After 2000, a funny thing happened to the political language of the new leftin South America. While leaders in many countries and of many political stripesregularly evoke the past, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez made a science ofhistoricizing current problems by reviving the distant and forgotten as relevantand poignant. The point of the exercise was to resurrect obscured narrative ashistorical revision with sharp, current political meaning. In 2007, for example,at the height of a simmering dispute with the Colombian government, Chávezaccused Colombian president Álvaro Uribe of fronting for a “Santanderistaoligarchy.”2 Less striking than the evocation of a contentious narrative on howindependence era icon Simón Bolivar died (murdered by his erstwhile ally,Brigadier General Francisco Santander) was Chávez’s confidence that an ancientstory of political betrayal could resonate with his supporters. How manypolitical leaders can trot out a two centuries-old story and make it meaningfulto followers in contexts of current political debate?
Copyright © 2012-2013 Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe.
Editores: Ori Preuss; Nahuel Ribke
Instituto Sverdlin de Historia y Cultura de América Latina, Escuela de Historia
Universidad de Tel Aviv, Ramat Aviv,
P.O.B. 39040 (69978), Israel.
Correo electrónico: email@example.com