[News] Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz response to Che's dream comes true
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.
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.
Its 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 nations affairs without outside
interference. It is both ignorant and
contemptuous of the traditional friendship among Americas 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
Americas 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."
<mailto:pastor at yorku.ca>pastor at yorku.ca
The Freedom Archives
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