Today I have seen an estimate of 9 million people attending the funeral of Hugo Chavez. If it was even half this number, even one quarter of this number this is enormous. This is incredible. I draw two lessons from this.
One, compare this number to how many would come to the funeral of the head of the IMF, the World Bank, Wall Street Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, George Bush, Merkel, I could go on. The numbers at the funeral of Hugo Chavez show overwhelming support for action to be taken against imperialism and capitalism. And these millions who marched did so in spite of, maybe because of, the non stop vilification of this man by all the capitalist media and institutions liberal to the extreme right.
The second lesson I would draw is this. And it is mainly aimed at those and those groups who consider themselves revolutionary socialists. Yes we have to stand up for what we believe in. Yes we have to say when we disagree. And yes many of us had differences on this issue or that with Hugo Chavez. But when some figure like this takes even a half step to try and put some restrictions on imperialism and help the poor we have to be on the same side of the barricades and be seen to be on the same side of the barricades. If not we will have no chance of getting the ear of those like the millions who who went to Chavez' funeral.
We must have all seen them on the TV. The old and the young, the poor and downtrodden, women and men, people who never before had a voice, their anguish at the death of Chavez. There would be no way we would get a hearing from these people, the salt of the earth, the forces of the revolution, if we did not start off mourning for this mans death. Whether it was caused by the forces of imperialism through a new form of assassination or whether it was by natural causes.