During a 1959 speech in Caracas, just 23 days after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, with the clairvoyance that always characterized him said:
“Venezuela is the richest country in America, Venezuela has formidable people, formidable leaders, both civil and military; Venezuela is the home of El Libertador, where the idea of unification among all peoples of America was conceived. Venezuela must be the leading country of the union among all peoples of America; they are supported and respected by us Cubans. “
It would take 40 years for Venezuela to occupy that privileged place in the history of Latin America. And it was Hugo Chavez -the most faithful heir of Simon Bolivar’s ideas – who, with his volcanic force, promoted a geopolitical change in our continent in favor of progressive and left ideas. Since the beginning of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 we hadn´t seen anyone like him. The ideas of integration and unity between our peoples and governments had never had taken this path and just as Fidel had warned in 1959, only Venezuela, by its history, geographical position and natural wealth, could give a revolutionary impulse of this magnitude to history.
From that moment, the Bolivarian Revolution became the main regional challenge for the imperial interests of the ruling class in the United States, and Washington began to direct its main attacks with some minor adjustments during the Bush administration, then it continue during Obama’s, and, now with the new government of Donald Trump. It is a history of besiege and aggression similar to what the Cuban people suffered by decades, and experienced by the government of Salvador Allende in Chile and so many of the alternative projects that have been faced by the imperial logic imposed by the capitalist system.
The people and government of Venezuela have given heroic evidence of resistance and struggle. At the same President Nicolás Maduro, has become more of a giant because of his courage, sense of dignity and patriotism. We have not seen in him the slightest shadow of defeatism, weariness or weakness before the obstacles and attacks of US imperialism, as well as some of its regional lackeys and oligarchs at their service.
Today’s only possible alternative for the revolutionaries of the world is to be hand in hand with the Bolivarian Revolution and President Maduro. This is the best tribute we could give to Fidel and Chávez, along with the definite consecration of the ideas on integration and the union of our peoples. If we become divided we will be devoured. The Latin American and Caribbean history of the nineteenth and twentieth century’s is the most palpable example of this indisputable truth, just like Fidel warned in that memorable speech:
“… if we want to save America, if we want to save the freedom of each of our societies, that after all is a part of a great society, which is the Latin American society; If we want to save the revolution of Cuba, the revolution of Venezuela and the revolution of all the countries of our continent, we have to become closer and solidly support ourselves, because if we are alone and divided we will fail.”
Considering the new imperial-oligarchic onslaught against Venezuela, my message is the same one that Jose Marti once wrote “Let Venezuela give me a way of serving her, she has in me a son.”
Elier Ramirez Cañedo is a historian. Edits the blog Dialogar,Dialogar, of the Hermanos Saíz Association. He is a member of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity, in Cuba.