They fight with a socialism that does not exist. They fight against an anti-utopia that does not belong to anyone. They imagine a world without family, without order, without market, without freedom. The right-wing liberals of the world invented a ghost, they hung the sign of “socialism” and now they are seeing it everywhere, especially, and all the time in Venezuela. But enough.
By Nicolás Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Originally published in La Jornada, Mexico.
Because that socialism they fight against is not the one with which we embrace the inclusive democracies, full of the people who live in the 21st century. Our socialism is particular, popular and deeply Latin American. As we said clearly during the Assembly of the United Nations last September: ours is an autonomous project of democratic revolution, of social demand, it is a model and a path of its own that is based on our own history and our culture.
And of course, our democracy is different because it was founded neither by nor for the elites, as were the liberal democracies of Europe and the United States. Against that model we rebel and that is why we proposed, 20 years ago, a democracy of ours, based on the sovereign heart of the Venezuelan people.
What happens is that, ending the twentieth century, when in Latin America we left the period of dictatorships promoted by the United States, they tried, with the idea of “liberal democracy”, to wrap us a gift package – like a Trojan horse – with all the values of their own concept of “modernity”. But we want to tell you that here in Latin America we also have identity and values, and that we want to involve in our democracy, before those of others, our own values. Not only those of the individual and capital. Also those of solidarity and community. For us, the fatherland is the other.
We learned the lesson, because it happened to us for centuries. Instead of enriching one’s own culture with the outside, the Latin American elites and their liberal fashions have permanently tried to re-found Europe in the heart of America. Destroying by the way and again all that seems different. Elites for whom the other, the Indian and the black, we were rather the monkey before the human.
We believe fervently in our and Latin American democracy, because we believe and fulfill in Venezuela with three fundamentals as essence and necessity:
- First, because we make choices systematically, daily and peacefully. During the past 20 years we have made 25 elections, all of them endorsed by national and international institutions and political actors. Some we have won overwhelmingly, others we have lost.
- Second, because in Venezuela citizens, through mechanisms of direct democracy, fundamentally with neighborhood organizations and political parties, have access to and control over public resources.
- And third, because in Venezuela it is the people who rule, not the elites. Before me Chávez ruled, a soldier descended from blacks and Indians who became the father of the country. Today, Venezuela is governed by a modest trade unionist and bus driver for six years. In Venezuela it is the people who govern themselves, because it was their Constituent Assembly, which conceived and drafted their own constitution.
<li></li>We are not and we do not want to be a model of democracy. We are, instead, the democracy that defined and defends his people, which it amasses in an everyday effort against lies and false positives. An imperfect democracy that works day by day because it is everyone's and more just.
Translated by JRE/AR