After completing the readings, a sense of inconclusiveness lingers over me. Honestly, it’s an impressive mix of feelings.
From my maternal side of my family, I have been spoken to about “El Libertador” and his vision to unite Venezuela and Colombia as well as other countries in South America, since I was a little girl. And it is generally understood that his vision was an overall good one, an aspiration that is meant to be beneficial. However, my mother did always mention that though the ambition was a good one, a war always results in deaths, and as a result there were many lives taken in the midst. I want to mention this because I didn’t experience that idealization of Simon Bolivar.
Unfortunately, at my figurative ‘dinner table’ politics are rarely talked about because my family is very passionate about our differing opinions. I have heard the spiel of Hugo Chavez’s Revolucion Bolivariana countless times, yet still I strongly oppose it. I have very intense thoughts towards the government of Venezuela, so I can tell that I am very biased towards Chavez’s speech. Frankly, I morally find it difficult to not discredit the speech just because it comes from his. It’s upsetting to see how Chavez misinterprets(uses) Simon Bolivar’s vision to create a plan that has only devastated an entire country. Of course, Bolivar did have many flaws and the idolizing of him, which is frequently seen throughout many places in South America, is not ideal. In fact, the quick idolizing of any historical/political figure readily happens across Latin America, and that perhaps has to do with the struggle of using the past to create a narrative for the present.
I found Calle 13’s music video, “Latinoamerica” quite profound because I understood it as a reminder that it is impossible to think of Latin America without its people. Consequently, as the many theories, plans, revolutions, etc. pan out and are discussed, it is forgotten there are actual people at the receiving end. It heartbreaking to see how a government’s ideology can be placed at the expense of the people of a country.
Question: Taking into account the current situations of the countries, would Bolivar still see uniting into “La Gran Colombia” as something advantageous?
September 30, 2020 — 12:02 pm
I totally agree that the idolization of anyone from historical figures to current celebrities is problematic. These figures are just people, they are not exempt from failure and criticism. Though, I don’t know if this phenomenon comes more readily to Latin America as you suggest. It seems to be a universal problem. Social and political figures from around the world make calls to idolized historical actors for validity. It’s an easy tactic to get people to associate the people society idolizes with the current figure’s stance/ideals.
Thanks for the well written post 🙂
mirella reichenbach livoti
September 30, 2020 — 2:38 pm
Hi Nitya 🙂
Thank you for sharing your experiences! I totally agree with you and Maiya regarding the problem of idolizing historical figures. Moreover, your comment about Calle 13’s music video really touched me. Latin America really is nothing without its people.
Answering your question I’m not sure if Bolívar would still see uniting the nations of Latin America as something advantageous. However, I do think that he would argue that revolution is the only possible method to achieve political change.
September 30, 2020 — 11:49 pm
I really enjoyed reading your post. I thought the Calle 13’s music very moving. They were able to identify the geographical, ethnic, linguistic, etc differences yet come to the conclusion that everyone is still one. The use of examples such as the Pulque drink, the sunsets and the football game seemed to be something everyone could relate to. I sensed that many people could have an instant connected and some familiarity. The overall message was beautiful and definitely left me speechless.
September 30, 2020 — 11:50 pm
oops I meant connection!