Klaus Hart Brasilientexte

Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz

“From Salvador@Allende – To: My Colleagues” – Befreiungstheologe Frei Betto.

Dear Friends
I heard that you have prepared celebrations for my 100th birthday. If I were still with you, Che Guevara would have been 80 in June.
As a matter of fact I have seen the well deserved tributes to him on the web site www.che80.co.cu <http://www.che80.co.cu>  <http://www.che80.co.cu/> .

You must be aware that, since the 1970s, I am an aficionado of computers. I was the first president in Latin America to use one. Thanks to a huge computer and a network of telex machines “ the Cybersyn project “ my government managed the Chilean economy. Now, perhaps the internet will help me to better understand communication between life on earth and life eternal. From here I can see both the message and the sender. From where you are you see the message but not the sender. All of this is in real time which challenges the doubts of many¦I often talk to Perón, to Jango Goulart and to Arbenz about our governments. We were not prepared to implement socialism by decree. While we were fishing, St. Peter lamented the failure of Popular Unity and observed that we had tried to put new patches on old garments. Bolivar pondered that Fidel had done well to mobilise the people and change the nature and the character of the State. Our failure, Paulo Freire said (it is very encouraging living in eternity with all these people), was not to have done more intense work in grassroots formation and organisation. There was something messianic in the 1960s™ left which raised the ”vanguard of the proletariat. We only forgot to tell the proletariat that they 1) were a class who were theoretically revolutionary and 2) had a vanguard prepared to lead it to socialism.

In that void the bourgeoisie and conservative forces managed to open a chasm between the left and the people. Those on Earth who have already passed middle age and have white hair will remember that some of us committed the lunacy of associating the left with atheism on a Continent where even the Andes mountain range is known as Pacha Mama. How could one ever practise grassroots politics in Mexico without the blessings of Our Lady of Guadalupe?In a bipolar world warmed by the Cold War, there was no space for democratic transition. That is why it was not difficult for the ghost of communism to scare hearts and minds. As there were no conscientised and organised grassroots bases, Lenin believes that objective conditions did not combine with subjective ones. This allowed the sequence of military coups which thrust South America into the darkest period of its history only comparable to the early years of Iberian colonisation when the indigenous peoples were massacred. Marx commented to me that during the 1970s there was no coup in the USA because there is no American embassy in Washington¦
I did not avoid the Pinochet dictatorship (actually, I can say that he is not here with us. I don™t know where he was sent) but I salvaged what was consistent in my life as well as my principles. I do not regret having struggled to the end. A leftist militant, according to Che, can lose everything, even his life, but not his morals.

The cycle of military dictatorships delayed, in every sense, the civilising process of our countries. It didn™t even have success from the capitalist point of view. It instituted corruption as intrinsic to the political action of the State, left our countries in debt and unleashed worrisome inflation. Not to mention the atrocities committed.After the dictatorships, the cycle of neo liberal governments began with the same figures in power now disguised as democrats. Our countries were governed by sinister and corrupt figures such as Collor in Brazil, Menem in Argentina, Fujimori in Peru and Carlos Andres Perez in Venezuela¦We are now starting the third cycle of the past few decades: a democratic-popular one. I see with joy and optimism the governments of Chavez, Lula, Morales, Correa and Lugo. The election of Ortega in Nicaragua and the auspicious transition of power in Cuba on the way to improving socialism are also signs of the Democratic Springtime which blooms in a large part of Latin America, repudiating ALCA and strengthening bonds of solidarity between our peoples through pacts such as ALBA, Mercosul, UnaSur, Telesur etc.

The good thing about living in eternity is that from here we can better observe what is happening on Earth. Not only the holes in the ozone layer but also those which put this new cycle at risk. From the height of my 100 years, I must warn these new governments “ elected to operate structural change “ that this is a unique opportunity to do so by democratic and pacific means. However in the relationship between governor and those governed do not make the mistake of only trusting established institutions like the parliament. Machiavelli reminds me that to be in government is not necessarily the same as being in power. I should know! To assure governance by giving preference to parliament is to run the risk of becoming hostage to the parties accustomed to surviving politically in the shadow of the Executive but not in harmony with our proposal to build socialism in the long term¦

If they plan to avoid that risk, make sure of governance also through the support and mobilisation of organised social movements in neighbourhoods, churches and labour sectors. Strengthen strong trade unions, student movements and trustworthy NGOs. Lean on the landless and homeless, on indigenous, black, gender and human rights movements. The more organised civil society is the more grassroots movements will be empowered. This is the path towards participative democracy.

Lean on ideologically consistent parties (try to create them if they do not exist) and develop intense work in the training of militants. Trusting your own charisma do not commit the grave mistake of giving in to the temptation of neo caudillismo and suppressing of institutional mediations between governor and those governed. Know that the poor are not taken in by sectarian discourse but by the gaining of elementary rights such as food, health and education. It is not enough to assure them of sufficient income which will free them from poverty. It is necessary to adopt compensatory policies through which they can gain access to means of production such as land and can generate their own income without remaining dependent on the State.

Do not confuse personal time with historical time as so many of my generation did. Even though you do not take part in the harvest be prepared to live as seeds. Plant adequate conditions so that Latin America can free herself from the interference of the White House and from the economic fluctuations of metropolitan countries. Instill in the people, without falling into xenophobia, a profound feeling of sovereignty and independence.  

Know how to list the important topics of the international conjuncture. Gandhi is horrified that so much discussion goes on regarding the production of ethanol – food for 800 million automobiles – without discussing feeding 854 million people who suffer chronic malnutrition, nor an alternative to this individualistic model which insists on defining the human being as an animal gifted with six legs¦Carry the banner of environmental preservation which affects both the poor and the rich. Prevent the Amazon from being devastated by the lumber and mining industries, by mineral prospectors, squatters and large land owners. Protect the rights of the indigenous, dare to promote agrarian reform, invest lavishly in quality education and health.Celebrate my 100th birthday with your eyes on the future and convinced that socialism is the political name for love.
From The Land Without Evil[1] <#_ftn1> ,Salvador Allende
*Frei Betto is a writer, author of ”A mosca azul “ reflexáo sobre o poder (The Blue Fly “ a reflection on power) (Rocco).

[1] <#_ftnref1>  In Portuguese ”Terra Sem Males, a Tupi Guarani term for a land without evil which they believed existed beyond the mountains or beyond the sea.

He is a Brazilian Dominican with an international reputation as a liberation theologian.
Within Brazil he is equally famous as a writer, with over 52 books to his name.  In 1985 he won Brazil™s most important literary prize, the Jabuti, and was elected Intellectual of the Year by the members of the Brazilian Writers™ Union.Frei Betto has always been active in Brazilian social movements, and has been an adviser to the Church™s ministry to workers in Sáo Paulo™s industrial belt, to the Church base communities, and to the Landless Rural Workers™ Movement (MST).

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Montag, 01. September 2008 um 03:40 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Kultur, Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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