Why He Crushed the Oligarchs The Importance of Hugo Chávez By Tariq Ali

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Tue Aug 17 2004 - 02:16:30 EDT

From Why He Crushed the Oligarchs
The Importance of Hugo Chávez
By Tariq Ali
August 16 2004

The Bolivarians wanted power so that real reforms could be implemented. All
the oligarchs have to offer is more of the past and the removal of Chavez.
It is ridiculous to suggest that Venezuela is on the brink of a totalitarian
tragedy. It is the opposition that has attempted to take the country in that
direction. The Bolivarians have been incredibly restrained. When I asked
Chavez to explain his own philosophy, he replied:

'I don't believe in the dogmatic postulates of Marxist revolution. I don't
accept that we are living in a period of proletarian revolutions. All that
must be revised. Reality is telling us that every day. Are we aiming in
Venezuela today for the abolition of private property or a classless
society? I don't think so. But if I'm told that because of that reality you
can't do anything to help the poor, the people who have made this country
rich through their labour and never forget that some of it was slave labour,
then I say 'We part company'. I will never accept that there can be no
redistribution of wealth in society. Our upper classes don't even like
paying taxes. That's one reason they hate me. We said 'You must pay your
taxes'. I believe it's better to die in battle, rather than hold aloft a
very revolutionary and very pure banner, and do nothing ... That position
often strikes me as very convenient, a good excuse ... Try and make your
revolution, go into combat, advance a little, even if it's only a
millimetre, in the right direction, instead of dreaming about utopias.'

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Aug 20 2004 - 00:00:00 EDT