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The Socialism of Hugo Chavez Is
'the Closest Thing Possible to Stalinism'

Jorge Zamora, Chile

This is an impressive title. The reader may have the unpleasant impression of a nightmare that returns. The one threatening to resurrect Stalin is not an ex-KGB agent like Putin. It is Hugo Chavez, who aims to establish at any costs in all of Latin America the real Socialism, which already caused millions of deaths in the 20th century. It is the Venezuelan dictator who proudly calls himself the heir of Fidel Castro and leader of the international Marxist revolution.

Hugo Chavez, self proclaimed heir Marxism

Chavez: the new star of Stalinism
The stage of this anachronistic mirage is neither the Red Square, nor the Kremlin, but Caracas, Venezuela, which at this moment enjoys a momentous prosperity thanks to petrol-dollars.

Luis Miquelina, the one who spoke the words that make up this article’s title, was a close collaborator of Chavez. According to Javier Mendez Araya in an article published in the newspaper El Mercurio from Santiago, Chile, on August 25, 2007, Miquelina had financed and maintained the Chavez family when the latter was in prison; he was one of the founders of the party that won the 1998 elections.

He also presided over the Constituent Assembly that elaborated the present day Venezuela “Chavist” Constitution. He was, therefore, an eminent cohort of the Bolivarian Revolution started by today’s Venezuela president.

Luis Miquelina

Miquelina now denounces the government's despotic methods
In the above-mentioned interview, however, Miquelina stated: “The Socialism of the 21st century, of Hugo Chavez, is the closest thing possible to Stalinism. Its methods to achieve total political control are Stalinist, but it also uses the practices of Nazism and Italian Fascism, such as armed brigades in the streets to harass and terrorize dissidents and attack the meetings of opponents.”

What made Miquelina change his opinion?

In short, it was the Marxist and totalitarian characteristics of Chavez that led the leftist Miquelina to withdraw his support. Measures by Chavez like the closing of the country’s most important TV station, taking control of the Electoral Council, as well as the Central Bank, and promoting changes in the Constitution so that he can stay in power forever, like Castro.

Collaboration of useful innocents

Facing this situation, Chilean public opinion has reacted against the Stalinist-style totalitarian regime in Venezuela. In this light, I searched Chilean newspapers to see if any intellectual had addressed this situation. I found Mr. Carlos Peña, rector of an important Chilean university. What was his opinion?

University rector Pena

University rector Pena tries to silence Chilean reactions against Chavez
“Chavez is not a dictator,” he said. “Nor is he what in Chile and elsewhere we would call a ‘gorilla’ [a stupid, violent man]. On the contrary, he is the founder of a political movement, Bolivarism, which managed to win several consecutive elections without anyone saying that he violated the rules. Thus, it is necessary to stop considering Chavez as an extravagant fool, because he is not. He is a highly rational and popular leader identified with the things that the elites scorn” (El Mercurio, August 27, 2007).

These statements by Mr. Peña are quite different from those of Mr. Miquelina. The former wants us to see Chavez as a rational populist who opposes the elites, and is the founder of a great movement, Bolivarism, that enjoys public acceptance. Peña transmits the idea of an astute Chavez, legitimately ambitious, the rebel leader who mocks the establishment. On the other hand, Miquelina’s report is terrifying.

The facts speak by themselves

It is evident that Chavez has an iron fist and a Stalinist will to wipe out his adversaries, as he did with the country’s largest TV station, which was anti-Chavez in its political lines.

Recently he promoted plans for a new educational law that would transfer the power of fathers over minors under age 20 to the government. The minor would remain with his parents only until he reaches 3 years of age. After that, he would be handed over to the Organization of Child Circles, which would be in charge of his physical and mental education to prepare him for civil life. Until age 10, the minor would live in the same city of the parents and visit their house at least 2 days per month “in order not to lose contact with the nuclear family.” After age 10, however, he would be sent to another city, in accordance with “the highest interests of the country.”

Anesthetics that stop a healthy public reaction

Thousands protest Chavez' closing of RCTV

Thousands protest in Venezuela against Chavez' order to close television station RCTV
Considering this, how can Peña’s view of an innocent Chavez be explained? The first effect it produces is to lower the defenses of public opinion. In other words, it destroys the healthy ideological barriers of the readers of his column. Its second effect is to cause an important and influential sector of public opinion to consider those who oppose Chavez Stalinism as exaggerated, and to ridicule them as foolish persons fearful about “phantoms from the past.”

In reality, the supposedly moderate opinion of Peña is an anesthetic that puts consciences to sleep, annuls reactions and paves the way for the expansion of Chavez’ ideas in Latin America. Marxism needs this kind of sedative in order to advance smoothly and unswervingly. Without such anesthetics, reactions could raise up in public opinion, as they did against Marxist Chilean president Salvador Allende.


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Posted Septembwer 14, 2007

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