Maduro oversaw a ceremony at the National Pantheon in Caracas today to honour the life of Pedro Camejo, otherwise known as Negro Primero. Camejo was a Venezuelan soldier who fought alongside Simon Bolivar during the Venezuelan War of Independence, and is fabled to have been the only black officer in his army. He died during the Battle of Carabobo on June 24, 1812.

Batalla de Carabobo, an 1887 painting by Martin Tovar y Tovar, apparently shows Camejo lying dead in a red uniform on the bottom right:

In an apparent show is disregard for the guidelines of the Consejo Nacional Electoral [CNE] banning electoral campaigning until November 13, Maduro used the opportunity to talk about the dangers of handing the opposition a victory in December. Maduro told spectators that they could not allow “the oligarchy to return to its old ways”, and defended his term as president, saying that “nothing has happened” despite the constant attacks against the revolution.

Maduro said:

They [critics] say: everything wrong that happens to the people is Maduro’s fault, and some people believe it. Some people don’t believe that an empire exists [the United States], and that the Madrid-Bogota-Miami axis doesn’t rest for one single day from destroying, damaging, and attacking the finances, the money, the economy. They hide food from the people and speculate with the prices. They hide basic services from the people with the goal of confusing them, and some of them are confused. They have tried one thousand and one times to confuse our people, but our revolution has deeply seeded values. In Venezuela, nothing has happened despite all the attacks. Do you know why? Because we have a conscientious people.

He also accused his critics of seeking to “destroy national unity, stability and peace”, and warned that “imperialism and the racist right-wing” would put an end to the Bolivarian revolution if they won the December 6 parliamentary elections.

Below, some pictures of today’s ceremony:

Maduro, Cabello: “Racism” Left Camejo Out of Pantheon

Maduro also accused the “historic racism of the oligarchy” for keeping Camejo out of the Caracas Pantheon.

While Maduro levelled attacks generally against “the oligarchy”, Diosdado Cabello said that opposition National Assembly deputies were racist after they allegedly declined invitations to attend today’s event. Cabello said:

It’s true – and this is something that should be stated clearly – every National Assembly deputy was invited, and not a single one from the opposition was willing to come honour Pedro Camejo. It saddens me to say this, but this has a lot of to do with the position that section of the Venezuelan population has taken (…) they’re really racist, it’s a manifestation of racism. Maybe if we were [honouring] a bourgeois pelucon [a derogatory term that essentially means “aristocrat”], then the whole Venezuelan opposition would be here.  

Maduro: I’m “Proud” to be Target of Attacks

During the same ceremony, Maduro said that he was “proud” to be the target of attacks, since he considers it a sign that he was doing right by Chavez’s legacy. Maduro explained:

I’m proud to be the object of attacks by the oligarchy and imperialism, because it means that I’m headed down the right path, that I’ve kept up the legacy that Commander Hugo Chavez handed me. It would be sad for you, and for me, for everyone, if the pelucones, the perverse evil of [opposition] politics, or imperialism one day started praising me. What would you think of me then?

Child Tells Maduro of Precarious Condition of School

At some point during the ceremony in the Caracas Pantheon, a child told Maduro about the precarious situation her school finds itself in. Below, a video of the event, along with my translation:

Child: … and I want to ask you for a favour. My school… I am… I really love my school. My school doesn’t have a roof. The bathrooms are dirty [Maduro: No way!] and I need, since I’m leaving that school now, I want to see it grow, I want to see its roof fixed. I want it to have water [so that] children can go there.
Maduro: [inaudible] I congratulate you for keeping an eye out for your schoolmates and for your school. [I will make your request happen] immediately. You will see.

Question/comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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