Speaking on the four year anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death, Maduro said today that the leader’s passing was “an ambush from life” that no one in government was ready for. Maduro made the comments during a meeting of the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América [Bolivarian Alliance for the People of America], a regional organization made up of nations that identify with chavismo. The meeting took place in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

At the start of the meeting, Maduro said:

We are commemorating during this meeting – or holding this meeting today at the four years of the physical departure of Commander Hugo Chavez. Without a doubt, [his death was] a hard blow to progressive, revolutionary movements of Latin America, the Caribbean and the world. It was a hard, demolishing blow for our people (…) it’s been four years but it feels like it was yesterday.

Maduro also said that “imperialism and the oligarchy” celebrated Chavez’s death in 2013 as an opportunity to put an end to Bolivarianism in Venezuela, and that no one in Venezuela had been ready for Chavez’s passing:

We were not ready as colleagues, as leaders of the revolution who were shaped by Commander Chavez. We were not ready psychologically nor politically nor personally nor collectively to receive that blow on that day, at 4:25 PM on March 4 2013.

On the other hand, Maduro argued, “the empire was ready” for Chavez’s death and responded “with all of its power”, launching a “criminal economic war” that he said is still affecting the country today To Chavez’s enemies, Maduro said:

They have tried to stain his honour, his vision and his legacy. The drug-trafficking Colombian oligarchy has tried to stain his name through their media outlets. No one can stain Chavez, because Chavez is loved and defended by the poor, humble and rebellious people of the world. Bandits! They will wither. They will wither! And Chavez will continued to be defended by the brave people of the world.

He also eulogized Chavez by saying:

Today, you are the love for our homeland, the struggle for sovereignty, and the determination to never give up. Beloved Commander, the people know that you live through the union towards victory, [and they are] certain in achieving your dream which is Bolivar’s dream: a free Venezuela and a great homeland.

Maduro: ALBA Bastion Against Northern “White Supremacy”

During the same event, Maduro spoke on what he considers to be ALBA’s importance in the face of what he called a renewed attempt by “white supremacy to impose itself on the world”. Calling that world view “dangerous”, Maduro said:

We here at ALBA want to warn Latin America and the Caribbean about the dangers of white supremacy from the world’s imperial power.

Maduro also called on ALBA countries to work towards creating a new “integral economic zone” that would allow the bloc’s members to collaborate on economic and social development more easily. Maduro said that he considered the project important not just for the region, but for the entire world:

ALBA is the foundation for the construction of a new America, a new Caribbean, a new world. We must work to defend it, work towards it, build it, tend to it, love it, and value it.

Cabello: PSUV Will Never be “Tame”

PSUV vice president and National Assembly deputy Diosdado Cabello responded today to comments by Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who said earlier this week that all Latin American countries “behave well” except for Venezuela.

Cabello responded to the comments during today’s ALBA meeting in Caracas, saying:

We will not be tamed. We will continue to misbehave.

Cabello also called President Kuczynski “an imperial lap dog”, and said that any “true chavista would not shy away from taking up the revolutionary struggle on the streets of the need arose.

APUCV Chief: Chavez Lives In Venezuela’s Collapse

CORRECTIONThe story below attributes the tweets on Chavez to Victor Marquez, as was reported by El Nacional. However, the tweets were in fact originally written by Pedro A. Urruchurtu, a political scientist at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. I have left the original story unedited for posterity.

It appears as if Marquez simply copied/pasted Urruchurtu’s messages onto his Twitter feed rather than retweeting them, as is the norm. However, it seems as if the move was not malicious, as Urruchurtu thanked Marquez for sharing his tweets on his wall.

Victor Marquez, the president of the Asociación de Profesores de la Universidad Central de Venezuela [Central University of Venezuela Professors’ Association] (APUCV) offered his thoughts on what Chavez’s true legacy was during a press conference today. Marquez provided a much darker account of what Chavez did for Venezuelan than that which Maduro provided earlier in the day.

Through a series of tweets, Marquez said:

Let us not forget that Chavez lives in every bullet that is fired, in every plane full of “goodbyes”, in every expression of hatred and resentment.

Let us not forget also that Chavez also lives in every line-up for food, in every malnourished child, in every death due to lack of medicine.

We cannot forget that Chavez lives in every bankrupt or expropriated business, in the most violent city on earth, and in scarcity.

Let us remember that Chavez lives in impunity and corruption, in broken and disintegrated families, and in the end of liberty.

Chavez lives in populism, in persecution and repression, in every political prisoner and victim of torture. He lives in our tragedy. He lives and laughs.

Chavez lives, today more than ever, in the faces of poverty. His eyes, everywhere, confess: “I want to see you like this: ruined”.

Chavez lives in every Venezuelan who eats garbage on our streets.

Chavez lives in every ruined dream, in every frustration, in every seed of misery. He lives in the nightmare that I call Venezuela.

That is the true legacy. Let us allow Chavez to live, but only so that we can tell the future and the world that he brought us here, to this disgrace.

Questions./Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com
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