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4.19.2005

Pres. Chavez gives away 1 million copies of Don Quixote!!

Picked this up from Rigorous Intuition originally from The BBC.

What will the Fortunate Son's response be? Two million copies of My Pet Goat?


The Venezuelan government has printed one million free copies of Don Quixote to mark the book's 400th anniversary.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged everyone to read Miguel de Cervantes' Spanish classic.

He called on everyone to "feed ourselves once again with that spirit of a fighter who went out to undo injustices and fix the world".

"To some extent, we are followers of Quixote," he told viewers of his Hello President TV show.

The Venezuelan edition contains a prologue written by Portuguese Nobel literature laureate Jose Saramago.

The free copies will be handed out in public squares this weekend, said Mr Chavez.


One of the most heartening things of the Venezuelan miracle - and let's call it that - has been the symbology of the 1999 constitution. The sight of a mobilized populace, largely dark-skinned and underclass, waving copies of their own constitution, must make the hearts of oligarchs quail. It's easy to forget that history's most celebrated constitutions are revolutionary documents, but it's easy to see that the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is making living history.

Dawn Gable writes:

Article 132 states that everyone has the duty to fulfill his or her social responsibilities through participation in the political, civic, and community life of the country with the goal of promoting and protecting human rights as the foundation of democratic coexistence and social peace. Article 133 repeals forcible recruitment into the armed forces, but recognizes everyone’s duty to perform civilian or military service as may be necessary for the defense, preservation, and development of the country.

Article 135 says that the state’s obligation to the general welfare of society does not preclude the obligation of private individuals to participate according to their abilities. These duties describe participation much beyond the electoral process. They compel the public to see themselves as not so much the governed masses, but as active builders of their own society.

Meanwhile, the multi-generational campaign of intentionally dumbing down the populace, of encouraging public disengagement with the processes of governance, continues apace in the United States. There's something about a literate and educated citizenry that frightens tyrants even more than the right to bear arms. And when an informed and mobilized people compose a militia, it's the inclination of tyrants to back down.

The more I read of Chavez the more I am convinced he will not be allowed to survive the year. Various US gov't officials have already labelled Venezuela as one of the "outposts of tyranny" which is code for "won't allow us access to all their resources"