In Afghanistan, Arnold August, Foreign intervention, Hope, Imperialism, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Venezuela, War Drive


After almost a year, there has been a small breakthrough in some French-speaking Quebec media. This demonstrates the importance of persisting in this context of hermetic control of the narrative, where dissent is not allowed.

Posted on March 5, 2023 by Vanessa Gutierrez Hugo Chavez, LSB Instituto Simón Bolivar

At a time when the peoples of the world are deeply concerned about war and peace, as a consequence of the current conflict in Ukraine, the words of Commander Hugo Chávez in 2006 could well be pronounced again today, on this tenth anniversary of his death. . However, the international context was very different then. The countries involved then, the United States and its allies, were in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006, at the height of the US-led war in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Hugo Chávez was invited to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In an urgent address to the international community, he spoke bluntly:

«The hegemonic claim of North American Imperialism puts the very survival of the human species at risk. We continue to warn of this danger, and to call on the people of the United States and the world to stop this threat, which is like the sword of Damocles itself. […]»

He then made his famous “devil” comment in reference to then-President George W. Bush: “Yesterday the Devil came here, (laughter and applause) yesterday the Devil was here, in this very place” [crosses himself] “it smells still sulfur this table where I have had to speak».

Chávez then deconstructed the US peace narrative. He quoted Bush: »Today I want to speak directly to the populations of the Middle East. My country wants peace.” However, Chávez points out: «[…] the United States government does not want peace. He wants to expand his system of exploitation, looting, hegemony through war…. He wants peace. But what is happening in Iraq? What has happened in Lebanon? In Palestine? What is happening? What has happened in the last 100 years in Latin America and in the world? And now threatening Venezuela – new threats against Venezuela, against Iran? …[Bush] addressed the people of Lebanon. Many of you, Bush said, have seen your homes and communities caught in the crossfire. How cynical can you be? What ability to lie outright. The bombs in Beirut with pinpoint precision? Is this crossfire? You are thinking of a western, when people were shooting from the hip and someone was caught in the crossfire….This is imperialist, fascist, murderous, genocidal, the empire and Israel shooting at the people of Palestine and Lebanon. That is what has happened.”

Chávez also encouraged the US people to oppose imperialism “because its threat is at home.” That is what has happened.” Chávez also encouraged the US people to oppose imperialism “because its threat is at home.” That is what has happened.” Chávez also encouraged the US people to oppose imperialism “because its threat is at home.”

In September 2011, the Venezuelan president was in Havana, Cuba, receiving a fourth round of chemotherapy, after being diagnosed with a tumor in June 2011. However, he managed to make a phone call to the Riverside Church in New York , where people were gathered to hear his message and pray for him. Chávez told them: «That the peoples of the United States, of Europe, speak out against the war. Let us raise our voices, our songs, against the war, for peace and for life». He also mentioned the speech delivered by the Afro-American leader Martin Luther King, also in Riverside, against the Vietnam War, on April 4, 1967. The then Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Nicolás Maduro, in New York for the 66th United Nations General Assembly United, he thanked everyone gathered for what he called a “beautiful act of love, of prayer.” Maduro added that the prayers for Chávez’s health should coincide with the prayers “for the cessation of the attacks against our peoples, for peace for the people of Libya… for the people of Iraq,” among other victims of foreign interventions.

Following Chávez’s death, the United Nations issued a statement highlighting his national achievements and efforts for peace, such as the peace process with the FARC in Colombia.

In Canada, many of us are fighting to break the NATO narrative on Ukraine in order to support a peaceful resolution that meets Russian concerns as well as Russian security. But US and Canadian elites are engaging in a virtually unprecedented attempt to force the NATO narrative into the minds of the people. Censorship is such that not even an iota of truth is allowed to reach the public. Here in Canada, the pretense is that Ukraine can do no wrong and Canadians should fully support the “defense” of this country that is being “violently attacked.” Simple as that. This is a virulent Yankee-type Russophobia. The ruling circles are made up of the entire Canadian Parliament, the corporate elite, the mainstream media. They cowardly adhere to the NATO narrative that Russia, assimilated into fascism, invaded the Ukraine as if there was no historical context leading to the Special Military Operation. In fact, Russia is fighting the Nazi-infested Ukrainian regime just as it did Nazi Germany. Historical revisionism is a weapon of choice in the hands of NATO to justify its aggression against Russian-speaking populations in Ukraine that began with the 2014 US-organized coup against a US-disliked Ukrainian president. This coup was the last step in the last decades in the continuous expansion of NATO to the Russian borders. To honor Chávez’s legacy of peace, we must oppose the historical revision that is a tinderbox for war.

However, after almost a year, there has been a small breakthrough in some French-speaking Quebec media. This demonstrates the importance of persisting in this context of hermetic control of the narrative, where dissent is not allowed. However, we are encouraged by the immortal words of Chávez that speak to us in Canada:

«The epicenter of the revolutionary and socialist struggles in the world is here today, in our America. Today it is Venezuela’s turn to be the epicenter in that battle, we have to assume the role of vanguard.”

Why can we identify with this? The question of war and peace in Ukraine cannot be judged according to ideological criteria, that is, socialism or capitalism. However, the Canadian dictatorship on the minds of the people on the Ukraine issue reminds us of the long-term need for, as Chávez has said so forcefully, revolutionary and socialist struggle. And we are lucky to have a partner in Chavista Venezuela at the epicenter of these struggles.

Arnold August, journalist and author, Canada.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin