Posted 10 months ago on Oct. 3, 2013, 10:56 p.m. EST by sabokitty
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Our generation has few great heroes who have fallen before their time. Our parents can remember losing Malcolm and Martin and Allende and Nkrumah and Lumumba and Che and Medgar and so many others. But we have few we can really point to. And when we see them go, many of us are too quick to prove our disdain for iconography and our lack of faith in any kind of leadership.
Especially from the 1960s to the 1980s, Latin America was in the grips of dirty wars. Dirty, filthy, anti-communist wars. Wars in the shadows, wars in broad daylights, wars in mine-filled bay waters, in helicopters over seas, in industry-turned-torture chambers. Hundreds of thousands were tortured, murdered, disappeared. Continent-wide white terror heard that cliche about “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come” and set out to prove that death squads had a way of doing so. Towns erased, family lineages extinguished, peoples washed off the historical record, and dreams shattered. Dreams of independence, of socialism, of agency. On top of that, the Soviet-style dictatorships collapsed, and while the realities were complex (I probably don’t mean what you think I do), the writing was on the wall:
"History is over."
"Socialism was an experiment of the past."
"Neo-colonialism has won."
The 1990s (starting earlier for some, later for others) was a decade of defeat for many. It was a decade of rebuilding after the wars and dictatorships. It was a decade where neo-liberalism emerged atop the heap of rubble that was social unrest, and declared it had vanquished every foe. Cuba struggled through its Special Period. NAFTA had passed, and rushed processes that had hit people hard. The Zapatistas were a rare beacon of hope, and truth be told, their particular brand of autonomous struggle did not spread nearly as rapidly or forcefully as many other styles of revolt. The blood still visible in the streets. Privatization creeping across the lands like the Nothing. The Washington Consensus with its chin up. The people cowered.
It was into this mix that Hugo Chavez stepped...
Complete can be found here: http://tmblr.co/Z0TBiwfd_xUT