Deporting a Militant

Bilbao questions the coinciding of the meeting to discuss the Celac, the regional organisation that excludes the U.S., in Caracas, and the sudden classification of Perez Becerra as a “code red” as he was on his way to Caracas, and his subsequent deportation as the Celac formation meeting began.


As a revolutionary who is always in a situation of disadvantage, with years working in journalism, having being exiled in Sweden, lived in various unstable countries, and familiar with the anxiety that comes with a resister of dictatorships crossing borders, I should, in the first place, express my solidarity with comrade Joaquin Perez Becerra, director of the International Agency of News New Colombia (Anncol), with its head office in Stockholm.

On 23 April Perez Becerra was detained in Maiquetia, Caracas international airport. Two days later he was deported to Colombia. He was labelled with code red by Interpol. Such a condition wasn’t taken into account when he left Stockholm, where he lived with total freedom to move around, nor was it taken into account when he changed flights in Frankfurt. It seems – there isn’t any precise information – the classification was changed abruptly during his flight between Germany and Venezuela. Two Colombian agents travelled next to him and made it possible that Juan Manuel Santos [president of Colombia] even knew the number of Joaquin’s seat. The Colombian president called Hugo Chavez to warn him that Perez was arriving in Caracas and to tell Chavez that [Perez] was a Colombian citizen, when he actually isn’t now.

I’m going to ignore the fact that Joaquin is or isn’t a member of the FARC. I understand the reasons why associating Anncol with the Farc is perceived as negative. I’ve lived many years in hiding in order to confront dictatorships. I have employed pseudonyms and other subterfuges to avoid repression. Even so, not then nor now am I a supporter of the hypocrisy obliged by the enemy. In political struggle I detest lying, even by omission: I’d defend this man even if he were a militant, or as the Colombian government assures, a leader of the FARC. He shouldn’t be deported to his birth country. Not because he’s a Swedish citizen and has lived in Stockholm for two decades, but because he’s an enemy of the Colombian oligarchy – the most organic and savage of the continent – he should be protected from such a situation.

Nothing said until now can be relativised. But the considerations in the face of this shameful episode are endless.

There’s a revolution taking place in Latin America. And as a consequence, there’s a counter revolution that is efficient and extraordinarily powerful.

I have sustained (here and elsewhere) that a symbolic hemispheric revolutionary party exists in America, that its leaders are Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Evo Morales. That’s why, I encouraged, without delay or hesitation, the possibility of constructing a fifth international when Hugo Chavez proposed it over a year and a half ago. The extraordinary diversity and complexity of the anti-systemic forces in the region needs a point of coherence and a unified command.

The day that Joaquin Perez Becerra arrived in Caracas, the foreign ministers of all of Latin America and the Caribbean started to arrive as well, for a preparatory meeting of the Celac (Community of Latin American and Caribbean states). On 5 July this organisation will be formalised in Caracas, and for the first time, there will be a regional organisation [including all those countries] without the presence of the United States. In other words, it’s the certified death of the wickedness of the OAS. An unprecedented victory against U.S. imperialism.

Is the creation of the Celac crucial or not for the process of Latin America convergence? Is it desirable, strategically positive, or does it impede its formation? Who has more interest in blocking the carrying out of this objective? Wasn’t it an obvious aim of the CIA to point to Venezuela as a sanctuary of the Farc in order to abort the founding conference [of Celac] in July? Doesn’t the presence of Perez Becerra in Caracas at that time fit imperialist provocation like a glove?

A revolutionary leadership can’t avoid such questions. They are, literally, about life and death. Not for an individual, but for millions. The United States is preparing, minute by minute, a war of invasion against our region, like the one initiated in North Africa and the Middle East with the devastating aggression against Libya added to what they are already doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Those who act by decision or warning against the concretisation of Celac, are doing something very serious. Those who underestimate that the State Department [of the U.S.] moves all its tentacles to find cracks and to shatter the obvious fragility of the regional architecture, can’t claim the title of vanguard. And those who appeal to consummated facts can’t groan later because they find consummated facts right in front of them.

The disconcertion of bands of militants embarrassed by the deportation of Joaquin is understandable. The rage and also the tense suspenseful silence of cadre and the bases who don’t find answers is understandable. However, the easy insulting of public servants who have waged a thousand battles is inadmissible. It’s not the time and place to enter into  details for those who take advantage of the situation to strike against the Bolivarian revolution. It’s time to take on the extraordinary complexity and difficulty of the current historical situation, it’s time to admit that there is political behaviour that has been historically disqualified, whose sustainment leads to disaster. It’s time to understand that the world capitalist crisis tries to take us to war, in a situation of complete disadvantage. It can’t handle, for even an instant, the consolidation of a higher state of the Latin American revolution.

It’s too easy to sign a letter condemning the leadership of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. It would be desirable that those who are moved by this episode reflect on their own place and take on the urgent need of consolidating  a joint force against evilness and the powerful enemy. It’s imperative that we prevent our own actions, even with the best intentions, from putting us in the hands of imperialist conspiracy. Defending the integrity of Joaquin Perez Becerra implies, in the first place, affirming a path for the Latin American revolution. There’s no doubt where the compass is pointing. 

Translation by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com