By Hugo Chávez Frías,
President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, translated
by Kiraz Janicke for Links
International Journal of Socialist Renewal
December 20, 2009
``I will not tire of repeating to the four winds: the only possible and viable
alternative is socialism. I said it in each of my speeches to all the world
representatives gathered in Copenhagen, the world's most important event in the
last two hundred years: there is no other way if we want to stop this heartless
and debased competition that promises only total annihilation." – Hugo Chávez
Copenhagen was the
scene of a historic battle in the framework of the 15th Conference of the
United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP15). Better said, in the
beautiful, snowy capital of Denmark, a battle began that did not end on Friday,
December 18, 2009. I reiterate: Copenhagen was only the beginning of a decisive
battle for the salvation of the planet. It
was a battle in the realm of ideas and in praxis.
Brazilian Leonardo Boff, a great
liberation theologian and one of the most authoritative voices on environmental
issues, in a key article, entitled What
is at stake in Copenhagen?, wrote these words full of insight and courage: What
can we expect from Copenhagen? At least this simple confession: We
cannot continue like this. And a simple proposition: Let’s change course.
And for that reason,
precisely, we went to Copenhagen to battle for a change of course on behalf of
Venezuela, on behalf of the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA), and moreover, in defence
of the cause of humanity and to speak, with President Evo Morales, in defence
of the rights of Pachamama, of Mother
together with yours truly, had the responsibility to be a spokesperson for the Bolivarian
Alliance, wisely said: What this debate is about, is whether we are going to
live or we are going to die.
All eyes of the world were
concentrated on Copenhagen: the 15th Conference on Climate Change allowed us to
gauge the fibre we are made of, where hope lies and what can we do to establish
what the Liberator Simón Bolívar defined as the equilibrium of the universe, an
equilibrium that can never be achieved within the capitalist world system.
Before our arrival
in Copenhagen, the African bloc, backed by the Group of 77, denounced that rich countries were ignoring
the Kyoto Protocol, that is, the only existing international instrument to
fight global warming, the only thing that penalises the industrialised states and
protects the developing countries.
It is necessary to recognise
that the battle had already begun in the streets of Copenhagen, with the youth
at the forefront protesting and proposing: I could see and feel, since my
arrival in the Danish capital on December 16, the historic power of another world
that for the youth is not only possible but absolutely necessary.
In Copenhagen, from the
beginning, the cards were on the table for all to see. On the one hand, the
cards of brutal meanness and stupidity of capitalism which did not budge in
defence of its logic: the logic of capital, which leaves only death and
destruction in its wake at an increasingly rapid pace.
On the other hand, the
cards of the peoples demanding human dignity, the salvation of the planet and
for a radical change, not of the climate, but of a world system that has
brought us to the brink of unprecedented ecological and social catastrophe.
On one side,
the victors of a mercantile and utilitarian civilisation, that is, the “civilised
ones” who for a long time now have forgotten about human beings, and opted
blindly for increasingly insatiable desires.
On the other hand,
the “barbarians” who remain committed in believing and in fighting for
radically changing the logic, that you can maximise human welfare, minimising
environmental and ecological impacts. Those who sustain the impossibility of
defending human rights, as raised by the comrade Evo Morales, if we don’t also
defend the rights of Mother Earth, those who act with determination to leave a
planet and future for our descendants.
I will not tire of
repeating to the four winds: the only possible and viable alternative is
socialism. I said it in each of my speeches to all the world representatives
gathered in Copenhagen, the world's most important event in the last two
hundred years: there is no other way if we want to stop this heartless and
debased competition that promises only total annihilation.
Why are the “civilised
ones” so afraid of a project that aspires to build shared happiness? They are
afraid, let’s be honest, because shared happiness does not generate profit.
Hence the crystal clarity of that great slogan of the Copenhagen street protest
that today speaks for millions: “If the climate was a bank, they would have
saved it already.”
The “civilised ones” do not
take the necessary measures, simply because of this, it would oblige them to
reverse their voracious pattern of life, marked by selfish comfort and that
does not touch their cold hearts, which palpitate only to the beat of money.
That’s why the [US]
Empire arrived late on December 18, to offer crumbs via blackmail, and through
this, wash away the guilt marked on its face. In front of this strategy of buying
support, you could hear throughout Denmark the clear and courageous voice of
Vandana Shiva, the Indian thinker saying a great truth: “I think it is time for
US to stop seeing itself as a donor and begin to recognise itself as polluter:
a polluter must pay compensation for damages and must it pay its ecological
debt. It is not charity. This is
I must say:
in Copenhagen the Obama illusion was definitively destroyed. He was confirmed
in his position as head of the empire and winner of the Nobel War Prize. The enigma of the two Obamas has been resolved.
Friday the 18th
came to an end without a democratically agreed accord: Obama mounted the
platform separately, in a further violation of UN procedures, for which we feel
obliged to challenge any decision that does not respect for the validity of the
Protocol Kyoto. To respect and enhance Kyoto is our motto.
An accord was not possible in
Copenhagen due to the lack of political will of the rich countries: the
powerful of this world, the hyper-developed, they do not want to change their patterns
of production and consumption which are as senseless as suicide. “The world can
go to hell if it dares to threaten my privilege and my lifestyle”, is what they
appear to be saying with their conduct: that is the hard truth that they do not
want to hear from those who act under the historical and categorical imperative
to change course.
Copenhagen is not the
end, I repeat, but a beginning: the doors have been opened for a universal
debate on how to save the planet, life on the planet. The battle
We commemorated the
179th anniversary of the physical disappearance of our Liberator Simón Bolívar in
an act of deep revolutionary content; I refer to the meeting of the Bolivarian
Alliance with social movements in Denmark on December 17. There I felt, once
again that Bolivar is not only a banner of Venezuela and Our America, but is
increasingly a universal leader.
It is his living and
combative legacy, now embodied in the Bolivarian Alliance, which is becoming a
world heritage, that we took to Copenhagen to do battle for the Patria Grande, which is at the same
time, to do battle for the sake of humanity .
and in truth: Bolivar lives! In Copenhagen it was confirmed that his legacy is
more alive than ever.
And now he will overcome.
Now we shall overcome!