Saturday, July 24, 2010

Odd obsession II...

Continuing the Venezuelan theme: I agree that Hugo is obsessed with Bolivar; but anyway, happy birthday to Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios; scion of a high society family (nay, almost aristocratic had the title of nobility been granted by Philip V; independence intervened); immensely wealthy, sugar plantation owning, copper, silver and gold mine owning and slave-owning family. Simon Bolívar - for it is he - was able to use his family's vast wealth "to finance his revolutionary efforts." He even wanted a hereditary chamber to the legislature: as far from what, less than a century later, was to be called socialism as you could possible hope to be...and about as far from Chavez too.

Yes Hugo is obsessed but on one thing I agree with him, when, on his own blog, says: "Yo soy apenas un microscópico ser, un microscópico soldado delante del gigante Bolívar." 'I'm merely a microscopic being, a microscopic soldier compared to the giant Bolivar.' Too right you are! In that Chavez blog post he mentions the Convention of Ocaña. It was here some comparisons between the great giant and the microbe can be seen: Bolivar wanted (for the good of Gran Colombia) a highly centralized state: central control, a lifetime presidency with the ability to select a successor. It was here that the disagreements started and Francisco de Paula Santander - who wanted a secular, liberal state - and others (whom Chavez calls saboteurs and a traitors), felt that Bolivar himself was undermining the central government's authority and the rule of law. Reforms were blocked, delgates walked out: a little later Bolivar declared himself dictator (not for the first time)...oops.

Not quite got to that last bit about naming a successor yet but you can bet Chavez is thinking about it quite a lot. Until then he will need to continue the strangle hold, the triple yoke of ignorance, tyranny, and vice* to continue his revolution.

btw, as you would expect, the comments on that blogpost are sycophantic, vomit-inducing tosh.

*From Simon Bolivar's Address to the Congress of Angostura (1819):
"Subject to the three-fold yoke of ignorance, tyranny, and vice, the American people have been unable to acquire knowledge, power, or [civic] virtue. The lessons we received and the models we studied, as pupils of such pernicious teachers, were most destructive. We have been ruled more by deceit than by force, and we have been degraded more by vice than by superstition. Slavery is the daughter of darkness: an ignorant people is a blind instrument of its own destruction."
Another quote from Bolivar: "Huid del país donde uno solo ejerce todos los poderes: es un país de esclavos.": "Flee from the country where only one holds all power: it's a nation of slaves".

Update: please don't get me wrong, IMHO Bolivar was one of the true greats of World history; I just thought a little background to piss on Hugo's fireworks was called for.

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