Since the death of Hugo Chavez, op-eds have been continuing their international mis-communication, while people on the ground have been solidifying their understanding of the revolution. What most outsiders don’t understand about the Bolivarian Revolution, is that it was not about Chavez: while he was fundamental to the revolution, he was most importantly the catalyst for a true people’s movement.
What is a people’s movement and what is the importance of a leader? A people’s movement is led by the have nots. It is for dignity, for hope, for resistance, and for all of humanity. A people’s movement is feared because it shakes the status quo. A leader is important for the vision they provide: Chavez was not a Chavista, just like Jesus was not a Christian –all of the “isims” are perversions of the point. Leaders are human; they all have flaws, and every system has hypocrisy, but their power needs to be understood in terms of their vision. To couch the discussion of Chavez in political terms is to fail to understand what he represented –it is grains of sand in a never-ending hourglass, yacking heads in the tin can of the TV, mindless and beside the point. We hold within us the revolutionary consciousness that inspired Che to talk of a new humanity, Gandhi of an independent India, Lumumba of a decolonized, free Africa, Chavez of Nuestra America, and whether or not we allow ourselves to manifest our own power, we are all part of a collective struggle for liberation. The Bolivarian revolution was brought about by the same conditions of oppression that inform all of the other people’s movements of the world, and should be understood in these terms, and nothing less, whatever your politics.
For a deeper understanding of the cultural memes that have taken over the country, look at this slideshow of local graffiti B Media has compiled.