Jose David Chaparro Martin is a man of peace who has voluntarily entered the war. He is a “national hero” in Ukraine. He clarifies that he is not a military man, “but a militarized civilian,” although the whole resistance against the Russian invasion calls him “commander.” José David Chaparro has spoken to Sol de Medianoche from some undisclosed location, for his safety, but on the front lines and with some bomb explosions as background sound.
José David Chaparro Martín is called “commander” in the Ukrainian resistance, because of his appearance. He is a strong and well planted man, with slightly long hair, mustache, and beard. Enough so that he reminds the Ukrainian military of “other legendary commanders of Latin America,” he explains, alluding (without expressly mentioning them) to Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
Long hair, mustache, beard and being a Hispanic who wears a camouflage uniform and carries a gun are the only things José David has in common with Ché, Fidel and other revolutionaries. Born in San Cristobal, capital of Tachira, Venezuela, he studied International Law and became interested in Soviet Civil Law, which at that time contemplated the death penalty as a coercive measure and was undergoing profound changes. He wanted to experience firsthand the opening of the “Perestroika” (restructuring) promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev and the disappearance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
In 1990 he went to Ukraine, a Soviet republic that gave notice of its desire for independence with the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine, on July 16, 1990. Independence that was formalized with the approval of its parliament in the Act of Proclamation of the Independence of Ukraine, on August 24, 1991. The USSR became history, and the Russian Federation was born.
Joseph David put down roots in Ukraine. He married a Ukrainian woman, Svetlana, who is an artist (painter) and with whom he has two children: a philologist (linguist) who today is 31 years old and lives in Spain, and a military doctor and violinist, currently 26 years old, settled in Israel.
José David also worked in Moscow, as Venezuelan Chargé d’Affaires. He admires Russian culture. But he is repulsed by the invasion ordered by Vladimir Putin against what he considers his “second homeland.” “I knew democracy in Venezuela, until the late 1990s when Hugo Chavez’s populism took power and ended it. Then came Nicolás Maduro. I thought that since I had not been able to restore democracy and freedom in Venezuela, I had the obligation to defend it in Ukraine, which I also feel is my land.” The “commander” Chaparro does not find it improper to be called that, commander, since he “commands” (directs) a small division of volunteers, who deliver humanitarian aid to those most affected by the Russian invasion. He wields a gun, yes, because he must defend himself from ambushes by Russian soldiers. But he doesn’t like to talk about it. He only says that he carries it “in defense of myself and my people: my family, my neighbors, my friends...”
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