I know who Chavez is.

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at SPAMantares.com.br
Tue Aug 10 12:16:19 MDT 1999

Dear List-mates: the idea to put Chavez's speeches into the list is
wonderful. But perhaps it should be taken as a grain of salt in that
Chavez will perhaps seem to expound a return to the good old days of
yore, through his project of a Bolivarian Republic. It must be taken in
mind that Chavez is, of course, very much of a post-modern, in that,
after the 1989/1991 defeats of the Left, he is trying to base his
programme of a minimun *bourgeois* reorganization of the Venezuelan
national economy and society - by means of granting a modicum of social
rights to the lumpenized masses of Venezualan proletarians and
quasi-proletarians - in a communitarian ideology which imagined roots
are the struggles for national independence in the beggining of the
XIXth. Century. Such *imagined* returns to some "ancestral constitution*
are very common in Latin America - for instance, in Brazil, during the
early republic, when the military positivists rehabilitated Tiradentes
as the imagined "proto-martyr" of the Brazilian National Community, and
during the Vargas diictatorship. Of course such ideologies are entirely
bourgeois in that they neither question the *capitalist* character of
the national economy nor the imperialist systemn as such; they only
propose a better deal between the interests of the "core" economies and
the interests of the "periphereal" national economy; but, in the measure
that they equate a national economy organized as a whole *from the
inside*, such ideologies are obliged to acknowledge the popular masses
as part and parcel of the national community. The path to be taken
toward such movements from the Left point of view being, naturally, a
march-separate-strike-together startegy. Chavez is, of course, an
authoritarian, and cannot be taken as nothing else as a fellow-traveller
when one thinks from the point of view of the future emancipation of the
working-masses in the long-run. In the shorte & middle-runs, however...

It must be noted that the Brazilian bourgeois press, which supports the
entirely opposed Cardoso strategy of an open economy passively connected
with the imperilaist core by way of investment decisions from the
outside, and which denies the masses as such all rights (this last
weekend, Cardoso has said that his support is to be found in a mythical
"new middle class" connected with "high-tech" trades, which represents
the "modern" trends in Brazilian society, but which is still a "silent
minority")- this Brazilian press has been busy bashing Chaves as having
"not governed" in the last 6 months, as he was entirely busy with the
Constituent Assenbly and his Bolivarian "phantasies"...As if Cardoso had
not busied himself for more than 4 years with eroding all social rights
and denationalizing all public assets he could lay his hands - and his
cronies'- on! This Chavez-bashing stance is, I believe, very telling...

Carlos Rebello

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