I first heard the news of Hugo Chavez’ death when my mom was giving me a ride home from my guitar lesson (just learned “Pumped up Kicks”!) needless to say I was pretty shocked. Now I know that I was born in 2001 but that doesn’t mean I have not been influenced by this man. We have all seen people around school or outside the AMC Theater wearing the Hugo Chavez shirts. A lot of kids know about Mr. Chavez after his image was popularized by the classic rock group Rage Against The Machine. What most people don’t know is that Hugo Chavez actually helped aid in the Cuban revolution. He has become a symbol of rebellion for revolutionaries like me and millions of others.
When Mr. Greenblatt banned chewing gum in my 4th period social studies class I was pretty furious. It is my right to chew on cotton candy Bubbleyum wherever I please. So what did I do? I took the immortal words of President Hugo Chavez and started a revolucion. What did I do you ask? The most radical thing I could do. I started a petition and got everybody in Pod A to sign it. We gave this petition to the Vice Principal and she said that she would, “Think about it.” I would have never been able to institute such changes if it were not for Hugo Chavez!
Another thing you may not know about Hugo Chavez is that in the 80’s (lol so long ago) he left Cuba and came to America to lead the United Farm Workers; a union that help Mexican-American civil right movement. That’s right Hugo Chavez not only led military rebellions he also fostered political discourse during his time in the United States. Once again President Chavez’ world view inspired me to unionize our study groups in Mrs. Vespucci’s technology class. We demanded that we could share our answers for the study guide so long as everybody contributed at least one answer. Mrs. Vespucci said no but I thought it was still a meaningful experience.
You would think that Chavez would be done helping people after he led the Cuban Revolution and United Farm Workers. Nope. In 2005 Chavez gained a little bit of weight and decided to take his message of tolerance on television. What spawned was a hilarious television show where Chavez pointed out the difference between Latinos and other races. I don’t remember the name of the show but what I do remember was some dense political commentary that helped to better race relations in the United States and abroad. I may have only been 5 when the show was on the air but the message resonated with me.
Finally, in the last great political effort of his life Hugo Chavez was elected President of the U.S. Territory Venezuela. Here he was adored by all of his followers without any controversy or unnecessary violence until his untimely death earlier today. This is a truly a blow to the latin-american community. I don’t think I’m over stepping my bounds when I say that Hugo Chavez was the Malcom X of Latinos.