[News] Chávez and Sabino Show the Way

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sat Mar 9 11:25:10 EST 2013

  Chávez and Sabino Show the Way


By Roland Denis - Aporrea, March 9th 2013

/Compañeros/, the greatest libertarian[1] 
teacher of the Venezuelan people has died, and two days earlier an 
equally important teacher... Chávez and Sabino show the way.[2] 

We are Chávez!, of course we are, brother, we proudly accept this final 
proposal of yours with the same passion as millions of others. We are 
Chávez! means being he who took up freely and with unbridled passion the 
position in life that life itself offered up, able to transgress any 
offense, indignity and oppression reproduced in the place from which we 
build our lives. Your lot in life was yours alone, and you first 
recognized this as a soldier, helping to explode the signs of genocide 
already inscribed in our barracks.

It doesn't matter if you succeeded or not, and in general it doesn't 
matter much how effective or not you were in concretizing the 
libertarian dream that flooded over you. You were a soldier and the 
popular insurrection brought you to power through the tricks it had 
already sown, you were the magnificent child of that insurrection. Since 
then, you surrounded yourself with buffoons and the inviolable rules of 
national and global order, and even drowning in all this and camouflaged 
by its protocols, your permanent and desperate cry to the collective was 
to destroy that whole damned castle full of internal enemies and the 
opposition (/escualidos/) drooling for a chance to return to it.

Chávez is passionate irreverence, love for the dream, and so I /do /want 
to be Chávez. Your messianism is not the whole of your ideological or 
political legacy, these are its content but not its truth, that is, 
there is no "messiah" in you, and much less the stupid media 
manipulation of your image that, whether from public or private outlets, 
helped to forge submission or resentment, the cult or hatred of 
personality. Your messianism---your decision on the act based on the 
transcendence and glory of the word that inspires it---can only be 
understood now that you have gone, its usefulness contained entirely in 
the person of Chávez and the marvelous, crazy, and passionate teacher 
that you were... thank you brother, thank you for helping me to again 
feel like the child of a land that anyone could fall out of love with 
completely. But on the contrary you taught me to see it as full of an 
incomprehensible magic, effectively messianic, so incomprehensible that 
when it explodes it can encompass entire continents and worlds, where 
reason explains nothing and the human miracle explains everything.

/Damn it!/ I want to be Chávez even though I already know that I can't 
achieve that!

Since you left me yesterday I feel prouder than ever to have lived this 
history in which you no doubt played an exceptional role. Let's not say 
too much because perhaps all the power [/potencia/] contained in that 
history as well as the immense challenges and gaps that seep into our 
present, which are tremendous and if we aren't careful, terrible as 
well, have not even begun to unfold. In any case, it is by being a part 
of this history and only through it that I am able to construct a 
beautiful meaning for that place in life that has fallen to me to 
occupy, and we can then be grateful that somehow or another we are 
protagonists in it.

But we must also be conscious that the strictly Chavista moment of that 
history is only "a blade of grass" in what history has sown. If Chávez 
was a libertarian teacher it is because today faced with his loss, 
millions not only mourn the terrible occasion of his death---after which 
we will never again feel his monstrous capacity to wrap entire peoples 
and nations in his passion---but moreover we begin another history that 
is truly that of the people, simply and strictly that of the people, of 
those who never had a right to history but who are today beginning to be 
its center.

As a result the most intense feeling that the death of /compañero /Hugo 
Chávez leaves us with, which is expressed through all of those places 
filled with people, stuffed into plazas, carrying the dead body he who 
inspired them in all likelihood to the national pantheon, is that we are 
at last a free people. And this regardless of the budgetary data, the 
structures of power and inequality in the distribution of wealth, the 
official national plans, or crass reality in the face of the globalized 
extortion of a hysterical and criminal capitalism that knows itself to 
be in its final stages, which seeps into every statement and government 
policy tied to this exploitative global order, despite calling itself 
"socialist." In other words, we are a free and powerful people, wrapped 
in the ethic of the rebel and not the ethic of sin.

Of course it's true that we still live amid the weakness of our social 
and economic condition, we are still in the hands of bankers and 
transnationals, mafioso bureaucracies, networks of violence, but now 
with a dignity gained during these years that no one can take away from 
us, beyond any government and still full of the incongruities that the 
materiality of our historical thread determines. Which is to say that we 
are a people that defends in the words of millions the most libertarian, 
egalitarian, and just cause. Read and scattered across all our /barrios 
/and communities, it is the most divinely irreverent /tamunangue/[3] 
sung in the smallest village on the most remote mountain, on the most 
isolated coast, in the most squalid /barrio/. That is your teaching, 
/comandante/, and we are forever grateful.

But who guarantees that we will maintain this hard-won strength? Let's 
forget messianism, and even that collective messianism that Chávez 
helped forge, even if it was the best of the bunch. Very mysteriously, 
Sabino Romero, the /cacique/ of Chaktapa, the historic leader of 
resistance by the Yukpa people and indigenous communities, was 
assassinated just two days before the death of /comandante /Chávez (this 
universe could not, did not want to let Chávez say goodbye to the one 
who he defended and supported without a shadow of a doubt). Another 
great libertarian teacher, but one of clashes and direct action and 
assuming only the front lines of combat in the endless desire of his 
people to regain at least part of what was expropriated from them in 
blood and fire by the same colonialists as always. It doesn't matter if 
it was 500 or 10 years ago, there they are today, interiorized in the 
National Guard, ministries, governors, transnationals, hired guns, 
paramilitaries, or cattle ranchers, in full force today.

There is no messianism in Sabino Romero's cause, because he simply one 
more man, perhaps the man that Hugo Chávez himself mourned not being 
able to be as he looked over the Arauca River in his last tour of the 
But a man whose significance was equal to that of the /comandante/, 
despite obviously being infinitely smaller than the latter's massive 
echo. Beginning with the whole media siege surrounding him from all 
points, public and private, that prevented millions from knowing him 
today. But this isn't important, and it needed to be this way, since no 
one as more real and "anti-mediatic" than Sabino. Sabino wasn't going to 
inundate anyone with his passion and his thought, what Marxism calls 
hegemonic construction, the magic of Hugo Chávez. No, Sabino was an 
indomitable fighter, an unbridled savage that only blatant murder, 
supported by ranchers and members of the National Guard from the right 
and from the "left," government and empire, could contain.

Do I want to be Sabino Romero, who in life was the leader and /cacique 
/of the Yukpa insurrection? He does not ask such things, does not unfold 
himself in the people, we are the survivors---for now (/por ahora*[5]* 
must ask ourselves this question, since he left us with the freedom to 
want to or not. By "being Sabino," we mean confronting power head-on and 
without any "tactical" discrimination---of who I should or should not 
confront at any given moment---expecting the blood that he stubbornly 
and clearly foresaw and denounced.

To be Sabino is not to be Chávez: it is a direct bullet from the people 
that vanquishes or is vanquished, giving one's all like anyone else, 
betting it all from within the heart of combat itself. Do we want to be 
Sabino Romero? We won't say yes and turn this into a slogan, because to 
do so would be pure hypocrisy. But perhaps if we are already a little 
bit of Chávez, we can also be a small piece of Sabino. Then we will be 
invincible, as their two forces will make this revolution irreversible, 
a thousand times more transparent, powerful, expansive.

It is strange, but knowing that in our "being them" we also need to be 
better and wiser than them, those /compañeros/ that in their everyday 
experiences committed a thousand errors---of excessive command, of 
unnecessary voluntarism---that we cannot repeat today. In conclusion by 
brother Sabino, blood of mine, we can't even know if we have the 
audacity to be a little piece of you. But just like our /comandante/ 
Chávez, you taught the freedom of absolute love for what is yours, which 
was always your Yukpa, Venezuelan, Our-American people.[6] 
In this sense your teaching is infinite, your devotion to your truth 
through the immense truth that you were is a lesson that when it emerges 
will be absorbed by all lands. Forever grateful, I say goodbye without 
tears in compliance with Alí Primera's order.[7] 

Honor and Glory to our libertarian teachers...

Chávez and Sabino show the Way...

/Hasta la victoria siempre/

*Roland Denis *has been a writer and revolutionary militant for decades, 
a key participant in popular struggles in the urban /barrios/, and 
former vice minister under the Chávez government.

/ /

/Translated and annotated by George Ciccariello-Maher/


Not to be confused with U.S.-style right-wing libertarianism.

Sabino Romero was an indigenous leader of the Yukpa who was engaged in a 
long-running struggle for the recovery of indigenous lands in the Sierra 
of Perijá. Sabino was murdered two days before Chávez's death.

A syncretic cultural celebration comprising Spanish, indigenous, and 
Afro traditions.

The Venezuelan plains, from which the Arauca marks the Colombian border.

The famous words spoken by Chávez after the failed coup of February 4^th 

"/Nuestramericano/" -- a combined term describing Latin America as "Our 
America," which was also the name of Denis' longtime political grouping: 
Proyecto Nuestramérica, Our America Project.

Revolutionary folk singer Alí Primera once sang: "Those who die for life 
cannot be called dead, and from this moment forth it is prohibited to 
cry for them <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbKsD8PIwzE>."

Source: Aporrea <http://aporrea.org/actualidad/a160660.html>
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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