To understand the connection between Hugo Chavez, the most progressive living head of state and Federico Fellini, the greatest film director who left this lunatic planet at the end of the 20th Century, we must be aware that the world’s mass media — controlled by a self-serving, cunning, and therefore unintelligent elite — has managed to cover up the scheme for hegemony, oppression, and pillage of humanity. Fellini and Chavez have pierced the veil and trumped the evil ones: Fellini using cine-magic; and Chavez using showmanship woven with temerity, vision, and concern for humanity.
Federico Fellini saw right through the false front of elite owned media. He nullified idiotic opinions and criticism as « empty noise » by showing his love for humanity through his amazing films. Audiences knew Fellini was sincere, modest, and exuberant with imagination. The similarity between Fellini and Hugo Chavez is not only in terms of courage, imagination, and historical perception, but also in their accurate understanding of human suffering in their time. Fellini changed the culture with the power of his art, demolishing fascist images by exposing the mindless greed and arrogance of the rich. Similarly, although in a different milieu, Hugo does not compromise with injustice. With penetrating eloquence, he speaks truth to the world.
Fellini’s Dantesque voyage in the other world, where he conceived the most famous, never produced film script, left hopeful answers to the troubling questions of our time. I had the privilege of sharing the early stages of that strange voyage. In his last film, « The Voice of the Moon, » Fellini shows humanity’s lunacy and again points a way to redemption and sanity.
The remarkable President of Venezuela lays bare the lies of imperialism and warns the world against the consolidation of a diabolical global dictatorship. Chavez’ power, like Fellini’s, flows from his love of the people, which was proven to be mutual when, in 2002, millions of Venezuelans rushed to his defense from a deadly U.S.-sponsored coup.
Hugo’s Fellinesque talent was artfully demonstrated in the manner in which he spoke before the UN General Assembly on January 20, 2007. From that pulpit, he appropriately called the President of the U.S. « the Devil » and dramatized the danger of America’s imperialist aggression. His comments on Bush’s speech before that body, i.e., « as if he were the owner of the world » included a suggestion for an eloquent title to the U.S.’s Alfred Hitchcock-style horror agenda for world domination: « The Devil’s Recipe. » The ovation that followed from the representatives of most nations will be remembered with the same delight one feels when revisiting Fellini’s great scenes inLa Dolce Vita or The Clowns.
I downloaded the speech from the UN archive to show friends who might have missed Hugo’s great performance. Just as Fellini is to cinema what Shakespeare is to the theater, so Chavez is to neo-colonialist U.S. oppressors what Simon Bolivar was to imperialist Spain. To understand Chavez’s dream, one must know more about Bolivar.
In the early 1800’s, Simon Bolivar, the George Washington of South America, cut the chains of the brutal Spanish imperial domination and opened independence to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Bolivia. Like Bolivar, El Liberador, Hugo Chavez is dedicated to liberating Latin America from its new oppressor. He recognizes that neo-colonialism, under cover of « free trade, » is devouring the world for the profit of a greedy few who hide behind corporate veils and operate by secret agreements. Indeed, if every country consumed what America consumes, it would take seven planets like our Earth to meet this level of consumption. Chavez’s new compact of non-aligned nations, free from the strings of the World Bank and the WTO, seeks to create a different world, one in which the Commonwealth and public communication networks are restored.
When it comes to public communications networks, capitalist-fascists not only want to control all means of communication (including the Internet), but they go so far as to deliberately distort language by projecting deceitful frames through the mass media they control. To combat this sinister propaganda and to protect Democracy, progressives must constantly expose and neutralize these lies as fast as they are fabricated.
American constitutional values have always been liberal and progressive, however, the Republican-controlled media in America has succeeded over the past four decades in subverting the meaning of many words. « Liberal, » for example, has been debased by repetition of false frames like: « tax and spend liberal, » « limousine liberal, » « latte liberal, » « liberal elite, » « immoral liberal, » and other nasty metaphors intended to smear liberals in the public mind.
A second example is the world « socialism, » distorted by propaganda for over half century to evoke the « Soviet Bolshevik » image of a dictatorship that confiscates private property without compensation and changes the ideal of equal rights into a red-fascist nightmare — which by the way, was financed by Western capitalists, including Standard Oil, IBM, Krupp, and the likes of Bush’s grandfather Prescott.
The reaction of tyrants is quick, so when Chavez said: « Socialism is Love! » the lurid U.S. press immediately called him a wannabe Castro communist. The fact that Chavez is doing business with Cuba is trumped as proof of that lie. Tellingly, no American media whore seems to notice that the U.S. is doing business with Communist China, while isolating Cuba for over 50 years — no matter how much our embargo may hurt the Cuban people — to avenge the interests of sugar and gambling industries. « Socialism is Love! » These three words speak volumes about Chavez’s heart and about Latin America’s peaceful revolution for unity, justice, and freedom.
For the sake of brainwashed audiences, it is necessary to add « democratic » before « socialism » – democratic socialism — to deflect the nasty reactionary deception created by pharisaic liars, who even succeeded in poisoning many in the Democratic Party. This includes U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who made a dumb comment to the National Press Club in Washington, to the effect that Venezuela is a threat to the world because « Chavez and Castro want to put their leftist marks on young democracies. » Like the typical politician in the United States of Amnesia, Reid forgets how brutally the U.S. government crushed democracies in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, and Panama for the benefit of its corporate owners.
With the same deft imagination as Fellini, Chavez — while in Brazil attending a summit of 10 South American leaders — responded: the Nevada Democrat was full of it. As President of Venezuela, Chavez wants to put the leftist stamp on the people, those the imperialist gringos don’t understand because of fear and ignorance. « I think this leftist stamp in Latin America, » he added, « is going to spread throughout the world because only the Left can provide the transformation we need. »
The constant nauseating falsity of U.S. mass media would make Hitler and Stalin envious. Its brainwashing effect compels us to qualify Chavez’s statement, « Socialism is Love, » by expanding it to its full meaning: « Democratic Bolivarian Socialism is love for humanity. » A merciful vision of hope for the poor everywhere of soon regaining their human dignity and God-given rights. Every human soul is entitled to a just share of the fruits of this earth and to equality of opportunity. Predictably, the fascist media will call this last statement « communist. »
The Venezuelan revolution is creating a new kind of Democratic Socialism where freedom and justice are real, not just empty words recited by dreamers. Not like the words of a pledge of allegiance to a flag that no longer stands for constitutional government, let alone freedom and justice. The flag of a nation the deluded believe is the only nation under God. Every nation must be under God to exist — this escapes their sectarian concept of God. Sadly, there is no end to idiocy among fanatics and pseudo-patriotic fascists.
Hugo Chavez is right: Democratic Socialism is indeed Love! It is love for those who had no food and now can eat. It is love for children who had no doctor and now are taken care of. It is love for fathers who had no work and now can earn a living for their families. It is love for the natives of the Orinoco River region now protected by their brother Hugo from the brutality of foreign oil companies. It is love for all who love justice.
With his proclamation of love for the people Hugo Chavez makes it clear that the ultimate aim of the Bolivarian Revolution is to end centuries of imperialist abuse, exploitation, and killings in the Americas and open that rich southern continent to the vivifying wind of economic opportunity, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all its people.
That revolutionary wind will — with the support of civilized people everywhere — sweep across the Americas into one great union and restore dignity and human rights to all souls. And if Hugo’s vision is correct, that wind will renew this planet into a new age of real civilization. The time has come for good people everywhere to rush to the aid of Hugo Chavez and the other champions of justice so that the revolutionary spirit may sweep across the earth and wash away the stench of torture chambers, the assassins School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC), the mass graves created by the CONDOR murder operation — with which South American dictators like Pinochet, supported by U.S. neo-fascists like Kissinger and the School of the Americas, spread terrorism with death squads. That blessed wind may soon blow with hurricane force to end unregulated exploitation and privatization of our endangered planet. We who believe in life and liberty are called upon to help create a real civilization together.
Simon Bolivar admired George Washington and our Founding Fathers and dreamed of a great South American continental federation equivalent to the United States. The nine years between 1821 and 1830 found him struggling to defeat the selfishness of landowners – the same kind of corruption of democracy that plagues America now. Bolivar’s writings show that he believed in limited government, separation of powers, freedom of religion, responsible and regulated property rights, and the rule of law.
Chavez shares that philosophy: To own property should not give anyone the right to harm the environment or to violate the rights of others to find sustenance upon the planet. Ownership implies responsible guardianship.
Ending oppression and restoring the commonwealth for the common good are as much a Bolivarian dream as they are a part of the unfulfilled American Dream. Hugo Chavez stands on the same high ground as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Martin Luther King.
The recent crescendo of calumnies hissed by fascist media snakes against the President of Venezuela has been pulverized by Chavez’s massive 63% re-election landslide. Clearly, the people love Chavez because he kept his promises.
Thomas Paine, one of this country’s greatest Founding Fathers, wrote: “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Hence, it can be said that to call Bush « the Devil, » as Chavez did, was a moderate insult. Just as Satan challenged Job’s fidelity, maybe BushDevil asked God to test the U.S.’s fidelity to its principles of justice for all and we miserably failed?
We offer here the wisdom of the wise carpenter from Nazareth — an honest man if ever there was one and, as Chavez sees him, the greatest loving socialist in all of history. We refer to Jesus’ words regarding the right (and obligation?) of the abused to insult oppressors and hypocrites, just as he did, according to Scripture, when he called the reactionary rightwing conservative extremists of his time, the Pharisees, “whitened sepulchers! »
Think about it: being compared to the stench of decaying corpses is a far stronger insult than Chavez calling Bush « the Devil » (while making the protective sign of the cross). Bravo, Hugo! Your honesty puts most current politicians to shame. Keep it up. (We were also amused when you called Condoleeza Rice: « Little girl! »)
Talking of phony politicians, let us point the finger at another Democrat in the new Congress: Nancy Pelosi, who, in a knee jerk reaction to Chavez’s exposing Bush’s diabolical nature, opened her silly mouth to call Chavez a « thug. » This merely proves that Michael Moore was accurate when he said that « Republicans are gangsters and Democrats are pimps. » Any Democrat who opposes impeaching the worst criminal president in our history makes a mockery of America’s claim to be a country of laws and becomes a de facto accomplice in all of Bush’s crimes.
Impeachment is an absolute imperative for self-respecting Democrats if this nation is to ever hold its head high again. Unfortunately, sanity may prove impossible in a nation where power shifts between gangsters and pimps.
Something Went Wrong
In 2002, something went wrong in Venezuela when Big Oil (BO) tried to steal the world largest petroleum reserve. BO’s obedient puppet in the White House went to work setting up one more CIA coup, with all the usual trimmings, including a military kidnapping and planned murder to quickly remove democratically elected president Hugo Chavez, but this time, it didn’t work.
Not like it had in 1973 against Salvador Allende in Chile, and in 2004, with the kidnapping of Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide.
The White House hides much coagulated blood under its carpets. Nothing new.
Hundreds of thousands of peasants and other Central American citizens massacred in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Numbers alone never tell the full horror of these blood baths, which our « free press » concealed.
The horrid 1954 slaughter in Quiche Province, where the U.S. supported the death squad murder of an entire village’s population. Men decapitated, women raped and killed, children’s skulls crushed with stones.
Nor did scum-pundit Tom Brokaw from his NBC pulpit ever tell the American people about the 1989 Panama Massacre during the office of scum-prez Bush, Sr.
5000 civilians murdered by surprise bombing of crowded neighborhoods, using the lame excuse that the U.S. was trying to rein in Noriega’s money laundering operation.
All these horror stories and many more our media never told us.
What is hidden shall be revealed. Documents, once swept under the rug, are now surfacing.
Yes, something went terribly wrong for Washington in 2002.
In Caracas, people got wind of the coup in time to take to the streets and save their democracy and their President from a gringo fascist plot.
Hugo Chavez was rescued by his own people because he is a true revolutionary leader, as defined by master educator Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed), because he is united with his people at the heart. The oppressed, working with a great leader, represent the one hope for humanity’s ultimate liberation from greed, despotism, and terror. As Freire has written, « True solidarity is found only in the plenitude of this act of love … dialogue cannot exist in the absence of a profound love for the world and its people. » Fellini expressed the same principle when answering a priest who asked if he was a Christian: « If by Christian you mean love toward one’s neighbor, yes, all my films revolve around that idea. »
So, Godspeed, great New Liberator of Latin America. Free men and women everywhere stand with you, believing that a different world is possible.