Hugo Chávez Frías – visionary, fighter, compañero

Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

The Socialist Alliance in Australia expresses its deepest sympathies with the people and government of Venezuela on the death of Compañero Hugo Chávez Frías on March 5. His passing is a huge loss for all peoples, across Latin America and the globe, struggling for a world free of inequality, exploitation and oppression.

It is testament to Hugo Chávez’s great leadership that, while mourning his death, we are also confident that the Bolivarian revolution and the new movement for socialism of the 21st century that Chávez inspired will be continued by the mass of people, to whom he worked so hard to give power.

Hugo Chávez emphasised repeatedly that the people, not he himself, were the motor force of revolution. But his visionary leadership, and his uncompromising battle for the fundamental social transformation that is needed to save humanity and the planet was history changing, and inspired millions of people in their day to day struggles for justice, peace and freedom. Chávez’s contempt for and refusal to be cowed by the most powerful imperialist leaders in their drive to own, control and destroy everything in the name of private profit empowered us all to struggle harder, gave us more courage to challenge the brutality of capitalism and consigned the capitalist rulers’ declaration of the “end of history” to the dustbin of history.

Chávez’s visionary leadership against inequality, exploitation and environmental destruction was based on an understanding that, in his own words: “Time is short. If we do not change the world now there may be no 22nd century.” The majority of Venezuelans agree, electing him as their president five times. Chávez’s most recent re-election, last October, was the result of his public commitment to deepening the democratic socialist revolution.

Hugo Chávez may no longer be physically present with the people to carry out that platform, but he, his ideas and he example will live on for generations in the hearts and minds of all those committed to ending the savageness of capitalism and putting people and the planet before profits.

The Socialist Alliance will honour the memory of Hugo Chávez through continuing our work in solidarity with the Venezuelan people’s Bolivarian revolution, struggling for socialism of the 21st century in our own country, and internationalising Chávez’s profoundly humanitarian, peaceful, democratic and ecological vision for all humanity.

Long live Chávez!
Long live people’s power!
Long live socialism!