Monday, November 13, 2006
One of the more farcical aspects of the opposition, or at least parts of it, is their attempt to pretend that they are leftists, that they are the ones who care about people, and that they have more burnished leftist credentials than Chavez.
Never mind that on every concrete position they are on the right, they somehow claim to be on the left. They argue that the Iraq war began because Saddam Hussien "tricked" the U.S. into thinking that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, that Israel was justified in leveling Lebanon because Hezbollah supposedly kidnapped an Israeli soldier and that giveaways to big companies are ok because they "attract investment" but that giving assistance to the poor is “vote buying” and “cheap populism” (unless of course the one advocating it is Manuel Rosales). All that, yet somehow they are the authentic "leftists".
And even though neo-liberal economic policies couldn’t find a more forceful advocate than Teodoro Petkoff we are supposed to believe he more a leftist than Chavez because he read the Communist Manifesto back in 1950 something. They act as though being a leftist meant belonging to some sort of “intellectual” book discussion club, not taking concrete, and often difficult and controversial actions, to help real people in need.
Part of this travesty consists of them trying to play different parts of the left off against each other. This manifests itself most dramatically in their attempt to drive a wedge between Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva. Chavez is a “irresponsible populist” and Lula a “wise”, “moderate” and “true” leftist they say. In fact, they’ve gone so far as to say that Chavez was upset at Lula’s recent re-election and that Lula no longer supports Chavez because of Chavez’s support of Bolivia nationalizing gas fields owned by Brazils national oil company!
Unfortunately for the Venezuelan opposition all this non-sense exists no-where outside their imaginations. Today the former lathe operator who rose to lead Brazil’s Workers Party and then became the first President to make working class and poor people the focus of his government came to Venezuela partly to inaugurate a bridge, but mainly to visit and lend support to a good friend. They sure so look chummy in the picture don’t they.
But that is nothing compared to what Lula said:
The same people who elected me, who elected Kirchner, who elected Ortega and who elected Evo Morales with out a doubt are going to elect you (Chavez) President of Venezuela.
I have no doubt that there hasn’t been in Venezuela for many, many years a government that cares so much for the poor as you care for them.
I think that you, Chavez, proved to the Venezuelan people that it is possible to grow economically while having social justice.
In a second mandate, all of the presidents of all the countries of South America and Latin America need to work for the integration of Latin America as we have never worked.
When it comes to judging Chavez’s leftist credentials I think I’ll pass on all the non-sense emanating from the pretend leftists and liberals of the Venezuelan opposition. Brazil’s Lula is a true leftist and he recognizes Chavez’s accomplishments in the fight for social justice. And as the saying goes, it takes one to know one.
BTW, here are some more pictures of the two good friends and the spectacular bridge their countries collaborated on: