A Date with the Future

In those days when I, as an altar boy, used to walk in the humble church of Sabaneta, at the beginning of the stormy decade of the sixties of the last century, my spirit was first conquered by the blazing and whipping words of Jesus, Christ the Redeemer of the oppressed peoples.

The Sermon on the Mount and its promise of justice for the poor of the earth have excited me ever since.

Mama Rosa* used to talk about “two thousand years and more” as a future in which either humanity definitely takes the path of Christ to live as equals and as brothers or on the contrary “the world will come to an end.”

How far Rosa Inés Chávez was from ever having read the thesis and speeches of that other Rosa, whom Clara Zetkin called “the living sword of the revolution,” Rosa Luxemburg.

But, at the same time, how close my old Mama was to the thought of that great revolutionary woman, summed up magisterially in her legendary phrase: socialism or barbarism!  Christ drove the merchants out of the temple and with his sacred words exposed the hypocrite Pharisees “who make clean the outside of the cup, but within they are full of extortion and excess.”

That is exactly what these so-called leaders of the opposition in Venezuela have been doing with the recent execrable act of desecration of the synagogue.

Together with all of the media that have permanently abandoned their proper vocation to become partisan political actors, the opposition leaders once again, absolutely senselessly, jumped at an opportunity to blame the government and the revolution for this criminal act.

One of them was rubbing the Philosopher’s Stone, almost discovering the much coveted formula to turn base metal into gold, when he told the nation that there was no doubt about who was behind the attack because he had discovered conclusive evidence: the paint left on the synagogue’s walls is red, the very same color of the Bolivarians!  Really, the opposition, inside or outside Venezuela, never stops taking potshots at the revolution.

But, as the saying goes, “God never abandons the innocent.”  Moreover, the revolutionary government and its corps of investigators acted quickly and with great efficiency, in the midst of the media war.

And now that we have caught eleven individuals and those who are most responsible for the crime have confessed and are convicted — with searches carried out and numerous pieces of evidence collected at the scene of crime, through which it has been established that it was pulled off with the active participation of one of the security guards of the synagogue — those opposition “leaders,” “defenders of freedom,” and “brave protectors of the temple” are beginning to do pirouettes, backtrack, and so forth, trying to explain their theories.  Ah well, they are capable of saying anything but are incapable of taking it back.

Hypocrite Pharisees!  Right here on my desk I have several reports from the situation room coordinated by Reyes Reyes.  Reviewing the details, I realize that the double onslaught has been underway in the run-up to the 15th of February.

In this column, I want to congratulate the tremendous elite troops of the committees and citizen corps for Sí, their leaders and coordinators, mission and citizen corps volunteers.  I’d like to make a special mention of very brave Boliviarian women, or as many prefer to be called: Chavista women!  Also, the formidable strength of youth is playing its role as the vanguard, the sublime motor nerve within the popular masses who must continue to be on the move with the energy of a hurricane.

Our party, the PSUV, as well as our allied parties, the PCV, the PPT, the MEP, and the UPV . . . all must march together, quickening our steps toward victory.

Today, by the way, is the 12th of February, and the battle cry of the great revolutionary José Félix Ribas, the young Jacobin who wore a cap of liberty, still keeps thundering from the valley where La Victoria, that heroic city, stands: “We cannot choose between winning and dying.  We must win.”

Let’s celebrate this Youth Day, then, boys and girls, as it should be, deployed in battle, adjusting our gear, winning over the undecided, summoning all to join the memorable expedition.

To keep on winning independence!  To keep on building the socialist homeland!  To keep on making Venezuela a powerful nation!   Today is Thursday the 12th.  Only two days left.

Let’s go for broke, with joy, with happiness, with a lot of intelligence, with great passion of patriotism.

On Sunday the 15th, very soon, together with me, you, the men, women, and youth of Venezuela, will have a date with the future.

I’m talking to you from the bottom of my heart, as the song goes: “I’ll wait for you in that place.”

Don’t fail me, so I won’t fail you.

You know that I, your soldier, live for you and only for you.

Yes, sir . . . we will win!


*   Editor’s Note: La Mamá Rosa, Chávez’s paternal grandmother.  He said of her: “[M]y grandmother, La Rosa, was the best in the world.  She was full of love and she was also like a teacher to us.  She taught me to read, to work, to be honorable” (Hugo Chávez with Aleida Guevara, Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America: An Interview with Hugo Chávez, Ocean Press, 2005, p. 72).

The original article “Las Líneas de Chávez: Una cita con el futuro” was first published by the Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN) on 12 February 2009.  Translation and note by Yoshie Furuhashi.