Friday 28 September, Plaza de Museos, Belles Artes, Caracas
[RCG 28/09/12] Science and Technology plays an increasingly important role in Venezuela, today the Bolivarian Republic launched its second satellite to further advance technological development. The 'Francisco Miranda' Satellite was created in China by a specialist bi-national team which ensured that Venezuelan scientists could learn the skills and knowledge required to design and maintain the satellite and ensure the transfer of technology between the countries. Venezuela's first 'Bolivar' satellite was launched in 2008 in order to develop telecommunications across the whole of the country. The second 'Miranda' Satellite is designed to capture high definition images of Venezuela's national territory, to analyse land that could be developed for agriculture, identify sites that are being used for illegal mining and further improve telecommunication.
In order to celebrate this achievement, we gathered with the Venezuelan youth in Plaza de Museos, Belles Artes for a night of music, discussion and information. To everyone's surprise President Hugo Chavez paid an unexpected visit to the event. Arriving at 9pm after a day of campaigning and rallies in other states, Chavez was greeted with cries of 'Uh Ah, Chavez no se va' signifying that with his popular support, President Chavez is not going anywhere and the Bolivarian Revolution is here to stay! The level of emotion, appreciation and love given by the people towards their president was something we could never expect to see under capitalism in Britain, Chavez walked through the crowds with minimal security, surrounded by socialist youth, hugging and talking with them as he made his way to the stage declaring 'Long live science, youth and music in Venezuela! In two hours our second satellite will be launched, this is only possible under our revolution, I don't have any doubts that our generation is the best for 200 years, since the generation of Bolivar....Hasta La Victoria Siempre! (Until Victory Always!)'.
For our delegation it was certainly an unexpected privilege to be within 50 metres of Chavez on our second day in Venezuela, seeing him speak from a small stage to the young Venezuelans gathered around him. Chavez is clearly a driving force in the Bolivarian Revolution, but the students and youth of Venezuela are seizing their future in both hands, developing the opportunities that the Chavez government is handing to them. As we are reminded by revolutionary graffiti plastered on the walls in Caracas, 'Chavez es el pueblo' (Chavez is the people)
Sam McGill (photos by Ih-tisham Ul-Haq)