Wednesday, May 20, 2009

¡Viva La Revolucíon!

[In reply to Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing. I have been slammed for not understanding the situation, but from my viewpoint, Ms. Jardin and most of the activists she supports are terribly naïve about Latin American politics and history. Latin America is a graveyard of popular democratic movements.]

The movement, Xeni, the movement. This is a political movement. That's what I'm asking if you trust. Will it lead to justice, or will it instead provide an excuse for the military and the police to step in and "restore order?" Or even, is it being nurtured to provide an excuse for that?

It is easy to cry, "¡Viva La Revolucíon!" And in all of Latin America, not only Guatemala, there is 500 years of injustice to revolt against, so there is always a reason for La Revolucíon. But to win... In Mexico, the liberator Juarez was followed by the corrupt dictatorial Diaz. Zapata and Villa won their battles, and were assassinated. It is not different in Guatemala--aren't you making that point?

There are some hopeful signs here. One of the most hopeful is the non-violent activism. My heart goes out to the people of Guatemala. But for a movement to succeed in Latin America, it needs courage, strategy, political theory, broad-based support, and ethical leaders. So far (admittedly there is little reporting) I just hear "¡Viva La Revolucíon!" It isn't enough to get out into the streets--you've got to go somewhere better once you're there.

[2009.08.04 Edited for clarity and force]

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