Victora Jara was a Chilean poet, singer, songwriter, social justice activist. Community organizer. Theater director. He was committed to an embrace of the original Andean influence and instruments in Chilean music, but with political lyrics that spoke of the desperate needs of the poor and greed and brutality of the rich. He was instrumental in the movement known as Nueva Cancion -- "new song" that became so popular among young musicians in Chile.
Victor Jara was hated by the rich and powerful, of course, because he stood up for the rights of the poor. The U.S. set up a coup in Chile on 9/11 (1973) which led to the murder of the democratically-elected Salvador Allende and the installation of the brutal military dictatorship of Pinochet, under the direction of Henry the Hatchet Kissinger, and with the eager cooperation of Milton Friedman, creator of misery throughout the world and God of the neocons. Thousands of people were kidnapped, tortured, murdered, to spread terror across the country. Thousands more simply disappeared -- picked up by the police on the street, murdered, their bodies thrown in ditches.
On the first day of the coup, 9/11, Victor Jara was one of thousands taken to the stadium in Santiago. The story was that first the military cut out his tongue and said "You'll never sing again." Then they broke his hands and said "You'll never play the guitar again." Then they tortured him more and eventually killed him.
He was an amazing songwriter, poet, performer. He is a well-known and beloved man who is remembered and honored throughout much of the world for his struggles for human rights.
The reason I thought of Victor Jara today is that I keep hearing the insiders, the connected, the upper-class Democrats saying that there is no easy cure, no quick fix, and I keep thinking that if Victor Jara was here he would disagree. It's really simple. A relatively small section of our country (maybe 15%) has stolen most of the wealth and resources of this country and of the world. We need to take it back. Have a wealth tax. Just take it from them. This is our country, we make the laws.
Think of it this way. Let's say the second grade teacher brings 25 chocolate valentine candies to school, puts them in a bowl on her desk for the 25 students in her class. But she goes on a break and when she comes back she finds 15 of the students did not get a candy, 9 got one each. And there is fat selfish Albert who is basically a sociopath who gets along with no one, never learned to share or to play well with others, and his pockets are bulging because he took way more than his fair share. What would the teacher do? What should she do? Take all but 1 away from Albert. Then make him spend the day in Time Out. And distribute the rest evenly among the other students.
It's our country. We're in charge and we are responsible. A few people in this country have stolen money from us and from others. Poor Iceland is broke, their money stolen by some whore-loving coked-up hedge fund scum living in a penthouse and laughing at all of us. We need to go take away his money and his penthouse and his whore. Send him to time out (prison) and redistribute that money.
The song "A Desalambrar" was written by Victor Jara. "Desalambrar" is interpreted differently in different places. Some say it means to "deconstruct." Others interpret it as cutting the wire (as in cut the wires of the fences that keep the people off of the land). I could not find an English translation online, so here's a very rough one: I ask everyone here, has it ever occurred to you that this land belongs to us, not just to the people who have the most wealth. I ask whether, in this land, there are not those who have thought this: if they are our hands [that do the work], then the things that our hands make should belong to us. Then the chorus: A Desalambrar (let's take it apart, or tear down the fences), because this land is ours, yours and mine, it belongs to Pedro, Maria, Juan and Jose. Last verse: If somebody does not like my song, or does not want to hear it, you can be sure that person is either a gringo (white folks) or a dueno (rich man/landowner) of Chile.
by Víctor Jara
Yo pregunto a los presentes
si no se han puesto a pensar
que esta tierra es de nosotros
y no del que tenga más.
Yo pregunto si en la tierra
nunca habrá pensado usted
que si las manos son nuestras
es nuestro lo que nos den.
A desalambrar, a desalambrar!
que la tierra es nuestra, tuya y de aquel,
de Pedro, María, de Juan y José.
Si molesto con mi canto
a alguien que no quiera oír
le aseguro que es un gringo
o un dueño de este país.