imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org 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 - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

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


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
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

In LA, San Diego, Sacramento and 147 Other Cities, McD And Other Fast Food Workers Picket S05 1:08PM

Did LA pro-Israel group conceal right-wing identity from Hollywood celebs and media? S04 11:39AM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus S02 4:49PM

Anti-blackracism in the U.S. S01 12:10PM

New Zine on Activist Collective Living A29 9:19AM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 2 of 2 A21 9:09PM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 1of 2 A21 7:01PM

Running Down the Walls 2014 A20 8:48PM

Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery Extends Exclusive Engagement A19 3:37PM

Los Angeles Declares “Hands Up!” in Peaceful Protest of LAPD Murder of Ezell Ford A18 4:09AM

Ezell Ford and Ferguson Solidarity A17 6:35PM

Family and Supporters of #Justice4Fords Protest LAPD Execution of Ezell Ford in South L.A. A17 2:49PM

Southern California Swarms to Save the Bees in Solidarity with Honey Bee Day Around the Gl A17 5:30AM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 4 A05 7:03PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 3 A05 6:45PM

More about KPFK via Pacifica turmoils A05 6:29PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 2 A05 6:23PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

18 Ways AntiHealth Departments Connected To Drug Co. Pawns In The CDC Do Harm S15 2:59PM

Israel's Genocidal War on Palestine Without End S15 1:55PM

Israeli Persecution of Palestinians Unrelated to Defense S15 7:48AM

Beat the Heat S14 6:32PM

Israeli High Crimes Against Peace Examined S14 1:30PM

Russell Tribunal on Ukraine S14 10:16AM

TISA versus Public Services S14 9:29AM

Russia Denounces New Western Sanctions S14 6:13AM

I demand right to inform Chch post-quake victims of human rights truth and ethical plan. S13 6:28PM

Abbas Blocks Israeli War Crimes Investigation S13 1:20PM

Wolf Patrol enters Yellowstone backcountry to document and protest Montana wolf hunt S13 8:45AM

3 More NW Illinois Counties Show Insect Resistance to Monsanto's GMO Bt Corn S13 8:00AM

IDF Soldiers Denounce Israeli High Crimes Against Peace S13 6:45AM

Mustafa Barghouti on Operation Protective Edge S13 3:41AM

Jewish Voice for Peace= Jewish voice for Hamas? S12 11:37PM

Artists, Actors and the creative Community for Israel S12 11:22PM

Marijuana – A Real Danger to Young Lives S12 2:53PM

Washington Hawks Want Greater Middle East Spending S12 2:38PM

MSM Ignore International and Constitutional Law S12 11:34AM

How to Combat ISIS Without War S12 10:37AM

Modus operandi de l'apocope S12 12:51AM

The Shortwave Report 09/12/14 Listen Globally! S11 4:53PM

Beyond Development: Alternative Visions from Latin America, 198 pp S11 3:53PM

Amnesty International Fronts for Power S11 2:16PM

Lavrov on Syria, Ukraine and Terrorism S11 12:20PM

Obama Declares Open-Ended Middle East War S11 5:49AM

Why Millions Will Vote Against Gov Kasich of Ohio S10 5:02PM

Nestle's Robbing Nests S10 4:37PM

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