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Chavez’s Lines: December 6, 11 years later


I

 

The publication of The Lines of Chávez N° 50 is no mean feat. It coincides with the tenth anniversary of the great popular victory of December 6th, 1998. On this luminous and transcendental date, the sovereign will of the majority definitively finished with the puntofijista [1] political model that misgoverned and looted Venezuela for forty years, opening wide the great doors of a new historical time. The time of revolution transformed into government.

 

The revolution that started with the popular rebellion of February 27th, 1989 and continued with the military rebellions of February 4th and November 27th, 1992, provoked a long and complex process of organization and accumulation of forces that made possible the splendid and beautiful synthesis of December 6th, 1998.

 

That memorable December 6th, the people took the irrevocable decision to become protagonists of their own history and makers of their own destiny. It was not about an additional electoral process or changing a president. People wanted to become, and they did, the shapers of the new Republic and constructors of a new, truly free and sovereign Venezuela, really independent.

 

Compatriots: in the light of this great anniversary, I want to express again, with the most loyal and pure sentiment of love, the endless admiration and gratitude I feel towards you, the great people of Simon Bolivar. I’m here thanks to you. My life belongs to you.

 

II

 

Banks for the people!

 

It is necessary to insist on the profound difference between the logic of the revolutionary state we are creating – which makes people a priority – and the logic of the bourgeois state.

 

Within the logic of the bourgeois state, capital pays and it receives: the only important thing is the permanent strengthening of capital to support an economic structure that not only ensures the abusive privileges of a few, but is designed for the reproduction of a model of society based on inequality and the exclusion of the majority.

 

Let’s recall, when the financial crisis rocked the United States, we saw how the state power came to the aid of the corrupt bankers, forgetting the depositors.

 

Venezuela has seized control of seven banks and in our case, without any ambiguity, the idea is to protect depositors and guarantee their savings. In this particular case, we are talking about 713,200 depositors who trusted in these seven banks. In addition, we decided to include two of these banks in the public financial system in order to strengthen and broaden the support to low-income sectors.

 

What a difference! Over there, bankers are protected so they can continue with their sneaky tricks. Here, white-collar bandits go to jail.

 

It’s outrageous that traitorous and destabilizing people go to the private media and try to create chaos with their lies. It’s the same people who said nothing in relation to the financial crisis in the US – the country they venerate so much. They will not get their own way! They will not beat us!

 

Keep in mind that “the serious problems that must be faced today are the consequences that have been generated by the system and, in this case, the financial system of capitalism itself, which has provoked numerous crises throughout history”, as noted, quite accurately, by our People’s Power Minister for Economy and Finance Ali Rodriguez Araque, on 30 November.

 

We are setting an historic precedent. If we look back, we find a succession of governments that privileged the owners of banks by rewarding their misdeeds; as happened with the last government of the 4th Republic, which never cared about the destiny of thousands and thousands of compatriots who became victims of the banking crisis of 1994. On the contrary, it financially helped the perpetrators of that terrible crisis, who, not happy with blatantly stealing from their depositors, flew away with the state’s money; i.e. with the money of all Venezuelans. Not one of the fugitive bankers paid for their crimes.

 

José Martí was right: “It is important that money is abundant, but it is more important that it is managed with honest hands.” We will not allow dishonour to contaminate and dehumanize us: it is necessary to make justice prevail if we want to continue to advance the Bolivarian project. To let the criminal bankers get away with it would be to abuse the trust of the people and, indeed, seriously injure the national soul.

 

We are obliged to call a spade a spade; avoiding every complicit euphemism and justification of the unjustifiable. This must be the basis of our discourse in the face of a media attack that everyday says that Chavez “makes banks go bankrupt to take control of them.” It is not enough to say that “we have closed two banks”: It’s necessary to explain in detail the reasons for their closing, the causes that forced the state make the decision, with evidence. Thus, bankers are publicly known as they really are: vulgar thieves, white collar robbers, pickpockets and recurrent kleptomaniacs who insouciantly empty your pockets and take everything you own.

 

It’s true, we have defeated, in large measure, the terrorist campaign of the private media; but it is necessary to pulverize it completely since we know that a not insignificant sector of the population continues under its maddening influence.

 

III

 

Evo, Bolivia!

 

Today our fraternal country of Bolivia, the favorite daughter of El Liberator, will consolidate the transformational project headed by our comrade Evo Morales.

 

The cries of victory can already be heard that descend from the snow-covered Sajana, on the serene waters of Lake Titicaca, to the high plateau of the salt plains of Uyuni.

 

Our Liberator wondered “What does Bolivia mean?” And he answered with absolute conviction: “A boundless love for liberty,” a love that will be imposed on this day.

 

Bolivia moves towards its definitive decolonization: today this is recognized in the renewed pride, strength and solidity of ancient aboriginal memory. The always forgotten and excluded people are no longer secular victims of racism and segregation. Today they hold power and are the rightful owners of their own destiny and dignity.

 

This has been possible because one of them is president, one who each day faithfully complies with the sacred mandate to govern by obeying. This is a mandate that he always carries in his conscience and heart.

 

The indigenous traditions are in power with Evo. It is the communitarian model of production and life that is in power with Evo. Evo is an indigenous chief who is not going to betray, nor will he be betrayed because he is loyal to an ancestral history that more alive than ever.

 

Today, the Bolivian people will go out the streets, fields and mountains in order to support a man who is risking it all together with them: Evo Morales, Evo Bolivia.

 

Homeland, Socialism or Death!

 

We shall always triumph!

 

[1] Adjective referring to the Punto Fijo Pact – a formal power sharing agreement signed between representatives of Venezuela’s three main political parties in 1958: Acción Democrática, COPEI and Unión Republicana Democrática.

 

Hugo Chávez Frías / December 6th, 2009

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