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The Bolivarian Revolution: A Movement of Hope and Threat

Winds of Change

By Manuel Valenzuela

02/09/06 "ICH" -- -- he warming winds of true democracy have been spreading from the tip of Patagonia to the shores of the Rio Grande, traversing all lands in between, with the will of the People trumping the wishes of the Empire. These winds carry within them elections of hope and fury, marked by loud voices and uncompromised ballots, devoid of charades and mirages, lacking Diebold electronic voting machines and corporate media manipulation. In many nations the masses have spoken in symphony, their united desires echoing long suffering frustrations and near-extinct opportunities, their once-silent calls for justice and equality finally given resonance.

The Bolivarian Revolution these warming winds are called, becoming the last vestiges of People Power in the Americas. Rising in hope and hovering above the homes and lives of hundreds of millions of Latin Americans, the warming winds are giving comfort to a new day, making warm once cold societies, their speed gaining momentum, their power altering governments and economic policies, becoming, in the minds of millions in Latin America and billions worldwide, the inspiration for a new world, a new direction for human civilization, an opportunity to escape that which is destroying both planet and human societies.

Inside its borders exists the hope of positive change, of escaping the omnipotent and corrosive claws of American imperialism, with its devastating, unfettered capitalism, destroyer of Earth’s environments, exploiter of human flesh and energy, and corrupter of our minds, transforming us into selfish, consumerist, materialist, unthinking, psychologically fragile and unhappy greed mongers bred to pray to our new god, the Almighty Dollar. Inside the lands where the Revolution is spreading hope transcends past transgressions, becoming a movement to benefit all people, regardless of wealth, social class or skin color, using the resources of the land and the talents of the people to empower the nation and the communal aspirations of the citizenry.

Inside jungles and forests a movement of justice and equality has begun to replace the exploitation, corruption and abandonment inherent in American capitalism. Slowly eroding from the nations of the Revolution are the inherent injustices and pervasive inequality that befell the vast majority of the citizenry. Free of economic warfare hindering its growth and evolution, not chained by embargoes or sanctions, allowed to become a shining example to observe and follow, nations inside the Revolution have begun to showcase the benefits of 21st century social democracies, where priorities are given not to the profiteering of the military industrial complex or to the Swiss bank accounts of the white elite but rather to the empowerment of the lives of the masses through equality in education, healthcare, opportunity, infrastructure and resources, thereby eliminating the inequality and injustice that is branded on a child at birth, forever to scar him or her, robbing them of opportunity, eroding their talents and eviscerating fates and futures.

A new paradigm shift is occurring in Latin America with the resentment accumulated over decades of government rape, pillage and apathy of the citizenry creating a wave of desired change; the pilferage of their lands and resources, along with the exploitation and enslavement by American corporations has resulted in Revolution peaceful and evolved, with hundreds of millions strong using the ballot over the bayonet, their voices over violence. From the lands of South America a new movement grows, a new Revolution has risen, sweeping across the continent, embracing justice and equality, exterminating exploitation and enslavement.

A transformation of the Americas is upon us, beautiful to behold and admire, its winds of change flowing uninterrupted and powerful, its winds of change flowing from right to left, from American sponsored right-wing puppets to progressive, social democracy, gaining momentum, grasping peoples hopes and dreams, their lives and futures. The voices of the unheard, unwanted and undesirable have been listened to; their will finally allowed to be counted, their votes finally trumping the corruption of the elites and the clandestine manipulations of the Empire.

Like a domino effect each election result in distinct lands inhabited with diverse peoples has sent a resounding thunderbolt of rejection to the imperialistic bully named America, a clear message that its near enslavement and exploitation of both lands of peoples of the south has gone on for far too long. Election after election has demolished colonial proctors and puppets, so-called leaders catering only to their own wallets, that of the nation’s white elite and the market colonialist desires of the Empire. Like powerful blows to the midsection, each clear electoral victory has weakened the interests of America in the region, softening up its legions of exploiters and criminals and puppets now impotent to ruin millions of lives.

The power of the People has spoken, its triumph having become a victory for humanity and a strike against market colonialism, now seen as an inspiration for billions and a threat to America. Contrary to the interests of George W. Bush and his corporatist cabal, the region’s peoples have shown that, when given a real opportunity for true democracy, they will vote according to their own indigenous interests and not those of neoliberal principles and of market colonialist America. They have shown that it is not the evils of neoliberal and American imposed capitalism which they seek, but rather policies that will make their lives better, giving them meaning, happiness and an opportunity to push forward, past insurmountable barriers purposefully erected to hinder upper mobility and into futures full of promise.

The last few years have demonstrated that if allowed to escape the grip of American manipulation and meddling, democracy in Latin American nations results in the interests of the masses quashing those of the elite few, in elections clean and uncompromised, not those fixed and corrupt, altering the balance of power and giving hope to those tens of millions for decades subjugated by the rich few to the margins of society, relegated to live in shanty towns and shacks, making anywhere from two to eight dollars a day, their lives devoid of futures and opportunity, their existence marginalized and ignored, their children destined to never escape and always live in perpetual purgatory. Now, thanks to democracy true and honorable, there exists the hope, the possibility of a better life to millions upon million of Latin Americans, giving birth to new energy and vitality, new chances at escape from hell on Earth, becoming an opportunity for a better and more fruitful tomorrow.

Today there exist the winds of change, flowing freely from Caracas to Santiago to La Paz, from Argentina to Uruguay to Mexico, traversing mountains and canyons, forests and jungles, toppling puppets and criminals, becoming a power threatening to liberate an entire continent, eviscerating the shackles of labor exploitation and incessant poverty with the hammer of justice and equality, becoming the fire burning inside the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of Latin Americans whose lives have forever been made destitute of life, energy and wallet both by the corrosive grip of American imperialism and the enslavement and marginalization by the minority white elite.

It has been through the ballot box, through the principle of one person, one vote – that great invention of times past – that today’s Bolivarian Revolution can be seen and felt, with little blood spilled on the streets, with little violence impregnating our humanity and with the human condition contained, its many insidious demons refrained from possessing the human animal. The Bolivarian Revolution is an enlightened revolution, an evolved form of human change, growing out of frustration and resentment and anger, yet achieved peacefully and in solidarity, using the power of the vote over that of armed resistance, toppling puppets and Empire’s proctors not by violence but through the united voice of the People. In nations where democracy is not yet a charade or a hollow mirage hiding inside the corruption of electronic voting, revolutions of this kind are still possible.

At the dawn of the 21st century the Bolivarian Revolution has been born, altering the landscape of Latin America’s tomorrow, growing out of economic deficiency, natural resource pillage, government inefficiency, human exploitation and near enslavement, the reality of life for hundreds of millions of human beings and from American imperialism, slowly but surely eroding the devastating scorched earth and people policy of American capitalism along with the neoliberal mechanisms that act only to institute market colonialism on the nations of the south, replacing it with a system designed to make better the lives of countless millions through policies paid for by the profits of the nation and the resources of the land, creating a society based on sustainable development and human prosperity, both of happiness and fate.

Having morphed from modern day socialist thought, from the reality of failed neoliberalism, from lessons learned and mistakes recorded, from untarnished democracy, from today’s communalism and yesteryear’s capitalism, the Bolivarian Revolution has become a beacon of hope to hundreds of millions whose lives and futures have never been allowed to prosper, perhaps replacing America’s ever-dimming light as the new oasis of optimism, becoming the new system of governance for the 21st century, one for the People, not the Powerful, for Humans, not Corporations.

This new beacon on a hill will in the next few years and decades change societies and the lives of millions, taking national profits and the wealth of resources and giving them, not to the elite, but to everyone, offering hope to the indigent, opportunity to the talented, a future to the innocent, health to the sick, education to the ignorant, food for the hungry, homes for the homeless, justice to the marginalized, equality to all and increased prosperity to the nation as a whole. Its evolution might one day take humanity on a voyage we never thought possible. This is the Bolivarian Revolution.


The Sorrows of the Americas


For five-hundred years Latin America has been the stomping ground of the region’s elite, the vast majority descendants of Europeans, white in skin color yet dark in empathy, lacking the will to care for tens of millions of fellow human beings living in destitute surroundings and insufferable consequences. For centuries this elite has been a slave driver, using and abusing the masses for its continued control and power, using the energy and labor of peasants to increase its wealth. For centuries the oppression has been relentless, only changing in its mechanisms and in its evolution. This is the story of Latin America since 1492, a region whose peoples and lands have for centuries been exploited for their energy and pillaged of their wealth for the benefit of the elite and northern colonial governments and businesses.

From the very beginning white elites, tracing their lineage to Europe, were granted the keys to prosperity, their ethnicity granting them preferences to wealth and power, access to business and governance, over the years passing down their wealth and power to new generations. Thus, white Latin Americans never saw poverty, never suffered hunger or thirst, never toiled in miserable work and never earned their wealth. From the beginning of their ascendancy, their wealth was born in sin, in the dispossession of land and the exploitation of human energy, in the destruction of land, in the abuse of human beings and the exportation of slave products. Given huge tracts of land, possessing enormous resources, owning all aspects of government and business, white Latin Americans became owners of the Americas and masters to its inhabitants, destined to forever expand wealth, exploit humanity, control government and have possession of all aspects of Latin American society. Since Conquest, nothing has changed.

Meanwhile those born with indigenous traces, in skin color or facial features, were condemned to become the slaves of the wealthy, toiling, bleeding, sweating and crying for the fortunes of the few, miserably surviving day to day, fed the crumbs and the bones left behind by the elite, chained to castes created to serve the interests of the rich, forever passing onto their descendants the burden of perpetual indigence and the fatalism that their kind would never leave the destiny placed at their door by governments whose sole function was enriching the white elite that controlled the nation.

Hundreds of millions of human beings have purposefully been kept indigent, both in mind and resources, the control over their lives as pervasive as the level of poverty they must endure, from cradle to grave. Like tranquil cattle they are corralled into shantytowns and cesspools of poverty, unable to escape thanks to enormous yet invisible walls of segregation designed to separate the elite few from the poor masses. Hundreds of millions in the region are kept in perpetual squalor through the inability to escape their allotted caste, whether through anemic education, brainwash Catholicism and incessant employment discrimination.

The system has always been and is still designed to maintain the delicate balance between a very small minority of elite and a giant wave of poor peasants. This balance is protected by government itself, created, controlled and operated by an elite that has never relinquished power and control. As such, the elite keep getting richer, with wealth coming from the sweat, blood and tears of the masses, while the poor keep getting poorer. In fact, the vast majority of Latin Americans live on an average of less than six dollars per day, with tens of millions living on less than two dollars per day.

Latin American societies are designed to give the masses as little education as possible, thereby enabling the elite complete control of the people of a nation. Education budgets are purposefully made anemic thanks to the pillaging of government money by corrupt officials, mismanagement of funds and misallocation of resources. The emphasis on educating the children of the masses is nonexistent, for they are to remain the indigent slaves to the elite, forever ignorant, servile and obedient. Thus, millions of people are from birth condemned to schools lacking adequate books, well trained and motivated teachers, and acceptable infrastructure, their short lived educations ending anywhere from the third to the sixth grade, in the end becoming but one more citizen abandoned by their government, forgotten by society, dependent on private television owned by the elite for information.

Granted a minute fraction of money compared to American per capita investment in education, schools and teachers naturally start off at the depths of learning, condemned to remain bottom dwellers in education and knowledge, seriously lacking the resources of the much richer north, doing as best they can to enlighten children, yet knowing that undereducated most students will leave, forever captured by indigence, slave labor and slave wages. By age ten millions upon millions of children stop attending school, forced by the circumstances of their lives to begin working in order to feed, shelter and clothe their families. Sadly, most will never again pick up a book or return to school, instead remaining loyal members of the lowest castes, living in shacks and inside shantytowns, becoming susceptible to the propaganda of the wealthy, maturing into the ignorance minds bred through under education.

Through immovable castes of indigence and the under funding of education the elite are able to contain the masses, making millions of poor dependent on the crumbs, morsels and bones thrown them by the rich. Imprisoned in the dungeons of rotting existence, millions of poverty-stricken Latin Americans will never escape their predetermined fates, becoming babies born unequal, living entire lives following the footsteps of parents, grandparents and great grandparents, repeating a cycle of indigence designed to exploit and subjugate their entire lives. This vicious circle is perpetual, creating an insurmountable barrier of escape, breeding ignorance with poverty and malnourishment, leading to the brainwashing by religion that condemns the poor to eternal fatalism and constant hardship, inevitably trapping tens of millions to lives of squalor and lost futures.

Through religion hundreds of millions are told to be fruitful and to multiply, for that is what God desires, not realizing that by having many babies women become servile and dependent creatures to their husbands, forced to rear and raise, remaining trapped housewives robbed of opportunity and enlightenment. Brainwashed by religion and lacking the reason, logic and knowledge that comes with education, both parents will invariably condemn both themselves and their children, forever remaining trapped in poverty, with more mouths to feed, more bodies to clothe, more resources needed to survive. Forced to subsist, they will pull their children out of school at any early age, sending them to work for long hours and meager wages. With little money to be spread to many family members, malnourishment increases, education is eroded, healthcare disappears, slave labor increases, misery is spawned and perpetual poverty triumphs. It is Catholicism, that enabler of primitive and conservative thought, that condemns the use of contraception and abortion among its followers while espousing the procreation of multiple children, thereby becoming a culprit in the ever-increasing numbers of human beings living in perpetual poverty, assisting in ruining lives, exacerbating hardship and tarnishing fates.

For those few that succeed in graduating from a state college, the discrimination inherent in the business world is omnipresent. Top business and government jobs are reserved for the children, relatives and close acquaintances of those already in power, with the elite controlling all levers of who is allowed entry and who is to be relegated to the lower echelons of employment. With employment and salary determined by nepotism and not merit, going to those of white skin and not brown, those of upper class and not lower, a large segment of barrier-escaping jobs that would otherwise be available to anyone become the sole possession of the elite.

It is this world of white collar employment that does not welcome brown-skinned individuals, extending not a welcome floor mat but a “Closed” sign, becoming an exclusive club for the elite and their progeny, a place not welcoming to the sub-human classes engineered to become the maids and gardeners and cooks and nannies of the rich. The mestizo masses are forced through discrimination and segregation to remain inside their allotted place, offered great opportunity not in money-making positions but in the world of blue-collar slave labor, forced to toil under extreme stresses, working unbearable hours in bottom-dwelling environs making the wages that offer only the most basic level of subsistence.

For the mestizo, this is a barrier that talent, ability, drive and mental strength cannot defeat. Even if able to escape the myriad of barriers to entry, driving a stake through indigence, under education, the imprisonment of slave labor, lack of resources, discrimination and ingrained racism, there exists the ultimate and most subjective barrier to entry: the elite themselves, possessing the keys to unlocking the gates of escape. They are the gatekeepers of society, always closing the door to the always long line of brown-skinned unwanteds and undesirables seeking a better future, yet always eager to allow easy access to the always short line of white-skinned elites and wealthy patrons seeking to maintain their past into the present.

For centuries this has been the reality in Latin America, a region of two different worlds, of two different groups, one born into privilege, the other into exploitation. Ten percent of the population owns or controls ninety percent of the region’s wealth, while ninety percent of the population lives in poverty, forced to live in shacks or tiny bee-hive looking homes, chained into shantytowns oftentimes lacking basic infrastructure and services, forced to share a small patch of land with an ever-increasing population, packed like sardines, competing for few jobs and low salaries.

Meanwhile, living like modern day feudal masters the elite few bask in enormous mansions of comfort, protected by twelve foot high walls and armies of security guards, living in exclusive and posh neighborhoods, possessing all the wealth in the world, able to afford maids, gardeners, cooks and nannies, seeing in their relationship to the mestizo the shadows of slavery, not the conviction of equality, the entitlement of exploitation, not the obligation of providing opportunity. To the elite, the mestizo has always been and will always remain a being to be considered below them, a person whose destiny is to serve the interests of the rich. The mestizo is to be forever restrained and shackled, unable to rebel or resist, his progeny engineered and molded to follow the dictates of wealth. He is, in short, to be the slave of the elite, remaining what he has been for 500 years.

For centuries both the fruits of the labors of the mestizo and the Indian, along with the resources the lands provided were owned and controlled by the white elites, to be shipped directly to the colonizing mother country and to markets abroad. Revenues and profits seldom, if ever, returned to the masses. Instead, they filled the pockets of the already rich, used by the elite to build feudal estates and personal empires, the wealth acquired exacerbating an ever-widening vicious cycle of social class and income disparity.

Using the mechanisms of governance and the acquired wealth of exploitation mestizo and Indian lands were expropriated and granted to the white elite. Lands seen promising or rich in natural resources were taken away from peasants, towns or Indians, used to further enrich the growing white aristocracy as well as make more comfortable the lives of European elites. Whether unpaid slave or seldom paid worker, the masses were impoverished and oppressed while their masters enjoyed the fruits of both free labor and resources. Over centuries the vast wealth of the Americas was pillaged, making certain European nations incredibly wealthy, transforming some into Empires, others into powers whose vast wealth would disappear with the arrival of Latin American independence in the first half of the 19th century.

Since Discovery and Conquest Latin America has been exploited and subjugated, its peoples of darker skin perpetually castigated and abused, enslaved, exploited and kept at the lowest margins of society, its beautiful lands torn and destroyed, its air polluted, its rivers made toxic, its resources stolen, their revenues and profits given to northern corporations and governments, its environmental regulations relaxed, enabling foreign corporations to pollute without hindrances.

From the very beginning Latin America has been, like most nations of the south, the supplier of natural resources and raw materials for the rich north, its people both the slave labor and the consumer for northern corporations, toiling under bottom dwelling working conditions for meager wages. The people, it must be told, work slave hours for slave wages, and are charged exorbitant prices to sustain their already anemic standard of living. They make third world wages and must pay first world prices. In truth, the great majority of Latin Americans see very little capital or wealth in return for their natural resources, the majority of it transferred by elites to bank accounts outside the nation or kept by multinational corporations under unfair and one-sided contracts signed by American controlled puppets.

While the nations and peoples of the north enjoy the benefits, and cheap prices, engendered from stolen resources, unfair trade agreements, market colonialism and slave labor of the south in order to sustain lives made excessive, gluttonous and greed infested, most citizens of Latin America subsist on what Americans would consider the crumbs, bones and morsels of a normal life. Millions are from birth destined to remain entrapped in the social caste social engineering has placed at their door, living from cradle to grave unable to penetrate the insurmountable barriers to escape. To the people of the north who have never seen, touched or lived in such poverty, empathizing with Latin Americans can become a very difficult endeavor.

This is the tragedy of Latin America’s past. Sadly, this is also its present. If left unchanged, it will also be its future. In this region, the more things change the more things stay the same.


The Seed of Revolution


In Venezuela a leader of vision and promise has risen from the shantytowns and the misery, born to poverty and to the masses, over the years rising through the ranks, reading and learning, gaining knowledge and philosophy, slowly yet surely engendering justice and equality, becoming a man of, by and for the People, not of the elite.

Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has become the seed giving rise to the Bolivarian Revolution, a social democratic philosophy evolved into 21st century conditions, sweeping across Latin America, molding the interests of the people with those of the state, creating a new beacon on a hill for hundreds of millions of human beings for too long abandoned and forgotten.

Mr. Chavez, full of energy and optimism, has become a beloved man at home and an inspiration abroad, able, in the span of a few years, to introduce into the collective consciousness of humankind an entirely different political philosophy than what at present exists. He has lifted Venezuela out of the malignant mold for centuries infecting it, creating an example for the world to see and follow. His governance has inspired Latin America to shift away from neoliberalism and the unfettered capitalism of the American Empire and toward the balance of helping the masses, so many of whom live in perpetual levels of indigence.

A new paradigm shift is occurring in Venezuela, a nation rich in oil yet troubled by centuries of injustice, inequality and oppression by the few of the many. With a sudden shift of political tectonic plates, the voices of the poor and unwanted have become heard, their cries for justice and equality answered. In a few short years, Chavez has transformed Venezuela into a nation helping itself by helping its people, using the profits from its large oil fields, which once went into the pockets of the elite, to remake a society for too long familiar with Latin America.

Suddenly, profits and resources once thought extinct, or fatalistically thought of as stolen by elite officials, are making their way into Venezuela’s poorest districts, allocated to help the vast majority of Venezuelan citizens, most of whom are poor. Money flows once reserved for the elite are now making their way into the lives of the masses, giving hope and raising enthusiasm, constructing the bridges of optimism all nations need to thrive. Using benign forms of capitalism to his advantage, though embedded in principles of modern socialism, Chavez has – instead of pillaging money or misappropriating funds – shifted much needed capital into projects designed to help the masses. For the first time in the nation’s history, the majority of Venezuelan’s are reaping the rewards of the oil that lies below.

In a few short years education, once anemic and abandoned, left to rot by the elite, has been revamped, with investments being made to strengthen and improve the instruments of learning and the mechanisms of knowledge. High school and university educations are being offered free of charge to whomever wants to further their education, all the while all other grade levels are beginning to see vast improvements in infrastructure and attendance. Where once millions of children slipped through the cracks due to indifference, leaving school in order to work or simply to become troublemakers, now emphasis is being made to keep children in school, creating an intelligent populace that will help make Venezuela a better country. Slowly, ignorance is being replaced by enlightenment, and millions of citizens are freeing their minds for the first time, able to think for themselves, able to make wise decisions, able to escape the traps of society and humanity.

Venezuela is making great improvements in healthcare and in infrastructure, as well as in justice and equality. More and more people are receiving better medicines and are being examined by better trained doctors. Roads, sewage, electricity, potable water and buildings are being improved, as are government institutions and the malignant levels of corruption that affect every Latin American nation. People eager to work are able to find work, their chores not relegated to the slave labor that once permeated throughout the nation. Inefficient or run down private businesses are being nationalized by the government, with investments being made and expertise being introduced to reclaim these businesses with the hope that their profits can add to the growing economic viability of Venezuela, their revenues used to benefit all the people, not just a few. Land that has been mismanaged, abandoned or claimed illegally is being expropriated from businesses and incompetent landowners and being repartitioned to those with the skills to work soil and desire to own a small parcel of land. Huge tracts of property, once stolen or claimed by elites or corporations decades and centuries ago, having once belonged to indigenous peoples, are being given back to their rightful owners, making them stewards of the land.

All around Venezuela the Bolivarian Revolution is improving the lives of millions, creating what was once thought impossible in Latin America: prosperity for the masses. Through revenues acquired from oil sales – most of it coming from America – Chavez is transforming his nation’s economy, increasing its annual growth rate while improving the lives of ordinary citizens. By fighting the endemic corruption once prevalent in Venezuela, by taking power away from the white elite, by sharing the wealth of the nation’s resources and profits with all citizens, by improving healthcare, education, social services and infrastructure, by making more equal Venezuelan society, by fighting neoliberal policies of the north and by raising the standards of living of the masses Chavez is remaking the face of Venezuelan society, lifting it to new horizons through the emancipation of the masses.

Yet it is this very success that has become a most ominous threat to Latin America’s elite and to the Evil Empire itself. The very accomplishments of the Bolivarian Revolution, with its abundance of positive changes, have sent shockwaves of fright throughout the mansions and estates of the elite and the hallowed halls of power in Washington. For both Latin American elites and American corporatist officials, social democracy has always been a most ominous concept, for in their successful hold on power lies the exploitation and subjugation of the masses through American imposed capitalism, market colonization and neoliberal strangulation. It is through these mechanisms that the elite maintain control and increase their wealth. It is through these instruments that America pillages resources and exploits slave labor with reckless abandon.

The entire concept of control over Latin America rests on the premise that the masses must never be allowed to free themselves of the chains of bondage placed at their feet. They must always be made to remain in perpetual poverty and ignorance, impotent to exert any power over the elite and against American interests. The profits and revenues from the state must never be used for their benefit. Their wages must be exploited to pay the high prices of privatized utilities and of northern goods and services. The resources of their nation must be exported to the north, their profits stolen, never to be used for the common good.

The elite, along with American corporations, have for decades and even centuries placed insurmountable barriers to entry on the masses. Both entities have lived in symbiotic relationship with each other for many years, and have fought together for their shared interests as well. For years throughout Latin America, the elite few, in conjunction with America, have sponsored, protected and financed right-wing dictatorships whose sole purpose was the destruction of any power belonging to the masses and working classes. Their duty was always to enforce American imperialism and market colonialism, making sure the nation they governed and the people they ruled over obeyed the dictates of authoritarianism and of clandestine colonization. No left-wing dictator or leader was ever selected, for this went in direct contradiction to the interests of the elite and American corporatists.

In unison, both groups have for decades done a masterful job repressing the masses while enriching themselves at the expense of the state. The elite give comfort and support to American corporations, writing laws and rules favorable to the ceaseless pillage of resources and goods. In exchange, America helps to enrich the elite through neoliberal policies and capitalistic corruptions, using its power and influence to maintain the elite in power. To both groups, American imposed capitalism and neoliberalism, otherwise known as market colonialism, are the instruments used toward the attainment of wealth.

These corrosive systems are designed to further the interests of those enabling them, never those of the masses. Exploitation of the masses and the perpetual poverty of their lives is the mechanism used to maintain power and control. The policies that have for decades made miserable the lives of hundreds of millions of Latin Americans are designed to suppress, exploit, impoverish and oppress. They are not altruistic mechanisms designed to alleviate the problems of the majority. On the contrary, the masses are but pawns, easily expendable sub-humans replaced with ease by the assembly line called human procreation.

What Hugo Chavez is attempting to do is break away from the policies of the elite and of Washington, trying to free his country and his people from the bondage of the Evil Empire, finally escaping the exploitation of both man and land that has gone on for the last 500 years. Chavez is attempting to help the people through the same profits sought by the elite and by Washington, and herein lies the reason for conflict. While Chavez wants to empower the masses, the elite and Washington want to retain it. While Chavez wants to redistribute wealth through principles of equality, the elite and Washington want to keep it for themselves. While Chavez wants to improve his nation by maintaining revenues and profits inside Venezuela, the elite and Washington want the pillaging to continue. While Chavez seeks to distance his country away from the raping policies imposed by America, the elite and Washington want undying obedience to them only. While Chavez seeks to purge government institutions of the rampant elitist cronyism, incompetence and corruption that only favors the wealthy, Washington wants to destroy his mandate and return it to the elite.

The example of Venezuela is a grave and gathering threat to American corporatists, for if it is allowed to succeed a great, shining beacon will be created, and hundreds of millions of human beings will want to recreate in their own nations what they have seen in Venezuela. The danger to the Evil Empire is the threat the Bolivarian Revolution is having on American imposed capitalism and market colonialism. If Venezuela is able to successfully escape the claws of American imperialism other nations will want to follow suit, using Venezuela’s mold to free themselves of continued pillaging and exploitation by America. Bolivia is already one such example of this, yet it will not be the last. Venezuela is at present the exception and not the rule, yet the possibility exists that if it is allowed to continue on its successful journey, more and more nations will want to emulate it, thereby dealing severe blows both to American imperialism and the continued perceived wonders of capitalism.

Already other Latin American nations have jumped the Bolivarian Revolution bandwagon, with more sure to follow. Today South America, tomorrow Mexico, can Africa and Asia be far behind? Only time will tell but everyday that the Revolution continues is one more day social democracy thrives, spitting in the face of American imperialism and capitalism, proving that a nation can prosper by bringing prosperity to the masses. Every day Chavez is seen on the world stage extolling the virtues and successes of his Revolution is another blow to the Evil Empire’s dominion over peoples of the south.

With Venezuela prospering as it is, using social democracy as a model, eroding neoliberal policies and unfettered capitalism from its backbone, empowering its people through principles of justice and equality, there exists the possibility that like a domino effect nation after nation will want to replicate the Bolivarian Revolution inside their own borders. Slowly but surely the poor, the unwanted, the masses of the world are becoming aware of what is transpiring in Venezuela, opening their eyes to the possibility of the impossible, dreaming of the same opportunity now present in Hugo Chavez’s country, of replicating its growing prosperity, justice and equality, awakening to the wonderment of a nation actually empowering the majority of its people through the profits of its businesses and resources. In the movement and awakening of the masses, however, the elite and Washington see a tremendous threat.

For years both the elite and Washington have combined forces to try and eliminate Chavez from power. They have orchestrated a coup, only to have failed. They have used the vast resources of the elite controlled media to trash and tarnish Chavez. They have conducted acts of sabotage on vital infrastructure. They have waged a campaign of destabilization, orchestrating a massive strike inside the national oil company. They have sought for and received referendums on Chavez’s policies and leadership, only to be outvoted and outmaneuvered. They have conducted extensive spying operations inside the country, using America’s embassy as a CIA operations center, trying to recruit Venezuelan military personnel for important national security information. They have orchestrated a public and media smear and disinformation campaign designed to brainwash Americans and citizens of other nations, trying to stop Chavez’s popularity from spreading. They have plotted assassination attempts, only to be discovered. They have escalated the rhetoric and war of words, leaving Venezuela no choice but to purchase defensive weapons in case of an American invasion. Chavez is decried as a dictator yet he is the one democratically elected multiple times. He is accused of subverting and altering democratic institutions, yet he is doing nothing more than what George W. Bush has been doing in America.

The popularity levels in Venezuela for Hugo Chavez have never been higher. He is beloved by the masses – though hated by the elite and their lackeys – and has become a national hero, a man changing history and opening trenches. His movement has spread to various South American nations; his ideas are resonating with untold millions. He is defying the Evil Empire, unflinching in his desire to improve the lives of his people. Showing us that a better system is possible, he is bringing prosperity to Venezuela, proving that socialism and capitalism can function side by side, showing us that an evolved form of governance is the wave of the future.

Mr. Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution is a monumental attempt to introduce a new approach to humanity, proving that in the 21st century new ways of thinking are needed if we are to survive as a civilization. Venezuela is a shining example of what is possible if the desire exists to help all the citizens of a nation, not just those already made wealthy. The triumph currently taking place in Venezuela, in the wake of tremendous odds, is a triumph of the human spirit, a story of one man and an entire population seeking to rid themselves both of market colonialism that has for years robbed them of an opportunity at better lives and of a corrosive system of castes that gives wealth and privilege to one group while subjugating and oppressing another.

Never in Latin America has democracy tasted so sweet, its nectar helping to give birth to an enthusiasm and an optimism seldom, if ever, seen. The Bolivarian Revolution spawned by Hugo Chavez has given hope to countless millions, granting millions more the bravery to confront America and its vast tentacles of market colonialism that has devastated the entire region. No longer scared of America’s might, no longer afraid to challenge the status quo, many leaders adopting Chavez’s Revolution are changing the rules of the game, pursuing the interests of the nation, not the multinational conglomerate, thwarting the rules of trade imposed by America, establishing laws to protect the indigenous population, nationalizing what was once threatened to be privatized, rewriting contracts that were once one-sided and vastly exploitative, resulting in the complete pillage of natural resources and their revenues.

Chavez has stood up to the bully from the north, standing upright and never relenting, unafraid of Bush and his corporatist friends, becoming a pariah to millions and a hero to billions. He continues his Revolution under constant threat from America, sacrificing his energy and possibly his life for a movement he strongly believes in, furthering the cause of justice, fairness, solidarity and equality. It is those leaders that selflessly confront dangers and threats to both life and limb that are true heroes, becoming the torches chosen by destiny to carry the light that guides our way, becoming the messenger of a change in the human condition that must inevitable come. Chavez is one such leader.

Into history’s navel has Hugo Chavez been born into, becoming a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale and dank environment. Hated by the wealthy for being a brown-skinned mestizo and not a member of the European elite, hated by America for eroding its market colonialism, born into poverty and hardship, the democratically elected president of Venezuela has altered the landscape not only of Latin America, but of the world as well. His vision and movement continues to gain traction, becoming the domino effect always feared by America. He is pushing into new horizons, changing the landscape of social class and hierarchy, granting opportunity and education and health and escape to hundreds of millions of people.

Finally in Latin America a personality has emerged willing to alter the status quo, fighting for the rights of the majority, equalizing a field that for 500 years has been anything but equal. Into history has his Bolivarian Revolution entered, gaining traction, extending its existence, becoming a thorn in the side of America. Will it survive the attacks from the Evil Empire that will surely and inevitably come? Will it establish itself as a new philosophy for a new millennium or will it quietly disappear with the passage of time? Will Hugo Chavez live to see what becomes of his wonderful Revolution?

The answers to these questions are sure to come in what appears to be a grand moment of tectonic rumbling between two diametrically opposed plates of belief rapidly headed on a collision course that will in the next few years show us what we are and where, if anyplace, we are headed. In this coming clash of philosophies, either the one that has ruined the lives of billions will declare victory, or the one that offers hope and a future for all will triumph. Either the Revolution will continue to evolve, or it will cease to be televised.

We can only hope the will and the voices of the People prevail. After all, freedom and democracy are, according to George W. Bush, inherent rights guaranteed to every nation and every citizenry, even to those that do not obey and bow down to the decrees of Empire.

Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet columnist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, http://www.valenzuelasveritas.blogspot.com and at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info as well as at other alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela is also author of Echoes in the Wind, a fiction novel. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at manuel@valenzuelas.net

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