Monday, November 10, 2008

Immortal Technique on Venezuela

Immortal Technique is a radical rapper my brother introduced me to last year, and whom we both admire a lot. Here's an interview with him, via Hands Off Venezuela. As usual I think he's incredibly sharp and good natured:

As a person in the States, with no concrete links to Venezuelans or Latin Americans to give me first-hand accounts, I find it really difficult to navigate news about Venezuela and Bolivia. Immortal's critique of the Venezuelan media and the U.S. media as being driven by bourgeois interests makes sense and sounds really plausible to me. But there's something in the back of my head that makes me say, "hey, no, what if this is propaganda and Chavez is actually Stalin incarnate?!" Ok, maybe not that extreme, but I do have a hard time knowing what to believe, when I'm getting everything through sources with vested interests. And it's not that I think Immortal would deliberately deceive me either, it's that I'm afraid he's fooling himself because he wants it to be a good thing and he wants Chavez to be a good guy. Is that just what the capitalists want me to think? Or am I right/smart to be a constant skeptic about both sides?

Anyway, check out some of his music when you get a chance. Not exactly a toe tapping good time, but it does what he said he hopes. It really gets you pumped up about revolution.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's true. There is a lot of outright slander, and anti-Chavez hit jobs in the media, but there is also a lot of cheerleading among some on the Left if you actually make an effort to eschew the usual mainstream outlets to find something less reactionary.

Nonetheless, there are fairly large number of critical assessments of Venezuela on the Left. Some trots are often a little ultra-Left on Venezuela and Bolivia (read some of the ISO's stuff, for instance), but it's refreshing to read some sober analysis.

Support for any existing regime seems to require some measure of compromise, the question is how much.

In general, the concrete facts of what the Venezuelan government has done is more impressive than almost any other progressive regime in the last 7 years. They have nationalized much of their lucrative national resources and redirected the revenue into massively increasing social spending.

There are limitations and there have been wrong turns... but in general we need to place what's happening there in a larger context. Since when has Venezuela given away billions in public dollars to Captial... since when has Venezuela invaded and occupied another country on imperialist grounds. Voter turnout there makes a mockery of even our recent election.