A propagandist-in-chief's war on intellectual imperialism and pursuit of a resistance episteme

Posts Tagged: Chavez

This video proves beyond any reasonable doubt, that Ahmadinejad did in fact hug Chavez’s grieving mother. But as media close to the Iranian president has noted, it is evident from the video that he was clasping his hands in the manner he customarily does when greeting women, in order to avoid shaking their hands. You can see him clasping his hands as he walks towards Chavez’s mother and then giving in as she put her hands over his and leans towards his cheek. With all due respect to the religious sensitivities of some, but it is ridiculous that Iran’s conservative establishment is not capitalizing on their president’s humanity and progressiveness, given that the now viral image has given a tremendous PR boost to Iran in Latin America and beyond. 

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I was watching some old clips of Chavez supporters discussing why they were going to vote for him in the October elections. Aside from their expected responses about social justice and equality, the underlying theme which resonated widely was how he was “the only one” who cared for their plight and how this was “the first time” any leader did so. In other words, there was a general awareness of injustice and oppression which provided the backdrop for their gratitude. This illustrates the very flawed and shortsighted nature of the dominant western liberal view of Chavez’s popular support— and by extension, the support all oppressed people lend their revolutionary or resistant leaders— as resulting from material “bribery” or fealty paid to a strongman who has enough charisma to captivate an impressionable and ultimately, politically naïve, audience.

Another good example of this is corporate media’s portrayal of the relationship between Nasrallah and Hizbullah’s supporters. In both cases, the mediating role played by political consciousness is completely neglected. Whether it is socio-economic programs and services these leaders provide or charismatic authority, the consequent popular support is mediated by a political identity and consciousness that is driven by a strong sense of justice. Without this political consciousness, social and economic benefits would be seen as just that—largesse bestowed by one leader among many to be traded for votes. Without this political consciousness, charismatic authority would be stripped of all political meaning and find no mass resonance. Neither economic rewards nor leadership skills would translate into “Chavez vive y la lucha sigue” or to “Labyaka ya Nasrallah”. Without political consciousness, neither economic rewards nor leadership skills would instill in people a commitment to the Bolivirian Revolution that Chavez launched or the resistance project that Nasrallah leads.

And it is this political consciousness rather than any material benefit which has forged global solidarity among the oppressed of the world; Hizbullah’s supporters mourn Chavez just as Chavistas identify with Nasrallah. And it is for this reason too that alliances between anti-imperialist states and actors extend to their peoples too, making them acts of genuine political solidarity rather than mere national interests.

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Absolutely brilliant rap tribute to El Comandante by Chilean hip hop band Rebel Diaz, and produced by our dear comrade Carlos Martinez, guaranteed to make any true anti-imperialist dance, get goose bumps and feel like staging a revolution all at once. That’s right: “anti-imperialist ‘til i go delirious….”

Link here 

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Third Wayer par excellence, As’ad Abu Khalil writes “It is important for Arabs to remember that Chavez supported the Ba`thist tyrants of Syria and Iraq.”
I say it is important for Angry Arab to remember that those of us he is reminding, support Chavez BECAUSE of his strategic alliance with Bashar al-Assad et al, rather than in spite of them. What is lost on the Western liberal and colonized [Angry] Arab minds, is that unlike them, we do not neatly extricate Chavez’s domestic policies from his foreign policies but see them as part and parcel of the Chavismo doctrine and practice. Chavez’s principled stands in the Arab and Islamic world, whether Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon or Iran are merely an extension of the socio-economic justice that he instituted within Venezuela, the participatory democracy he helped nurture there, and the regional independence and integration he helped foster among Latin American countries. Both Chavez’s internationalism and his domestic socialist program were driven by his wider pursuit of justice. It will never cease to surprise and disgust me, how self-styled Marxists like Angry Arab fail to see that and continue to view reality through the White Man’s liberal lens.

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Because our anti-imperialist leaders are not merely allies but comrades too…Because our alliance is bound by justice and humanity not realpolitik…Because it’s Chavez….

Because our anti-imperialist leaders are not merely allies but comrades too…Because our alliance is bound by justice and humanity not realpolitik…Because it’s Chavez….

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As I watched the funeral of El Comandante, while fighting goose-bumps , I just wanted to yell out the loudest and most passionate, agnostic, Marxist, Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar Comandante Chavez! You exude more power in death than in life. You are la revolucion and the Muqawama in one. You are the exemplary Gramscian organic intellectual whose counter hegemonic leadership and rootedness in the people achieved a unity of theory and praxis, thinking and feeling. Your commitment is our consciousness; your passing is our awakening. Despite their attempts to belittle your principled anti-imperialism as an “old school” relic of a bygone Cold War era that will be buried with you, the collective grief, international solidarity and mass empowerment that was fueled by your death has proven the converse. Chavez may have passed but Chavismo is more alive than ever. 
Hasta siempre Comandante!

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Ahmadinejad kisses El Comandante’s coffin and raises fist in the air in solidarity. The BBC correspondent asked an Iranian journalist if it was unusual for the head of an Islamic Republic to be attending the Catholic mass that was held in Chavez’s honour. She should have addressed that question to Arab leaders, both elected and hereditary who boycotted Chavez’s funeral in compliance with the wishes of their American masters. In any case, their brand of sectarian House Islam would have shirked from such a blasphemous ceremony.

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Hugo Chávez's final words: 'I don't want to die'

This quote makes my heart ache: “He couldn’t speak but he said it with his lips … ‘I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die,’ because he loved his country, he sacrificed himself for his country,” General Jose Ornella said.”
I hope General Jose reassured him that his legacy to the oppressed and free of this world will immortalize him in our hearts and minds and in every act of defiance that each of us makes. His passing has only made us aware that we are all Chavistas. Forever Chavez.

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The Empire’s attempts to diminish Chavez’s stature are not confined to its absurd reference to his rule as a “dictatorship”, despite Carter’s affirmation that the “Election Process in Venezuela is the Best in the World.” This de-eulogizing campaign carried out by human rights organizations and mainstream media also operates in other, more subtle ways, such as calling him a “self-proclaimed revolutionary” and a “self-styled socialist”, insinuating that objectively speaking, he was neither. Another pervasive technique used to detract from his democratic credentials, is the emphasis on the “cult of personality” he supposedly nurtured in order to cling on to power. This discourse aims not only at presenting the revolutionary leader as a power-crazed demagogue, but also at recasting popular support for his leadership as stemming from the manipulation of irrational impulses rather than his organic relationship with the people. In this manner, the massive outpouring of grief that has overwhelmed Venezuela, is reduced to “raucous” and “militant” street politics in dire need of a civilized, western liberal corrective. Because when masses of people elect a leader from their own ranks to represent their cause, and then shower him with love and praise for remaining true to their cause, this is clearly the anti-thesis of democracy in the western liberal lexicon.

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Hizbullah’s media office issued a statement on Hugo Chavez’s death which I have translated below:

It is with great sadness that we received news of the passing of the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. Along with the free world and the oppressed of the world, we lost a dear friend …who spent his entire life standing beside the downtrodden and oppressed, and who boldly defended the Third World’s rights to progress and prosperity.    

Neither Hizbullah nor Lebanon as a whole can forget his genuine support for Lebanon in the face of Zionist aggression, which was most clearly demonstrated during the July war in 2006. Just as the Arab and Islamic people cannot forget his courageous stand in support of the Palestinian people’s right to liberate themselves from the yoke of occupation, and the right of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] to the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

President Chavez represented a bulwark against America’s imperialist policies and refused to make any concessions to successive US administrations, nor to submit to US pressures or incentives, proving that countries can take an independent and progressive path without relying on US custodianship.

We in Hizbullah offer our most sincere condolences to the family and comrades of the great and late [leader] and to the brave Venezuelan people as a whole, and we declare [our intent] to stand by their side during this great misfortune. We hope that the late leader’s comrades will complete his mission to protect the Venezuelan people’s freedom, independence and prosperity as well as his support for the oppressed and downtrodden in the world, and to retain the approach he adopted throughout his life in confronting American and Zionist conspiracies.

Hizbullah

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"They say we shouldn’t idolize our leaders and that personality cults are for the blind masses, but what if we lose a leader who idolized his people and who was from the masses himself? From Venezuela to Palestine, the oppressed of this world lost one of their greatest and staunchest defenders. Rest in power Comandante Chavez."

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To give some context to Chavez’ win, a Gallup poll conducted earlier this year revealed that Venezuela is the 5th happiest country in the world. An article published on the website of Gallup states that the list “is largely dominated by more developed and wealthier nations, as expected given the links between well being and GDP.” 
Although Venezuela’s GDP per capita ranks much lower than the top five nations (Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Australia, and Finland which tied with Venezuela), it still came in 5th. This sense of well-being in the absence of high GDP per capita can be largely attributed to Chavez’s social programs. 

Another poll conducted by Latinobarometer , found that Venezuelans outranked most of their Latin American neighbors in popular “support” for their government and in assessing “how democratic” their society has become. Asking those interviewed “how democratic” their country is, the 2011 report found that Venezuelans outranked almost all of their Latin American neighbours in this field.
According to the report’s authors, while international capital and its financial advisors praise the “fiscal policies” of the Chilean government, “the (Chilean) people pour out into the streets by the hundreds of thousands, first on behalf of education, then for a number of different motives, and finally to make calls for structural change”.
“At the same time you have the opposite case in Venezuela, where the people respond positively to the governing actions of President Chavez but the world classifies him (Chavez) negatively”, the authors noted.

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Viva la Revolucion! Viva la Resistencia!

Viva la Revolucion! Viva la Resistencia!

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