[News] Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz response to Che's dream comes true

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 27 13:34:59 EST 2005

Claude, thank you for sending this commentary


by Professor Pastor Valley-Garay.  He's certainly 
right about the racism in the US institutional 
and mainstream media reaction to Evo Morales, an 
Aymara, being elected president of Bolivia.  He 
also reminds us that there was a similar response 
to Chavez in Venezuela, and, I would add, to the 
uprising of the Tzetzal people of Chiapas on New 
Years Day, 1994, with doubts that they could 
possibly conceive of something as complex as NAFTA.

However, in attributing the triumph of Evo 
Morales entirely to Che's struggle and sacrifice 
in Bolivia is equally racist.  Professor 
Valley-Garay appears to be ignorant of the 
international indigenous movement that has been 
at work for the past three decades, preceded by 
500 years of indigenous struggles for survival, 
self-determination, and democracy, which is, I 
believe, why Che took his anti-imperialist forces to Bolivia.

If the left, particularly the Latin American 
left, misses this point, it's a shame, as 
mistrust of and racism against the indigenous 
nations has been the Achilles heel of previous 
revolutionary movements in Latin America (as well 
as North America). Professor Valley-Garay, as a 
Nicaraguan Sandinista, should be particularly aware of that.

Evo Morales is mistrusted by some indigenous 
activists and organizations in the Andean region 
because of his left politics, for the very reason 
that the Latin American left has so consistently 
either ignored indigenous issues and aspirations, 
or used the indigenous and tossed them aside 
(recall that the liberation armies of Bolivar and 
San Martin, as well as the independence movement 
and 20th century revolution in Mexico, and the 
recent Guatemalan revolution, were made up of indigenous foot soldiers.

In this, the burden is on the American (and I 
mean western hemisphere) left to catch up with 
what has been going on with the indigenous 
movement in order to understand the victory of 
Evo Morales, which is a victory for the 
indigenous peoples of the world AND for 
anti-imperialism/anti-capitalism.  And I agree, 
Che would be very happy, and perhaps not 
surprised, for if there is ever to be socialism 
and just societies in the Americas, the 
leadership and form of it must come from the 
indigenous peoples.  I think Che, like Peruvian 
leftist José Carlos Maríategui, recognized this reality.


Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War

On Dec 27, 2005, at 5:54 AM, Anti-Imperialist News wrote:

Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Bylined to: <mailto:pastor at yorku.ca>Pastor Valle-Garay

Che's dream comes true: Morales' triumph rescues the dignity of the people

Toronto (Canada) York University senior Scholar 
Pastor Valle-Garay writes: It's a classic case of 
poetic justice. In one thrilling moment social 
justice arrived in Bolivia. Better late than 
never. In the firmament of revolutionary heroes, 
no one is as pleased with Evo Morales' 
presidential triumph that Cuban revolutionary hero Ernesto Che Guevara.

It proves that Che did not died in vain on 
October 6, 1967. After being wounded in combat, 
Che was captured alive near the village of La 
Higuera by a squad of Rangers' from the Bolivian 
Army's Special Forces, trained by the US Central 
Intelligence Agency (CIA). Bolivian president 
Rene Barrientos immediately ordered his summary execution.

Felix Rodriguez, a most vile Cuban-American CIA 
agent, carried the execution orders to the little 
school house were Che laid still alive.

A repulsive bird of prey, Rodriguez seized the 
opportunity to remove and steal from Che a 
wristwatch presented to him by Cuban President 
Fidel Castro. Sergeant Jaime Teran, chosen to 
carry out the assassination, was visibly nervous. 
Che realized it. Addressing Teran he commanded "I 
know you have come to kill me. Shoot, coward. You are only killing a man."

The spray from a Carbine M-2 took the life of Che 
Guevara. He was prophetic to the last. The man 
was dead ... his ideals remained alive for ever 
... his blood would fertilize the Bolivian soil with ideas of liberation.
    * Thirty eight years, two months and nine 
days after Che's death, Evo Morales, leader of 
the political party Movement towards Socialism, 
triumphed in the Bolivian presidential elections.

The US press does not know what to make of it ... 
they discuss Morales' indigenous background as if 
it were an object of curiosity. They seem 
astonished that a native Indian became the first 
President-elect in the Hemisphere.

How utterly stupid!

Not strange however ... only a society mired in 
the manure of its own racial prejudices could 
generate such racist wonderings about the ethnic 
background of the Bolivian President.

It happened before ... the US media also raised 
its collective eyebrows and raised similar 
questions about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ ethnic background.

Morons! A nation with a 70% indigenous population 
certainly has earned the right to democratically 
elect someone from their own ranks to lead it. 
Who knows! Perhaps the US media feels more 
comfortable when a moron who barely graduates 
from Harvard and can hardly speak his own 
language runs the White House. Arguably they 
might think 'At least he's more like one of us.' 
They would be right and they can keep him. Bolivia deserves better.

It is scandalous, however, that the US media 
would trivialize Morales' triumph by focusing on 
his leadership role in the union of coca leaf's 
farmers or suggest that the new President is a cocaine dealer.

It’s the stuff of ignorant hacks.

For thousands of years native Bolivians have 
harvested coca leaves for their medicinal 
qualities, for religious rituals and just as 
often to kill the hunger pains which have 
decimated the population for generations.

Moreover, in the last century, US corporations 
exploiting the nation's rich tin mines would 
distribute large, daily portions of coca leaves 
among the indigenous miners to keep them working longer hours in the hellholes.

It was not until US consumers discovered the 
exotic qualities of the processed coca leaf that 
they turned into a most profitable source of 
income for drug dealers and the US economy.

What Morales will certainly insist on regarding 
coca is only fair: the continuation of the 
harvesting of the leaves as a birthright of its 
indigenous people while banning it from the world's drug markets.

Adding fuel to the fire, the US media resorts to 
asinine speculation on whether Washington should 
be concerned with the cordial relations between 
President Morales, President Castro and President 
Chavez ... as if Morales lacked the intelligence 
to conduct his nation’s affairs without outside 
interference.  It is both ignorant and 
contemptuous of the traditional friendship among America’s sister nations!

What makes this line of questioning more poignant 
is that no one in the US media has had the guts 
and taken the same pains and risks in questioning 
the closely-knit ties between President Bush's 
ancestors with Germany's Adolph Hitler or between 
both Bush father and son and their close 
relationship with Osama Bin Laden and Saddam 
Hussein before they fell from US grace.

With some remarkable exceptions, the US media 
conveniently ignores that Morales' overwhelming 
election victory ... in defiance of the White 
House's strategy to defeat him at the polls ... 
has just provided a blow to Washington's hegemony in the Hemisphere.

Simultaneously, Morales' victory symbolizes one 
more setback to Bush's careful plans of using 
Free Trade as means of eternalizing Latin 
America’s exploitation. And in what must be its 
sweetest aspect, Morales' leadership in the 
Movement towards Socialism political party will 
clearly be perceived in Latin America and 
elsewhere as symbolic triumph over US imperialism.

Of course Bolivia may expect radical changes.

The political system has been riddled with 
rampant corruption. However in spite of internal 
pressure to nationalize the rich tin, oil and gas 
resources ... presently run by foreign 
multinationals and local oligarchs ... Morales 
has indicated that he is prepared to discuss the 
corporations’ fair and equitable administration 
of the resources in conjunction with his government.

It's about time ... these natural resources are 
certainly rich enough to radically change the 
standard of living of a nation reduced to misery 
in its 180 years of independence. At present 
Bolivia's unemployment reaches 60%. Without a 
doubt Morales has the personal and political 
credentials and the work ethic to lead his nation 
out of this shameful conditions.

No doubt that Che's seed germinated and now flourishes...

The authentically Bolivian triumph of President 
Morales represents a breath of fresh air and new 
hopes for its 8.8 million people. Morales victory 
must fill the peoples of the Americas with pride 
and joy. It must be particularly thrilling for 
the continent's native peoples. It truly is a revolutionary triumph.

Peaceful this time, but certainly just as 
glorious as anything Che Guevara might have dreamed.
    * It also adds another significant dimension 
to Venezuelan President Chavez' Bolivarian dream.

Perhaps now it is worthwhile to recall for the 
benefit of the US media Che Guevara's prophetic 
and immortal words about Latin America during a 
speech at the United Nations "This great humanity 
has said ENOUGH! 
 and has started to walk."

Pastor Valle-Garay
<mailto:pastor at yorku.ca>pastor at yorku.ca

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20051227/fcb20462/attachment.html>

More information about the News mailing list