Monday, June 01, 2009

Enjoy the silence

Democracy Now!:
AMY GOODMAN: That question of Barack Obama being handed, by President Hugo Chavez, Open Veins of Latin America, your classic work, what you would like him to learn from this book, President Obama?

EDUARDO GALEANO: No, I don’t want to teach anybody anything. Never. I even insisted last evening, when I was talking in that theater—

AMY GOODMAN: At the Ethical Culture Society.

EDUARDO GALEANO: Yes—the fact that I would be glad if Obama and all the USA progressive governors or people here begin to change the word—the word “leadership” by the word “friendship,” because leadership implies the resistance in someone over, above the other ones. And in the real human relationships, the real ones are horizontal, horizontal, not vertical; solidarity instead of charity; and no borders and no classes to receive from anyone, because the Northern world acts as if God would made them the teachers of the South, and they are taking examination all the time. To Venezuela, for instance, is it really democratic country? We’ll decide, because we are the teachers on democracy.

And paradoxically, the teachers on democracy are the factories of military dictatorships. I mean, the United States, and not only the United States, also some European countries, have spread military dictatorships all over the world. And they feel as if they are able to teach democracy.

So I don’t want to teach anything to anybody. I just want to tell stories deserve to be told. That’s all.
Galeano goes on to say that "when words cannot be better than silence, it’s better to shut up." There is certainly something not to be said for that.


Jenny said...

Er, well, I'd agree about Chavez: I'm glad he's nationalizing and all, but he has been hostile in some areas. Take the Jewish population for instance:

Yes, yes, he denounced the anti-semetic crimes, but also demanded that Jewish citizens oppose Israel's actions. Isn't that generalization?

Coldtype said...

"Yes, yes, he denounced the anti-semetic crimes, but also demanded that Jewish citizens oppose Israel's actions. Isn't that generalization?"

Well, is it too much to at least ask that they raise some objection to Israeli apartheid, ethnic-cleansing, and serial aggression against neighbors?

Jenny said...

The argument is,however, that Chavez associated all Jewish people with Israel and should you really expect them to? Isn't that assuming all Jewish people automatically support Israel? Surely it's their personal business. And let me add the statement was made during some anti semetic attacks in Venezuela. Granted, the author of the blog post is jewish and Israel is somewhat personal to him, but he's a good guy and I understand his argument here.

There's also this: