The PSUV’s rockin hymn

The Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, or PSUV, has a fun anthem that may help outsiders understand a bit about the aspiration of the president’s party. There’s no real reason to write it up now, except that the PSUV’s primary elections for the National Assembly happen today, and what the heck, it’s a catchy jingle. Here, take a listen:

The lyrics, in stilted translation:

With the emotion of people’s power in action
Party member, it’s the community’s time,
Taking the reins of our nation.
The valor that transfers virtue is the honor of the PSUV.
It’s the glorious community that now breaks the chains of slavery.

The PSUV, united in passion
Reclaiming the dream of the Liberator
And incarnates it, raises its gaze,
Moves ahead building the socialist country.

We are millions, with one solo voice, a free nation in revolution
We are present, the great tomorrow, we forge the sovereign country.

Unity is victory, socialism, the liberation,
Solidarity is the time of life
Love is the seed of a better world
It’s the truth, a torch that ignites peace
The PSUV is charged with destiny
To illuminate paths to dignity

The PSUV, united with passion
Reclaiming the dream of the Liberator
Incarnating it, raising its gaze,
And building the socialist country.

With three roots as inspiration
The tree of emancipation flowers
With our heroes that guide us now
Simon Rodriguez, Zamora and Bolivar
To unite America into one nation
The Liberator’s great challenge.
Tell the world, it’s on the march,
The sword of Bolivar bringing justice.

We are millions, with one solo voice, a free nation in revolution
We are present, the great tomorrow, we forge the sovereign country.

For those who aren’t believers or followers of a party, there’s going to be a lot to giggle about in any song like this, especially with such a stilted and rhythm-free translation. I mean it’s claptrap, it’s exactly what Orwell wrote about in Politics and the English Language, except that it’s in Spanish. But the music is catchy and the rhythm, in Spanish, is mostly excellent.

There are a couple little tidbits worth noting. One is that of the roughly 70 recognizable faces in the video, I count 15 Hugo Chavezes and 8 Simon Bolivars. Two of the times Chavez is shown is when the song says that the dreams of the Liberator (which refers to Bolivar) are incarnated in the party. This does little to dispel anti-Chavistas’ frequent groan that the president sees himself as the reincarnation of Bolivar.

The images of children, Bolivar and the flag throughout the video make it probably an illegal advertising spot. You aren’t supposed to use the national symbols for political purposes, which is why none of the parties have the word “Bolivar” in the name or the flag’s colors. You’re also not supposed to use children for political advertising.

None of that would matter if this spot were only shown on the Internet, but it was for a while in heavy rotation on VTV, the state television broadcaster. (Of course, it’s also illegal to use state resources for partisan advertising.)

Those who oppose Chavez would be prosecuted for any of these breaches. It’s not my problem, as I’m not even Venezuelan, but I consider this sort of double-standard to be unfair, and it makes me nervous about the country’s future ability to return to a less polarized way of living, or as the political scientists like to say, to “institutionality.”

Finally, on style — gotta love the i’s dotted with stars and the final shot with a Cuban flag in the middle of the frame. I love this video.


8 thoughts on “The PSUV’s rockin hymn

  1. HalfEmpty

    Gringo judge gives 5.4
    Points for sash, points deducted for lackamusic and use of color.

    See how the pros do it.

  2. Quico

    What I don’t get is why they’d go for that heavily synthesized, circus-fanfare-for-kiddies sound. It sounds neither caribbean nor formidably militaristic. It sounds like the thing you’d play to announce the Clowns are just about to hit the stage…which, come to think of it…

  3. Quico

    pd: You gotta love, at the very end of the video, how there’s a Cuban flag in the middle of the friend just as they get to the bit about forging the “sovereign homeland.”

  4. Kepler

    “Bolívar’s dream…and incarnates it”
    Boah, TWICE, not just once, twice is Hugo shown as Bolívar’s incarnation.

    The lyrics make very little sense in most places even within a Chavista mindset. It seems the composer was randomly selecting verbs to fit the nouns that would keep the rhyme.

    Setty, you are right, the double standard is unfair. It would be interesting to see what the Supreme Chavista Court would do about a lawsuit: would it just ignore it or reject it after a week on some stupid ground?

  5. Marcus

    It reminds me of a similar anthem that some of you may remember–

    Rebels are we,
    Born to be free,
    As the fish in the sea!

  6. ow

    Interesting advertisement.

    Note, it is all regular people and Chavez – no other Venezuelan political leader appears. And I am not talking about opposition leaders (obviously), no other PRO-CHAVEZ politician or government official appears in it.

    Hmmm, think that is by accident?

    Chavez no quiere que nadie le haga sombra.

    1. Kepler

      No one comes to Bolívar unless it is through Chávez.

      Y para citar a Cortázar: nadie baja vivo de una cruz.

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