Opinion: Socialist dystopia by Nicolás Maduro
They fight with a socialism that does not exist. They fight against an anti-utopia that does not belong to anyone. They imagine a world without family, without order, without market, without freedom. The right-wing liberals of the world invented a ghost, they hung the sign of “socialism” and now they are seeing it everywhere, especially, and all the time in Venezuela. But it is enough.
Because that socialism against which they fight is not the one which we, the inclusive democracies create, full of people who live the 21st century. Our socialism is particular, popular and deeply Latin American. As we said clearly during the Assembly of the United Nations last September: ours is an autonomous project of democratic revolution, of social demand, it is a model and a path of its own that is based on our own history and our culture.
And of course, our democracy is different because it was founded neither by nor for the elites, as were the liberal democracies of Europe and the United States. Against that model we rebel and that is why we proposed, 20 years ago, a democracy we can call our own, based on the sovereign heart of the Venezuelan people.
The truth is that, at the end of the twentieth century, when in Latin America we left the period of dictatorships promoted by the United States, they tried, with the idea of ”liberal democracy”, to wrap us a gift package – like a Trojan horse – with all the values of their own concept of “modernity”. But we want to tell you that here in Latin America we also have identity and values, and that we want to involve our own values in our democracy, instead of the foreign ones. Not only those of the individual and capital. Also those of solidarity and community. For us, the Homeland is the other.
We learned the lesson, because it happened to us for centuries. Instead of enriching our own culture with the outside, the Latin American elites and their liberal fashions have permanently tried to re-found Europe in the heart of America. Destroying again all that seems different. Elites for whom the other beings, the Indian and the black, were rather the monkey before the human.
We fervently believe in our and Latin American democracy, because we believe and we fulfill in Venezuela with three basis as an essence and necessity: First, because we carry out elections systematically, daily and peacefully. During the past 20 years we have made 25 elections, all of them endorsed by national and international institutions and political actors. Some of which we have won overwhelmingly, others we have lost.
Second, because the citizens in Venezuela, through mechanisms of direct democracy, fundamentally connected with neighborhood organizations and political parties, have access and control over public resources. And third, because in Venezuela it is the people who rule, not the elites.
Before me Chávez ruled, a soldier descended from blacks and Indians who became the father of the country. Today, Venezuela is governed – for six years – by a modest syndicalist and bus driver. In Venezuela it is the people who govern themselves, because it was their Constituent Assembly, which conceived and drafted their own constitution.
We are not and we do not want to be a model of democracy. We are, instead, the democracy that defined and defends its people, which it amasses in an everyday effort against lies and false flags. An imperfect democracy that works day by day to be for everyone and more just.