Some people claim say that there is nothing slower than a country making its own history. Washington has just lost another pawn: from the first day of this month, 170 years of elitist governments were left behind in “little Uruguay”, to make way for the hope of a people that decided, by democratic means, to do away with the old structures and recover its hopes, its joy.

Since the “Maracanazo” in 1950 (when the Uruguayan national football team shocked the world as it won the World Cup Championship, defeating against all odds, and before the astonished eyes of 120,000 silent Brazilian fans, the until then unbeatable Brazilian team), the people of this eastern South American nation had not lived an experience with so much fervor and hope, in the company of the presidents of other brother nations- Lula, Chávez, Kirchner- who have also chosen to pay the social debt before the external debt, and to give preference to the peoples rather that to the dictates of neoliberal dominance.

Montevideo was a grand party, and Hugo Chávez was part of it, especially with his continuous call- in the Gigantinho stadium in Porto Alegre, and then in the Ateneo Theater in Buenos Aires- for unity, and above all, for a clear identification of who our common enemy is.

In Montevideo, Chávez stressed that among the threats against his government by the U.S. are the rumors of a possible coup, the presence in the neighboring Caribbean island of Curaçao, of a U.S. aircraft carrier, with 1,000 marines on board,; and the plans of an attempt against his life: “If anything happens to me, there is one person in this world to be held accountable, his name is George W. Bush”, he asserted. The rumors alleged that the city of Maracay was the center of the conspiracy. The truth is that the president’s security problems increase at the same pace as the virulence of the threats.

In Montevideo Chávez also warned that any aggression against his country- like those against the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Granada, Guatemala, and Panama- would unleash “the revolutionary war of the XXI century”.
Shortly before, while gambling (in a clandestine bingo in Baruta) a couple of million bolívares (some thousands of U.S. dollars)-perhaps part of the money he received for conspiring-, Carlos Ortega, a representative of a labor union bureaucracy -that is discredited and in decline, and who in 2002 participated both in the coup and in the oil sabotage-strike; was arrested. This is clear evidence that another conspiracy was under way. As always, a conspiracy financed from where we all know, and encouraged by the local and foreign media (including any unethical foreign news correspondent).

The destabilizing strategies by the media are not new to Venezuela: they seek to generate fear, rage, and to justify coup d’état’s, the assassinations of presidents, and invasions. The vocabulary used is that of speculation: Chávez is an accomplice of terrorism, Chávez is a threat, Chávez exports his revolution. Perhaps the answer to these deliriums, that always come along with the trademark of the declaration of some U.S. official, is in the credibility that the Venezuelan head of state finds among the people of the nations that he visits.

Could it be that his credibility increases every time these allegations are made?

Before leaving for India, Chávez insisted on the need for unity among the Latin American peoples: “we are proposing the most detailed elaboration of a strategic integration plan and we must plan it for within 20 years. A clearer, more solid, and complete project is what is necessary to consolidate the union”.

“The peoples sense, look, discover, and act en masse. That is the only thing that can change history, a conscious people in movement like the one that is now expressing itself in South America . With a plan, and with organized social and political forces that struggle for their cause, it is possible to make history happen”, he added.

He cited TeleSur, PetroSur and Banco del Sur (Television of the South, Petroleum of the South, and Bank of the South, respectively) as concrete examples to articulate such union, and proposed to integrate an organization for the defense and sovereignty of South America, which requires a revision of the military issue and to think about a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a South Atlantic Treaty Organization (SATO) does not exist.

The Montevideo agreements, the joint declaration with Brazil and Argentina (the South American troika), are evidence that they are breaking away from those who insist on hegemonies and that another world is possible. For us, the developing countries- and especially for those of Latin America and the Caribbean-, another world is indispensable, and we are trying to construct it each day, with each one of our countries, and all of our peoples together.

The joint decision is to move ahead together, with political decisions at the highest levels, ranging from cooperation and complementation, to the decision to allow our peoples to have their own voice and image, with the establishment of this first anti-hegemonic media project: the New Television of the South, TeleSur.

After the U.S.-Colombian media offensive as part of the "Granda Affair" in Caracas, which ended up in Uribe’s labyrinthitis (the reason he claimed for delaying his trip to Venezuela to resolve the impasse that this kidnap caused with the Venezuelan government) and an implied apology on his behalf; and after new attempts by Washington to isolate his government, Chávez also announced a meeting with the presidents of Colombia, Brazil, and Spain (José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero), somewhere in the Brazilian-Venezuelan border, as part of the Spanish president’s agenda in his visit to Colombia and Venezuela by the end of this month.

We believe that this should be a difficult moment for an already six-year-old government, with a scenario in which the opposition has practically vanished. The time for confrontation has apparently passed -always keeping in mind the permanent attempts by the media to destabilize-,and it is now time to govern, to satisfy the expectations of the people, to pay the enormous social debt, accumulated for two centuries. At his moment, there should be tranquility to make plans, to rethink the Venezuela of the year 2020, whose construction should begin now.

We know that within the structures of capitalism and neo-liberalism, it is impossible to construct a sovereign nation. The only way is our own way: to see ourselves through our own eyes and to begin to envision a common path with our Latin American and Caribbean brothers.

The president himself has denounced inefficiency and corruption. To say any more is to discuss further what we all already know and what we all fear. the decision to audit what has been done in Vargas and and in Citgo, the criminal investigation of improper handling of some Mercal (government financed low-cost food markets) centers are encouraging signs.

Giving power to the people also implies social control exercised by this people, not only in the words, but rather effective control. And it is curious that there are people who think that by hiding mistakes and by dismissing any criticism, they are helping the Bolivarian Revolution. Revolution implies a cultural change. Those who do not understand this, are a hindrance to changes and to development.

Governing means cleaning up the police forces and generating welfare for the vast majorities. Entrepreneurs seem to have understood that there is a government that must set the rules(and not because it is contrary to their interests), and thus extensive sectors of the Venezuelan business world have begun to walk across the communication bridges the government has built. Now, it is also necessary to rely on labor unions that are nationalistic and supportive of the workers, detached from bureaucratic and sometimes anti-national cliques.

Governing implies institutionalizing the changes: transforming emergency strategies into plans for social development. As Simón Rodríguez, Simón Bolívar’s teacher and friend, said: “Either we invent or we err”; we have already had plenty of experience in the second option. Governing also implies recovering our memory and our words, not confusing - nor disguising- the old developist approach with endogenous(from within) or sustainable development. Changing the structure of the ministries should help in this purpose.