OPINION: Of Hugo Chavez and Politically Naive Nigerians
Let’s face it. Most Nigerians, especially those on social media – “Twittering” and “Facebooking” – do not know much about our local politics, much less International Politics. I do not claim to be all knowledgeable myself, but going by posts made on Twitter and Facebook, I realize I do know a lot more than most people.
Something big happened on Tuesday. No it wasn’t the Manchester United v. Real Madrid match and all of the controversy that followed it. It was something bigger.
Comrade Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela died. I do not call him Comrade because I am trying to be gratuitous. That’s what his people called him. Now if you know nothing of Hugo Chavez, you’d be forgiven for dismissing his death as another death, except in this case, it isn’t.
You see Hugo Chavez whose fame was far and widespread beyond the borders of his country. He was a man loved by his people, at least a majority of them. I watched on satellite TV as people wore long faces, some crying as foreign news correspondents interviewed them. So much has been said, and is still being said on Hugo Chavez’s personality, greatness or lack thereof.
I tweeted that the man was great. Some people feel otherwise. While I believe everybody has a right to their opinion, what I take umbrage to be the asinine opinions of some folks who just jump on the bandwagon of criticizing the man, just because it is suddenly fashionable to do so. Most of the commentators do not know Hugo Chavez or his antecedents. They simply formed an immediate opinion because CNN or a Twitter ‘Oga’ said so, then it must be true.
For this group of people, whatever the social media or otherwise spits at them, they gobble it up and run to town with it. People like this are the reason why a lot of falsehood is spread all over social media. They re-tweet tweets without checking up on the facts. They claim ownership of and express opinions enunciated by others. Many of them even steal other people’s tweets and pass it off as theirs. And they want us to take them seriously? Hell no!
The facts about Hugo Chavez tell us a different story.
Any observer/student of International Politics, who is willing to look beyond the junk news western imperial powers, feed us through CNN, the BBC and FOX News does not need to be told that Comrade Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is a great man. This was a man who reduced absolute poverty in Venezuela from 70% to 20%. Here’s a man who stabilized his country’s economy.
There’s something called the Barrio Adentro Scheme initiated by Hugo Chavez, please Google and read about it’s success.
In Venezuela there’s 100% free health care
In Venezuela today, there’s 100% free education up to University level.
President Hugo Chavez took away land from the rich who had it in excess and redistributed it to the rich.
Is he a great man? Well decide for yourself! You now have the facts. Was he a perfect man? No. Nobody is.
Yes, he had political prisoners. I’m sure Chavez’s detractors may have sounded that out to you, but they fail to also tell that the USA who trumpet this fact run the biggest political prisoner’s camp in Guantanamo Bay off the US coast. They fail to tell you that British and USA agents engineered the coup that killed one of Nigeria’s finest leaders, Murtala Mohammed. They also fail to tell you that the USA and its agents killed Thomas Sankara, Maummar Ghaddafi, Patrice Lumumba, Che Guevara, and a long line of presidents who wanted to stop the plundering of their countries resources and develop their economy.
Now if you’re wondering why the USA hates Hugo Chavez so much, I’ll tell you. It’s simple of economics.
Hugo Chavez struck a most deadly blow on the USA, much more than any enemy had done. He proved to the world that socialism could work! Chavez is the man who halted the USA’s dominance in South and Central America. Many others tried before him – Presidents Omar Torrijos of Panama and Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, Che Guevara, the Argentine – and were murdered. But he did it. And they hate him for it.
What most of the people jostling to sound knowledgeable and politically correct on Twitter do not know is that the only reason the USA exports and forces it’s brand of democracy on nations around the world is so they can have their business interests protected and plunder that country’s natural resources and when you resist, they either assassinate you (Omar Torrijos, Jacobo Arbenz) plot a coup against you (Murtala Muhammed, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba) or destabilize your country so you be pushed out (Muammar Ghadaffi, Bashar Al-Assad, Surkano Suharto, ) and they install a puppet who will do their bidding.
Isn’t it surprising that the USA supports repressive autocratic and obviously undemocratic regimes in Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Yemen, Bahrain, Angola, etc?
Doesn’t it make you wonder that Liberia, a country formed by free Slaves from the USA fought a bitter civil war for almost 2 decades and yet, America never interfered to halt the senseless war? But it stormed Iraq over a lie called Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)?
The sooner we all understand that the USA only cares about the USA and nothing more, we’ll start asking some hard questions about their activities.
Again most people on Twitter who do not know what good governance feels like because they’ve never experienced it are the same people who spout off lines based on what they hear in the news like ‘why was Hugo Chavez a sit tight ruler?’ They forget (or maybe they were not told) it was the people of Venezuela who kept electing and re-electing the man.
Hugo Chavez, had political opponents as will always be the case for all politicians no matter how good they are, yet Venezuelans, despite knowing he was sick (because he told the country when he got infected with cancer) trooped out and still voted him for another term in office last November.
He survived a coup plotted against him, returned to power after 2 days. The coup plotters who were put in prison are then labelled as ‘political prisoners’. Pray tell me what he should have done to the coup plotters? Hug them, buy them sports cars and mansions and tell them, “Better luck next time. Please try again?” Give me a frigging break!
Yes, I agree Hugo Chavez wasn’t a saint. There are many events that happened in Venezuela I don’t like but when you have an enemy as powerful as the USA against you, you’ll do whatever you can to protect yourself.
Despite his fallibilities however, Hugo Chavez was a man who cared about his people and he did things rightly to the best of his ability. Isn’t this what we yearn for in Nigeria? For a leader that will look beyond his selfishness and do what’s best for the majority? Isn’t what we all want a transparent government?
The people who say Chavez is not great say that’s what they stand for too. They say they are with us in advocating for a great country where things work. But I beg to disagree. If they actually stand for that, then they would never have said Hugo Chavez is not a great man. They would have hailed him as a man who made things in his country work.
I felt the most dismay when many of the same people who wrote articles during the January 2012 Fuel Subsidy protests here in Nigeria, comparing Venezuela’s fuel prices of only =N=12 per litre to ours of then =N=141 per litre to be amongst those criticising Hugo Chavez. I was dumbfounded. How do you use one man’s achievements to bolster your case on one front, and then turn around to castigate him saying “he had no achievements?” “Can people be that callous?” I thought, but then I remembered what a dear friend Victoria told me about the folks on Twitter. She said most of them are hypocrites. I didn’t believe her then, I do now.
I shudder to think if these men ever get into power, because I know that’s their ultimate aim, they will be worse than the PDP as we know it today. Abubakar S Usman echoed it when he tweeted Tuesday night, “I don’t know who we should have as Nigeria’s leaders tomorrow. But I know who we shouldn’t have as leaders.” I agree with him.
We Nigerians, especially the youths MUST decide once and for all what we really want – a leader who has our interests at heart and by doing so will need to stand up to the West and reject all the hare-brained policies they introduce via the World Bank and IMF or a puppet like the one we currently have who will do their bidding and by so doing enrich a select few.
Seriously, you cannot have both choices. It’s either you’re on one side or another. The best you can do is tolerating them. If we aim to embrace the West and copy their economic model, I laugh in Chinese but this country will never develop. We will need to chart our own course.
Coming back to Twitter, let’s face the fact, when you see arguments erupt on Twitter, it’s always long on name-calling and ass-licking and always short on valid opinions and crucial facts.
The tendency to lick-ass on Nigerian Twitter is so high it’s disgusting. But it shouldn’t surprise me. After all I am a marketer who has direct access to over 20,000 customers in my database and they take whatever I say as gospel truth. I communicate with them every week and could well tell them to go drink dog puke and they’ll do it.
If you use Twitter, it means you are old enough to think for yourself and form your own opinions. If you come on a social media platform and have to rely on someone’s opinion to take a decision or a stand on an issue, I seriously question your IQ and I will say it boldly . . . You are shit and should apologize to your parents while refunding them all the money spent on your education.
I shudder; I shudder for where we are heading. Truth is, we may win back Nigeria from the PDP, but we will not win her back from our oppressors. They will simply change clothes. If you’re in doubt, go ask the Egyptians.
P.S. To better understand why Africa is as poor as it is today and why the likes of Hugo Chavez, Iran etc, denounce the West, please read this book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins. It is an expose of the inner workings of the World Bank, the IMF and the USA and its business interests by a former insider. It will not only blow your mind, it will leave you very aware of what goes on around you daily. After reading it, then maybe you’ll stop believing the nonsense CNN spews out against some countries.
Click the link below to download the e-book.
P.P.S. In case you didn’t know, the World Bank actually persuaded the GEJ government to raise fuel prices last year.
I’m An Anonymous writer who is concerned about the neo-colonialist policies of the west and the gullibility of citizens especially in Africa to think that the west has our interest at heart.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
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