They can kill the revolutionary, but never the revolution

Issue 

It isn't hard to see why Che Guevara retains his relevance today. The need for the victory of ideas that Che fought for, his vision of a better world, the struggle for human liberation, has never been so great. Following the legacy of Che, revolution is once again back on the agenda in Latin America, led by Venezuela, showing that you can kill the revolutionary, but never the revolution.

Che died 40 years ago this week, but still his image is seen on walls, vodka bottles and on many, many T-shirts, as he continues to be an inspiration to millions of people around the globe, especially young people.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was murdered by a CIA agent in Bolivia on October 8, 1967. Having helped lead the successful Cuban revolution, Che was in Bolivia attempting to spread the struggle against imperialism.

The struggle in Bolivia in 1967 was defeated, but 40 years since Che died, the people of Bolivia are today rising again.

Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian, became the country's first indigenous president when he was elected nearly two years ago with more popular support than any Bolivian leader in decades.

Since then, he has moved to nationalise Bolivia's gas industry and is seeking a new constitution that would grant more power to Bolivia's indigenous majority.

Since the election of Morales, the opposition — led by big business and US interests — have steadily increased their attempts to weaken the government. Flyers have been distributed calling on people to kill the "dirty Indian", referring to Morales.

Bolivia today is providing an example to the rest of the world, that change is possible. It's the threat of a good example that the US does not want peoples of the world to see or replicate.

But the Bolivian example is not isolated. Venezuela's example of struggling for "socialism in the 21st century" is helping fuel revolt across Latin America.

Around the world, the gap between rich and poor is getting worse. The Global Policy Forum reports that the wealth of the three richest individuals now exceeds the combined gross domestic product of the 48 least developed countries.

As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said: "Time is short. If we do not change the world now, there may be no 22nd century for humanity. Capitalism has destroyed the ecological equilibrium of the earth. It is now or never!" We know that the climate is in crisis, and that if we can't stabilise it soon, the planet will become uninhabitable.

The battle to defend humanity against barbarism has already begun. We have to rise to the challenge in Australia as well. Perhaps there is no single bigger reason to act urgently than the rapidly occurring climate change that threatens all life on it on Earth.

While we here in Australia perhaps get little sense of it, we are living in revolutionary times, a time of a new, unfolding socialist revolution, recreating Venezuela, reshaping Latin America, and shaking the world. We have a certain responsibility.

We must defend the Venezuelan revolution with all the strength can muster. We must promote the revolution everywhere we can — people need to hear the positive stories, to believe that change is possible.

For all the horrors we struggle against — war, racism and environmental destruction — Venezuela and Bolivia provide positive alternatives.

Imperialism can be challenged. Venezuela shows that we can win, that society can change. Howard's attacks on our unions, on our civil liberties, on the environment, can be challenged, and we can win. We know that it will take united action to do it; we have to stand together and fight.

Revolution in Australia may seem far away — but the more people that involve themselves in revolutionary struggle, the stronger we'll be. Resistance has a vision for a better world.

Che Guevara showed us that true personal fulfilment can only come through a long-term commitment to revolutionary struggle.

Over the next week Resistance will be hosting a Latin America Solidarity Week across the country, to spread the example of the change that is sweeping Latin America, to find out more get in contact with a Resistance branch near you (see details on page 2) or go to http://www.resistance.org.au.

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