June 16, 2024

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José “Pepe” Mujica and Fifty Years of Coup in Chile: “You have to remember, but you also have to look forward”

José “Pepe” Mujica and Fifty Years of Coup in Chile: “You have to remember, but you also have to look forward”

As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup in Chile, former Uruguayan President José Mujica was invited by the President of the University of Chile, Rosa Davis, to give a lecture to university students, the most important audience in the country. It was a frank conversation, in which the heads of various student centers asked the former president questions about how to protect democracy in Latin American countries.

As usual, Pepe Mujica spoke without a pre-defined text. He remembered his youth, when he participated in a lecture by Ernesto Che Guevara, the Argentine politician and rebel, in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the early 1960s, given by the then Chilean Senator Salvador Allende, to which the Chilean youth spoke about the value of memory, but also about their responsibility towards history.

Jose Mujica and University President Rosa Davis enter the Hall of Honor.Sophia Yangari

“You kids [jóvenes]They will have to take charge of the story. “Life and struggle go on and there is a real battle for the intelligence of Latin America, because you have to have memory, but you also have to look forward,” Mujica told the students present who gathered in the Hall of Honor of the Central House. From the University of Chile, the former president noted that “we are in a time of tremendous change because it is the change of the era, where the factor of intelligence has become from now on no less important than capital, or more, because labor is transforming and what we called in my youth the proletariat, that is, a people who wear work clothes and wear Hat, in a few years it will be nostalgic. Mujica’s words refer to the technological revolution and the advancement of artificial intelligence, which he said sooner or later will replace regular jobs. In the face of this transformation, he said, the challenge for Latin American societies is to train young people on a large scale in higher education. Because, he said, “young people who don’t have this training will be left by the wayside.”

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The former president noted, “We are in a time of tremendous change because it is the change of the era, where the factor of intelligence is from now on no less important than capital, or more, because labor is transforming and what, in my opinion, is the young proletariat, the people who wear work clothes, with a hat, will “They feel nostalgic for the past in a few years.” Mujica’s words refer to the technological revolution and the advancement of artificial intelligence, which he said sooner or later will replace regular jobs. In the face of this transformation, he said, the challenge for Latin American societies is to train young people on a large scale in higher education. Because, he said, “young people who don’t have this training will be left by the wayside.”

This is the challenge that Mujica believes must be solved through integration. His view is that the best way to produce more in less time is through cooperation between Latin American countries. “We constitute about 7% of the world’s population, but with Covid-19 we accounted for 30% of the deaths. There was not a single meeting of the heads of the region, each one managed his calculations. We should have come together. We could have saved lives if there had been a policy.” cooperation between us.”, he pointed out.

“Since the world has been a world, the weak, in order to be strong, join with their peers, otherwise we are running from behind. We have more resources than it seems. Here is 25% or 30% of the world’s agricultural land. There is the Amazon, the largest reserve of fresh water And the Guarani aquifer, and there are three countries that have lithium, and instead of selling lithium, we have to sell batteries, and play as a team.”

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Former Colombian President Ernesto Samper with Jose Mujica, Rosa Davies and Pablo Gentile in conversation.Sophia Yangari

With this in mind, the former President of Uruguay called on students and future professionals to learn how to come together and collaborate. “The integration of Latin America is a battle to learn how to work together to defend ourselves because the world is coming together in giant units. It is not about coming together to lose sovereignty, but about agreeing on common interests and preserving a little sovereignty, in an increasingly interconnected world,” he noted.

“We swallow the pill of the dictatorship of the proletariat.”

After his speech, the former Uruguayan president was questioned by some heads of student centers at the University of Chile and the National Institute, one of the most emblematic high schools in the South American country. In response to a question about how new generations deal with issues of memory and dialogue and about young people who attack democracy and participate in violent demonstrations such as those witnessed in the Palace of La Moneda and in the public cemetery in Santiago on Sunday, September 10, Mujica called for leaving aside fanaticism and not making the same mistakes that she did. previous generations.

“The generation that claims to be intelligent tries not to make the mistakes that others have made. My generation, partly, with the knowledge of the time, swallowed the pills of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It seemed like a solution, because the social classes had to be eliminated, but what began as the dictatorship of the proletariat ended up being It is the dictatorship of bureaucracy. Change between generations means learning from the mistakes of other generations and having the courage to make the mistakes of your time. He added: “Having passion is one thing and falling into fanaticism is another thing, which is the darkness of the future. Do not let hatred blind yourselves, for hatred makes you stupid, and fanaticism drives us.” To believe that the only absolute truth is our truth separates us from a path of wisdom steeped in doubts.

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The event ended with a standing ovation for Pepe Mujica, then with a surprise concert by Quilapayún, one of the Chilean popular music bands that became a symbol of the struggle against the Pinochet dictatorship.