President/Commander Daniel in Videoconference in Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum
and the 66th Birthday of the Eternal Commander, Hugo Chávez Frías
July 28, 2020
Our embrace to the People of Bolivar, to the People of Chavez, guided and led by our Brother, always stalwart, always combative, always loyal to the ideals of Bolivar, to the ideals of Chavez, Nicolas Maduro Moros, fighting an unprecedented battle. The battle that Venezuela is waging is unprecedented in Our America. What we remember is how the imperialists used to overthrow governments on Earth with merely a note. One note was enough and the ruler would give up and leave.
And here Nicaragua accompanies, as always, the Bolivarian People, the Venezuelan People, giving them our humble contribution, always with firmness, always with loyalty. And condemning, really, we have to condemn the attack that has taken place against the Consulate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in Colombia. We have recently learned of this, which violates international law, which violates the agreements and commitments undertaken by the Government of Colombia.
We have seen there in the footage from TELESUR, which is now in its 15th anniversary, TELESUR, our greeting to TELESUR, and to all the Workers of TELESUR, to its President. We have seen in TELESUR, on the one hand, the footage of the Venezuelan Consulate, which was razed! The barbarians entered the Venezuelan Consulate... Destroying it!
We have seen the footage of the Venezuelan Consulate in Bogotá and we have seen the footage of the Colombian Consulate in Venezuela, intact, the Colombian Consulate in Venezuela, where the residence of the Colombian Embassy is also located, which is guarded there by the Venezuelan people and Government.
Two diametrically opposed behaviors! On the one hand, Venezuela respecting international norms; on the other hand, the Colombian Government totally neglecting those principles. And we hope that this really was an oversight and not a plan encouraged by the Colombian Government, and we hope that, as Foreign Minister Arreaza has said, Colombia will investigate and take the appropriate measures so that these events do not happen again.
Of course, it is a tragedy, a tragedy that a People that is part of the great battle that was fought and led by Bolivar, is now governed by those who are willing to attack Venezuela, by express and even orders given in person from the Empire, because in the attempt to invade Venezuela from Colombia, the Empire was there, the Empire was giving orders. But the Colombian people are a dignified people and we are sure that the Colombian people reject, condemn and repudiate these acts.
And our greetings to that Heroic Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, the Revolution that embodied Martí's libertarian struggle as Fidel knew how to embody it... Fidel and Raúl assaulting the Moncada one month of July! And the Cuban People always influenced by the ideas, the ideals, the strength of Fidel, of Raul, of President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Brother, Comrade, to whom we express all our Respect, all our Love, all our Solidarity. An extraordinary People, who, just like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has fought a titanic battle for 60 years, resisting invasions, acts of terrorism, economic sanctions and blockades.
At one point it seemed that the United States was finally going to move towards dialogue and understanding with Cuba. That was the proposal made to President Obama, and it was made to him by President Chávez, we also made that proposal, and when it seemed that a new route was being opened with Cuba, at the same time as that apparently extraordinary and surprising step took place, also came the vicious move against Venezuela, declaring it a threat to the security of the United States. And then with this new government, also accusing Nicaragua of being a threat to the security of the United States.
In other words, what was achieved in that period of time with Cuba collapsed, and the battle is again being fought today in the most brutal way, because the United States of America is a powerful country, a nuclear power, an economic power, a very big power capable even of subduing those it calls allies, but who in the end lost the strength they had formerly. They were Empires in other times, it is true, they dominated Africa, they invaded Africa, Asia, Latin America... Yes, they were Empires, they were powerful when there was no American Empire.
Then they moved from Europe to occupy American soil, soil that did not belong to them, that belonged to the Original Peoples, in the North of our America, as well as in all of Latin America and the Caribbean, lands that had owners, peoples that had their culture, their identity, their language, their religion, their economic and social practices, which were no threat to the European Powers, but the Europeans were eager to dispute among themselves the dominance of the hitherto known World, and they met America along the way and decided that it was their possession.
And there in the North were concentrated the emigrants who arrived from the most developed countries of Europe. They arrived there, and a Nation that should have behaved with respect for the Peoples that were being formed, that were being installed in that new stage of History, really new Nations that were emerging from that brutal clash of Colonialism against our Original Peoples, instead of looking for a way to respect and contribute to the development of all of Our America, they tried to conquer for themselves in their conflict with Europe, because Europe was determined to take possession by fighting with their Colonists, in the North and in all of Our America, fighting over these territories.
Already the United States had decided that these territories were theirs to tak over. They had already decided, they had already determined. It was already in the very essence of that Nation, the expansionist and Imperialist policy of domination. Already at its core was what we would later come to know as the Monroe Doctrine, of "America for Americans". And they did not launch this because the threat was Venezuela, or Cuba, or the Soviet Union, or Russia today, or China today; they launched this threat because there was a struggle between them and the Europeans.
Here in Nicaragua the country was divided, the Pacific Zone dominated by the Spanish Colonialists, and the Caribbean Zone dominated by the British, with the British continually trying to figure out how to advance into the Pacific, and the Spanish resisting, defending this territory which they had occupied and which they had determined to be a possession, by royal decree, of the Kingdom of Spain.
In the name of the cross and the sword this brutal act was committed, in no way democratic! And they claim to be the "fathers of Democracy". They are the fathers of colonialism! They are the fathers of slavery! They are the fathers of terrorism! They are the fathers of the violation of our Peoples' human rights!
And in those conditions Latin America and the Caribbean have lived and fought a thousand battles, with Peoples who were not willing to submit, even though they were imprisoned, tortured, enslaved, and assassinated. Under these conditions, great victories took place, from victories that set the starting point for the defense of Latin American and Caribbean Identity, like the great battles that were fought in the South of Our America led by Bolivar, and the great battles that started from the North, in Mexico, with the Grito de Hidalgo, Morelos, there were great battles, those that were fought in these lands, in these territories, where next year in the month of September we will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of the independence of the Central American countries from the Kingdom of Spain.
And I would say that, as Comandante Fidel would later say, from there, from there we would not stop, our Peoples would never stop going! We began to walk with the strength of Bolivar's Ideas, fighting not only the Battle for Independence, but the Battle for the Unity of our Latin America and the Caribbean.
He went further, he was looking Centuries ahead, but he did not wait for that historical fact to happen in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, but he also began, from that moment, to take the practical steps to achieve the Integration and Unity of our Peoples.
How much, how much it cost to achieve it! And in order to achieve that Latin American and Caribbean Unity, well, we went through the Cuban Revolution which raised that banner, which made the Ideal of Bolivar flesh and blood in our Peoples. Bolívar's Ideal that had been taken up by Sandino in his battle against the yankee invaders, and by Martí, with his powerful voice and his militant attitude, fightinh the Battle for Cuba's Freedom, and falling in the Battle of Dos Ríos.
How much heroism! How much firmness! How much intelligence! How much clarity! How much courage! How much nobility! Bolívar, Martí, Sandino, Hidalgo, the Heroes of Our America; Fidel and the Sierra Maestra. And the Battle of Cuba. And the Solidarity of Cuba, blockaded, under sanctions. Yes, in those times it was Cuba's turn to fight the Battle, as a State, in the Region, alone, with the exception of Mexico, which did not join the decision made at that time by that instrument at the service of the U.S. expansionist policy, where they decided to condemn Cuba and expel it for having made the decision to carry out a Revolutionary process for the benefit of its People and to put into practice Solidarity with the Peoples of the World.
Beyond political-ideological differences with governments, Cuba was always attentive, as it has been all along. And we do not forget that it was present here in Nicaragua with its Medical Brigades in the days of the earthquake. When the earthquake occurred and Somoza was governing here in Nicaragua, Somoza had lent Nicaragua's territory to train mercenaries here on the Caribbean coast, eyeing Cuba and training the mercenaries who would later be defeated by Fidel and the Cuban people there in Giron, where a Nicaraguan brother, a pilot, would also fall, fighting alongside Fidel with the Cuban people.
In those days when Somoza, the tyrant imposed by the Yankees here in Nicaragua after murdering Sandino, was taking advantage of the earthquake to make himself more wealthy, to steal, beyond the wealth he had already accumulated, also he and his gang were stealing, appropriating what was coming to aid the Nicaraguan people.
The earthquake was in 1972, we were in jail, there we spent the earthquake, in jail. Well, suddenly the Cuban mission appeared, Somoza could not say no, and Cuba, Fidel could not be absent, never mind the fact that Nicaragua's ruler was a tyrant who had lent himself, and was ready still, to attack Cuba in any way, Fidel did not hesitate to send that mission of Cuban Doctors to help the families that had been affected by the earthquake here in Managua.
Solidarity, that Principle sowed by Fidel, the Principle of Solidarity, which is the most noble Principle, as an expression of Love, of the strength of humanity, Solidarity, generosity, without conditions! Unconditional!
Twenty years later, the Sandinista Popular Revolution triumphed, and there was Cuba, there was Fidel, here was Cuba, here was Fidel in that Battle. And I remember that, on the first anniversary of the Revolution, when Fidel was there, and Lula was there, Lula was also there, yes, on that Anniversary, that's where Fidel and Lula met, here in Nicaragua, the Revolution brought them together.
We had already met Lula there in Sao Paulo, we had gone there after the Triumph of the Revolution, we had been with Lula there; they had been on a big hunger strike there in Brazil and Lula had gotten out of jail, other Comrades were still in jail. We were there in Brazil in various activities sharing with Lula and with the Brothers and Sisters who accompanied him in that battle.
Then here in Managua, in 1980, that meeting between that Comrade, that Brother, that Great Latin American and Caribbean Leader, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Our embrace, our Love for Lula, who is in our Heart and is present in these Battles. I was reading just now, before coming here, I was reading some statements that he gave at this time, always with that firmness, with that strength.
And I remember how in that meeting, in that anniversary, that meeting together really, where the People were gathered in a square, it was not the Square of the Revolution, nor the Square of the Faith, but a square we improvised at that moment, and there Fidel challenged the United States of America. I remember Fidel invited the United States, then still governed by Carter, invited the United States to join forces and by all means to compete with Cuba in contributing to the reconstruction, to the fight against poverty, to the fight for literacy, to the fight for the health of the Nicaraguan people.
He publicly launched that challenge, that call to the United States of America, in 1980. A call to reason, to intelligence, to what should be a true Spirit fully endowed with Humanity so as to be able to call itself Democratic. Because in order to be called Democratic, a Ruler, a Government, a Society, a System, has to start from that elementary Principle: from the Principle of Humanity!
And well, there was the Battle in Nicaragua in the 80s, from 1979 to 1990, the War imposed by the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, who even said he was the "Chief" of the Counter-Revolution in Nicaragua, he said it like that, to utter complacency; and more than 50,000 victims, billions in losses of the economy, destruction everywhere.
They sowed terror in Nicaragua for more than 10 years! They destroyed schools, health posts; they murdered doctors, teachers, peasants; they mined our ports; they blockaded us; they cut us off, pressured Latin America to cut off our oil supply, and they did too, they managed to cut off the oil supply. How much pressure they practiced, but in the end they couldn't pass, because they wanted to enter Nicaragua, they wanted to enter Nicaragua victoriously; they couldn't pass.
And we, who had approved a new Constitution in our country and who had established, according to our conditions, according to the historical moment, we had established a mixed, pluralistic economy model, we went to elections in 84, and we won them; we went to Elections in 1990, and we did not win them.
It was the same Supreme Electoral Council as in 1984, all Sandinista Sisters and Brothers, the Electoral Council that in 1990 gave the victory to the political forces that had organized for the Empire in our country. Those political forces were organized by the Empire, financed by the Empire, and the Empire took on the job, even then, of repeating that if the Sandinista Front won those elections then the war would continue, there would be no Peace.
In other words, they put a gun to the Nicaraguan people's head, it was not a free election, because it was intervened by the North American Power, openly intervened, and we accepted the results and went to fight the battle. We said then: Now, Nicaraguan sisters and brothers, we are going to govern from below. We have to fight! 17 years out of Government.
We opened the doors to other political forces that in Somoza's time would never have thought they were going to reach the presidency of this country, the Somoza family would still be reigning in Nicaragua. And under those circumstances, political forces subordinate to the Empire became the Government, took over the Presidency of Nicaragua, but they were no longer subordinate to Somoza, but rather were political forces, some with Somocista roots, others opposed to Somoza, but both dedicated to the Empire, both well known throughout the history of our country for having requested yankee intervention, for having invited yankee intervention, in the previous century, in 1854 when the first Yankee expansionists came to our country and was defeated at San Jacinto on September 14.
The same people who asked for yankee intervention to overthrow of the Liberal Government of Zelaya, with the Knox Note, which told him he had to go, and sending warships to Nicaragua. And indeed the ships arrived in Corinto, and Zelaya left, and who was left defending the sovereignty of the country? A patriot, General Benjamin Zeledon. The other Liberals began to kneel down to the Yankees, together with the Conservatives.
Those are the roots of the political parties that arrived in Government in 1990 and whom Somoza and the yankees had blocked from assuming the Government since 1934, after assassinating Sandino. They arrived ingovernment, thanks to what? Thanks to the Revolution, thanks to the Sandinista Front, otherwise Señora Chamorro would never have been President of this country, nor Arnoldo Alemán...
Doctor Arnoldo Alemán would never have been President of this country either, however capable he may be, even if he were after all just a liberal Somoza; but the fact is, Somoza would never have allowed him to be President of this country. Nor would Enrique Bolaños Geyer, a traditional Conservative, who came to power under the banner of Liberalism in an alliance with the Liberals, he would never have come to power.
Those three governments had the chance to show that they were lackeys, servants of Imperialism, and when Imperialism said that aid was going to come in a massive way to Nicaragua, what happened? No such aid ever came, what did come were orders and plundering on their part, they dedicated themselves to looting when the order came to privatize Health, Education, Telecommunications, Energy... Everything! Everything! To privatize everything!
But when they tried to return all the properties that the Revolution had given to the peasants and ordinary families, there came the resistance of the People, with the Sandinista Front, until we reached Agreements so that the Properties that had been given to the peasants, to the workers, would be respected. But they had their chances for 17 years.
And it was precisely in those difficult moments, well, Cuba was there; Panama, which had that great patriot, General Omar Torrijos. Panama had already been invaded. I remember that invasion, so we can see that the practices remain the same, the practices of the "boss" are the same practices of the "bosses" who govern many of these countries. At that moment when the U.S. troops invaded Panama, they went and enter the premises of the Nicaraguan Embassy. Their armed troops entered there and our Comrades were armed too, our Comrades were armed.
Well, it was a moment of enormous tension, and here there was no other option but to give the order, and at that moment we sent the Army to surround the American Embassy We had no other choice! We were not going to commit the barbarity they had done of penetrating their American Embassy, but we were going to surround it. And in those circumstances, exchanging there with the U.S. representatives, they then left our premises there in Panama, and we withdrew the troops that we had around the American Embassy here in Managua. But just look, the same practice of taking over diplomatic premises, of occupying them.
It was in that period, when we said, well, we'll fight the battle from below, that the Sao Paulo Forum was formed. I remember that the comrade we delegated and who represented us very worthily as only he knew how to do, was Comandante Tomás Borge, Comandante Tomás and, well, there the Forum started on its way, and there we began meeting the political forces who had been linked in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, with the Sandinista Revolution, and who continued to fight the Battle in their countries to reach power, power that it seemed could only be achieved through the Armed Struggle.
I remember that when our brother, Comandante Hugo Chávez, was visiting Havana for the first time and Fidel went with Hugo to Old Havana, to an area dedicated to Bolivar, Fidel sent for me. We were in front of the Living Flame of Bolivar, we were in front of the Eternal Fire of Bolivar, listening to the words of Comandante Hugo Chavez.
Then Fidel invited us to his vehicle, we returned, and when we were saying goodbye I told Comandante Hugo Chávez: Over the next few days there's a meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, in El Salvador, it would be good if you wentg to that meeting, good for you to be present. That was the first contact that Comandante Hugo Chávez had with the Sao Paolo Forum. So they arrived at the meeting, they were at the meeting, there were discussions at the meeting, as is normal, and there was the strength, the drive of the Bolivarian Revolution present at that meeting of the Sao Paolo Forum, in San Salvador, then presided over by our Brother Shafick Handal of the FMLN.
And we can assure you, we can affirm, that thanks to that initiative of Fidel, of Lula in organizing the Sao Paolo Forum, it was possible to reach after centuries, to make real after centuries, the Supreme Dream of Bolivar, as Sandino called it. And it is not by chance, because already at that time the Bolivarian Revolution had managed to come to power through the electoral route, yes, something that seemed to defy the Law of Gravity.
Then, well, there was Lula in the Government, also Correa, Evo in Bolivia, Zelaya, Lugo; Brother Salvador Sánchez Cerén, Comandante of the FMLN, in El Salvador; there was Pepe Mujica there in Uruguay; Néstor, Cristina, in Argentina. And you see, it is not by chance, there was a need for worthy governments, with a vocation of service to their people, with a spirit of solidarity and humanism, so that all the political and ideological forces of the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean, without exception, could be approached even those of what might be of Conservative thinking, because they were and they said so, but there was a respect for ideas, for ideologies.
Well, Michelle Bachelet had also reached the Government there in Chile, sothere was indeed, a configuration of Heads of State, Heads of Government, and our Sisters and Brothers in the Caribbean were also making progress. That is, a configuration was formed, which explains why beyond the attempts by the Empire, and I have to say it very clearly, exploiting, pressurizing, trying to manipulate the Latin American rulers who did not share the community of Ideas we had, the approach of Ideas, of Thoughts, of Purposes, that the leaders I have mentioned had.
At the last minute, after the Rio Group meeting in Brazil and we went to Mexico with President Calderon, Conservative President Calderon, to define the unity of the Latin American and Caribbean Peoples, when we were moving forward quite smoothly, When we were already approaching to find out how to define the name that we would give to this Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, then I remember well and Nicolas must remember well too, and Raul was there, we were there and suddenly Uribe, an instrument of the Empire until the very last moment, tried to blow up the meeting and launched himself into insults and outrages against Commander Chavez.
That made things extremely heated. President Calderón wanted to calm down and I began to say something... And I remember Raúl being worried and saying: No, Daniel, wait, we mustn't stoke this fire any more. Well, Raúl helped put out the fire and in the end what emerged, on a little piece of paper we all put the name it should have, and it was "Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Then, in an extraordinary example of respect for Latin American Nations for their Peoples, of respect for plurality, of respect for ideological and political differences, of dignity before the Empire, of not letting itself be subdued by the dictates of the Empire, in Caracas, Venezuela, the Supreme Dream of Bolivar was installed, became flesh, and blood, and fire, and hope: The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. For the first time in history, we had a common table of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Today we are fighting this battle when it seems that the purpose of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States has been affected by the polarization to which our Peoples have been subjected by their rulers, the imperialist policy of "divide and rule", blackmailing, pressuring, threatening.
We know of governments that have been forced to go against Venezuela, against Cuba, against Nicaragua, because of the enormous pressure and threats of a financial and economic nature made by the United States of America.
How difficult it is to sustain Unity in these conditions, but the Peoples are wise and in the midst of what has been this situation in Our America, ALBA has been maintained, ALBA is present, although other leaders no longer accompany us. Evo was the last one to accompany us, we saw, a coup d'état against Evo. That was a coup d'état, there's no explaining that away.
But, meanwhile, in two great nations, in that Mexico eternally risen up in the struggle for Justice, the struggle for Freedom, for Sovereignty, in that Mexico of Juarez, of "Respect for the rights of others is Peace", that Sacred Principle has been rescued by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the Mexican People who accompany him, and today Mexico presides over CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. And in Argentina, that great People, another victory of the two Fernandez, fighting that Battle in very difficult conditions.
These are hard times for Our America, for the World. We have this Pandemic that is doing so much damage from the humanitarian point of view, to health, to life... A pandemic that has shaken the world economy ... A Pandemic that has done nothing more than reveal things, because this virus is terrible, as brutal as that so-called Spanish plague that they called "Spanish flu", a virus that killed many millions people in the whole Planet, in those times, indeed, where there was less Science, less Technology, where there were fewer Governments taking pride in being democratic and having health services for their People.
This virus is a virus that is temporary, even with all the damage that it is doing, at some point the virus will be controlled, it will be dominated, they are looking for vaccines, but in order to be able to confront these viruses that have to do with the health of our peoples we have to eliminate the biggest virus of all, the biggest virus that denies use the conditions or the possibility of confronting these viruses that threaten health as well as we might, and that is Capitalism, that is the biggest virus, it is Neoliberalism, that is the biggest virus, the very essence of selfishness and evil. We must put an end to this virus, Sisters and Brothers of the Sao Paulo Forum! We all know that, dear friends, beloved Brothers and Sisters.
And today, on this day of the 30th Anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum, with Fidel, with Hugo, with all the Brothers who from immortality accompany us, we tell you that today more than ever we are sure that a New Consciousness is being generated on the Planet, that we have to change the model and install States that are truly full of Humanism, of Solidarity, of love for Justice, love for Freedom, respectful of international law, defenders of our planet Earth, uniting forces against the contamination that advances and destroys with even more hatred and violence than the virus.
There, united all of us, beloved Brothers and Sisters, with Lula, with the Workers Party, with all the Sisters and Brothers of Our Latin America and the Caribbean, and with our Sisters and Brothers who also accompany us in these battles and who share these ideals, in the United States of America itself, in Canada, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in the whole world, we all have to make this the great moment for Humanity to make the leap to be truly more Just, more Noble, more Free.
Thank you, beloved Brothers and Sisters... Always onwards to Victory ! We will overcome !