Re: [OPE-L] Chavez es el gente?

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Sun May 15 2005 - 21:06:57 EDT

Hi again, Jerry.

At 15:28 14/05/2005, you wrote:
> >You will recall what I told you about the (professionally
> > printed and expensive color) placards which read:  "CHAVEZ _IS_ THE
> > PEOPLE!".    To repeat a question that I asked you before (in a
> > post on May 2): is this a popular slogan in Venezuela?

I have to confess that it is not a slogan that has stayed in my 
consciousness at all-- just goes to show how unreliable an observer I am.

>Michael L,
>Since you haven't answered my question, I did a lit bit of 'google'
>searching of my own.   It seems that "Chavez es el gente" ("Chavez
>is the people") and "Chavez es el pueblo"  ("Chavez is the town")
>have long been popular and very visible slogans in Venezuela,
>including being used on billboards and banners.

Could you give me your source and look at the billboards and banners? I'm 
wondering if this has been put out by the MVR, the party that Chavez 
formed. (Look for a prominent MVR on them--- because they associate 
themselves very closely with Chavez in order to benefit from his popularity 
relative not only to the opposition parties but also the other Chavist 
parties, which they would be happy to squeeze out.) They seem to be able 
afford expensive placards--- maybe they tithe (I think they have 2 million 

>The source of the slogan is evidently Chavez himself:
>"Now, Chavez is not Chavez; Chavez is the people! And the
>people will not be stopped!  (from a speech in July, 1999).
>It doesn't appear that Chavez has tried since to distance
>himself from this slogan.

By why should he? I read this statement like so many others he constantly 
makes-- that he is a mere vessel, a historical accident, that it is the 
people who are making the revolution and he (as he said in Porte Alegre, 
who could have been baseball player or teacher) has ended up being the 
instrument of the people. Here's an excerpt (which dates back 2 years) from 
the video, 'With the poor of the earth':

>Chávez: That means that Chávez can’t be indispensable, a revolution is not 
>such if it depends on one man, a social movement depending on  one man, a 
>political movement depending on one man, besides a man is so vulnerable. 
>One slide would be enough, a disease would be enough, any tiny little 
>thing would be enough to destroy the movement if it would only depend on a 
>man. It must depend on millions, well organized millions and here after 
>the coup and after the oil coup, one of the necessary answers from our 
>revolution is to widen the organization and the people’s consciousness. 
>So, the Bolivarian revolution will exist forever, even beyond Chávez. I 
>now believe, and I have said it before: perhaps at a point of our 
>political process it was thought that Chávez was indispensable, it has 
>been shown that nowadays I am not anymore. I was taken to jail from here, 
>was isolated for 48 hours and the people reached out its powerful hand and 
>brought me back, brought me back again and put me here. I am just an 
>instrument of a people who have woken  up, have stood on its feet again 
>and now possesses  a flag and consciousness and today is more united than 
>ever before in our history.

         in solidarity,

>In solidarity, Jerry

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) 573-4111
fax: (58-212) 573-7724

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon May 16 2005 - 00:00:02 EDT