Posts Tagged ‘Rodolfo Montes de Oca’

Salom Mesa Espinoza

“I come from the social subsoil, and my ideas embrace political struggle. . . . to procure a revolutionary order, to leave behind justice for my equals; but the results of the political struggle in which I’ve been an actor haven’t served these ends, but on the contrary it’s served to turn me into an animal, to debase me, to corrupt and degrade the sons of the people. And as an honest man — which I’ve always wanted people to see me as — I had to break with that which life itself showed to be evil. In may case, conventional [electoral] politics.

“The legal [political] parties in which I participated were generous with me. The first, Acción Democrática, made me councilor for the Federal District and later a deputy to the Congress, and for it I spilled my blood. The second Movimiento Electoral del Pueblo, made me a deputy for the Federal District three consecutive times, and the final time nominated me and secured my election while I was imprisoned. It conducted a vigorous and and valiant campaign for my freedom, and its president doctor Luís B. Prieto harshly criticized the government and vehemently demanded my release. I’m profoundly grateful to the MEP and Doctor Prieto, and I won’t forget that.

“But for me social struggle makes sense [only] if it tends in the direction of human emancipation; and forty-four years of party militancy, surrounded in the vast majority by good people, has convinced me that we’ll never reach emancipation through political action, that the sons of the people, like me, should have nothing to do with [electoral] politics nor with government. Our mission is that of destroying the ruling political and social order so as to later construct a just order.”

–Salom Mesa Espinoza, La vida me lo dijo, elogio a la anarquía (rough translation: Life told me this, elegy to anarchy)

(quoted by Rodolfo Montes de Oca in Venezuelan Anarchism: The History of a Movement, which will go to press later this month)

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Venezuelan Anarchism front cover


Our friends at Crónicas Negras have been running a series of interviews with their fellow Venezuelan anarchists. Here’s the latest.



“The Venezuelan state is approving the biggest eco-suicide known in our entire history and the Boliarvian government is complicit”

Interview with Juan Pablo Núñez from Maracaibo.


Interviewer Rodolfo Montes de Oca (


Translation by Pietro Casati Kuyath (


Black Chronicles are a series of interviews conducted to different anarchists currently living in Venezuela, narrating the struggles the face living in one of the few socialist regimes. These interviews deal with the everyday lives of men and women and highlight the precarious situations in which they are forced to live in.

In this edition we interview Juan Pablo Núñez, member of the band Doña Maldad, soloist in Cadáveres podrido, activist, colleague of El Libertario and anarcho-punk from the region of Zulia.


-How is it being a young anarchist in Venezuela? Is it challenging?

I have been fighting for this cause for more than 15 years. I am an adult, but I am still young at heart so I can answer the question: I don’t think that it is different from any other country. The matter which makes the situation complicated is the strong polarization that is dividing people. We must establish opinions that aren’t seen as crazy or even despised. Socialist Venezuela is a huge farce because it is merely the continuation of what the system supposedly criticizes to gain the same power, resources and people’s autonomy.


First Manuel Rosales, then Eveling Trejo to culminate with Francisco Arias Cardenas… haven’t the people from Zulia learnt their lesson?

Neither the people from Zulia or Venezuelans from other states have learnt that regardless of who rules it is only a tool for their own interests. Manuel Rosales was governor and Dimartino was the mayor. When this happened there was a strange competitiveness between both groups of power. Meanwhile Arías Cárdenas is the governor and Trejo is the mayor. In their continuous battle to sink their political adversaries they have left the city destroyed: full of garbage, black water… In essence, their businesses and personal interests rule over the interests of the people.


Arias is a very strategic militant, he wants to transform Zulia into a powerful state, just like his advertisements suggest. His mission is to expand the territory with neoliberal projects of development and other interests from Colombia which include infrastructure, coal mining, ports for exportation, militarization, etc. The consequences of his policies could leave Zulia without any water resources, along with contributing to a high level of deforestation and increase in Colombian contraband. Zulia has become another business for the military.


-How do you see the lack of criticism from NGO’s towards the role of Francisco Arias Cárdenas, knowing that he is destroying the Sierra de Perija?

Political matters are based on blackmail. Chavism knows a lot about this because I think that it has always been their main pressure tool. I am not surprised that many organizations and NGO’s obtain mutual support from people like Francisco Arias in exchange for turning a blind eye to certain problems. They have already destroyed our lake a long time ago and nothing was done to solve this from any NGO’s.


The death of Sabino Romero… What is your opinion on his death?

Sabino Romero was an important figure for his speeches and the actions he undertook to obtain land for ethnic groups like the Yukpas. He was a threat to the government because he was a firm believer in Chávez’s speech. He also altered the power relations between farmers, the military and the government. Sabino was also serving as an inspirational example for other indigenous communities in the country. This is why Sabino was killed by the farmers with the complicity of the government.


How do you see the issue of the Arco Minero del Orinoco and the current focus on extractivism by the Venezuelan state?

The Arco Minero issue is something very worrying and we have to take action right now. The majority of the Venezuelan terrain in situated in the river Orinoco. They have already installed an oil-bearing station in Faja and they are about to start mining in the south. The mere action of inviting 135 transnational businesses and accepting their partnership is something incredibly nefarious for our territory and our people. We are talking about a mining program that is occurring over important reserves of water, fauna, flora and indigenous communities. The Arco Minero marks the beginning of the end of all of our natural treasures. If this doesn’t stop then death, wars and sickness will soon come. Full destruction. The Venezuelan state is approving the biggest eco-suicide known in our entire history and the Bolivian government is complicit.


After so many defeats… How do you currently see the resistance of indigenous communities?

The example and reference that I have are the battles of Zulia. We are currently living the consequences of subsidized activism. Chavism gave and took away the same blackmail that we talked about. The Yukpas, after so much hardship, are now surviving because they have been abandoned to their own luck. The Wayuu of Socuy social movement have managed to start projects that keep indigenous communities optimistic. But I think that the autonomy would be the flag that should be risen and demonstrated through examples to prove that that they don’t need the state to solve their problems. Instead they must build strong alliances with the movements of the city to establish relations where people are involved and feel a sense of belonging.


You play in music bands like Doña maldad and now started the band Cadáveres podridos… Is it challenging to produce independent music in Venezuela?

No, I don’t think that it is that hard, especially now when you can record with anything.


Do you queue to buy regulated food or do you engage in bachaqueo?

I don’t queue, the feeling of impotence and rage that I feel don’t allow me to do so. I don’t engage in bachaqueo either because it is an extortionist practise. If you thought that only the population could save themselves from this mess take a look at this phenomena and the collective desperate desire for survival. I imagine that you must ask yourself if I buy any contraband. Our alimentation at home has been severely affected by the current situation. We eat lots of fruits and grains from a standard vegetarian diet but now we can’t even pay for grains, fruits or anything for that matter. Everything is too expensive. We should start planting seeds, everyone should do that.


Have you been a victim of the increasing crime rate? Have they lynched anybody where you live?

Yes, I have been mugged several times, even by pointing a gun at my face. I am aware of thieves being killed by the police on a regular basis.


How is electricity rationing where you live?

Two daily hours, sometimes this timetable is maintained and sometimes it’s not. In fact whilst I am writing this right now I know that the light will go off soon.


How have people reacted to the price increase of public transport?

There have already been protests across the universities. People seem visibly miserable. I tend to use my bicycle, it’s the best option.


Do you have any problems with your internet?

It is very slow. I don’t have any Internet connection at home because it broke and nobody has fixed it yet.


Do you think people are starting to get fed up not only with the government but also with the opposition? Where are we heading towards?

I hope that we are heading for a revolt.


Have you ever thought of running away, crossing the border? Or do you have to stay to build and fight?

Yes, I have thought about leaving on numerous occasions, but I want the current government to leave even more. All of them. In these moments we have to fight because the plans of the government are nefarious for all Venezuelans.


Did you know that we all have to be inscribed to obligatory military service? How do you see the militarization of society?

Yes… I knew, but I didn’t inscribe myself. The country has ended up like this because we are in the hands of the military. What we have lived and what will soon come isn’t going to be easy, especially with CAMIMPEG, a military-mining corporation.


What activities are you performing in Zulia? Do anarchist organizations exist?

There is a little bit of everything in Zulia, the movements I involve myself with are related to the defence of water, against the mining of coal… Here there are a lot of things for everybody, but we must expand our capacity in the city. Cyclers, musicians, poets, everyone in the world should establish objectives and plans of action to save this city from political unconsciousness.


What should be libertarian attitudes in these moments?

In this moment we must continue organizing lots of demonstrations to highlight the inefficiency of the state.


Would you like to add anything to end the interview? What would you recommend for fellow anarchists?

Assist popular markets, support fights, demonstrate your discontent and turn off your phones.


Rodolfo Montes de Oca

Bitácora personal:

Twitter: @romontesdeoca

(Next year, we’ll publish Venezuelan Anarchism: The History of a Movement, by Venezuelan journalist and historian Rodolfo Montes de Oca; you can find his work [in Spanish] on his personal site. Here’s his latest posting for those who read Spanish — sorry, but I’m too busy to translate this now.)


Entrevista con Carlos Equiz desde Puerto La Cruz

Rodolfo Montes de Oca


Crónicas Negras es una serie de entrevistas realizadas a diferentes anarquistas que se encuentran en Venezuela, sorteando las vicisitudes de vivir en el socialismo del siglo XXI, como un relato de los tiempos que atravesamos. Hombres y mujeres que desde la cotidianidad tratan de resistir la bota y las precariedades a la cual nos han sometido.


En esta cuarta entrega contamos con la presencia de Carlos Equiz, anarquista, ciberpunk y programador oriental, integrante de bandas como Amordazados, Fracaso, Aurea, Desprecio y Soma. Aquí les dejo sus palabras:


Cómo es ser un ciberpunk anarquista en una Venezuela socialista primitiva analógica?, ¿Cómo es el día a día?

Es una lucha diaria, de ideas. En esta Venezuela donde los amos se presentan en TV con mazos y fusiles, la mejor arma de lucha es el conocimiento, afilar la inteligencia.


Es público y notorio que Venezuela es uno de los países que tiene el Internet más lento de Latinoamérica, ¿Cómo lidias con eso?, ¿Cantv o Intercable?

Donde vivo ya no hay líneas CANTV, así que es Intercable o nada. Si hay algo que me ha forjado paciencia es la velocidad de mi Internet, 1 mb máximo; súmale a esto la intermitencia del servicio y ya te haces una idea del reto que puede ser descargar/subir cualquier contenido.


El gobierno ha invertido dinero y publicidad en promocionar sistemas de software libres… ¿Qué opinas de eso? ¿Por esa concesión tan pendeja apoyarías a un gobierno?

Soy usuario de software libre en mi día a día, desde mi sistema operativo hasta herramientas de desarrollo, reconozco que hay una comunidad de software libre dedicada al desarrollo y promoción de esta cultura, pero su compromiso ideológico con el Poder se aleja totalmente de mis principios. No se me da esto de ponerme firme frente al milico.


Es un hecho que la mayoría del software que se usa en Venezuela es libre o ha sido liberado, en cualquier lado consigues una copia de Windows pirata y este software corre tanto en grandes empresas, bancos, entes gubernamentales (a pesar de la legislación que les ordena el uso de software libre) y hasta en los propios hogares.


Eres del Oriente de Venezuela, ¿Cómo son las cosas por allá? ¿Adolecen de la santísima trinidad del venezolano “escasez-inseguridad-militarización”?

Tenemos las mismas carencias que otras zonas del país, la escasez es muy aguda, las colas son interminables, la represión y abuso de los cuerpos de seguridad también se hacen presentes. La realidad nos abofetea cuando vemos a los uniformados salir de abastos y supermercados con sus bultos de mercancía, demostrándote que te convertiste en ciudadano de segunda clase.


¿Las redes de Internet tienen una lógica de práctica anarquista? ¿Sin jerarquía ni guías?

Actualmente las redes de Internet mas utilizadas son de corte capitalista, así que se hace lo que los CEO’s digan.


¿Bachaqueas online?, ¿Cuál es tu apreciación de las redes de whatsapp para pasarse el dato de los lugares donde están los productos regulados?

No bachaqueo. Desconozco de estas redes por whatsapp.


La escasez genero nuevas formas de comercialización como apps que le informan a los suscriptores donde conseguir los productos que escasean, ¿Qué opinas sobre esto?

Creo que la necesidad resulta en innovar, desde un punto de vista optimista una app que informa a suscriptores la disponibilidad de un producto puede ser una gran ayuda para personas que viven en zonas remotas apartadas de la ciudad, como también puede servir de pitazo al bachaquero, así que no es el martillo sino el carpintero. Al final de todo esto el problema real es la escasez.


¿Qué opinas tú sobre grupos como Anonymous Venezuela?

Hasta donde conozco se dice que son una organización sin tinte político que apoya el hacking ético, sin embargo nunca he contactado con alguno de ellos.


Una pregunta que nunca se la he formulado algún anarquista es: ¿Cuál es tu opinión sobre las redes sociales? ¿facebook, twitter, Instagram? ¿Dónde está el límite entre el espectáculo y la propaganda? 

Facebook, Twitter e Instagram obedecen a sus intereses económicos, es un poco difícil poner en contexto la cantidad de información que manejan, y lo que hacen con ésta. Básicamente cada pieza de información que los usuarios vaciamos en estas redes les otorgan el poder de someternos a estudio para presentarnos el contenido que, en sus propias palabras, “mas nos interesa”, así que siempre cuestiona todo lo que veas en ellas.


¿El anarquismo en Venezuela es virtual?

El mundo virtual también es real.


En Venezuela existen varias personas detenidas por twittear o hacer campañas contra el gobierno por las redes sociales, ¿Cuál es tu opinión sobre ellos?

Extiendo mi solidaridad hacia ellos, si bien no compartimos ideología y hasta distamos en la forma de pensar, creo que están pasando una situación muy delicada, donde se evidencia lo crueldad del Estado totalitario.


No conozco todos los casos, de los que sé he imaginado ponerme en su lugar y me invade el terror de pensar que por escribir un tweet puede derribar la puerta de tu casa, acusarte de terrorista, destruir tu vida enviándote a la cárcel.


Venezuela está viviendo una situación enrarecida… ex anarquistas siendo diputados o ministros de cultura… ¿Cómo ves esto?

No hay tal cosa como ex anarquista, nunca lo fueron. Pizarro y Ñañez son todo lo que NO quiero ser cuando crezca. A ellos les puedo de dedicar la canción Poĺiticos de la banda Fracaso.


¿Andamos en una encrucijada? ¿Cuál debería ser nuestra actitud ante la crisis que atraviesa Venezuela?

Nos han arrebatado muchas cosas, impuesto otras más. Acabar con la pasividad y la sumisión, es hora.


Para cerrar con el teclado en la mano, ¿unas palabras finales?

Agradecido por esta entrevista, ha sido divertido responderla, cuando quieras estas invitado a apreciar nuestras playas y atardeceres alterados por la contaminación.¡Un abrazo!


Rodolfo Montes de Oca

Bitácora personal:

Twitter: @romontesdeoca