EspañolOne of the many prizes and awards doled out by the Soviet Union was the little-known International Stalin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples, renamed the International Lenin Prize in 1956 after Stalinism fell out of favor once his multiple crimes became better known.
Both Lenin and Stalin were murderers. Both carried out arbitrary detention in the USSR, fomented terror, and exterminated farmers in unspeakably cruel ways, among innumerable other atrocities.
It was Lenin who first spoke of “enemies of the people” (a term that has little to do with peace) in arguing that “as long as we fail to treat speculators the way they deserve – with a bullet in the head – we will not get anywhere at all.”
The word “peace” has been twisted at will during the denial of all the genocides committed in the name of socialism.
The prize was handed out once a year to commemorate all those who supposedly contributed to peace among peoples to congratulate them for fostering communist ideology. We need only ask, who was able and willing to receive a prize bearing the name of these terrible assassins? Lázaro Cárdenas, Fidel Castro, and Salvador Allende.
In the case of Castro, he received the Lenin Prize in 1961, and was recognized with the USSR’s highest honor as a Hero of the Soviet Union in 1963.
We shouldn’t find the use of the word “peace” strange in this context. In the many manipulations of language by the left, this concept has also been twisted at will during the denial of all the genocides committed in the name of socialism.
In fact, many of Latin America’s current tyrannies continue to use the word “peace” or “human rights” to impose terror with a friendly face and control their populations.
Another huge inconsistency in this ideology, and closer in time to the present day, was the infamous bestowal of the Simón Bolívar National Award of Journalism on the late Hugo Chávez in 2013, and his receipt of the Rodolfo Walsh prize from the Faculty of Journalism of Argentina’s Universidad Nacional de la Plata in 2011.
They were both extremely illogical awards to give to a dictator of Chávez’s record when it came to Venezuelan journalism: from 1999 to the day of his death, he took it upon himself to censor, close down, and harass innumerable private media outlets. Such was the case with Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV), Globovisión – sold to Chavismo during the reign of his successor Nicolás Maduro – and an infinite number more.
During the awarding of the Walsh prize, Chávez said that it was “an honor to receive such an award from a faculty that fights for the freedom of speech of all those that don’t have a voice, for human rights, and for the eradication of the information monopolies that try to influence the people with lies.”
Such a stance is paradoxical, if we only think of the tens of Venezuelan students murdered for thinking differently, the dozens of political prisoners jailed for wanting to free the country from such an atrocious dictatorship, or the thousands of Venezuelan citizens who have had to go into exile to escape persecution, hostility, hunger, scarcity, and the insecurity generated by a totalitarian government.
We need only observe the reality in Venezuela, which so few want to accept, to see that since the Chavista era began until the unconstitutional Maduro regime came to power, the country has lacked any semblance of freedom of speech or the defense of human rights, and finds itself submerged in a dictatorial media monopoly that tricks its people and the whole world.
The Soviet era may be past, but the nefarious and dangerous legacy of its prize-winning despots still lingers in Latin America, plaguing so many populations and holding back the region’s progress a little more every day.