Obama, the Man of the XXI century

We have had the privilege, my family and I, to be witnesses and humble participants in a historic event: Barack Obama’s victory for the United States presidency. For all of us who supported him, there is a profound sensation that it wasn’t just about fighting to change the disastrous policies of the last 8 years, there was something more. Several months back, when Obama was still battling in the primaries for the Democratic nomination, a Venezuelan friend of mine said that numerous people had told him there was no hope that the “colored one” would win. I then responded that the Obama phenomenon wasn’t simply another candidacy, but that behind him a social process was being expressed, which grew exponentially and went beyond the circumstantial to become historical.
Obama made history almost from the moment he became a presidential pre-candidate with possibilities because, against all odds – being African-American, with a name strange to the culture and roots of the nation, born to an African father, and raised in different parts of the world – he was able to capture a longing for hope and change of a massive sector of the American people; the most dynamic, cosmopolitan, universal sector of the American people; maybe, I dare say, the seed of the new citizens of the XXI century, whose voices and expectations were drowned after the attacks of 9/11 and the deep regression of civilization and reason that followed in almost every sphere of the country, brought about by terrorism and by the fear planted by the government.
Barack Obama has been elected president during a clear state of national and global hecatomb and degradation. The process that has led him to power has counted on the vanguard of youth and citizenry for whom the values of democracy, liberty, peace, the sense of universality, human rights, and caring for our planet’s climate, are an indispensable part of the fight for a better future. It is the drive to change the disastrous path that our XXI century has taken. It is a lamplight only, the attempt of a beginning; but voiced out loud firmly and with strength.
The tears of African-Americans that last night cried out their happiness, are tears that carry with them the certainty that a new world has been born. Only 53 years ago they could not sit as equals along a white man on a bus, or attend the same schools. Today, millions of Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Natives, united as one being, deposited their vote and trust upon a man, not caring about the color of his skin. His daughters will now live in the White House. This alone doesn’t do away with racists, but they are now, more than ever, an expression of the past, of incomprehension, of cultural stagnation and ignorance. The new citizen of the XXI century has prevailed.
The man that will govern our country is the most global of presidents that the United States has had. He seems to be a synthesis of cultures, races, religions. The new citizen of the XXI century has prevailed.
Nothing is guaranteed. Now it is President Obama’s turn to confront the enormous obstacles of the current world we live in. We will probably still suffer some more. There will be new sacrifices. We hope and expect to count on this nation’s government to provide us with the fertilizer and the machinery to plant our future and steer the path of the century.

Translation by Carlos Ortiz

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