Independence and socialism in Our America

Wednesday 3 April 2013

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Authorship: Fernando Martínez Heredia.

Published: América Latina en Movimiento.

Canal: Latin American Information Agency (ALAI).

Type of document: Working paper.

Language: Spanish.

Thematic: Politics.

Keywords:Colonization, Social justice, Politics, Socialism.

Countries and Regions: Latin America.

Description: Intervention by Fernando Martínez Heredia (Cuban researcher, who received the National Social Sciences Award in 2006) delivered at the X International Meeting of intellectuals, artists and social fighters in defense of the humanity, Plan de la Patria: thought and action of Hugo Chávez, held in Caracas on March 25 and 26, 2013.

To see the document on a direct link.

On June 12, Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías wrote on his program of government for 2013-2019: “to the reactionary thesis of the empire and of the bourgeoisie against the Homeland, we present a combatant, creative and liberating of the Independence and socialism as an open Project and with a dialectic construction”. The richness of this proposition inspires me to present a brief commentary on some of the issues stated by it.

The first Independence, obtained at the continental covering from 1791 to 1824, was insufficient but was the foundation of our nations when the idea of nation itself was just starting in Europe, created new identities and provided us with an extraordinary cultural revolutionary accumulation, a precious legacy which we should follow and the need to promote news liberation projects.

The great Haitian revolution, the Cry of Murillo, the work, the thought and the Project of Bolívar, Sucre — the anti-oligarchy of a great virtue—, the epic of Hidalgo and Morelos, and later the transcendental proposal presented by Martí, confirmed by the blood of the Cuban people, set really high goals to freedom, even higher than the ones existing in Europe. These revolutionaries were working in favor of a people’s government way before the European liberalism decided to accept and use its democracy. Equality and justice got a prominent place in all the combats they waged, something which denied the foundations of the colonialist-imperialist system that was developing around the world, which placed international law and common awareness at its service. Resistance, rebelliousness and the project of Our America were opposed even to the ideal bourgeoisie foundations of civilization with the colonial patriarchal mission of the powers and its “scientific” racism, which were dominating about a century ago in the spiritual world and that of the ideas.

In South America, the Independence wars became international ones, Independence was considered as a component of an epic and of an American Project thus setting it firmly on the social awareness. Hidalgo proclaimed himself as “ the General of the armies in the America”; Morazán tried to attain the Central American unity. These experiences allow us to refer at these times to historical events when we attempt to reach a continental integration.

During these two last centuries, those exerting domination have been denying to wide sectors of the population the right to a real equality, to social justice and many rights on its republics, regarding everything we deem necessary and all the time available to do implement it, to defend and expand their profits, to maintain its political and social power and its private property, as a legal and political ordering favorable to them. They rather prefer not to be a national class and, whenever considered to be necessary, they have been anti-national. At the same time, world capitalism landed in the region according to the characteristics of its successive stages, through its old and new colonialism, crushing resistances and rebelliousness, co-opting and subordinating, until at present its own imperialist and plundering, parasitic and predatory nature has closed all possibility so that under its system Latin America might be able to satisfy basic needs of its peoples, maintain national sovereignties, develop its economies and societies, defend and profit from its resources and organize its life in a communion with the natural environment.

But a permanent trait of Latin American and Caribbean rebelliousness, ideas, combats and feelings has preserve alive the popular nature of the patriotic legacy, without surrendering it to the bourgeoisie, accomplices and subordinated to the Imperialist capitalism, and has contributed development. The President of Venezuela, comrade Nicolás Maduro, recalled at the state funeral Comandante Chávez at the Military Academy the posthumous difficulties of the Libertador and Sucre. Each epoch had its successes and its advances, since, in its historical balance, there is no real revolution that can be defeated.

This long path has provided knowledge and certainty helping that which has been set in motion in this continent to have a higher awareness. The first region of the Third World that was able to create independent states and to maintain them learned that capitalism was also possible to be developed and establish new, neo-colonial systems more functional according to its maturity than the barbarian colonialism, and attaining with that our division, subordinating us and perpetuating our misery and inactive condition, having capitalist economic relations as the core for this domination. Quite to the contrary, raising only one banner the hoisted the cause of a real patriotism and the cause of the struggles of the exploited and oppressed classes.

We have had to travel farther that comrades from other regions, which were not able to understand that this half of the world could not be considered as “backward” and just accept and take for granted that is was to live in supposed intermediate stages hoping for the emergence of a new alien providence. In order to be ourselves, and to be able to wage a battle as someone really free we were to think with our own heads.

When both freedom and justice are stated in such a manner and with a huge depth from the very beginning, Independence should be transformed into national liberation, and social justice, socialism. Experiences and studies, combats and debates, have been the workshop and the school. A fundamental step forward is in the understanding of the existing relationship between Independence and socialism. It has not been either easy or fast, a full culture, with a universal nature, has been acting against everything we can understand, especially from an imperialist stand, raising new and successive promises, such as progress, Pan- Americanism and development, always aimed at leading the entrepreneurs, to create confusion among all and to defeat the rebels and those wanting to attain advance in their countries. Present time capitalism has lost the possibility of offering us promises, and it only proposes words such as success and failure, images and information that are controlled within a totalitarian system to conform a public opinion and the conversion of the people in public – the face of a merciless world in which everything is a commodity -, and distribute some awards for the accomplices. Nevertheless, we should underestimate its power, its aggressiveness and its criminal immorality, nor the attractions of its colossal capacity for a cultural manipulation.

But we have also faced many difficulties and hurdles within ourselves. In the independent nation which does not know how to be the nation for all its sons and daughters and the government that facing the crisis does not take its challenge to such powerful enemies until it crosses the border to grant greater power to the people and which is at the end its only force, transforming at the end into a popular power. In the education and culture that, in formally independent countries, they continue being schools and colonization agencies of the minds and feelings, facing exclusions and contempt of a portion of its own people and a refuge of the legitimization of domination of some people over others. In the States which are not able to free themselves of the infamous marks of the Balkanization process, and in which they present the particular advantage on its treatment given to other countries that according to its state interests should be considered as brothers.

Another Our America is possible, since we have been able to create our own foundations. So that we could take hold of this force President Chavez took the task of liberating the past. A history in which Simón Rodríguez taught Simón Bolívar that a social, cultural and economic revolution was needed next to the political revolution. In which Sandino lead a huge insurrection of poor peasants who fought for about six years against the Yankee invader without been defeated, and he was able to send a letter to a communist leader saying that its army was the vanguard of the proletariat in Latin America. That Latin America in which Che, among the huge amount of magnificent lessons of thought and action offered us, affirmed that this continent will be witnessing “a socialist revolution or a caricature of a revolution”, and that in order to win there should be instaured governments with a socialist design. And the leader of Cuban heresy, Fidel, who is immense and belongs to all of us, specified over forty years ago that the great revolutionary, Carlos Marx, designed socialism as a consequence of development, but in our world, it will be socialism who will pave the way to development.

Chavez said two years ago, that this socialism should be a power, but a people’s power, a new concept of power and a new form of creating power and distributing power. As it reads in the Venezuelan constitution, a democratic and social state, one of a rule of law and justice fostering as higher values life, freedom, justice, equality, solidarity, democracy and human rights. At its text of June 2012 it reads: “This is a time, as it has never existed before, of showing the face and provide sense to the Socialist Homeland for which we are struggling”.

We are all aware that the economic bonanza per se does not bring a real advance for the majority of people, and the modernization actions under a domination regime brings about, in the best scenario, the modernization of domination. The liberating activity is what turns into a decisive element; it will be the one granting a sense to economic social forces. The nature of a revolution is not determined by the measuring of the economic structure of the society, but rather by the revolutionary praxis. Under the disadvantage conditions faced by the majority of the people in the world, socialist transition and the society to be created are compelled to go way beyond what its “development stage” might allow and to be superior to the expected reproduction of social life: to consist on simultaneous and successive cultural revolutions, that will turn into something invincible. There is a need to undertake the creation of a new culture, entailing a new concept of life and of the world, while at the same time fulfilling the tasks which are a must, more immediate, urgent and ineludible.

The decisive element is the existence of a large cultural accumulation in this continent, of economic capacities, political and social culture, identities, experiences and ideas, popular power and autonomous processes seeking the well being for their peoples and having the will for integration and union. This cultural accumulation make us able to face under better conditions than other regions the evils to which we have been subjected during recent decades and to the rapacity and present wars of the imperialism, and to undertake, thus, deep transformations making possible and turn into reality what is hindered by the capitalist system.

We are the inheritors of a wonderful tradition, one which transformed what was considered in the Old World and in the colonized ideas as bourgeoise national struggles or primitive rebelliousness of archaic social groups into great revolutions by the humble ones, and its leaders and representatives, launched into the task of conquering the attainment of a full sovereignty over our homelands and the full domination over our resources, and from them, as stated in the Plan de la Patria, to ensure the greates amount possible of social security, political stability and happiness.

We need to call a spade a spade. Socialism is our way, a Latin American way, of being independent.

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