In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Chavez: Fidel Is Stronger than Hurricane Ike

Posted by smeddum on September 28, 2008

Chavez: Fidel Is Stronger than Hurricane Ike
By Jorge Petinaud

Moscow, Sep 28 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s visit to Moscow, his meetings with top Russian leaders this week, and the signing of transcendental agreements are events of world relevance.

After talks with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and about to leave for a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Medvedev, in Orenburg, some 910 miles south of this capital, Chavez granted an interview to Prensa Latina.

At the entrance to Vnukovo 3 airport, when he realized there was a Cuban journalist there, the Venezuelan head of State took the initiative.

I come very happy from Cuba. Fidel is stronger and more impetuous than Hurricane Ike. We talked a lot and as I was saying goodbye, I was impressed by his strength.

I was walking away for about 165 feet, and I heard a call from a distance: Chavez! and then I turned around.

We shall overcome! he told me even lauder. Just like that, I’m not exaggerating. Havana resounded with that shout from Hurricane Fidel. And it is true, we are overcoming.

Fidel is optimism. Hurricane Ike hit Cuba and destroyed a vast part of the country, of its infrastructure, its agriculture. And after that tragedy, Fidel, standing, said, “We are lucky to have a Revolution!”

During this visit to Russia I say, “We are lucky that Putin and I met eight years ago. We are lucky that Putin, Medvedev, came to power; We are lucky that Russia stood up on time.

What would have happened if Russia had failed to stand up on time? Tell me if Venezuela had failed to stand up from neoliberal rule, from imperialist control. We would have been swept along by that other hurricane.

But we are standing here, not only on one foot, but moving ahead with firm steps, with agreements like those we have approved in such a pleasant meeting with Prime Minister Putin.

PL- What can you tell us about this new meeting?

We met for three hours in the presence of Russian Vice President Igor Sechin and ministers from the two countries. It was a splendid conversation.

I would say, regarding previous meetings, all of which were extraordinary, that this is the best that I, personally, have had for a long time, not only with a prime minister like Putin, but with a great friend.

Every day we feel closer friends and we are more identified, together in the resolution to carry out, along with President Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian and Venezuelan peoples, our ideas for the comprehensive development of our countries, the freedom of peace.

PL- What will your sixth visit to Russia contribute?

The contributions will be infinite by their quality. We are leaving for Orenburg, which is two hours from here by plane, but by the time zone, that territory is two hours ahead of Moscow.

There we will sign a group of documents and will conclude others that will be signed in late October in Caracas, when the High Level Intergovernmental Commission (HLIC), headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Venezuelan Vice President Ramon Carrizales, will meet.

We will create an energy consortium that it will be a colossus. Gazprom, the world largest oil company, will ally with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), another oil giant.

A colossus is being born: Gazprom-PDVSA, we will ally for investments, explorations, exploitation, processing, commercialization of energy, oil, gas and many other spheres.

I am very grateful for the resolution, the decision of the Russian government to continue to support us in technological transfer, the industrialization of Venezuela. We spoke about 100 issues, although I mentioned only two now.

PL- This Russia-Venezuela association can make a great contribution to the consolidation of a multipolar world…

For a long time we have been pushing for a multipolar world that was already born and is growing up. The capitalist pretention of a unipolar world, the pretention of Washington’s consensus, is sinking. That is over and it went down in history.

Unfortunately, it leaves and will leave sequels for a long time, above all for those who blindly believed in market fundamentalism. We did not.

China, which stood up, is also a standing world power like Russia. All in all, the pluripolar world is on the horizon. I told Vladimir (Putin) in our meeting, “New prospects are opening to us.”

That horizon, seen from a geopolitical perspective, is that, new world geopolitics is underway. As quickly as we are in Venezuela.

In our country, we have an expression to say that we have to hurry: put on the skates, and we have them on. It is so that two months ago, I was here and I have returned.

Just one week ago, Igor Sechin was in Caracas, and now we are here, working. And one month from now the Joint Commission will be meeting in Caracas. We are fast, as our young people say, we put on the skates of socialism.

The socialist youth invented a slogan, “Put on the shoes of socialism.” Now, from Russia, we say, “Let’s put on the shoes of the new world geopolitics.” It is the world in balance, as Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti said.

PL- How far do you think the shoes of socialism will go in Latin America?

¡Uuhh!, we are just beginning, there comes the trot of socialism, which sprouts new shoots. Ours is Indo-American socialism, as Jose Carlos Mariategui said.

There is the Evo Morales government in Bolivia, developing socialism with support from indigenous people; Fernando Lugo, in Paraguay, a Catholic bishop, proclaiming Christ’s true doctrine, the Theology of Liberation, the option for the poor.

There is Rafael Correa, with the citizens’ and Alfaro’s Revolution; the Bolivarian project in Venezuela, Cuban socialism; Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista project. We are starting a new era. A true revolution in Latin America. But beyond ideologies, it is not about the capitalist and the socialist blocs anymore. It is a new geopolitics, richer, more diverse than those two big opponents from the 20th century. Now is something more diverse, more varied.

PL- President, you have insisted on the importance of developing a theory to explain what is happening in the Americas…

Fidel. Fidel again. He said a few months ago that there is a food, energy, ecological, financial crisis in the world, when that disaster that is scaring the planet today was just emerging.

But the worst of all, Fidel says, is the crisis of ideas. For a long time we have embarked in the battle of ideas in Cuba, in Venezuela, in the Americas to shape new ideological structure.

As Marti taught us, but from our own roots. Let’s find our roots. Our ideology must be open to the universe, it must have branches and leaves like a tree, but the trunk and roots must be ours.

In such a way that for several years, we have modestly been making a humble ideological contribution: Bolivarianism, since the military rebellion of February 4, 1992.

As great Cuban intellectual Roberto Fernandez Retamar wrote, in a masterpiece I used to study when I was in prison, Bolivar and Marti were the first profound anti-imperialist thinkers in the continent, without disregarding other valuable contributions.

They best interpreted the root cause of our historic conflict.

Retamar used to say in the 1980s and 1990s that in the upcoming years, Bolivarianism could become Latin America’s fundamental ideological engine.

We are promoting the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America). Bolivar’s concept, the Our Father, as Neruda used to say, “Everything has its name in this silent latitude.”

It is not silent anymore, the Americas are boiling, agitated, now.

To that continent, to Fidel, to Raul, to the Cuban people, I convey my salutations from Russia through Prensa Latina.

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