Watching television footage of one of the necessary and legitimate protests against the Israeli Embassy in Caracas, I spotted a lone sign with a slogan that left me thunderstruck. The slogan was something like: "We condemn Hitler for not having completed his work of extermination. . . ."Now let's just have that list of Jewish names again:
The frightening message, totally alien to the Bolivarian process and the Chavista commitment to liberty, democracy, equality, and social justice, shows that, every now and then in our struggles and protests, "loose cannons" come dog us and that we have to detect them and neutralize them and expel them like any foreign body.
Those hidden anti-Semites are much like other "loose cannons" such as professional anti-clericalists who shout, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" when they encounter a believer, incited by the undeniable fact that a majority of the Venezuelan Catholic hierarchy refused to use their potential capacity to become a bridge between Venezuelans in the opposing camps and instead embraced the ultra-right-wing Creoles and the immoral dictatorship of the media. What's lost on these pseudo-Chavista infiltrators is the deep Christian foundation of our socialist process and the social fact that most Venezuelan Catholics, including nuns and priests at the grassroots, are committed to the Bolivarian revolution.
None shall ever be permitted to use the recurrent crimes against humanity committed by the mediocre and murderous militarist elite of the State of Israel as justification for twisting the just rebellion of the Palestinians and solidarity with them into anti-Semitic aberrations.
No leftist has the right to forget that the Jews -- historically persecuted, not by the Muslims who for centuries opened their doors for them, but by first the Christian crusaders, then the inquisitors, and finally the Nazis -- have a historical tradition of pioneering solidarity with social rebellions and progressive thought. Never forget such illustrious Jews as Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, and Bob Dylan. Never forget the participation of Jews, even at the cost of their lives, in civil, labor, social, and anti-war struggles in the United States or struggles against the ultra-Catholic military dictatorships in the Southern Cone. Never overlook the fact that, in the United States, against the organized anti-Chavista campaign supported by the "Israel lobby" in that country, American Jewish intellectuals have spoken up: the most famous intellectual in the world, Noam Chomsky, so often cited by President Chávez, and Joseph Stiglitz, a winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, who has supported us in our struggles against the dictatorship of neoliberalism.
Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, and Bob DylanBob Dylan? His Excellency obviously never heard "Neighbourhood Bully". Still, it could've been worse. More embarrassing anyway.