This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

An Inconvenient Truth

From May 2007

(I'm stealing Malcolm's idea and inventing a new tag "hero" for Hugo Chavez)
Yesterday I was reading, in the newspaper, some “columnist” or other who, apropos of the faltering Nuclear Deal, said that it was in India’s interests to be on the right side of the world’s “sole superpower” rather than “jokers like Chavez”.
Some joker, Hugo Chavez.
Winner of repeated elections against an opposition overtly supported, funded and advised by Washington (his last election win, in 2006, was so emphatic, in an election that was so free and fair, that even Washington could not pretend it was fixed), restored to power in a popular revolution after a Washington-directed military coup against him, winner over Washington inspired industrial strife and organised street demos, he proves that if you have the people on your side, you can buck Bush and survive.
This is not a convenient truth.
This joker Chavez, by proving himself a beacon of hope for the poor, the neglected, the indigenous of Latin America, has set off a wave of left wing governments being voted to power.
To see the true value of this achievement, it is to be remembered that this was Uncle Sam’s bailiwick and that the US would have tolerated no challenge to its hegemony here; that no people here has the right to choose its own government if it is or might be inimical to Washington (Salvador Allende’s Chile, Grenada, Sandinista Nicaragua, and all the right wing regimes foisted on all these nations including Chavez’ own Venezuela). Chavez proved that people in South and Central America have the right to choose their own leaders, who will not sell out their timber, their oil, their water, their tin to the gringos up north for private gain.
This is not a convenient truth.
This joker Chavez has nationalised his oil industry and now is about to nationalise his banks as well, in a world where Washington is busy privatising its Iraqi colony’s oil supplies and in India public sector bank employees are fighting a rearguard action against privatisation (and while horror stories about the private banks’ harassment of customers, credit card overcharging, etc, are so legion the Supreme Court has taken note of it, somehow these stories never seem to make it to the main pages of newspapers or to the TV channels, and what a big surprise, huh?). Well, to get back to the point, this joker Chavez is on a nationalisation kick, defying history. Capitalism is the only way to progress and prosperity, right? Socialism means poverty, is it not so?
Well, guess again. Chavez, that joker, has paid off his nation’s debt and quit the World Bank (where Paul Wolfowitz, super-Bushie - and another big surprise there, huh? – is fighting desperately to save his job after being caught in flagrante delicto giving his girlfriend an illegal salary raise and a transfer) and the International Monetary Forum. How many small countries who have in recent days trodden the capitalist path written out for them in Washington have not sunk deeper into poverty? Is there a single one?
This joker Chavez proves socialism works.
This is not a convenient truth.
This joker Chavez, when he came to India a couple of years ago, got a hero’s welcome from students and common people, not the protests and the cold shoulder that met Bush last year. This proves you don’t have to come from a big country to be known, respected, and loved, much to the chagrin of the pro-US cabal in our Foreign Ministry.
That is not a convenient truth.
This joker Chavez is the only democratically elected political leader I know of who has, consistently, done what he promised to do after being elected back to power.
This proves that politicians who continuously plead the pressures of circumstances outside their control to show why they can’t fulfil their promises are lying. If they want, they can. If they don’t, it’s because they don’t want.
And that is one hell of an inconvenient truth.
In fact, this joker Chavez is a living inconvenient truth in himself.

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