Oh lord, how did I manage to miss THIS?

Happy belated Festive Left Friday (or jump on the next, if you prefer.)

Courtesy of Carlchucho, the YouTube of Chavecito swearing in for a second consecutive full term:


If this were anyone else, the ceremony would be tedious and perfunctory, just another changing of the guard while more of the same old same old goes on. Yawn.

But Chavez being Chavez, it’s charming, touching, and loaded with significance. Not only because he turns his oath of office into a very eloquent and highly personal little speech. It’s also because he switches the sash over from the right shoulder to the left, in keeping with the big left turn going on all over Latin America (you can hear the velcro ripping as he takes off the old and puts on the new!) And then there’s a beautiful choral/orchestral rendition of the national anthem (whose lyrics, significantly, refer to a “brave people who cast off the yoke”–not only of empire, but slavery.) The youth orchestra are all wearing the same kind of flag jackets that Chavecito has often worn to his political rallies. The whole thing is very colorful, and I found it incredibly moving. Most of all because he’s the first president who represents a real change, not just a changing of the same old guard. Carlchucho notes that he’s the first re-elected president in Venezuelan history, and that in itself should tell you something about Chavecito.

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