Looking at the extra resources on the syllabus, I came across the Calle 13 music video Latinoamérica. As soon as the video started playing I began to cry. I felt like I had a lump on my throat. The narrative portrayed in this music video of a united latinoamérica that shares struggles and strength is not too different from the Bolivarian dream. Simón Bolívar known as “El Libertador” led the independence movements of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama. Yet his dream of uniting the nations of Latin America was short lived in Gran Colombia (1819-1831). The video clip make me realize that politics is also a lot about how it makes us feel and how these feelings can be mobilized. I felt like Residente, the vocalist, was speaking to me. I felt like he understood what it is like to often feel hopeless but keep on going.
I decided to ask my parents what they thought of Simón Bolívar. My father immediate response was a tyrant and my mother elaborate her response saying that he did fight for his ideals but a lot of people died as a consequence of the independence movements. When I asked about Hugo Chávez, they both agreed in their response that he was a bad dictatorial leader who manipulated Venezuelans but did nothing good for his people. I already expected that reason from them and even I was surprised when I read Chávez speech and agreed with his arguments. I agree with his argument that neoliberalism is not good for Latin America and that globalization hasn’t benefited the Global South. It sounds quite stupid to say this but I kind of believed him, I believed that he would do something about it. My mom was quick to tell me that it is easy to write a speech but it is much harder to put words into action.
Do you think the Bolivarian dream is something we should still aspire for? How could a Bolivarian dream look like today?
September 29, 2020 — 11:26 am
From the little I know, it seems that the attempts made to bring about the Bolivarian dream have led to problems, such as in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. That being said, I don’t know how much of that can be pinned upon the actual Bolivarianism itself, as Chávez’s death was followed up by crisis with Nicolás Maduro’s presidency. It seems to me that while Latin America can aspire to the dream, it’s also important to keep in mind that there will likely be large disagreements. After all, while Simon Bolívar is seen as a great liberator with a great dream (and he certainly did accomplish great things), some research shows that while Chavez proposed egalitarianism/socialism, Bolivar operated in a more authoritarian and capitalist way, even earning the criticism of Karl Marx. The point here is that modern Bolivarianism is quite different to the ways of its inventor, and coupled with the need to unite many countries together, this could lead to issues.