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Hugo Chavez Frias – visionary, fighter, companero (Asia-Pacific left statements) (updated Mar. 17)
[Below are statements issued by socialist and progressive organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. More will be posted as they come to hand.]
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Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia)
March 6, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance in Australia expresses its deepest sympathies with the people and government of Venezuela on the death of Companero Hugo Chavez Frias on March 5. His passing is a huge loss for all peoples, across Latin America and the globe, struggling for a world free of inequality, exploitation and oppression.
It is testament to Hugo Chavez’s great leadership that, while mourning his death, we are also confident that the Bolivarian Revolution and the new movement for socialism of the 21st century that Chavez inspired will be continued by the mass of people, to whom he worked so hard to give power.
Hugo Chavez emphasised repeatedly that the people, not he himself, were the motor force of revolution. But his visionary leadership, and his uncompromising battle for the fundamental social transformation that is needed to save humanity and the planet was history changing, and inspired millions of people in their day to day struggles for justice, peace and freedom.
Chavez’s contempt for and refusal to be cowed by the most powerful imperialist leaders in their drive to own, control and destroy everything in the name of private profit empowered us all to struggle harder, gave us more courage to challenge the brutality of capitalism and consigned the capitalist rulers’ declaration of the “end of history” to the dustbin of history.
Chavez’s visionary leadership against inequality, exploitation and environmental destruction was based on an understanding that, in his own words: “Time is short. If we do not change the world now there may be no 22nd century.” The majority of Venezuelans agree, electing him as their president five times. Chavez’s most recent re-election, last October, was the result of his public commitment to deepening the democratic socialist revolution.
Hugo Chavez may no longer be physically present with the people to carry out that platform, but he, his ideas and he example will live on for generations in the hearts and minds of all those committed to ending the savageness of capitalism and putting people and the planet before profits.
The Socialist Alliance will honour the memory of Hugo Chavez through continuing our work in solidarity with the Venezuelan people’s Bolivarian Revolution, struggling for socialism of the 21st century in our own country, and internationalising Chavez’s profoundly humanitarian, peaceful, democratic and ecological vision for all humanity.
Long live Chavez!
Long live people’s power!
Long live socialism!
Australian Indigenous activist: 'Chavez made an immeasurable contribution to fighting oppression and imperialism'
By Cathy Eatock
[The following message was read to the Sydney memorial meeting for Hugo Chavez, on March 16, 2013.]
Unfortunately, I'm currently overseas at a Pacific meeting of Indigenous peoples and cannot be there tonight, so I’ve asked for this message to be read, to pass on my deepest condolences to the people of Venezuela, to recognise the huge contribution that Presidante Hugo Chavez has made globally and to express the deep sense of grief that I, along with millions of others, feel at his loss. As an Aboriginal woman, from the Kairi and Gubbi Gubbi nations of central Queensland, I identify with oppressed people around the world and I see our liberation as tied closely to that of other Indigenous and subjugated peoples.
In September 2012, I had the great pleasure of participating on the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade.
It was an inspiring and informative trip. In the rallies leading up to Chavez’s election win, I witnessed an outpouring of love from the people of Venezuela. An elderly woman too frail to attend the rally, on seeing our red shirts, stood up from a crate on the footpath, and began clapping her hands in rhythm and lifting her feet as she turned around dancing on the footpath, cheering us on towards the rally. Millions of people attended, they came in the truck loads and crammed in buses with banners hanging from windows and painted with slogans. By the afternoon, after a relentless election campaign, the rain poured down but Chavez did not stop and take cover, he stood as one of the people and spoke to the millions of supporters who listened and cheered in the rain.
During my stay in Venezuela I saw firsthand the reason for this love. I saw the medical services built up in the barrios to service communities previously neglected. I saw the medical school where doctors from across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia are being trained by Cuban doctors. I saw the Communal Councils and how the Bolivarian Revolution is empowering community people from the ground up. And I saw ambitious housing reforms that are erecting hundreds of new apartments for people desperately in need of housing, from decades of previous governments ignoring the needs of its poor.
Through Chavez the resources from oil were being spent on the people, not directed to massive profits for a few, dramatically reducing poverty and malnutrition, illiteracy and extending the reach of education.
While in Caracas, I met with the Indigenous peoples of Venezuela and heard how the revised constitution now recognised the rights of Indigenous peoples, ensuring them strong parliamentary representation and returning 4 million acres to the original peoples. But Chavez’s commitment to justice was also felt around the world as he advocated against oppression. As we know, he was central to uniting Latin America against the imperialism of the United States.
Chavez will be remembered as one of the great men of history, not just of the 20th century and his legacy will continue. The people of Venezuela now empowered will not forgo what’s been achieved. Those millions of impacted by Hugo Chavez, including myself, will continue the struggle, building on what’s been achieved and drawing on his principled approach to inform our future work. So while we share in solidarity the grief at his loss with the Venezuelan people, we also share the celebration of a life that has made an immeasurable contribution to fighting oppression and imperialism across the world.
[Cathy Eatock is an Indigenous Australian activist and a member of the Socialist Alliance.]
CPI (ML) Liberation mourns the death of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, and salutes his legacy of struggle against neoliberal polices and US imperialism!
By Kavita Krishnan, central committee member, New Delhi
March 6 2013 -- After two years of battling cancer, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez passed away today. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation deeply mourns the death of this architect of the Bolivarian Revolution; an iconic crusader against US imperialism and neoliberal policies. His loss will be deeply felt, not just in Venezuela and other parts of Latin America, but all over the world. Whether it is in Palestine and Lebanon in the Middle East or India, Chavez was and will always continue to be a symbol of hope and resistance to millions of people struggling for their rights.
During his long tenure as Venezuela’s president from 1999 onwards, he continued to dream of and champion his vision of 21st century socialism, successfully battling right-wing sponsored military coups, strikes and recall referendums. He used his presidency to try to bring in several fundamental changes in Venezuela’s polity: he introduced a new constitution that increased rights for marginalised groups and altered the structure of Venezuelan government, he put in place a remarkable system of public referendums with mass participation to decide major public policies, he introduced participatory democratic councils, he ensured nationalisation of several key industries including oil, increased government funding of health care and education which led to significant reductions in poverty.
Moreover, Chavez emerged as a symbol of Latin American resistance to US imperialism, and as a strong pole for a united Latin American response to US domination. He tried his level best to unite Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries in an attempt to isolate the US in Latin American politics. This unity, initiated by Chavez, posed a huge challenge to the long history of US plunder, corporate looting, state repression and CIA-backed coups in Latin America. Chavez also stood against US-Israel sponsored genocide in Palestine; after the most recent Israeli attack in Gaza, Venezuela was one of the few governments that showed the courage to dismiss the Israeli ambassador to Venezuela and support the struggling Palestinian people.
The CPI (ML) Liberation stands in solidarity with the mourning, struggling people of Venezuela, who have pledged to keep alive Chavez’s legacy and his dreams. Struggling people and movements across the world join hands in mourning this great architect of the Bolivarian revolution. This fight will continue in the universities, factories and mines across the world.
Deepest condolences from Nepal on the untimely demise of Commander Chavez
Nepal's Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, vice-chairperson of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), participated in a ceremony in Kathmandu on March 7, which was organised by Nepal Venezuela Solidarity Network, reports NVSN activit Manarishi Dhittal.
By Sarita Dhakal, Kathmandu
March 6, 2013 -- The Nepal Venezuela Solidarity Network organised a condolence ceremony at Maitighar Mandala, Kathmandu, on March 6 to mark the death of the Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. Fifty-eight candles were lit and 58 seconds of silent mourning was observed. Nepalese PM Dr Baburam Bhattarai, chief of the international department of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Ram Karki, chair of Socialist Movement Nepal Devendra Paudel, senior left analyst and writer Hari Govinda Luitel, former ambassadors, leaders of various left political parties and other supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution and sympathisers of Chavez participated the program.
Expressing his deepest sorrow on the part of Nepal government and the people of Nepal, PM Bhattarai stressed the need to follow the model of 21st century socialism led by Chavez in Latin America. He further suggested that youths should learn from Chavez' example.
Chief of Unified CPN (Maoist) international department Ram Karki expressed solidarity with the people of Venezuela during this difficult time. Chavez, he said, was a commander of the anti-imperialist movement and his demise has left a great loss in the socialist movement of the 21st century.
Chair of Socialist Movement Nepal Devendra Paudel said that the world's communist movement has been heavily influenced by the Latin American revolutions. Lauding the economic prosperity made by Chavez in Venezuela, Hari Govinda Luitel asked the Nepalese left parties to follow the path of Chavez.
Convenor of Nepal Venezuela Solidarity Network Manarishi Dhital, expressed his grief on the loss of Comrade Chavez, adding that it had saddened socialists all over the world. The Nepal Venezuela Solidarity Network has been organising series of programs related to the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezulean socialist movement.
[Manarishi Dhital is convenor of the Nepal Venezuela Solidarity Network and editor of Janadesh Weekly. He is on the board of directors of the Press Council Nepal.]
'Chavez's legacy can be defended through continuous mobilisation'
Statement by the Socialist Party of Malaysia
March 6, 2013 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) expresses its deepest condolences to the people of Venezuela, Latin America and all who supported the Bolivarian Revolution, for the loss of our great Comrade Hugo Chavez.
Comrade Chavez had gained the most votes in the history of Venezuela when he elected for the fourth consecutive presidential term. Unfortunately, now the unfinished revolutionary process has to go on without the physical presence of Comrade Chavez.
As vice-president Nicolas Maduro said, "Those who die for life, can’t be called dead." Comrade Chavez will be more alive than ever in the heart of all the people who committed themselves to the struggle for a better world free of the savageness of capitalism and neoliberal imperialism.
Comrade Chavez is a visionary revolutionary who not only inspires the people in Venezuela, but also the downtrodden in Latin America as well as people fighting against the neoliberal agenda around the world. The Bolivarian Revolution has captured the imagination of many people, including us in the PSM, that another world is possible.
The PSM believes that the legacy of comrade Chavez can be defended through continuous mobilisation from below for socialism of the 21st century.
In solidarity, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM)
Partido Lakas ng Masa statement on the passing away of Commandante Hugo Chavez
March 7, 2013 -- The beacon has passed away. But the light within us will guide us. We shall continue the journey.
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines) joins PhilVenSol (Philippines-Venezuela Solidarity Network) in remembering and honouring the life and struggle of Commandante Hugo Chavez. He inspired us, and millions of poor people around the world, to dare to struggle and dare to win the fight for socialism in today’s world, in this 21st century.
President Chavez has proven to everyone that there is an alternative to the rotten neoliberal order that capitalism offers today. His achievements mute the trumpets of the capitalist world; capitalism represents the old order that dehumanises people and jeopardises the existence of our very own planet. Chavez’s accomplishments have been a great boon to the lives and livelihood not only of the Venezuelan people, but of the people of Latin America as well.
Chavez represents a new type of socialist leader, whose vision and action inspire and mobilise people to take matters on their own hands. With this style of leadership, we are confident that the Bolivarian Revolution that Chavez has led will continue because he has trained a big number of leaders of his calibre who will lead and can continue the fight for socialism in Venezuela, in Latin America and in all parts of the world.
Mabuhay, Komandante Chavez!
Tuloy ang Laban para sa Sosyalismo!
Solidarity from People’s Democratic Party, Indonesia
To: Embassy Republic of Bolivarian of Venezuela for Indonesia, Jakarta, March 6, 2013
At this sad moment we would like to expresses our solidarity and sincere condolences to the people of Venezuela.
During his life, President Chavez has dedicated himself in the struggle to realize a new world without the oppression or exploitation. And without a doubt, he has inspiring many of people throughout the world, including us in Indonesia.
We are strongly believe, that the struggle of Venezuelan people for a better world will continue. Chavez’s enthusiasm, courage, and warm heart, has grown blossomed in the hearts of millions of people in the world.
Please send our regards to the vice president Nicolas Maduro and people of Venezuela. Our though and heart are with you.
Viva Chavez! Hasta la victoria siempre!
People’s Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia
Agus Jabo Priyono, chairperson
Dominggus Oktavanus, general secretary
Communist Party of Australia deeply saddened by the passing of Hugo Chávez
The Communist Party of Australia’s national president, Vinnie Molina, expressed his party’s sadness on the passing of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez. “President Chávez was an inspirational figure to progressive people in Latin America and throughout the world”, Mr Molina said. “As an Australian of Latin American background, I can appreciate just how much his efforts to unite the continent and to restore its sovereignty in the face of fierce opposition from the US meant to the people of the region. Hugo Chávez transformed Venezuela from a basket case victim of neo-liberal policy to one where the country’s resource income is spent on eradicating poverty and other social needs.”
“The example of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela spilled over that country’s borders and broke the grip of neoliberalism on the governments of several nations”, Mr Molina continued. “Hugo Chávez’ leadership played a major role in unleashing the social forces now transforming Latin America. He helped enormously in putting socialism back on the agenda as the only alternative to capitalism, which is threatening the future of humanity through war and environmental disaster. Chávez’ name will forever be associated with the renewed advance of the peoples of the world towards socialism. Dangers lie ahead, but the commitment and achievements of Comrade Chávez should inspire us.”