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Venezuela: translating the revolution aims to promote solidarity with Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution by providing translations of interesting and important Venezuelan news articles and opinion pieces. It welcomes genuine discussion and debate on the posted articles.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Hugo Chavez - letter from prison

Here is a letter from Hugo Chavez just ten days after leading his failed military rebellion against Venezuela's then-president Carlos Andres Perez on February 4, 1992.

According to Richard Gott's book, 'Hugo - The Hugo Chavez Story', Chavez and some other rebel leaders were first detained in the basement of military intelligence headquarters for 17 days before they were transfered to San Carlos military stockade. That would indicate this letter was sent from military HQ, according to its date of February 14.

The letter is sourced from the collection, 'Oculto en mi pecho bravo - cartas de amor y de combate', ('Hidden in my brave heart - letters of love and combat'), 2005.

To his daughter Maria Gabriela, from prison

Translated by Owen Richards

Caracas, February 14, 1992

Maria Gabriela

My love:

Hello, my heart!

I want you to know that day and night I carry you in my heart and in my mind.

I'm so happy that you are well.  As always, I am proud to have a daughter like you, pretty, intelligent and brave.

Maria, I'm in good physical health and above all have a tranquil conscience. I did what I had to do, with the hope that things would change, with the Bolivarian hope that there will be a better world for you in the future, a world where there is not so much injustice and such corruption, were children have food, shelter, medicine, toys, schools.  All of Venezuela's children.

You are already a young lady so I'm sure you understand me.

The only thing, my baby girl, is that now I will not be very close to you [...] as before.  But my heart and my spirit are always there in the "Maisantera"1 and wherever they [the family] go.

Remember to apply yourself to your studies and to your reading, as well as to art and music. It will cultivate a noble and libertarian spirit that you will carry within.

Likewise with sport, to have "a healthy mind in a healthy body". Keep going to the pool (be very careful).

I entrust the boy2 to you.  Encourage him to learn to play the cuatro3, to write stories and to draw, and to keep going to swimming and to baseball. But please take care of him.

I must go now, my Maria, with the hope of seeing you soon and with the greatest love from,


1 The Chavez family home from 1989-1992.
2 Presumably Chavez's son, Huguito.
3 The Venezuelan four-string guitar.

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