Asambleas Ciudadanos


the Citizens' Assembly in the Southern Cone



Tribute to Carlos Liberona : when the revolutionary struggle is the simplest way to do as you say

Translations : English . français . Español

Carlos Liberona, member of the Leftist Revolutionary Movement (MIR) from Chile from its very beginnings, has recently passed away the 11th of June 2009. But before belonging to MIR , he had been a revolutionary and popular activist and he continues to be so after his physical departure.

When, in 1965, hundreds of representatives from various revolutionary political groups which were small and insignificant to national politics got together in some premises in Santiago, precisely with the common goal to abandon that smallness and insignificance to become a national revolutionary political actor, there was Carlos, or Claudio, which was his war name. He came from the poorest and most excluded sectors of the southern “Mapuche” countrymen. He was a child, as he said, of violence, of that cynical and subtle social, economic, political and cultural violence that the powerful called “peace”.

After the military coup, like all other MIR activists, he obeyed the no isolation policy and stayed clandestine until he was arrested and tortured in Villa Grimaldi. He was exiled in Europe, where he crafted the difficult MIR reconstruction and opened up a profound reflection, very serious and humane, not just upon the MIR but wider, upon people and revolution, which he would maintain until today. Through this profound reflection and as a result of a whole, tirelessly supportive and respectful life constantly near the popular struggles, he became an “Amauta”, a wiseman.

He was not a “leader” of those who “speak and write nonstop”, like he used to call them, of whom there are so many around and who use their “knowledge” to foster separation, repudiation and destructive criticism in the midst of the people. He was rather one of our own ancestors, full of faith and patience to articulate diversity, to be near the people, their rites and their ways, alert to learning. He was a leader who did not want to be one, a father who wanted to learn from his children, an irreconcilable believer in the decisive role of the young, of the new generations, who always surrounded him and whom he always supported, pushing their initiatives and silently teaching them that the revolution is the simplest, daily way to do as you say, to live within the new values, cultivation the few – hard but key – virtues of the generous and respectful articulation to make emancipation a reality for the majority and not a miniscule arrogance.

Never did he allow for the painful fact that the “renovation” of the revolutionary ideas had been in Chile patrimony of those who had sold out to inhuman liberalism to take us to the conclusion that, then, we should not re-think and modernize the freedom ideas. On the contrary, within the full-fledged skeptical and disoriented Chilean period – a Neo-Liberal island in Latin America – he instilled the indomitable faith in people, in life’s resistance, in order to help them grow up fearless within the ideas, learning to be agents of human emancipation full of human knowledge and reflection. He provided us with the knowledge of his generation, responsibly including the many mistakes made by it, so as to make us grow and live responsibly with the peoples and the struggles, and not within easy speeches and excluding arrogance.

I received the news of his passing away, like many others, in the midst of the popular struggles of Our America, and I was there because of his constant support and example. I recalled one of his phrases and teachings: “we haven’t invented anything”, “we are a conscious part of the movement of the people, that’s it”, and then I realized he was where he should be, silently and simply within the always imperfect, never theoretical or pedantic, struggle of the peoples ; and that Carlos, or Claudio, has only come back to the deep entrails where he came from to us, to the green of his Chilean country south, to bury his heart in the continent people to live in all of us and to make us more humane, more revolutionary. And we continue, of course we continue.

Ricardo J.







the Southern Cone Assembly ont the web

Visit the webpage of the Assembly : and the different blogs linked to its initiatives : the General Blog of the Argentinan team in Córdoba, the Blog of the revue Pensamiento Propio, the blog de la Regional Integration Chair.

Pictures of the 2009 women's meetings

Have a look at the pictures of the women’s meetings held in September and November 2009


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