imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news



CopWatch LA


A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network: africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

I’ll miss Hugo Chavez

by Walden Bello Sunday, Mar. 10, 2013 at 4:29 PM

I’ll miss Hugo. When I first was introduced to him in Porto Alegre in 2003, he greeted me, “Mi padre,” and said he learned a lot from me. I was dubious about this and thought he was simply buttering me up, like any two-bit politician. Then he started telling me what he learned from Development Debacle, Deglobalization, and Dark Victory. I was stupefied; the guy actually read my stuff!

I’ll miss Hugo Cha...
_hugo_chavez_walden_bello.jpg, image/jpeg, 529x276

About two years later, we met again, this time in Caracas. He told me he was seriously concerned about my safety since he had heard that the Darth Vader Battalion had marked me as a “counterrevolutionary” and targeted me for elimination. He invited me to cool off in Venezuela, telling me he would take me on a tour of the whole country. Thank you, I said, but he shouldn’t worry since I was dealing with a bunch of space cadets, though crazy ones. He asked me through the translator what a “space cadet” was. I tried my best to explain, then he said, “Ahh, un pendejo,” and roared in laughter.

In January 2006, during the World Social Forum in Caracas, he had several of us sit with him on stage and introduced us one by one. When it came to me, he declared grandiloquently that “in his veins runs the blood of Asian martyrs.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or crawl under my chair, while he went on to construct an image of me that, wow, I wish were true!

The next day, at a forum of representatives of social movements, he asked me what I thought about what was happening in Venezuela. I don’t know what came over me, but I made use of the occasion to criticize his government for going back on its promise not to sign the Declaration of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in December 2005, which would have led to the third collapse of a WTO ministerial, one that would have been the last nail in the coffin of that anti-development mafia dominated by the North. “As a revolutionary, you can’t go back on your word,” I said. He was silent, but that was the last time I got invited to Caracas. The guy was great, but he could not take criticism.

I didn’t take that personally, though, since nobody could kick the US in the ass like he did. He did and got away with what we all wanted to do, and he entertained us in the process, with unparalleled humor, as when he ascended the rostrum at the United Nations General Assembly where US President George W. Bush had spoken the day before and declared that he still smelled the sulfur that was the odor of el diablo.

His was a life that was larger than life, from his conversion to progressive views during the Caracas riots against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1989, to his failed coup in 1992, when he declared on national television that his plans for the country had to be put on hold “por ahora, for now,” to his victory in the 1998 presidential elections, to his being reinstated in power by the urban poor when the right removed him in a coup in 2002. Along with Nestor Kirchner of Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, he put an end to the reign of neoliberal IMF policies that had impoverished the masses of Latin America and inaugurated a new order of resource nationalism cum income redistribution that favored the poor and the marginalized. Perhaps nothing better captures the realities of the life and times of Hugo Chavez than the title of former Financial Times correspondent Hal Weitzman’s recent book, Latin Lessons: How South America Stopped Listening to the United States and Started Prospering.

Washington, of course, hated him and pilloried him for his support of progressive movements throughout the world, like the Palestinian resistance. What galled the Americans even more was that he won all his elections and referenda fair and square. Despite his anti-Yankee bluster, however, Chavez always made a distinction between the rulers and the people of the United States: during the oil price spike in 2007, he ordered the Venezuelan government-owned oil supplier CITGO to provide heating fuel at cut-rate prices to poor neighborhoods in New York, Boston, and other US cities.

Goodbye, Comandante Hugo. You were a class act, one impossible to follow. Wherever you are right now, give ‘em hell.

- Walden Bello represents Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party) in the Philippine House of Representatives
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
While Venezuela and The World Mourn The CIA and Big Oil Plot Coup in Venezuela The CIA and Big Oil Plot Venezuela Coup Monday, Mar. 11, 2013 at 4:33 AM

Local News

Public art project aspires to save California N18 3:42PM

Songwriter, Author, Philanthropist P F Sloan Died On Nov 16 N17 4:48PM

A Plea For Support From Will B N15 4:23PM

10 Shocking Realities of the TPP N09 4:47PM

KPFK needs your VOTE ! or lose it. O31 4:51PM


KPFK is losing and reducing it's main programmers, so can Fresh ones emerge there instead? O26 5:58PM

Fall 2015 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! O26 7:58AM

A master-plan is needed to support renter protections in Northern California, & elsewhere O25 9:48PM

KPFK Updating: a coup? or failure? or.... O25 5:04PM

Kapparot Chicken Slaughter Causes Outrage: Activists Demand Change O06 1:59PM

Update on WHAT IS HAPPENING AT KPFK and what can be done & elections O05 12:39AM

A Letter (sent) to L.A. Slut Walk O03 12:51PM

Protesters Enact Symbolic "Die In" to Unwelcome Narendra Modi to Silicon Valley S28 3:52PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Parangon d'une grande infestation N26 11:03PM

The Shortwave Report 11/27/15 Listen Globally! N26 3:56PM

An humble opinion N26 1:59PM

League of Angels Fire Raiders Generator N25 7:52PM

Activistas de los Derechos Humanos Unen Fuerzas en Honor al Derecho a la Democracia N25 3:13PM

VIDEO: What "Orwellian" Really Means N25 1:49PM

US Forces South Africa To Import Sick Birds N25 9:10AM

Presidential Candidates Criticize Pfizer Merger N25 8:19AM

Turkey's Downing of a Russian Fighter Jet Moves the Doomsday Clock Very Close to Midnight N25 5:46AM

Kim Kardashian Hollywood Online Hack N25 4:51AM

NATO is harboring the Islamic State N25 4:43AM

Paraphysique de l'Etat d'urgence N25 1:23AM

Casino Capitalism and Profit Maximization N25 1:18AM

Democracy Now, Military Times, Guardian Articles On Soldiers Refusing To Drop Drones etc N24 9:10AM

Warhammer 40000 Freeblade Hack Generator N24 8:23AM

First Amendment Under Covert Attack N23 6:27PM

Insanity of the police/fbi community N23 1:35PM

No to Racism and War! N23 6:02AM

Fifa 16 Coin Generator N23 3:24AM

(A-Radio) Northern Europe 1: Musta Pispala festival in Finland N23 12:36AM

Paranoïa ou la vérité d'une société N22 11:54PM

Wicked fbi and their mischievous police friends N22 11:22AM

Mobile Strike Hack Generator Gold and VIP N22 4:02AM

“None Dare Call It Conspiracy:” How U.S. Elites Made Islamist Militants the New Red Menace N21 5:05AM


Monsanto Patenting World's Seeds, Controlling World's Food, Causing Cancer, Killing Bees, N20 9:59AM

Indigenous Hispanic areas also Economic Rights US N20 8:14AM

Paraphysique de l'hybris pirocratie N19 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy