Archive for January 3rd, 2006

Revisiting Norberto Ceresole in the context of Chavez’ comments*

January 3, 2006


Chavez remarks about the descendants
of the killers of Christ controlling the world, which in Catholic countries has always referred to precisely the Jews, no matter what the revisionists who visit this blog wants to suggest,
have reminded me, via one of the comments by Klina, a similar episode which took place in
the first few months of the Chavez administration, involving the now deceased Argentinean
Norberto Ceresole. Ceresole was a political scientist who was a sociologist by
training, who came to Venezuela
in 1994; at about the time Chavez was pardoned by President Caldera for his
bloody coup attempt in 1992. It can be said that Hugo Chavez had
three mentors
, current Planning Minister Jorge Giordani on economic
matters, Luis Miquilena on political matters (who was later discarded and
replaced by current Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel) and Norberto Ceresole on
ideological matters
and the
path of the revolution
. To me, Chavez’ comments, both in the context of saying that those that killed Christ control the world and then following up with saying that those that control the world also killed Simon Bolivar, are no different than the anti-Semtic/conspiracy theory by powerful groups writings of Ceresole. In fact, most of the thinking by Ceresole about the revolution can be seen today, after his death, in the ideas and actions of the evreyday Bolivarian evolution.

Because of this, the personality of Ceresole, his influence over Chavez and his project deserves to be reviewed again, since there are so many short memories about Venezuela and the last seven years under Chavez.

Ceresole linked up with Chávez and spent
over a year going around the country with him in what was then Chavez’ effort
to promote the overthrow of the Venezuelan Government. Ceresole was a curious personality,
having started at the left, claiming to be a Peronist, later a Montonero, only to
shift later to the right turning into a pro-Arab, anti-Israel, neo-nationalist,
calling for militaristic leaders across Latin America in order to preside over
a “post democratic” era in which the army and the people would somehow merge into
one, led by “Caudillos”. (Sound familiar?)


In 1995, Ceresole was
kicked out of Venezuela
for his supposed ties to Arab terrorist groups. The truth was that Ceresole was
giving seminars across Venezuela, in which he would state that the future of
Venezuelan democracy was doomed, which given his affiliation with Chavez and
the fact that he was a foreigner, did not sit well with then President Rafael
Caldera’s Government.

Ceresole returned soon
after Chavez’ 1998 victory in grand style. He lived at the “Circulo Militar” a Hotel/Country Club
facility run by the military in Caracas. at Government’s expense.
He relished the limelight, giving interviews to the press and anyone that may
listen about his theories about post-democracy and the civic-military union as
the way to go in Latin America. Quotes like
this one
:

“The Venezuelan model is
differentiated from the “democratic model” (be it liberal or neoliberal)
because within the popular mandate there is an implicit idea that power should
remain concentrated, unified and centralized. The people elect a person (who is
immediately projected to the metapolitical level) and not an idea or
institution. This is not an anti-democratic model, but a “post-democratic one.””

became an embarrassment
for the political operators of the newly assumed Chavez regime, who were trying
to sell the world the image of a softer, gentler and more democratic Hugo Chavez. It was
one of them, Luis Miquilena who got rid of Ceresole, even if Ceresole himself blamed
what he called
the more “democratic” part of the Chavista Government, as represented by current VP Jose
Vicente Rangel.

In my own personal recollection,
it was the combination of Ceresole using the word “post-democracy” suggesting some
sort of strongman regime, which people were afraid of, together with the strongly anti-Semitic
statements repeatedly made by Ceresole in the numerous interviews that he gave
to the press, that got him into trouble in Venezuela with the political
operators. He blamed Rangel in most of his latter writings, including his “book”
called “Caudillo,
Ejercito, Pueblo
” (Leader, Army, People) about the Chavez revolution. Curiously
that book has an introduction, which is followed by a sort of preface entitled “The Jewish
question and the State of Israel
”, a sort of strange preface for a book about Venezuela. But
it all relates to his anti-Semitism and the fact that he blamed Israel and the world Jewish community for him having to leave Venezuela in 1999.

Reportedly, Ceresole got
interested
in Judaism and the State of Israel, as described by himself in
the book “The forging of Reality”, when he began investigating the AMIA (Asociasion
Mutua Israelita Argentina) Headquarters bombing in which 85 people
died. Ceresole supposedly reached the conclusion from his findings that there
was a huge cover-up of the internal fight in the Jewish community of Argentina which
led to the bombing (!!) and that the Jews
use the “myth” of the Holocaust to control the world. Curiously Ceresole said that
this is not anti-Semitic. He repeatedly made the argument in interviews and
writings that he did not dislike human beings who are Jewish, but it is the
State of Israel, which he used very loosely, and its control of people that had taken advantage of the
myth of the Holocaust to control the world.

But let’s see exactly how
he defended his supposedly non-anti-Semitic position in his book
about Chavez:


Of course I am not “anti-Semitic”
nor am I “neo-Nazi” Recently a serious magazine, the pretended Spanish language
version of Foreign Affairs, (Política Exterior, Madrid, noviembre-diciembre de
1999, p.32, Vol.XIII, Nş 72) defined me as a «montonero», the ultra left of Peronismo
in the seventies


I am, that I am, a critic of the
State of Israel
and of the international Jewish organizations, to which I have devoted my last
few books. I consider myself part of a new revionism whose objective is to demonstrate:


1. That an important part of the
canonical tale of deportation and death of the Jews under the Nazis has been
arranged in the form of a myth.


2. That such a myth is utilized to
preserve the existence of a colonial enterprise endowed by a religious ideology
(monotheistic and mythic-messianic): the disownership by Israel of the Arab Palestine


3. That that myth is also utilized
to financially blackmail the German state, other European states and the US Jewish community in the US and other countries
with significant Diasporas.


4. That the existence of this
political enterprise (Israel a power shaped under the monopoly of monotheism
and implemented by an army, various police forces, jails, tortures and assassinations)
looks to consolidate itself via a series of ideological manipulations in the bosom
of the hegemonic power of the US, which procures by any means to be accepted
about the owner of the world using generalized terror and also via dissuasive
and persuasive practices.”


Ceresole’s work is plagued
with statements such as the one above in the claim that the Holocaust was small
and is being used by the State of Israel as a way of controlling the world. Of
course, he claimed to have proven this and thus it is a fact and not an anti-Semitic posture. And we are expected to believe him of course, when he traced back
this behavior as far back as the expulsion of Jews from Spain in the
XVth. Century, which in turn led him to propose that other influential groups, in this case the British Masons, conspired to kill Simon Bolivar.


In fact, in the book about
Chavez, Ceresole concluded among other revionist facts that:

“there was, in no case-(in the German
concentration camps of the era of the Third Reich, including the German
territory militarily administered by Germany) the use of homicidal gases
that supposedly operated in the so called “chambers””

Or

“Less than 40,000 people between
non-Jews and Jews (died in Auschwitz)”


And


The revionist analysis have absolutely demonstrated that those “memories” that
pretend to replace non-existing documents (such as extermination orders (official
or non-official ones, budgets to build death factories, designs or credible
representations of the weapons of the crime, administrative procedures to execute
such a vast crime, etc..)”


Ceresole’s theories about
the unity of the army and the people, led by the Caudillo could be the subject of
many posts, but basically what Chavez has proposed and continue to propose today is not that
different from what Ceresole postulated in his book: a single “political unity”
to replace political parties composed of the leader, the military-civic union, arming the citizens, all anti-US,
with the leader trying to break up the bipolarity of the world by joining with the Arab world
and confronting the US.

In fact, the only
divergence between Ceresole and what has happened in Venezuela after his death, is that
Ceresole had no love lost for Fidel Castro, who he considered a failure.

In a prescient prediction, Ceresole foresaw, for example, the reaction of the
Venezuelan left to Chavez’ militaristic project:

The liberals and Marxists of all kinds will look to attack the Venezuelan
model-simultaneously or alternatively-from two angles that have already been
perfectly designed. The first will ask for the “distribution and
democratization of power” and the second for “popular participation” in the
sense of replacement of the caudillo (leader, concrete, physical) by the “people”
(abstract, generic).”

Ceresole, tried sometime to minimize his perosnal importance for Chavez and the revolution, saying he was just an individual visitor at the time of the scandal that led to his departure, but at the same time he always talked in the sense of “I told Hugo this or that”, “these writings are the results of many meetings with Chavez’ military officers” and the like.

All of this demonstrates
to me, the deep influence that Ceresole had on Chavez’ ideas and on his project. I can
not say that Ceresole implanted the anti-Semitic words in Chavez’s mind, but
Chavez’ statements last week
are fairly clear in my mind. To anyone that
has ever lived in a Catholic country, it was not the Romans that killed Jesus, it was the Jews. This was the case in Venezuela, which had a very large Jewish communities since WWII, which helped mitigate anti-Semitism and this was more strongly felt in Spain, where the Jewish community has been quite small.


It is also no accident that Chavez linked Christ and Simon Bolivar in his statemnet, this is also part of Ceresole’s writings. Ceresole blamed
the death of Simon Bolivar, on another conspiracy, not on the Jews, but he drew
the analogy to the Jews as a group of power who likes to control the world, much like the British Masons felt the threat of a unified Latin America, leading him to blame them for the death of Bolivar:

the great Masonic loggias, those positivistic para-religious lobbies of
British capitalism, who aspired to destroy that vast, complex and extraordinary
geopolitical architecture represented by the Spanish American Provinces…it is
thus that the fall and death of the Liberator (Simon Bolivar) is produced
. To realize this operation London turned to the second line of its roster, the great traitors of the American homeland” (In the section “A geopolitical
response to external aggressions” in Ceresole’s book “Caudillo,
Ejercito and Pueblo
”)

And I will leave it at
that. To me the connection is clear and direct between Chavez intellectual mentor,
his thinking and the anti-Semitic statements made my Chavez a week and a half
ago. Chavez is no dummy, he probably started on the Christ statement and when he realized
that this was politically incorrect, he concatenated it with the teachings of
his old mentor abiut the Masons and Bolivar’s death. To me, it is all there in white and black.


In some sense it was lucky for the Chavez
revolution that Norberto Ceresole died in 2003, because he was direct
and very clear in his thinking, which Chavez is not. Thus his physical absence allows the
revolution not to have to live with the embarrassment of having his writings and statements
exposed day after day. But his teachings live on in the daily actions of this
militaristic, one man-show which has come to be known as the Bolivarian
revolution.


*The links I have provided
in English are not the best, but I wanted to give as many English language
links as possible about Ceresole, which are scarce. In the end, Ceresole’s own
words in Spanish in interviews or his books are the best reference.

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