Important Statement About Chavez, Iran, and Women’s Freedom

Read this now.

Just last week, speaking to an international gathering of women, president Chavez declared that the socialist revolution will end machismo in Venezuela, that he is an enemy of machismo. He also said that he used to be a machista. He praised the women of Venezuela as being on the front lines in the struggle for the new society.

Bueno. Nice words, Hugo. Yet I am far more likely to side with the perspective expressed in the linked article above. Although I support the Venezuelan revolution, and although I am inspired by that revolution, there is absolutely always room to be critical, even disgusted, and I am disgusted with the way Chavez’ relationship with Iran plays out continuously. But it’s not just limited to Iran. What about the relationship with the Chinese government? What about his ally, Daniel Ortega, now leftist president of Nicaragua, and his step-daughter who came forward and declared him a child sexual abuser? Just CIA spin, or is that a not-so subtle leftist smokescreen to avoid holding him accountable? I side with her.

I understand oil-power politics, and the need for Iran and Venezuela to stick together to survive US imperialism, but still we must ask ourselves, in order to keep our souls, at what cost? And we cannot just look away from the fact of who pays those costs…the women of these nations, especially the women of Iran.

I believe that Venezuelan women are probably way better off under Chavez than before. I met many women there who were returning to school, becoming organizers, starting businesses with loans from the incredible women’s bank…these are real victories for Venezuelan women, and they are related to Chavez’ policies, but we can hold these truths and still acknowledge the unacceptable, the unjust, the unthinkable that is still happening, even with male leftist revolutionaries supposedly moving toward a “non-machista” society.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi