Ms. Elma Beatriz Rosado Barbosa, widow of the Commander of the Macheteros, Filiberto Ojeda, stated that Venezuela’s policy for the Caribbean under the Presidency of Nicolas Maduro should maintain its focus on the economic exchange and militarism of the United States and that, under that framework, Puerto Rico represents a threat to the Bolivarian Revolution.
Below, the complete answers of Rosado Barbosa to the questions of NCM News.
Q- How would you summarize the legacy for Latin America of the late President Hugo Chavez?
A- President Hugo Chavez was a leader that was out of this world. He dressed his Venezuelan people with patriotic pride and rescued those values that the people now adore, appreciate, and defend. Chavez did away with that alienating etiquette, united with his sister countries and defied imperialism. He demonstrated that brother countries can depend on each other and come together to confront common dangers. His positions denouncing international entities for the use and appropriation of countries’ riches opened doors in all of Latin America, showing us that another world is possible: a multi-centric and pluripolar world.
Q- How would you categorize President Nicholas Maduro’s ability to lead the Bolivarian Revolution?
A- Nicholas Maduro was raised a revolutionary. Using the phrases of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the historic hour Nicholas Maduro has been present. During strategic minutes, he has held key positions. For tactical seconds, he has undertaken important tasks. From his earlier positions as union leader, President of the National Assembly, Chancellor and Vice President, Maduro has performed with seriousness and success. His formation as a revolutionary was consummated and Chavez shaped him as custodian and leader of the Revolution. He knows deeply his ideology, theory, and the objectives needed and has the patience for reflection, firmness to lead, and the sensitivity to give refuge to his people who deserve that legacy of social justice so long denied to them.
Q- What are the relevant points that should be noted by Caribbean countries with regard to Venezuela’s foreign policy and relations?
A- Venezuela’s leadership role is very important in the construction of Latin American and Caribbean unity. The ALBA, UNASUR, and CELAC are strategic spaces to support those political relations, develop and strengthen economic and financial ties, and promote the construction of a pluripolar world, where social and cultural ties are deepened, with the participation of social movements: an ideal scenario for regional integration.
Q- What are the issues of the Caribbean that Venezuela should keep in mind as priorities?
A- The ever present militarism of the United States in the Caribbean should be a focal point for Venezuela. The PetroCaribe program, technological exchanges, and communications are important mechanisms needed to support the economic independence of the Caribbean countries and for regional integration, initiatives considered in the Homeland Plan.
Q- What meaning do you give to the double embrace given to you by President Maduro and his mention of Comandante Filiberto Ojeda Rios?
A- President Nicholas Maduro’s double embrace expresses the absolute brotherhood that ties us and that evokes our common historical ancestors, like General Antonio Valero and the revolutionaries Manuel and Miguel Rojas Luzardo. Looking directly into my eyes, the President said: “Puerto Rico! Filiberto Ojeda!”, demonstrating that Puerto Rico and the Comandante live on in his memory. The President knows Puerto Rico’s situation very well, as that of the work being done at the UN and the active struggle for independence and full sovereignty. He knows about Filiberto’s solidarity and support of the Bolivarian Revolution: his calls for the people of Puerto Rico to be in solidarity with the Venezuelan people, when faced with the Vargas tragedy; to support Chavez and the Revolution, to reject the workings of the Venezuelan opposition to instigate a recall process against Chavez. The essay “Puerto Rico, The Antilles, All Our Americas” was the most important document Filiberto worked on in order to insert the Puerto Rican independence struggle in the Bolivarian process, utilizing as a prism the socialism of the 21st century and the ideals of social justice in the thought of Simon Bolivar. President Maduro has spoken beyond that of embraces. During the “Bolivarian Dialogue”, he stated: “Puerto Rico will be independent, sooner rather than later. The agenda of our Liberator will be met.”
Q-Have the newest developments in Venezuela shown you anything new?
A- To experience being close to the Venezuelan people, witness their enthusiasm and their firm determination to not roll back their hard fought victories, is impressive. The Venezuelan people are masters of their own destiny and exercise that participatory democracy which is recognized internationally. Maduro counts with the unrestricted backing of the people, who will accompany him on April 14th. The biggest lesson in Venezuela has been that necessary unity: between the Venezuelan people, its political and military forces, and between sister countries.
Q- What is your opinion about the importance, whether positive or negative, for Venezuela and the Caribbean region of the radar shield and other military provisions made by the United States and the autonomist government in Puerto Rico?
A- The subservient attitude of the government of Puerto Rico towards the United States, as well as the colonial condition, reinforced by military subjection, presents risks for Venezuela, and uneasiness for Puerto Ricans. It is enough to remember the aggression that the United States has launched from Puerto Rico against brother countries. The radar systems monitoring territorial waters of sister countries, the participation of the US National Guard in Puerto Rico, and the presence of an FBI agent as Chief of Police of Puerto Rico complement those secret plans of the US. Puerto Rico continues to be a military colony. A Puerto Rican government that continues to kneel before imperialism will not be able to honor a bicentenary pact of brotherhood by Puerto Ricans that rejects attacking our Venezuelan brothers and sisters. To our shame.
Translation of this article was done by Juan A. Ocasio Rivera. You can read the Spanish version in this website.