Translated by Marvin Najarro
It would have been so easy for Cristina the following day after finishing her presidential term in Argentina, to grab her odds and sods, and go abroad; after all, as the head of the government, she had fulfilled with what it was expected from her. Dilma would have done the same thing after the coup d’état against her; the easiest thing to do, to leave and not to look back. But they both stayed and not to be idle, the same as Lula who has been indefatigable.
As political beings, and at a time when most bend their knees, these are clear examples of conviction and historical responsibility. It is fundamental, political awareness is not learned, it is born when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
The example of Venezuela’s Maduro who in the midst of a constant political crisis, because this is a daily occurrence since Chavez came to power, instead of resigning and going away, surprised with a National Constituent Assembly that threw many into confusion. Something that the peoples of Latin America demand to the neoliberal governments that repress them. You will never see a neoliberal president calling for a National Constituent Assembly, let alone working class, and feminist, as Maduro himself said. Powerful words that pave the way when it comes to gender-rights.
A vital example of resistance is the Ecuadorian people who voted again in support of the Citizen’s Revolution, thereby backing the process initiated by Rafael. An example of lucidity, gratitude and collective strength, because with this Ecuador is saying to the world that it’s willing to defend that on which it has invested so much hard work. Remember that we are peoples oppressed for long periods of time, and that to speak of progressivism, and take that into action, is a titanic work. Yet more difficult is to achieve its permanence. With this Ecuador gave us a great example.
Bolivia with its indigenous president continues to face the millennial stigma of racism, and making way for respect and admiration for the resistance of the Native Peoples. A great deal must be learned from this historic triumph of identity over exclusion. For centuries we’ve been taught to be ashamed of what we are, and thus have been weakened as Latin American brothers.
Every time a people elect a neo-liberal president, we all lose. We lose when it comes to human rights, justice, education and health, we lose in identity and progress, because the only thing a neoliberal system brings to the peoples is the total destruction, and with it repression, hunger and forced migrations.
Every time the media tells us that there is a dictatorship in Venezuela, and that Maduro is the oppressor, we should think about Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. We should explore the reality of Panama, Chile and Colombia, the tragedy of Peru and Paraguay; countries which the capitalist dictatorships have left dilapidated, without morality, identity and dignity. For that reason we should have the capacity, and the responsibility to analyze the different realities in order to take our place in history, and what’s politically incumbent upon us. When we are told that progressivism is populist, believe it, because it is, progressivism is a people.
When we are told that Venezuela needs foreign aid with urgency, and that because of it the United States will invade to save its people, think about what these invasions have left in Latin America. Venezuela does not need to be saved; it can do it by itself, something that most Latin American countries have been unable to achieve.
When we are bombarded with false news about Venezuela, we should smell the urgency to convince us of what they are trying to sell us. Who will benefit from an invasion, the people or the oligarchies? We don’t need to be revolutionaries, or left wing, or related to Maduro to defend the sovereignty of Venezuela, we just need to have common sense and be quite smart.
Let’s go a little further and stop being lazy, let’s take a look at the map of Argentina, a near example to what neoliberalism can do when the people vote wrongly. When it does not have a well-defined political ideology, and when it is ungrateful. Now let’s look at Brazil and see the 30-year setback Temer has made since the coup d’état.
Let’s now look in the mirror, our country, how is our country doing in regard to human rights, education, health, infrastructure, and environment? Who is governing us?
Progressivism is not the perfect recipe, there is no perfect recipe. In order to bring a change we all need to participate in creating policies of inclusion, for which we need to choose very well who we bring to power. Let’s not expect progressive presidents to erase more than 500 years of oppression, embezzlement and genocide. They are part of the reconstruction of what they left us with, but they cannot do everything alone. Heal the wounds will take decades and some are incurable, they are part of our historical and collective memory so that they will not be repeated.
The neoliberal governments offer the opposite; the continuity of genocide, massacres, ecocide, enforced disappearances and extreme poverty.
Resistance is an everyday act, anywhere: reading, questioning, observing, awakening, taking action. Because there is nothing else than to resist, resist and resist, until the sun rises.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado email@example.com