[Marxism] Hemispheric, Ibero-American, and Latin-American conferences [was Re: Chavez versus Aznar]

Néstor Gorojovsky nmgoro at gmail.com
Wed Nov 14 06:12:38 MST 2007

2007/11/14, Horacio Oliveira <horaciooliveira at mac.com>:
>This person [the Borbon King] has no place in a
> hemispheric conference.  For the matter what the f was Zapatero doing
> there?

Well, dear Horacio Oliveira, this puzzling question starts with a
mistake. This was NOT a Hemispheric Conference. Not at all.

"Hemispheric" conferences, historically, have been instruments of
USAmerican imperialism. In fact, they are the practical consequence of
the Monroe Doctrine: (all of) America for (US)Americans. There is a
second code name, which is "Panamerican". Different bottle, same
poisoned wine: conferences where the lambs sit together with the wolf.
They are the conferences of USAmerican impeiralism.

As against "Hemispheric / Panamerican" conferences, European
imperialists have little to link them to Latin America BUT FOR THE
imperialists strenuously try to kill by enhancing a historically
untrue "aboriginal" root for Latin Americans (in fact, whatever can be
said, and it's lots, of the evils brought by Spain and Portugal on Our
America, they brought us among other boons the first lever of unity,
which is idiomatic unity, not to speak of cultural unity).

Back to present. From time to time, these Ibero American Conferences
may be of some use for us against USAmerican influence, but this is an
exception. As a rule of thumb, we can consider the Ibero American
Conferences as the answer of European imperialists to the
USAmerican-imperialist led "Panamerican / Hemispheric" Conferences.

In fact, to understand what is it that both the King and the President
of the Spanish state were doing in Santiago de Chile we must start
with the mid 70s, and plce ourselves within the context provided by
Franco's death and Spanish "democratic transition". This "transition"
is a misnamer for "full accomodation of the country in the imperialist
bloc, once Franco and his henchmen had put things in order". It took
40 years, but what a wonderful job they did: in today's Spain, there
are even (and in fact they are a legion) anti-Franco Francoites, which
is those who support the King against the unruly Venezuelan! The
continuity of the basic traits of Franco regime is embodied in the
continuity of the monarchy.

[By the way, and on a lighter side, a couple of days ago two
progressive Spanish artists much beloved in South America, Joaquín
Sabina and Joan Manuel Serrat, were at a show in Valencia, Venezuela.

With the complicity of the organizers of the show, some people at the
first rows (that is, wealthy people) raised placards supporting the
King of Spain, which was both an attack on Chávez and, in fact, an
insult to Venezuelan dignity. At the sight of the placards, Serrat, a
moderate man, stepped back and mixed with the musicians, while Sabina,
known as a rebel (and in fact a "youth criminal" who is famous for
having thrown a Molotov bomb against a BBVA bank decades ago), stepped
towards the public and stated sternly that "We are both foreigners and
republicans", that is: we are not allowed to make political
declarations here, but we hate those who support "our" King -read:

The refurbished, democratic, even "socialist", Francoites of the new
age were in fact what elsewhere in Europe had always been the
social-democrats: the Left wing of the bourgeois party. Once Franco
passed away, they considered themselves the bulwark of "social
stability" and acted in agreement with the King and the direct
inheritors of Franco, led in those times not by Aznar but by a skilled
politician such as Suárez. Please keep in mind that Franco had the
ugly idea of dying _exactly at the moment when the Portuguese
Revolution was raging, and contagion could not be excluded as a
political possibility_ so that a "proper" management of the transition
was essential.

It is also important to understand Franco's regime clearly. It was not
_exactly_ nor _simply_ a Fascist regime save for its forms. As Pierre
Vilar has insightfully noted, at its core it had more to do with the
traditional Conservative-authoritarian regimes of Spain of the 19th
and early 20th Century than with Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's
Germany (please note that neither could bring Spain fully to war
against the Soviet Union and the "democratic" Western Bloc, in spite
of having been most essential for Franco's victory in the Civil War).

So that during the "transition", there were two tasks to be done in
order to "normalize", that is "Europeanize", Spain, and Juan Carlos
accomplished them at the same time.

The first one was to manoeuver democratization so that it would not
cross the limits of formal constitutionalism. This was masterminded by
Suárez and Juan Carlos played a major role when the Tejerazo gave him
the opportunity to refurbish the "democratic" credentials of the
Borbon dinasty that so much evil and pain had brought on Spain since
the early decades of the 19th Century.

The second one was to offer something to the European Union (by then
still Common Market), and this is where Latin America came to the
fore. During the mid-seventies, European capital found in Spain a good
instrument to attempt a recolonization of Latin America (in fact, this
would prove a great move when, during the late 80s and early 90s, it
was Europeans -mainly through Spanish concerns- and not USAmericans
who took over Latin American public utilities, etc., auctioned under
the auspices of IMF and -USAmerican imperialists!).

Juan Carlos made no secret of his intentions, let this be said to his
honor. He did it, of course, in the Aesopic language of masters who
don't want would-be slaves to realize their intentions, but he
established his goals clearly in the first Ibero American Conference,
held in Santo Domingo (not a matter of chance: this was the seat of
the first Spanish serious settlement in Latin America, under Columbus
himself) in 1974 or 1975, don't remember well.

He said that these conferences, he hoped, were to serve the
strengthening of the links between Latin America and "Europe". Whoever
had an understanding ear knew what he meant: he was offering us as the
bargaining piece to those European bourgeoisies who wanted to
restablish at least some of their former power in America South of the
Bravo River. And the Europeans put their signature to that contract.
Spain was admitted in the fold again. Ever since, Spain and the Ibero
American Conferences have been a tool for Europeans to enhance "our"
links with them while, occassionally, some Latin American leader uses
them as a speakers' stool to -in the most squinted and polite of
manners- criticize USAmerica and its policies. _This_ is what explains
the presence of Juan Carlos and Zapatero in the Conference. In more
senses than one, it was _their_, not _our_, Conference.

Sometime, somewhere, we shall celebrate the first Assembly of Latin
American States, where neither Europeans nor USAmericans nor Canadians
will be allowed (but all the leaders of the Caribbean, and of course
those of the Guayanas, will be brotherly invited to come). This,
however, will be the result of a mighty revolution that is still to be

I am always mindful of Deutscher's (or was it Trotsky's) comment on
pre-1917 Russia, a country were a man and a woman who wanted to marry
out of love had to be Darwinists to support their desire. In order to
have this simple goal done (an all-Latin American Conference, with no
foreigners) we Latin Americans have to take up the task of a socialist
revolution. Not even Bolívar could convene such a meeting, though he
tried to do it. Hopefully   my generation, or the generation after me,


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