On the morning of this Tuesday, February 12, the sociologist Elias Jaua, leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, delivered a lecture at the headquarters of the National Experimental University of Greater Caracas, entitled “Validity of the Speech of Angostura”, in commemoration of the 200 years of the historical pronouncement of the Liberator Simón Bolívar.
At the end of the meeting, “Supuesto Negado” spoke with Jaua about his opinion about some aspects of national interest.
How to speak to and what to say to the people that are on the other side and that today supports a foreign intervention?
In the first place, we must dismantle the idea that Bolivarian socialism does not work, appeal to their memory, remember how they lived, especially between 2004 and 2012, when the necessary political stability was achieved so that the model of Commander Hugo Chávez could unfold, were the best years of the life of the Venezuelan people in terms of expanding their rights, their consumption capacities, social inclusion, so that this is the first element, the recent historical memory. What we are living (in recent years) is not the Chavez model, what we are living is an imposition by the way of the facts of a model of savage capitalism, not because it was the decision of the Government or President Nicolás Maduro, but the war is like that, they defeated the economic model that we had built. In addition, to say that what we need today and what we complain about, we will not get through an occupation or a war, but by rescuing the peace and political stability that allows us to have everything we had in the first decade of this century.
During your presentation, you referred to Bolivar, after the military defeats that he lived between 1814 and 1819, who understood that without the participation of the people he would not achieve independence; apparently the opposition understood that without the people they would not achieve their goal and it has assumed the discourse of Chavismo and even its symbols to speak to the country. What do you think about it?
In the first place, to highlight the ideological clarity that the revolutionary leadership must have about what is the subject of the revolution, we must not fall into the illusion that in alliance with the bourgeoisie we are going to develop this historical project. This historic project will be viable and victorious if it counts on the peasants, the workers, the villagers, the comuneros and therefore we can not divert, for the sake of a supposed alliance with the bourgeoisie, the transfer of power to the people that is right, land for the peasants and indigenous people, labor rights for the workers, purchasing power, so that the revolution can not lose a minute in its task of endowing the people who are the protagonists of the instruments of power, because it is the only way for that people to accompany us forever.
How do you do that in the middle of a siege and a military threat from the world’s largest power?
Reinforcing, this is the moment where more participation must be given to our people, more capacity in decision making, more recognition of the power that belongs to them, it is not closing or limiting the participation of the people, but expanding participation and popular protagonism , only a People that feels like a protagonist of a project defends it, if it feels strange to it, it feels prey to the ideological confusion imposed by material conditions as hard as those that the great majority of the Venezuelan people have to live in today, the product of all this confrontation.
Angostura, base of our Bolivarian Republic
During his presentation, Jaua made an analysis about the (Simon Bolivar’s) Angostura Speech and the political and social context that preceded his pronouncement, within the framework of the Second Constituent Congress, “this discourse must be seen in perspective, it is a man who was defeated in battle in the center of Venezuela, came from exile and is nourished by the Haitian revolutionary thought,” he said.
For Jaua, this historical discourse contains the “foundational aspects of our Bolivarian Republicanism”, among other things, because it definitely sets the anti-imperialist precedent, but also because it breaks with classical European liberalism and situates the doctrine of social equality.
In an analysis of Bolivar’s speech, Jaua read verbatim: “Uniting the American people to the triple yoke of ignorance, tyranny and vice, we have not been able to acquire, nor knowledge, nor power, nor virtue. Disciples of such pernicious teachers the lessons we have received, and the examples we have studied, are the most destructive. We have been dominated by deception rather than by force; and by vice we have been degraded rather than by superstition. Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is a blind instrument of their own destruction; ambition, intrigue, abuse of credulity and inexperience, of men alien to all political, economic or civil knowledge; they adopt as realities those that are pure illusions; they take the license for freedom; the betrayal for patriotism; revenge for justice. ”
In this regard, he referred to the Venezuelans who marched on Tuesday in favor of the Venezuelan opposition, “How many of those compatriots are not impacted by this? It is alienation, instead of freedom, they are betraying the country, “he said.
However, he acknowledged that many of these people have left the ranks of Chavez and that alienation, “is also the product of our mistakes.” He stressed that this principle of recognition of one’s own mistakes is also reflected in the Angostura Speech, marked the leadership of President Chávez and must remain in force at present.
The lecture was developed as part of the cycle of presentations, “Our spirituality in Angostura”, carried out by the Unexca, framed in the First International Congress of Anti-imperialist Thought Simón Rodríguez 2019 (Cipar 2019) that began in January 2019 and culminates the December 17 this year, to commemorate the bicentennial on that date, the foundation of the so-called Gran Colombia as a Republic.
Translated by JRE/EF