On a warm late February day in Santiago, I went to the grave of Victor Jara to pay homage to the man who was brutally killed on 16 September 1973. A theatre director, songwriter, and communist, Jara was arrested after the coup d’état against the socialist government of Salvador Allende. He was tortured and then murdered. At the rear of the Cementerio General in Recoleta, Jara was buried with other victims of the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. In 2009, Jara’s body was exhumed as part of the investigation into this murder and he was reburied a short distance away. On the original tomb in simple paint are the words el derecho de vivir en paz (‘the right to live in peace’). These words are from the title song of Jara’s 1971 album. The song, which opens the album, is an homage to the Vietnamese people, who were led by Ho Chi Minh in their fight against US imperialism.
Ho Chi Minh
February 20, 2021 Vijay Prashad, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. Educate! Ho Chi Minh, Marxism, Revolution, Socialism
In 1911, a young Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) arrived in France, which had colonised his homeland of Vietnam. Though he had been raised with a patriotic spirit committed to anti-colonialism, Ho Chi Minh’s temperament did not allow him to retreat into a backward-looking romanticism. He understood that the people of Vietnam needed to draw from their own history and traditions as well as from the democratic currents set loose by the revolutionary movements around the world. In France, he became involved in the socialist movement, which taught him about working-class struggles in Europe, although the French socialists could not bring themselves to break with the colonial policies of their country.