Friday, January 27. I came back to the airport for the Boston Delegation and Venezuela Information Office meeetings. We're at an active military airbase, and helicopters keep landing and talking off to take people to the International Airport since the bridge on the main road there is out. The noise occasionally interrupts our discussions. It's nice under the tents, though, with the breeze blowing through.
United States Social Forum Organzing Workshop. The USSF is planned to take place in Atlanta in June 2006. The meeting took place at the US Tent.
People's Antiimperialist Struggle: public plenary with president Hugo Chávez.
I made the mistake of coming back to the hotel rather than going to the Poliedro to listen to Chavez. It is just not the same watching him on TV. Anyway, here are some notes from his talk:We are realizing the utopia dream that Christ did not see during his life.
Cannot understand Latin America without Africa.
Bolívar was precursor of anti-imperialism.
Jesus Christ, Don Quixote, and I: the three biggest losers (?) in history.
Long life Shafik Handal, he is in this battle with us (and then he told of meeting Shafik, and his continuing support for Chavez).
Ecuador exports crude oil and imports refined gasoline. We need to realize Bolívar’s dream of economic independence.
Signed literacy agreement with Evo between Bolivia, Venezuela, and Cuba.
Mr. Danger wants to add Venezuela to the list of countries that support terrorism. He speaks of human rights but has our five Cuban brothers in prison ignoring all of their human rights and protects two of the greatest terrorists, Posada Carrilles and Orlando Busch.
One cannot expect Lula, Fidel, Evo, and me to all do the same thing. We all have our unique circumstances. But we are all on the same road going in the same direction.
Petroleum is for the development of the people. Venezuela will never again be a colony of the United States.
In the United States a movement is rising that every day gains more strength and consciousness (and then talks about Cindy Sheehan who is on the stage; Chavez calls her Mrs. Hope, she blows him a kiss, and he says that he loves her too). Long live the people of the United States!
A representative democracy always ends up in being an elite democracy a false democracy. What we want is a participatory democracy, a true democracy, a democracy of the people.
Imperialism is not infallible. This century we will bury United States imperialism.
If Cuba and Venezuela with all of our limitations managed to eliminate illiteracy in a year and a half, imagine what the United States could do with all of its resources. May the United States giant awaken!
Socialism or Death! Capitalism is destroying the planet. There is a need for a new, fresh socialism. Like Mariátegui said, socialism has to have a strong Indigenous component. Our Indigenous peoples lived in socialism, and still live in socialism. They have conserved their socialism roots. As a Christian, I believe that Christ has a lot to contribute to twenty-first century socialism. Christ was an antiimperialist.
Socialism or Death! Homeland or Death! We will win!