Venezuelans Recognize Guerrilla Leader and Journalist with National Honors

Venezuelans mobilized in Caracas to honor revolutionary guerrilla leader Fabricio Ojeda accompanying his remains to the National Patheon this week.

Los Angeles, January 24th 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Thousands marched Monday in honor of the historic civic-military rebellion that brought an end to General Marcos Pérez Jimenéz’s dictatorship on January 23rd 1958.  

Bolivarian government top officials and Venezuelan social movements accompanied the remains of revolutionary guerrilla leader and journalist Fabricio Ojeda to the National Pantheon in downtown Caracas. His remains rest alongside independence leaders such as Simón Bolívar, Afro-Venezuelans Negro Miguel and Juana Ramírez La Avanzadora (the Advancer) as well as others who fought against Fourth Republic repression in the 20th century. 

“We make a tremendous effort to reach the heights of those who have represented these great values, from Guaicaipuro, Chaco, Caricuao…to Black leaders Andresote and the maroons, José Leonardo Chirino, Negro Primero and the Liberator Simón Bolívar, all our pantheon of leaders,” remarked Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

“The lessons we should and can learn from these leaders, heroes, that despite betrayals knew in their own solitude, to the very last second of their lives, to be loyal to their people and to the causes they represented. They never shed a doubt, not even for a second. They did not put their personal and particular interests, and their misery, their selfishness, before their dreams and the dreams of our homeland,” he stressed.

The commemoration marked 2017’s first popular mobilization this year which also called on Venezuelans to defend the Bolivarian Revolution. President Maduro and Minister of Foreign Relations Delcy Rodríguez have advocated for recently inaugurated US president Donald Trump to reverse former President Barack Obama’s executive order declaring the South American nation a threat to US national security. 

Fabricio Ojeda’s Revolutionary Legacy

Ojeda (1926-1966) was the President of the Patriotic Junta, the alliance which ousted Pérez Jimenéz’s regime (1952-1958). Following the transition, Ojeda was elected to the National Assembly representing Caracas’ residents.

He ultimately resigned as national assembly legislator and joined the armed resistance movement against Venezuela’s Fourth Republic founding the Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN). Ojeda played a critical role in the creation of the Venezuelan Revolutionary Party (PRV) and worked closely to incorporate the Community Party of Venezuela (PCV) into the guerrilla struggle.

Ojeda was captured by Venezuelan authorities June 21st, 1966 and found dead in his jail cell in Vargas state within days showing signs of torture.

Venezuelan social leader and journalist José Vincente Rangel reiterated the extent of Ojeda’s inspiration and emphasizing his posthumous contribution to the 1992 civic-military union led by former President Hugo Chávez which sought overthrow the repressive neoliberal regime of Carlos Andrés Pérez. 

“Fabricio Ojeda’s rifle remains a symbol, a symbol of our history and the reality of this country. It is the same rifle that the young officials took on 4F (February 4th) to put forther a different power alternative [for Venezuela],” expressed Rangel. 

 Text by Jeanette Charles, photos by Paola Martucci Gómez and ALBA Prensa Presidencial.