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Words of Ch?vez

The following is the first edition of a regular column written by President Hugo Chávez Frías as of Thursday, January 22nd:

Words of Chávez

The First Edition

My strongest hits as a baseball player always went to the right field.

Now, in the field of politics and revolution, the words I start writing today will go to every field with the same strength of my hits.

The only difference is that they now have the strength of ideas, conviction and passion for my homeland.

I am in essence a soldier. And as such, I was trained in the school of commitment and obedience to the legitimate power that leads the collective efforts, in search of tactical objectives and strategic aims.

The circumstances and conditions that marked my life turned me into a revolutionary soldier very early. Since then, I began taking the sovereign power of the Venezuelan people, to whom I am absolutely subordinated, to be legitimate and superior. And I will be subordinate to the people for the rest of my life.

I say this today, in the midst of events marking the beginning of 2009, as the political battle unleashed two centuries ago worsens. Some people, most of us, want National Independence; others, a minority, want to turn Venezuela into a colony again, into a sub-imperial country, a sub-republic.

There is no other path to Venezuelan independence but through National Revolution.

There is no other path for the greatness of the Homeland than this one, which we have already started on, socialism, our Bolivarian Socialism: Socialist Democracy!

The other path, the one the colonialist pitiyankees (little yankees) want to lead us on, would condemn our country to handicap, smallness and to the tomb of history. This is the way of capitalism and it is expressed politically as “bourgeois democracy.”

We the Independentists carry an oath, the one our father and leader, Simón Bolívar, took on Monte Sacro on August 15, 1805. We, the Patriots, have a plan; we carry a flag…

They, the Colonialists, do not have an oath, plan, or flag. Rather, as we have seen in different pitiyankee activities, their upside-down flag, with seven stars, not eight as our Bolívar decreed in Angostura, says it all: they represent everything contrary to the Homeland; they are counter-flag, the counter-Venezuela, and the counter-Bolívar. They are a negation. They are the no-Homeland.

And I want to express this in my lines, especially now that we are in the middle of a campaign for the February 15 referendum.

February! February again! For some years now, I have felt that my life is strongly linked to this month, the heat of the plains, and the summer gusts of wind: February 27! [In 1989, the day of El Caracazo, a wave of riots against IMF policies implemented by then-President Carlos Andrés Perez] February 4! [In 1992, the day then-army officer Hugo Chávez led an aborted military uprising the neo-liberal government of Venezuela] February 2! [In 1999, the day President Chávez was inaugurated]

And now: February 15

Twenty years after “El Caracazo”1, an event that created me, seventeen years after the Bolivarian Military Rebellion2 that gave birth to me, and ten years after my inauguration as President, I put my life and future in the hands of the people and their sovereign decision. This revolutionary soldier will do what the people order.

If the majority says No, then I will leave office on another February, in 2013.

On the other hand, if a majority of you, Venezuelans, support the amendment with a Yes vote, then it is possible I may be at the helm beyond 2013.

But this is not the most important thing. Here and now, the important thing is that, if the No vote wins, the colony and the counter-Homeland will be imposed. If the Yes option wins, the Homeland and the Independence will prevail.

Therefore, I say again, men and women, youth of Venezuela:

Those who want a Homeland, come with me!

Those who come with me will have a Homeland!

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías / January 22, 2009

Translation by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office

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