[News] President Chávez: “We Are Now a Truly Free Country”
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 8 16:16:44 EST 2013
President Chávez: “We Are Now a Truly Free Country”
By Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S., February 7th 2013
On Monday, Vice President Nicolás Maduro read a message to the
Venezuelan people from President Hugo Chávez to mark the 21st
anniversary of the rebellion of February 4, 1992, an event he said
helped ensure that “we live in really and truly free country.”
“February 4th hasn’t ended,” Chávez wrote. “Its rebellious spirit should
accompany us each day because the powers we confronted for more than two
decades still persist.”
Many thousands of people joined public events in Caracas, Venezuela’s
capital city, to commemorate the “Day of National Dignity,” which ended
with Maduro’s speech.
“My spirit and my heart are with you on this day… I regret being
physically absent, but that is what is required in this battle that I am
facing for full recovery,” Chávez said, referring to his recuperation
from cancer surgery in Cuba.
Thanks to the Boliviarian Revolution that began with democratic
elections in 1999, he said, “today the people fully exercise power.”
Finally, he offered an “infinite embrace” to the people and the
Bolivarian National Armed Forces, saying: “I am with you wearing my red
beret and arm band [with the colors of the flag].”
*Below is the full text of the letter by President Chávez:*
*Comrades, in commemorating the 21st anniversary of the civil-military
rebellion of February 4, 1992, I want to direct this fervently
Bolivarian and revolutionary message to the people and the armed forces
as an indivisible whole.*
How much I regret being physically absent from our national territory
for the first time on this luminous date of birth, but that is what is
required by this battle I am facing for my full recovery in brotherly
and revolutionary Cuba, however my spirit and heart are with you on this
Day of National Dignity.
There are dates on which all the volume of history is revealed and that
mark the path of peoples once again, there are dates that seal and clear
things up, that become a commitment and a signal of a destiny that has
to happen to calibrate the past and let us see with greater clarity the
liberating horizon, and February 4, 1992, was one of those dates.
On that memorable day, all the struggles of our people were vindicated,
on that memorable day our liberators returned from all paths, on that
memorable day [Simón] Bolívar returned and entered into battle now and
Those of us who, like Bolívar, Robinson and Zamora, took up arms and
went out that dawn to risk our lives for the country and the people,
were fully aware that Venezuela had reached the bottom three years ago
during the rebellion of February 27, 1989, a day that marked our path,
when the people risked their lives fighting in the streets against the
savage neoliberalism that Washington tried to impose on us.
Those of us in the military didn’t want to continue shouldering the
disgrace of being the praetorian guard of a political class that was as
oppressive and corrupt as it was criminal. Never again would they use us
to drown the people’s calls for justice in blood.
The Caracazo marked and end and a beginning, the end of a system drowned
in shame, the beginning of an era of change that required the rebirth of
Those of us who burst into the shadows of injustice and indignity that
overwhelmed Venezuela in those days were, as Che Guevara said, guided by
a great feeling of love, a love that was Bolivarian, of the people,
rebellious, combative, an infinite liberating frenzy that brought us, as
the liberator wanted, to cast off fear and save the nation.
Our poet Gustavo Pereira tells us with an eerie simplicity the
following: “Love is the only important thing in the world.” It has been
21 years since that February 4th, of anguish and the dawn, of bravery
and sacrifice, the march continues to be difficult, but with the
irresistible force of love we recall Bolívar, we are on our way to
achieving definitive independence, a socialist and liberated nation.
I want to exalt today the role of Venezuelan women on February 4th, of
Columbas Rivas, Marisol Terán, a robust group of women that accompanied
the rebellion, they were there at the moment of generosity and heroism,
with all their patriotic fervor, all their abnegation.
The time is coming, history is coming, history made with the people that
forge it each day, there is February 4th like a sacred cry from our
collective memory that told Venezuela to get up and move forward, and
thanks to the collective Lazarus that is the land of Bolívar, all of us
are artifices of the resurrected nation, of the country that finally
took in its arms the Bolivarian flag to be reborn in the light of dignity.
From the deepest reaches of the heart of the people I say, with Aquiles
Nazoa, that thanks to February 4th, every compatriot can with full
certainty “have a tomorrow, look upon the countryside and say this is my
city, this is my nation.”
Brothers and sisters, today after 21 years of that civil-military
rebellion, that decision made with the greatest sense of love for
Venezuela, which we thought and rethought as the only possible way to
have a nation, we live in a really and truly free country.
On February 4th our people saw the dawn of their hopes thanks to the
military community; the people once again felt accompanied by patriotic
soldiers. We left to brandish our swords in defense of social
guarantees, of the rights of the greater Venezuelan community. We were
only motivated by the ambition to become the heirs and followers of the
independence army. We wanted to return to our Bolivarian essence, to
truly be the people in arms forging liberty.
My history was already known. The patriotic and revolutionary military
insurgencies in Carpano and Puerto Cabello, and in the 1960’s created a
historic opening, and despite the fact that both rebellions were
brutally put down by the bourgeois democracy, a furrow for a seed
remained. That is where we come from, and from further back, from
Indigenous resistance, from the slave rebellions, from Chirinos, Gual
and España, Miranda, Bolívar, Sucre, Zamora, and Cipriano Castro.
I recall a memorable passage from a great revolutionary thinker named
Walter Benjamin: “The past comes with a temporal code through which it
delivers redemption; there exists a secret meeting between past
generations and our own.” We could very well say that this secret
meeting took place on February 4th, 1992, where the past, present and
future received redemption.
February 4th has been fully justified by history. Those of us who were
against the Pact of Punto Fijo have been blessed by a people who are
today at the vanguard of the fight for peace and justice, and who serve
as examples for the peoples of the world.
Honor and glory for the fallen soldiers and students!
In 1828, our liberator wrote: “Patriotism is a sacred fire that cannot
be hidden and that often, when it is extended in truly pure sentiment,
leads to greater happiness for the country.” I have long meditated on
these words from our great commander, and the more I do so, the more
convinced I become that this was the fundamental reason that led us to
undertake that heroic action on February 4th. The sacred fire that
stirred within could no longer be hidden.
To the brave Bolivarian soldiers, it is up to us to enhance that
liberating fire of justice that will last century upon century, while we
have the nation we now finally have.
Luis Alberto Crespo said of this servant: “His courage stems from that
February 4th, and that courage is not just mine because I am not Chávez,
Chávez is the people, and in reality and truth, as long as that sacred
fire is extended in truly pure sentiment, it will be to the benefit of
the greater happiness of our nation of the Americas and the immense
nation we call humanity.”
We were not wrong in the certainty that encouraged the Bolivarian
soldiers, which is identical to that which was personified in millions
of fellow citizens at the time, and which is found in every corner of
this nation that is making into reality the sentiment which spurred the
I am going to repeat what I said 21 years ago: if our movement is
triumphant, we will hand over power to the people so that they can
strongly exercise it. And it is a fact that today the people exercise
power strongly and fully.
February 4th was a day that set off forces that are still expanding.
February 4th has not ended; its spirit should accompany us each day
because the powers we confronted for more than two decades persist in
their attempts to stop the course of history in Venezuela, in our
Americas and in the world. They are the powers that threaten humanity
and the planet with destruction.
The spirit of rebellion should live on in each of us to continue
advancing and not be thwarted. Let us remember these words from our
eternal leader, Bolívar: “Nothing is finished while there is still work
to be done.” That is why the “for now” of 21 years ago, is today a
“forever” for the Bolivarian people.
Let us always stay true to the ideal of our liberator: unity, unity,
unity. Let us proclaim unity without wavering and build it each day. Let
us be inspired by it, so that the empire and its lackeys in their
repeated attempts to divide us cannot succeed. Let us allow the
inestimable good of unity to flourish. We still have much of the nation
to liberate, and that is why we need to be even more united as a people.
From my soldier’s heart I send an infinite embrace to the people, to
the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, may you feel that I am with you on
this Day of National Dignity. I am with you in my red beret and tricolor
armband, strengthened by the people’s love, the love that heals me and
gives me life. February 4th will now and forever be blessed.
*Source: Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./ February 5, 2013*
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