[Marxism] On August 15 we take the Winter Palace
fuentf01 at tartarus.uwa.edu.au
Sun Jul 25 19:29:46 MDT 2004
On August 15 we take the Winter Palace
A Contribution from Cuba
By Celia Hart
July 9, 2004
Nothing happening today can compare to what may occur in
Venezuela this month. The world that is falling around us
seems determined to recover, in a few days, the lost years
in a collective amnesia. History openly winks at us to
prevent us from letting the moment pass once again.
The brutal strengthening of the blockade of my country,
using the constitution of the United States, the insecurity
in Iraq, with its photographs, even overshadowing Dante and
his demons; Sharon, his walls and Satanic arrogance; Kosovo
... Everything is turning Humanity into its own accomplice.
The ethical decadence of imperialism is not giving this
country time enough to recover the pillars of the first
blessed republic of Lincoln. The Statue of Liberty will
soon take on the colors of illegal French immigration.
But, I think it was Martí who said "that when there aren't
many decent men there are others that have the decency of
many men. These men represent thousands of men, whole
peoples, and human dignity". Today, President Chavez does
not have to defend the people of legendary corruption alone
but he has had the chance to save human dignity that was
floundering. Chavez and Venezuela must wash out the image
of lies, atrocities and degradation imposed on the Earth by
the darkest and most sinister frauds of the Planet,
euphemistically called the "White House".
Pitched against this, the social movements are becoming
more radical and politicized in weeks. What will occur this
August 15 will mark the era for the left of the XXI
century, this left that is gradually awakening from the
silence of the cheap European socialism and the evanescent
cheers of neo-liberalism. Soon it will achieve its first
attempt at unity. We are now aware that "La Era vuelve a
parir un Corazón" [The era is giving birth to a Heart] as
our Silvio entitled one of his songs.
"The time has come for our Spanish America to achieve its
second and true independence", Martí pointed out. In two
short months, Venezuela is joining the past two centuries
of naive submission. And, all of a sudden our Fathers come
out to give advice and share experiences.
Chavez names them all as comrades in the fight. That's what
they are there for. That is the only way to keep them
alive: To make their example useful.
Stupid imperialists! I repeat tirelessly "May God blind
those willing to lose". Win or lose, Venezuela is carrying
out a true social and political revolution on the 15th
marked in a simple electoral campaign. From a strict
political point of view, they have awakened a Comandante
Chavez who moves rapidly to the left of the President's
position. This revocation will not only allow the
Venezuelan people to lead the destinies of America,
decidedly reaffirming their intentions but also gives
Chavez the possibility of organizing an urgent revolution
while in power.
One of the indispensable intellectuals of my Homeland has
said more than once "the roads of America move the civic
constancy of President Allende and the revolutionary mark
of Che Guevara", All right then; Comandante Chavez is at
the crossroads of these beautiful tendencies.
Let's stop here for a moment:
Chavez has a marvelous quantum duality. On the one hand he
has been the president of this blessed world that has been
the cleanest in classical electoral terms. Seven times he
has placed himself on the ballots with an almost
exaggerated civic mindedness. Many comrades, including
myself, are horrified when Chavez submits to revocation.
"Of course it was a fraud! Why does he do it?..." Of course
he had to offer himself. It was a sure offer that, even
with imperialism against him, he proved he could win at the
ballots. It was the civic constancy of Salvador Allende
pulling on his conscience.
There stands the President who swore loyalty to the
Republic complete with his tricolor presidential sash.
"Isn't that enough?" So now the Comandante wearing a red
beret appears putting forward the sacred memories of Che
Guevara. Ah, America! We have guards in every corner. It is
the president who continues to be the Comandante.
On August 15, La Higuera will be victorious ... and La
Moneda, all at once and always planted in the heart of only
With this victory, like that of April 2002, this Homeland
starts to form from the Rio Grande to the golden Patagonia
and so my children will learn the significance of the
incomparable happiness of a world without borders.
Of course, as observed by many comrades in the scenario of
combat, it is the organized population who can best defend
the President in his battle. Civilian organizations take
longer to discover the directions of change. The electoral
patrols and Popular Squads made up of workers and people in
general are the real shields of Comandante Chavez to win in
Santa Inés. It's obvious: Chavez has given power to the
people, men of dignity, for whom the Revolution was made.
In these two months, almost without realizing it, Chavez is
passing all power to the soviets. The social and political
movements of Venezuela mature by days. They are receiving
the best lesson: these months will become a fertile period
of revolutionary profundity.
I received a very serious diagnosis from Venezuela, from
the colleague Sanabria, dated June 24 (El Militante). Aside
>from some differences of interpretation of the events, this
study is an indispensable source of information and is a
minute and unprejudiced observation of these actions. In
the article he points out:
One difference with the current situation is that the
electoral patrols, UBEs and squads that are now rising up -
and organizing hundreds and thousands, perhaps millions
already, of persons - have not yet completed their work,
but are barely beginning. Perhaps a sectarian dogmatic
could think that today's movement is less important because
it comes at the time of an electoral dispute and is born as
a defensive action. If someone believes this it only
demonstrates a great shortsightedness and limited knowledge
of class struggle.
An impressive class struggle is unfolding in Venezuela
without having to mention the word socialism.
Here I can make an aside: I don't like to say nor hear that
a country is "socialist", I mentioned this in my work
"Socialism in only one country and the Cuban revolution".
Socialism in only one country proved to be a complete
theoretical failure. "Socialism" did not only break up in
the USSR ... the "country" broke up. Not even the word
socialism was left in the phrase ... or the name of the
country. What does exist and remains are socialist
Consequently comrades, don't ask Chavez to build socialism
in Venezuela in the name of I don't know how many
disfigured mummies. Let us save time and effort and set our
sights for another second on the permanent revolution. Not
only for the inhabitant of Coayacán. Before him, Bolivar
did not only think of Venezuela. He could not think of
Venezuela without looking over the rest of the humid and
fiery land that marked his love and his audacity. He
thought of Ecuador, thought of Peru. America was the
Homeland. He only stopped to "oil the rifles".
And Martí? Paradigm of patriotism. But understood as the
necessary bridge for the world.
The Cuban Revolutionary Party, undoubtedly a new kind of
party made up by an exiled working class, in the majority,
searching for the freedom of the islands of Cuba and Puerto
Rico. Martí died trying to defend a "balance in the world"
through our independence. It is mysterious and revealing.
In America borders are ignored by our national heroes. In
Europe they are set and braced. Even so, they moved with a
single currency and speak in many languages. We could say
that, in America, the desire for freedom was thought of
even before other parts of the world. Permanent. Another
detail: The dramatized poem, Abdala, by José Martí.
It goes as follows:
The mother love of Motherland Is not a ridiculous love for
land Nor for the grass our feet crush It is the invincible
hatred for those who oppress her It is the eternal rancor
for those who attack her
I place this verse in block letters. The concept of
Homeland for Martí is only related to a social and
political purpose. The Homeland is a live commitment
against its enemies. Anything else is ridiculous.
It is not passive contemplation and adoration. It is combat
and action... Well, why waste more words ... "Homeland is
Chavez looks on through the eyes of the American Homeland,
to start: He was very criticized for his noble position
over Bolivia and the sea. If Chavez pulls on the Liberator,
How to remain impassive over the demands of a people who
are called like Bolivar? They don't understand us because
they have gone through history stealing borders and lifting
walls. Let these lands be! America will surprise us.
Then, as I see it, what Chavez can do in a revolutionary
Venezuela is follow the course of Bolivar. Of course, in
this century. A revolution pregnant with Projects and
Missions for the people will triumph in Venezuela. A
Revolution! This time Bolivar will plow in fertile land and
in all of South America and here lies the many Vietnams
called for by that great man who hated borders.
It is perhaps the right time to beat the drums of
Revolution in Latin America and jump over the hurdles.
Chavez belongs to America. At times I think that many
colleagues want Chavez to show his passport of being a
socialist, taking certain measures.
It is absurd! This passport is shown another way.
Imperialism corners itself all alone. Chavez will triumph
in the most radical process that we can imagine ... but for
America, for the oil export countries, for the world. Or
are we going to fall again into the trap of Socialism in
only one country? Of course, anything can happen. Cuba is
not Venezuela and for 45 years Bush battled with math and
sought ways to get out of military service. I don't know if
at that time he began to misunderstand the Bible. These are
new times; there are more of us in the cart. I doubt they
can blockade Venezuela. It would be funny to see New York
with blackouts. Perhaps it would be a contribution to wake
up the working class of the United States.
Chavez can become an Ernesto Guevara in power.
And the socialist revolutions, amen to the indispensable
role of men who have an objective expression. I don't know,
it isn't even important, if Chavez has a Marxist
philosophy. The ideas of the old bearded man are objective.
They are on the margin of our hotheads. I'll give you a
simple example: Although you may not know the law of
universal gravity of Isaac Newton, don't let the glass cup
fall because you will undoubtedly lose it.
In social practice it is the same.
That is why I think that any transformation in Venezuela
should only come from Chavez. I don't like to flatter
personalities but, I think that in this case, a few
comments are necessary:
In America many attractions should be found in one person
to push forward a task of popular character. It is not a
cult of personality but that we have the battles for our
independence deep rooted. That is not what happened in
Europe. The military leader, the romantic poet and personal
charisma are a subconscious part of acceptance of our
leaders. The technocrats, no matter if they are honest and
wise, don't attract us. If you want I can give the most
recent example at hand in my country ... Chavez was
imprisoned for dreaming of another Venezuela, because of
his race, his religion, his patriotism framed, certainly,
in an exemplary internationalism (America, the Group of the
77, etc.), it is a mirror of the best men of this part of
the world and a constant evocation of our recent past of
glory. Any social change in my lands should be accompanied
by the dream of an American Homeland and national
sovereignty. A revolution in these lands is not done
without these sustaining forces.
To aspire for a radical revolution in Venezuela, even a
socialist revolution will only be possible with the
thoughts and popular spirit of its President or, simply, it
cannot be done. I remember that something similar happened
in the Chile of Allende. We must hurry to understand the
social historical context of this part of the world or we
will fall into the same mistakes of the past.
Sometimes I fear, in the face of so much rhetoric suffered
and not understood, that many communist comrades are
unaware of the responsibilities we face. The only options
of all socialist parties, including those of Venezuela is
to wholeheartedly back Chavez. Let's not let the same
happen again! That the ghost of the communist manifesto
should come out shining this time and banish from memory
the ghosts of Stalinism and his warped theories. Those, I
confess ... fill me with panic.
The European socialist practice silently set the same trap
for us. They got us so used to the manual that we let
events pass us by waiting for a phrase from the classics
that would stimulate us to action. I think that something
like this happened in my beloved Buenos Aires ... on a
The Venezuelan people have the reins now of the course of
progressive ideas. Whatever happens in Venezuela will give
strength to the ideas of Socialism. And, not because Chavez
is one but because there, in those ballot boxes, they will
be counting Karl Marx among others. Because imperialism is
forced to radicalize this process with its continued
stupidities. Because, already, that country "has nothing to
lose" only its chains to quote Marx and Engels, "they have
the world to win" and we know which one.
I'll list a few curious details that illustrate the mixture
of Homeland and Revolution in my lands.
Fidel Castro was not a member of the Popular Socialist
Party (the communist party). He did not say that his
program was socialist. He was, however the most communist
of them all, of absolutely all the revolutionaries of my
country. He had the ideas of Marx and Lenin so ingrained
that he did not have to stop and read or quote to explain
that he was promoting a socialist revolution. When this
young man attacked the Moncada he had read the socialist
ideas, undoubtedly, but that didn't make Fidel a socialist
for reading the works of the classics. He was a socialist
for understanding it was the specific course the Cuban
people needed to achieve justice. An event that didn't sit
well with the PSP. The socialist revolution and communist
ideas are a means to achieve happiness (the best means),
but not the end.
The mention made by a colleague in reference to my previous
article in reference to Che confirms this suspicion that
tightens my heart. To say that Che was Stalinist because he
said it in a certain context is like saying that our club
won the football game because a specialist chose it as
favorite. Che could say what he wanted about Papa Stalin!
Che chose a communist life not by reading the difficult and
revised texts of Stalin. Certainly not. He was called to
this life by the illiterates, the poor, the disappeared
children of America that he learned of in a unique manner,
mounted on a motorcycle as a young man.
In Mexico, when Fidel and Che met, I don't know if they
talked much of Marxism and theory. What I do know is that
at that very moment two of the most authentic communists of
the Planet Earth, shook hands. Also, I don't like to say
that Che was a "Trotskyist" or any other "ist". What does
please me to repeat is that he tried to carry out the
permanent revolution and, perhaps, without studying this
theory he understood its importance and was quick to invite
America to become many Viet Nams. I am angry then, when
someone calls Monje a communist: Failing to understand the
purpose of Che and the reach of his struggle reproves Monje
>from the most elemental course of Marxism. Lenin, Che,
Fidel are authentic leaders because they know how to lay
bridges between theory and actual social practice.
In the same vein, I think that without Chavez there is no
revolution in Venezuela if it is not an authentic radical
revolution, to avoid saying socialist ... it will never be
Let us look up. Venezuela is the legitimate Red Army. On
August 15 the Winter Palace was taken.
No doubt, not a single argument, nor little phrase taken
>from the Capital could say the contrary. Yes. He is a
mulatto, with a poetic language of the XIX century. Yes, he
is a Christian. He believes profoundly in God. But
continues to be now the creature most capable of changing
the destinies of the Revolution in the world. History would
not forgive us now for betraying Che in the name of
The flag of the hammer and cycle was exiled from Europe. In
a unique and symbolic act, Diego Rivera and Don Lázaro
Cárdenas received it and buried it in that little house.
There in the first border of my Greater Homeland. The ideas
of Marxism-Leninism traveled with it. Left behind was the
USSR, perhaps, nothing more is left, the October Revolution
came here, appealed to by Venezuela...
Now we are called upon. For several years we have been
invited to watch wars of conquest and anachronistic and
incoherent speeches, towers that crumble, children torn to
pieces, prisoners humiliated. Sparked by coca cola,
cigarettes and flashy cars.
In August, Internet will turn happily to the left and we
will witness of the taking of power by the people. Let us
join our forces to this battle. Let us form international
brigades to support the Red Army and its chief from our
countries and our keyboards. Today, all the communists of
the world should hold a Venezuelan passport. If I had the
gracefulness of Cinderella and a fairy godmother came tome,
that is what I would ask for, to live through this
revolution where my most sacred dreams fuse into one. The
possible outbreak of a true world revolution, sung in
Spanish, taking up the side of the poor.
The ghost that runs over Europe has bought itself a pretty
hat and is again going around the Caribbean: Let her be.
Something seems to be forgotten: If we lose?
It doesn't matter, Chavez has already won. If we lose the
President ... we still have the Comandante Fidel who did
not win in the Moncada. Six years later the most authentic
revolution of the West triumphed. The Venezuelan people
will not need the Sierra Maestra nor the Granma ... There
is one difference ... Fidel did not have us.
Cuba walked alone in America. Unfortunately there seemed to
be an unmovable wall. The fall of the ill named socialism
finally allows us to unite devouring borders, languages and
religious dogmas disguised with words from Lenin.
Now we can see them all: Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Che together
with Bolivar and Martí, being the first to support
Comandante Chavez ... Let us sit down together, united,
jubilantly singing the "International" in a thousand
languages. That is what I propose for our August 15.
Workers of the world unite!
Translated for CubaNews by Ana Portela. Available in
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