[Marxism] Re: Hugo Chavez is an innocent man

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 26 12:23:50 MST 2006

I just realized that the two parts of this go together,
so I won't change anything. Please send it on to
CubaNews and I'll fix formatting. Thanks.

My plans now are to return to Cuba in time for the
book fair, end of January, and then to stay for my
usual sojourn. Any chance you'll be there?


-----Original Message-----
>From: "michael a. lebowitz" <mlebowit at sfu.ca>
>Sent: Nov 26, 2006 2:10 PM
>To: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
>Subject: [Marxism] Re: Hugo Chavez is an innocent man
>Chavez has just concluded speaking now... I 
>think. Yup, fireworks. I'm back from wandering 
>around to a number of the different gathering 
>areas (Avenida Bolivar, where he is speaking 
>being only one), street parties on many corners, 
>etc in the western part of this divided city. I 
>have no idea how many people have been out there 
>but the streets and metro are rojo, rojito. 
>There's been music and partying outside my hotel 
>by a large crowd while the speech was pumped in. 
>Music is now louder--- I think it began about 4am 
>(probably folks who arrived by bus then). Here's 
>a link to some images: 
>         As for what Chavez stands for, rather 
>than quote off-the record stroking (and provide 
>my own), here are two items-- the first from his 
>public comments a little while ago before an 
>overwhelmingly hostile international press, and 
>the second from his current opponent:
>1. From Green Left Weekly (17 November)
>Green Left Weekly was fortunate to be chosen to 
>ask one of the questions. GLW asked about the 
>next step in building �socialism of the 21st 
>century�, which Chavez declared in January 2005 
>to be the goal of the Bolivarian revolution, 
>assuming he wins the December 3 presidential 
>election, as polls suggest he will comfortably. 
>Chavez responded that the emphasis would be 
>placed on �socialist ethics�. He said this would 
>emphasise solidarity as opposed to hollow 
>individualism and consumerism. Another important 
>element would be the creation of socialist 
>democracy. This, explained Chavez, involved the 
>consolidation of �participatory, popular, and protagonist democracy�.
>Next, it would involve the creation of a 
>socialist economic model, with the emphasis on 
>self-management, cooperatives or joint 
>worker-state co-managed workplaces. The 
>government has been working on this for the last 
>eight years, building a bridge between the old 
>capitalist economic relations and the future socialist system.
>According to Chavez, Venezuela�s effort to create 
>socialism had its own, original, indigenous and 
>�Bolivarian� model. It would have little to do 
>with the model of Soviet Russia, which the 
>Russian people had not been prepared to defend. 
>Chavez also called it �Indo-American socialism�, 
>explaining that indigenous peoples of the 
>Americas already practiced a form of socialism 
>that would have to be recovered. Finally, it is 
>not a model that would be imposed on Venezuela 
>from above, but is to be constructed by Venezuelans themselves.
>2. From Manuel Rosales (yesterday's rally in 
>Caracas-- quoted in venezuelanalysis.com):
>Rosales stated that Chavez�s call for �Socialism 
>of the 21st Century�, is trying to �put an end to 
>Professional sports� where there�s no possibility 
>of the true development of sports talent in 
>Venezuela.� �That is socialism or Castro 
>communism of the 21st Century,� said Rosales.
>Rosales also declared that Socialism of the 21st 
>Century is �to control the life of the 
>Venezuelans, tell them what to eat, how much to 
>eat, how to study, so that we all depend on the 
>state� to give our riches to other countries for 
>political and ideological activities� to 
>brainwash the children in their schools, to speak 
>to them of Castro Communism, of war, of violence 
>and to enroll the youth in military service to 
>prepare them for a war in other countries, so 
>that they spill their blood in foreign lands for 
>wars that we don�t understand or agree with� that 
>[Chavez] will be president for his whole life, 
>until he dies like Fidel Castro, unlimited 
>reelections� so that no one is owner of anything, 
>because they don�t believe in private property� 
>that those who are poor, it doesn�t matter if 
>they are poor� but the important thing is that 
>they believe in Socialism of the 21st Century� 
>Castro communism, the Cubanization of Venezuela, 
>and that�s why the people are in the streets, 
>because the people don�t want this, they want 
>modernity, democracy, new democracy, social 
>justice, and for all of us live in peace.�
>                 in solidarity with the process 
>here (but you can see my criticisms and concerns 
>in Build it Now and in recent interviews in Green 
>Left Weekly and the Socialist Worker),
>         michael
>Michael A. Lebowitz
>Professor Emeritus
>Economics Department
>Simon Fraser University
>Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
>Currently based in Venezuela.
>Can be reached at
>Residencias Anauco Suites
>Departamento 601
>Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1
>Caracas, Venezuela
>(58-212) 573-6333, 571-1520, 571-3820 (or hotel cell: 0412-200-7540)
>fax: (58-212) 573-7724
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