsaken 1 billion who currently inhabit slums in a state of terrible and heart-rending destitution across the globe. Chavez makes clear that there are alternatives – my only hope is that he continues to unwaveringly stand by the democratic process and the Venezuelan Constitution.

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