[News] The Bolivarian Revolution and Peace

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 24 11:55:43 EST 2009

The Bolivarian Revolution and Peace

November 24, 2009 By Fidel Castro


I know Chavez well, and no one could be more 
reluctant than him to allow a showdown between 
the Venezuelan and Colombian peoples that leads 
to bloodshed. These are two fraternal peoples, 
the same as Cubans living in the east, center and 
west end of our island. I find no other way to 
explain the close relationship between Venezuelans and Colombians.

The slanderous Yankee accusation that Chavez is 
planning a war against neighboring Colombia led 
an influential paper of that country to run a 
story last Sunday, November 15, under the 
headline "War Drums." It was a pejorative and 
insulting editorial against the Venezuelan 
president asserting, among other things, that 
"Colombia should take very seriously the gravest 
threat to its national security in more than 
seven decades as it comes from a president with a military background..."

It goes on to say, "The reason is the growing 
potential for a provocation that can go from an 
incident along the border to an attack on 
civilian and military facilities in Colombia."

Further on, the editorial claims it is likely 
"...that Hugo Chavez intensifies his attacks 
against the 'scrawny'-the sobriquet he applies to 
his oppositionists-and tries to remove from 
regional and local governments those who 
contradict him. He already did it with the Mayor 
of Caracas... and now he wants to try with the 
governors of the states sharing borders with 
Colombia who refuse to be under his rule... a 
clash with Colombian forces or the accusation 
that the paramilitary plan to conduct actions 
within Venezuelan territory could be the pretext 
required by Chavez's regime to suspend constitutional rights."

Such words can only serve to justify the United 
States' aggressive plans and the blatant 
treachery of the Venezuelan oligarchy and counterrevolution to their Homeland.

Coinciding with the release of that editorial, 
the Bolivarian leader had published his weekly 
column known as "Chavez's Lines," where he 
analyzed the shameless concession of seven US 
military bases in Colombia, a country that shares 
about 1,281 miles of border with Venezuela.

In his article, the President of the Bolivarian 
Republic was very clear and brave in explaining his position:

"...I said it this Friday at the rally for peace 
and against the US military bases in Colombian 
territory: It is my duty to appeal to all of you, 
men and women, to defend Bolivar's homeland, our 
children's homeland... Our homeland is free today 
and we shall defend it with our lives. Never 
again will Venezuela be anybody's colony; never 
again will it kneel down before any invader or 
empire... the extremely serious and 
transcendental problem in Colombia cannot be 
overlooked by the Latin American governments..."

Later on, he added some important concepts:

"... The entire 'gringo' war arsenal included in 
the agreement responds to the concept of 
extra-territorial operations... it turns the 
Colombian territory into an enormous Yankee 
military enclave... the greatest threat to peace 
and security in the South American region and in Our America."

"The agreement... prevents Colombia from offering 
anyone security and respect; not even Colombian 
men and women. A country that has lost its 
sovereignty and become an instrument of the 'new 
colonial power' envisioned by our Liberator cannot offer such guarantees."

Chavez is a true revolutionary, a profound and 
sincere thinker, a courageous and restless 
worker. He did not win power through a coup 
d'état. He rebelled against the repression and 
genocide unleashed by the neoliberal governments 
that surrendered the country's huge natural 
resources to the United States. He endured 
incarceration; he matured and developed his 
ideas. He did not win power with weapons despite his military background.

It is his merit to have taken the difficult path 
of a profound social revolution starting out from 
the so-called representative democracy and an 
absolute freedom of expression, at a time when 
the most powerful media resources of the country 
were - they still are -in the hands of the 
oligarchy and at the service of the empire's interests.

In just 11 years, Venezuela has achieved the 
greatest educational and social progress attained 
by any country in the world, despite the coup 
d'état and the destabilization plans and smearing 
campaigns implemented by the United States.

The empire did not decree an economic blockade on 
Venezuela - as it did in the case of Cuba - after 
the failure of its sophisticated actions against 
the Venezuelan people, because it would have 
meant blockading itself, given its foreign energy 
dependence. But it has not abandoned its purpose 
to do away with the Bolivarian process and the 
generous support this gives the Caribbean and 
Central American peoples in terms of oil 
resources, and its extensive trade relations with 
South America, China, Russia and numerous 
countries of Asia, Africa and Europe. Large 
segments of the population in every continent 
sympathize with the Bolivarian Revolution whose 
relations with Cuba are especially upsetting for 
the empire which for half a century has sustained 
a criminal blockade against our country. Through 
the ALBA, Bolivar's Venezuela and Marti's Cuba 
are promoting a new type of relationship and 
exchange on rational and fair basis.

The Bolivarian Revolution has been particularly 
generous with the Caribbean countries in times of 
an exceptionally grave energy crisis.

In the current new stage, the Venezuelan 
revolution is facing entirely new problems which 
did not exist almost exactly 50 years ago, when 
our revolution triumphed in Cuba.

At that time, drug-trafficking, organized crime, 
social violence and the paramilitaries were 
barely known. The United States had yet to become 
the huge drug market that capitalism and the 
consumer society have turned it into. It was not 
so difficult for the revolution to fight 
drug-trafficking in Cuba and to prevent the 
country from being drawn to its production and consumption.

Today, such scourges have brought to Mexico, 
Central America and South America a growing 
tragedy which is far from beaten. The unequal 
terms of trade, protectionism and the plundering 
of their natural resources has been compounded by 
drug-trafficking and the violence of organized 
crime that underdevelopment, poverty, 
unemployment and the huge US drug market have 
created in Latin American societies. The 
incompetence of that imperial and wealthy nation 
to prevent drug-trafficking and abuse has paved 
the way for the cultivation in many places of 
Latin America of plants whose value as raw 
material for drug production often exceeds that 
of the rest of the farm products, thus creating a 
very serious social and political quagmire.

In Colombia, the paramilitaris are today 
imperialism's frontline force to combat the Bolivarian Revolution.

It is precisely thanks to his military background 
that Chavez knows that the struggle against 
drug-trafficking is a vulgar pretext used by the 
United States to justify a military agreement 
that fully responds to the US post-cold war 
strategic concept of extending its world domination.

The air bases, the means, the operational rights 
and total impunity granted to the Yankee military 
and civilian personnel by Colombia in its own 
territory have nothing to do with fighting drug 
cultivation, production and trafficking. This is 
currently a world problem spreading not only to 
South American countries, but also to Africa and 
other regions. It already prevails in Afghanistan 
despite the massive presence of the Yankee troops.

Drugs should not be used as a pretext to set up 
bases, invade countries and bring violence, war 
and plundering to Third World nations. This is 
the worst environment to sow good qualities in 
the people and to bring education, healthcare and development to other nations.

Those who think that division between Venezuelans 
and Colombians can lead to the success of their 
counterrevolutionary plans are deceiving 
themselves. Many of the best and most humble 
workers in Venezuela are Colombians; the 
Revolution has given them and their immediate 
family education, healthcare, employment, the 
right to citizenship and other benefits. 
Together, Venezuelans and Colombians shall defend 
the great Homeland of the Liberator of the 
Americas; together, they shall fight for peace and freedom.

The thousands of Cuban doctors, educators and 
other collaborators carrying out their 
internationalist duty in Venezuela shall be with them!

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