First published 16 December by venezuelanalysis.com
With all votes counted to the point of results being irreversible, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela has won the governorship of 20 states, and the opposition coalition, three states.
The opposition lost their control of Zulia, Tachira, Carabobo, Monagas, and Nueva Esparta, but retained Amazonas, Miranda, and Lara states.
From the beginning of 2012, the RCG grasped the tremendous significance of Venezuela’s October presidential elections – not just for the people of Venezuela, but for the whole of Latin America and, indeed the international working class. We began organising and raised money to send a delegation to Caracas and to make a film about the election period. Our aim was to understand better the process of the Bolivarian Revolution and to directly challenge the hostile propaganda and lies of the imperialist media. Over a period of two weeks, we saw how hundreds of thousands of working class Venezuelans thronged the streets of the city, braving torrential rain or baking sun, to express their support for President Chavez.
We spoke to veterans of the struggles of the 1980s and 1990s, community organisers, workers, students, politicians, trade unionists, economists – and everywhere, from the poorest barrios to the offices of the National Assembly, we heard reference to the ideas of Marx, Lenin and Che Guevara. We visited thriving schools, universities, hospitals and a gleaming Cuban-run Barrio Adentro clinic, and saw new units of social housing springing up all over Caracas, bedecked with red flags. Out of that extraordinary experience have come not only our new Viva Venezuela film, but a deeper understanding of the achievements of the country’s Bolivarian Revolution – and the challenges that lie ahead. SAM MCGILL and CAT ALLISON report.
'Here, beyond the figure of one man, that which is important is the project to build a new society, an alternative to the capitalism which prevails today'
On 10 December 2012 Hugo Chavez was forced to return to Cuba for further cancer treatment as Cuban doctors informed him that new malignant cells have appeared.
Our full solidarity goes out to President Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution in the hope he is able to make a full recovery.
Viva Venezuela Contingent Report back in Glasgow ‘All people want to live in peace...the people of Venezuela, the people of Palestine, the people of Glasgow...only socialism can provide the necessities of life’. These were the opening remarks of the chair of the meeting Paul Mallon before he introduced one of the Revolutionary Communist Group members who took part in the contingent to Venezuela during the presidential elections on 7 October.
Imperialism’s massacres set against the international solidarity given by the Bolivarian revolution; ruling class attacks on and denial of health and education services to peoples around the world against the progressive welfare reforms of the United Party of Venezuela (PSUV) which is headed by Hugo Chavez. Socialism or Barbarism! This was the overriding g theme of the meeting.
It's official! Our new documentary about the fight to build socialism in Venezuela and the 2012 elections - Viva Venezuela - is here. Watch it online now by hitting play below
We must start by saying a big thanks to the people who financially donated to send our docuentary team to Caracas. Now we are able to bring to you the first of two films we have shot in Venezuela this year.
If you have been following this blog you will know fully well that our delegation was reporting from the streets of Caracas covering the elections and writing back with exciting articles and videos.
Report back meeting from RCG Venezuela delegation
[RCG 06.11.12] Sam McGill, recently returned from Caracas following Chavez's victory in the Presidential elections, set out to show that the alternative to austerity, imperialism and war is being built in Venezuela. Sam began her speech, to a packed room, by quoting Polanco, the Cuban ambassador to Venezuela: ' Venezuela is the frontline of international class struggle'.
She went on to describe the huge successes of the Bolivarian revolution, for example, the 8,380 public health centres and 13,740 integral health and diagnosis centres built by the Bolivarian Republic. The contradictions were also drawn out in the meeting; after looking at the grass roots community health project 'Barrio Adentro', through which over 11 million Venezuelans have received free medical attention, she explained that elite private hospitals run alongside the health projects, part of the wider problem of capitalist structures still in place, supported by an entrenched bourgeoisie. These concrete achievements and problems were powerfully set in the living, dynamic process by recounting conversations with community members, activists, students and workers.
Challenges facing Venezuela were discussed alongside emerging solutions. The meeting looked to the future with explanations of the Programa Patria as a starting point, but also to the hugely significant education, development and activity happening at the grassroots. The meeting got to see the powerful trailer for a full-length documentary, which is currently being produced from footage taken by the delegation. The clip showed the people's elation at Chavez's victory against the imperialist-backed opposition, their commitment to the process and what it means for them and their families. The documentary, showing what the ruling class media fails and refuses to show, is eagerly awaited.
Discussion focused on what is possible; a young woman explained what it meant to her to see socialism being built, and how rare it is to hear what is possible, both from the ruling class media and in our classrooms. The stark comparison with austerity at home was raised by many in the audience; experiences of increasing isolation, the lack of childcare, employment, affordable housing and rising cost of education were brought out. The meeting ended with a crucial call for solidarity with a local anti-racist campaign, resisting deportations, detention and other forms of state racism. The message was clear - to continue to resist in Britain, and take inspiration from those fighting to build socialism.
Viva Venezuela! No to imperialism, racism and austerity!
Reportback meeting from RCG delegation to Venezuela
Bolivar Hall, London 3 November
Part of the remit of the RCG’s delegation to Venezuela was to ensure that on our return to imperialist Britain we conveyed to the widest possible audience the truth about the successes of the Bolivarian Revolution and the importance of the election victory of President Hugo Chavez. This London meeting was one of many held around the country to do just that, and included a ten-minute preview of the film being made by comrades about our experiences.
The meeting was opened by Alvaro Sanchez of the Venezuelan Embassy, and Rafael Sardinas, from the Cuban Embassy, highlighting the unity between the two countries. Comrade Sanchez stressed the tremendous victory President Chavez had achieved, with nearly 55% of the vote, on a historically high turnout of 81% of the Venezuelan people, putting paid to the imperialist lies that Chavez is a ‘dictator’.
Comrade Sardinas described the victory of Chavez as a victory not just for Venezuela, but for Cuba and the people of Latin America as well, and read out the message of solidarity sent by Cuban president Raul Castro to congratulate Chavez. He described, too, the hypocrisy inherent in the privileges and freedom accorded to arch-terrorist Luis Posada Carilles by a US government that continues to imprison five Cuban freedom fighters, the Cuban Five.
Cat Allison and Ithisham Ul-Haque, who were both in Venezuela for the election, looked at the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution and the challenges that lie ahead in building socialism. Cat described the operation and consciousness of the building of popular power in the country, through communal councils, comunas and other forms of participative democracy that are the cornerstone of the Bolivarian process – and the constant threat posed by an entrenched bourgeoisie that will not easily allow itself to be dispossessed.
Ithisham described some of the highlights of our visit to Venezuela. He also described some of the challenges posed by the country’s economic dependence on oil, linking it to the struggle on an international level of oppressed nations such as Somalia whose economies and development have been distorted by oil – and imperialism’s determination to control the earth’s resources.
Looking at the achievements of the Bolivarian process, such as the mission to build three million housing units by 2019, he compared it with the struggles faced by the working class in Britain, such as the Counihan-Sanchez family – some of whom attended the meeting – made homeless by Brent Council in London.
A real highlight was the ten-minute trailer for the full-length film comrades are working on, using footage from our visit to Venezuela. The interviews brilliantly captured the level of motivation and consciousness of the Venezuelan working class, as did the scenes of the mass mobilisations in support of Chavez, culminating in the scenes outside the Miraflores palace on the night of the election, thousands waited, breathless, to hear the results read out before exploding into passionate cheers and tears and songs and chants as the Chavez victory was announced.
Significant contributions in the discussion came from the RCG’s Trevor Rayne, who exposed the dangerous lies of Venezuela’s ‘false friends’ on the left, and David Yaffe, who emphasised that we need to use the example of Venezuela to organise amongst the working class in this country to build an anti-imperialist movement that fights against austerity and for socialism.
HAVANA, Nov 6 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA) -- A Venezuelan navy vessel arrived in Cuba on Monday, carrying 226 tons of food in aid to the Carribbean island battered by hurricane Sandy.
Vessel "La Guajira" -- loaded with beans, rice, flour, powdered milk, canned meat and water -- was berthed in Santiago de Cuba, 864 km east of Havana and was received by Maria Luisa Bueno, regional delegate of the Cuban Foreign and Investment Trade Ministry and Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba, Edgardo Ramirez.
The vessel's captain Reinaldo Leon Fajardo said more aid would arrive through air and maritime means.
On Oct 28, another Venezuelan naval ship carrying 646 tons of humanitarian aid headed for Cuba and Haiti. A Venezuelan airplane has also sent the two countries 28 tons of food
Sandy hit southeastern Cuba on Oct 25 and left 11 people dead and enormous material damage while at least 50 people were killed in Haiti
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