By: Phatse Justice Piitso
Even in the midst of the disastrous pandemic of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump and his cohort, have demonstrated their determination to undermine the territorial integrity, and the independence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. But we the people of the world, and the African people in particular, take inspiration from this great nation of Simon Bolivar, to defend their motherland in the wake of the cowardly provocations by the evil empire.
It is unthinkable how the cohorts of imperialism can with an impunity, in the midst of such a disastrous international emergency, commit such horrendous acts of consolidating the stranglehold of unilateral and illegal sanctions against the peace loving people of this great nation. These are evil, and the most appalling human actions, which constitute a crime against humanity. The whole of the world community of nations states must condemn it with vigor and abhorrence.
Therefore our efforts to express our solidarity with this great nation, far away from the shores of our mother continent Africa, distanced from each other by the sequence of time and thousands of miles through the Atlantic Ocean, is inspired by the great episodes of history, which have over centuries distinguished them to be the best, and to have carried the flames of the revolutionary struggle for the emancipation of all of humanity.
This is not just poetry about past human actions, but an illustration of the heroic feats of a nation which triumphed through the most difficult path of history. This is the hallmark of a great nation, which as it walks together holding hands through the swamps of the Amazon basin, define its character as the children of storms, that will conquer all adversity.
It is a nation which, even if nature may
define its patterns of the way of living, making those of us on the other side of the ocean sleep as they on the other side are wake, or making those on the other side of the ocean awake as we on the other side sleep, will continue to be an inspiration to our common desire to achieve all our dreams of freedom and dignity.
It was during the occasion of a rare historic event, when President Nicholas Maduro, addressed thousands and thousands of the people, at the Balcony of the Revolution. That historic site where the Commander in Chief of the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution, Hugo Chavez, declared the victory of the revolution against the Yankee backed dictatorship. That balcony which had become symbolic of the unity of the people, and of the revolution.
It was in the early afternoon of the 23rd of January 2020, in the heat of the refreshing air from the Amazon forests, in the city of Caracas, where we listened to the great oratory of our dear brother, comrade Nicholas Maduro, on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the historic day, on which the people of this great nation took power from the US backed dictator Perez Jimenez, but were later betrayed by the bourgeoisie.
We know that the historic mission of the bourgeoisie had always been to betray the working class, when power has to be transferred from the hands of the minority to the hands of the majority. The French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Paris Commune, the Revolution in Granada, in the Congo when Patrice Lumumba was killed, in El Salvador, Perestroika in the Soviet Union, the sun set clauses in South Africa, the recent coup in Bolivia against the government of President Evo Morales, and many other examples in the history of the struggle of the people of the world.
The occasion was just a stone throw from the Fort of the Mountain, the present day Fort of February, from where Hugo Chavez coordinated the attempted coup against the reactionary puppet government, which led to his arrest in 1992. This is the historic site our liberator Simon Bolivar, who with a poetic gesture, declared it the “most beautiful place at the bottom of the mountain summit of our America”.
Our greatest honor was to be in the presence of progressive forces from all over the world, including the continent of Africa. Indeed the oration by President Nicholas Maduro was about the magnificent wonders of the rich history of the struggles of the heroic people of the great homeland of the Americas.
It is Venezuela, the fulcrum of the revolutionary struggles of America, a magnificent country with the most fascinating beauty, a country on its embryonic path to be all what we desire our mother earth to be. It was indeed emotional, but equally a moment of rare historic magnitude, to listen to this great son of the people from the Balcony of the Revolution, where it all began.
The home of our liberator Simon Bolivar declared he would not let his arm fall, or his soul rest, until he has broken the chains that the will of the colonial Spanish power held. Dedicating himself to mobilise those whose limbs were numbed by the chains, their sight dimmed by the darkness of dungeons, and their strength sapped by the heavy weight of servitude, to march towards the august house of liberty, and to create a new equilibrium for the universe.
A solemn commitment that would make the Yankees never to forgive even his shadow, and therefore continue slandering him with their poisonous tongues, and tormenting his great grand children over generations. This is unfortunately the burden they will have to carry on their shoulders, and that they have inherited as part of their bloodstream.
This is what made them to be the true soldiers of the struggle of humanity for our freedom and dignity, and for the creation of a new equilibrium for the universe. A noble idea we still cherish today as we continue following his footsteps to create a better world for all.
His unquestionable devotion to the noble cause of solidarity was embraced by the President of the newly independent Slave Republic of Haiti, Alexander Pétion. A son of a mulatto woman, and a white man, who upon considering him to be too dark, refused to recognise him as his blood.
It was this prodigal son, who in order that he might begin his struggle against the Spanish colonialism in the Latin America, gave Simon Bolivar, as a gesture of solidarity, arms, ammunition, a printer and hundreds of well trained men and women. The gesture which was on condition that he would also liberate the slave people in his war against the domination of his homeland by Spanish colonial forces.
On the 8th of February 1886 Simon Bolívar wrote an emotional letter to President Pétion embracing with gratitude the gesture of solidarity, wishing him to leave to posterity an irrevocable monument to the President’s philanthropy and declaring his desire that he be named the author of American Liberty. But President Petit declined this offer, on the grounds that it was a complete recompose of his gesture.
The condition of the gesture to free the slave people, Simon Bolivar carried with distinguished devotion. Upon arrival in his homeland of Venezuela, having defeated the Spanish forces from town to town, he started giving freedom to the slaves from his own family farmsteads, and asked his generals to do the same.
On the 06th of July 1816 he read his famous proclamation, decreeing the abolition of slavery in Spanish America, in which he said: “Our unfortunate brothers who are under the bond of slavery, are from this moment declared free. The laws of nature and humanity and the government itself proclaim their liberty. Henceforth, there will be in Venezuela, only one class of inhabitants, all will be citizens”. This was a most revolutionary vision, which sadly made the Generals that he trusted to betray him. This was a terrible betrayal by those whom he thought were part of the core of his great vision of liberating our America.
As he continued with his long victorious march for the liberation of his great homeland of Latin America, on the 9th of October 1816, he wrote another letter of appreciation to President Alexander Pétion, in which he eloquently stated: “Your Excellency possess a quality which is above empires, namely altruism. It is the President of Haiti alone who governs the people. It is he alone who leads his equals.
The other potentates content to make themselves to be obeyed, scorn the love which make glory. The hero of the North, Washington, found only the enemy soldiers to conquer. Your Excellency has all to conquer, enemies and friends, foreigners and countrymen, the fathers of the country and even the strength of his brothers.This task will not be impossible for your Excellency, who is above his country and his epoch”.
It is in this letter that he referred to the trials and tribulations that his dear brother, and comrade, President Pétion, had to endure for his countrymen, praising him as a man of a complete and rare character of tolerance and unselfishness. A man with a deep love for ordinary people, who also loved him, and in return called him Papa bon-coeur.
The most hurtful moment of truth for him was, when he came to the realization that his own generals were opposed to his idea of the liberation of the slave people, and therefore the same noble idea of bringing total liberation for the people of Latin America, and the creation of a new world social order. This was the reality he had to face, and at the same time he had to appreciate that the poor are the custodians of poverty, and the rich the custodians of greed.
These are also the harsh realities the people of the great nation of Haiti, who have to grapple with having achieved the unimaginable in their lifetime. Not only for having led the struggles which ushered in the first independent Slave Republic in the history of humanity, but also more importantly, for having challenged the power relations of the cohorts of imperialism.
The token of solidarity the Haitians gave to Simon Bolivar, was bitter salt in their wounds, and considered the highest form of treason, which the Empire will never forgive. As a result, even today, this great nation of Haiti, is still trapped in the dungeons of poverty by the cohorts of imperialism, for having given the oppressed people of the world the torch to illuminate the path to the glorious triumph of their liberation.
At the Balcony of the Revolution, the crowd kept on chanting, “Go ahead Maduro, Go ahead Mauro. We are here to defend our motherland, We are here to defend our motherland”. President Maduro told them that the opposition in Venezuela is not celebrating anything, and that the right-wing counter revolution cannot be celebrated, and what they can only celebrate is the failure of the American Empire to undermine the Bolivarian revolution.
It was during this occasion that President Maduro enumerated the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution. It was a comprehensive account of how the revolution, after centuries of oppression and exploitation by colonial forces, qualitatively improved the living conditions of the overwhelming majority of the people of Venezuela.
These far reaching socio-economic achievements include, among others, the eradication of illiteracy, a comprehensive free primary health care system, free education, free housing, the creation of sustainable job opportunities, and nationalization of the productive relations of the economy. This was achieved against the backdrop of the efforts by the Empire to exploit the rich natural resources of the country, which include one of the biggest oil reserves in the world, and rare precious metals.
It is in this regard that we declare the unilateral economic sanctions against the people of Venezuela a crime against humanity, and therefore condemn the continuous efforts by the empire to consolidate it’s stranglehold over the economy of a peaceful nation. The USA administration has absolutely no right to impose it’s will on the democrats rights, and the future of the people of the country.
It is equally worrisome that in the midst of the huge challenges posed by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, that the USA Empire continues to impose heavier sanctions on the people, and are also sending mercenaries of war to destabilize the democratically elected government, led by President Nicholas Maduro. The recent attempts by the US sponsored mercenaries to invade the state of Venezuela must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
The unspeakable truth is that the raging war by the cohorts of imperialism, against the people of Venezuela, is not just an ordinary war, but a deep seated ideological war against a nation which has overwhelmingly declared that socialism is the future for humanity. This is part of the broad strategy by the imperialist forces to liquidate progressive forces, and liberation across the world.
It is for this reason that we are making a call to the President of the USA, Donald Trump, and his cohorts to revere themselves, and to stop being imperialist oppressors and stop trying the people of the world to obey them, but instead to make it possible to govern the affairs of the universe equally. It may have been centuries ago, or it may be in centuries to come, but the struggle for the creation of a new equilibrium for the universe, will continue.
In the novel book by Maxim Gorky the mother says:
“But as a witness of the crime, I can still bring good to the people. Look at me, I am twenty-eight years old, but I am dying. About ten years ago, I could lift five hundred pounds on my shoulders without an effort. With such strength, I thought I could go on for seventy years without dropping into the grave, and would have lived for only ten years, and can not go on any more. The masters have robbed me, they have torn forty years of my life from me, they have stolen forty years from me.”
This is what imperialism is destined to achieve. What they want to do, is that the imperialist ‘master’ wants to continue to rob the suffering people of the world for many years to come. The intention of the master is to rob us of the years of our freedom and equality. It is enough, it can not be! Now is the time that the empire must respect the sovereignty and independence of other nation states.
The founder of the Venezuelan nation Simon Bolivar taught the world that to practice justice is indeed to practice liberty.
Long live the undying spirit of the father of the war of the independence of our America, Simon Bolivar!
Long live the undying spirit of the President of the Slave Republic of Haiti, Alexander Petit!
Long live the undying spirit of Commander in Chief of the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution, Hugo Chavez!
Long live the democratic Venezuelan Government led by President Nicholas Maduro!
Long live the peace loving people of Venezuela!
Long live solidarity and internationalism!
Phatse Justice Piitso is now the Chief of Staff in the office of the Secretary General of the
African National Congress. He wrote this article in his own personal capacity.