imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Chavez in Madrid-The working class must be the vanguard of the revolution

by HOV Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004 at 11:17 AM
solidarity@handsoffvenezuela.org

Bolivarian Revolution

Extraordinary meeting of Chavez with workers in Madrid

“The working class must be the vanguard of the revolution”

By Emilia Lucena, El Militante



It is nearly five o’clock. A shy autumn sun bathes the Prado Avenue on our way to the headquarters of the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) in Madrid. When we arrive there are already more than 300 people queuing to get into the meeting hall. They patiently wait to attend the meeting with Chavez which is scheduled for 7 pm.

There is chaos. Lope de Vega is a narrow street and more and more people arrive to attend the meeting. The hall stewards are overwhelmed, some of them surprised by the enormous expectation, some ask what is the matter with Chavez and some even ask who Chavez is (one mixes him up with Andalusia president Chaves). The police officers cannot understand and do not know what attitude to adopt. One of them tries to show that he is in charge, and demonstrates the usual arrogant and contemptuous attitude of the police, but nobody pays any notice. They are all either sufficiently happy or enthused with the perspective of meeting Chavez, and are not prepared to fall into any provocations. During the nearly two hour wait, the queue breaks into singing and shouting of slogans in defence of the Venezuelan revolution and its president.

It is nearly 7pm when the doors open, and the human tide is allowed in, in groups of five. We must go through a metal detector. It is just four days since the State Prosecutor investigating those involved in the April 11 coup has died, assassinated in a terrorist attack carried out by the forces of reaction. Nobody complains. We all understand the need to take all necessary security measures. We are aware that the international counter-revolution has set its sights on Chavez.

Slowly the meeting hall fills up. There is the shouting of slogans and the singing of songs. We are shown a video of the revolution. Some singers and musicians go on stage to entertain the people before Chavez’s arrival. Amongst them are the extraordinary Olga Manzano and Quintin Cabrera, but also many others, who do not feature in the commercial music scene, but want to show their solidarity and sympathy for the revolution. Of course, [Spanish singer] Alejandro Sanz, the gusano who said that Chavez should resign because the people of Venezuela were against him, and who has now been shut up by the results of the recall referendum, is not there.

A terrible moment. It is announced that the president will not come. It is half past eight. The audience is stunned. Disillusionment runs through all those present, but it is agreed that the meeting will continue. We want to show our support for the revolution, but the mood has changed from one of enthusiasm to a disheartened one. We wanted to listen to Chavez, the leader of the Venezuelan revolution.

William Lara, the former president of the Venezuelan National Assembly and Member of Parliament, addresses the audience. His speech does not connect. He says that Venezuela is a paradise for investment from Spanish businesses. There is a stunned, and a little bit of an angry silence. These are the same businesses that exploit us day in and day out. These are the same businesses that hire young people and immigrant workers as cheap labour without rights, and demand more flexibility for wages and working conditions! We know they are not going to create wealth in Venezuela, in the same way they do not create wealth for the people here. William Lara continues with his speech and at the end adds, like an afterthought, that this investment will not have the same exploitive character as in the past. The question everybody is asking themselves is: does William Lara really know what employers are? Does he know that their profits come from our exploitation? Does he realize that they will not invest a single cent unless they have a firm guarantee that they will recover their investment tenfold by keeping the majority of the population in poverty? While Lara speaks a rumour makes the rounds: “Chavez is coming”, first it is just in the front rows, then moves throughout the hall. Nobody pays much attention to anything apart from whether Chavez is coming or not. From the stage nothing is said about this, William Lara continues to speak. At the end a powerful voice from the audience says: “Chavez is coming”. There is a spontaneous ovation. The mood is cheerful again. Now the musicians go on stage and we all sing along and clap to the songs. Later we found out what had happened. A group of people, led by Manolo Espinar of the Haydee Santamaria organisationa and JM Municio from El Militante, had gone to the Circulo de Bellas Artes, where Chavez was meeting a group of intellectuals and actors, and explained to him that 1500 workers and youth were waiting for him in the CCOO meeting hall. And they managed to bring him along! When Chavez found out that we were waiting, he did not hesitate: “I am going over there, even if it is just to give a 15 minute greeting”. As he himself said later: “thank you, you have rescued me from the intellectuals to bring me to the workers”.

The hours go by and he still does not arrive. The banners in the hall still speak solidarity from the walls. Amongst them is one from El Militante and the Sindicato de Estudiantes (Spanish Students Union) which reads: “Venepal: nationalization under workers control”.

Nobody leaves. Now and then the news is confirmed: despite the delay, Chavez is coming. We are waiting. Messages of support are read to the meeting. At the beginning two were read from the Alliance of Anti-imperialist Intellectuals and another one from Culture against War. Then they read the one from the Sindicato de Estudiantes, which was interrupted by ovations twice. Then, in between the songs, others are read: from the Communist Party, the Red Current, El Militante, the international Hands Off Venezuela Campaign ... We sing some songs and then The Internationale. The whole room has raised fists as the Internationale comes out of our throats like the shout of revolutionary struggle, solidarity and proletarian internationalism.

At last, at 10:30 pm, after waiting for more than 5 hours, Chavez arrives! The enthusiasm is overwhelming. There is a standing ovation and raised fists as we greet him.

He is standing on stage. He is obviously tired but also moved by the greeting and the enthusiasm overfilling the hall. He apologises for the delay, and starts by reciting a poem by [Spanish revolutionary poet] Garcia Lorca.

He begins to address the crowd. He talks about the revolution, the oppressed, the oligarchy and imperialism that organized the coup in April 2002, how he thought he was going to be shot dead, and how the soldiers, arms in hand, avoided it. “There, facing the death squad, I though of Che (...) how men die”. He explains how thousands and thousands of workers, the poor, surrounded the Miraflores Palace defending the revolution. “They tried once and failed, and if they tried again they would fail again, because in Venezuela the arms are in the hands of the soldiers, who are part of the people”. He mentions the coup against Allende: “the Chilean revolution failed because it was a peaceful and unarmed revolution. The Bolivarian revolution is peaceful... but armed”. We understand very well what he is talking about. We also know about our own past. The audience begins to shout, fists raised again, “the people, armed, will never be smashed” (“el pueblo armado, jamás será aplastado”).

Now he talks about the money from [state oil company] PDVSA, which is being used for social programs, and he mentions Cuba and the Cuban doctors. There is another standing ovation and shouts of “Chavez, Fidel y el Che”.

He mentions the shipyard workers [fighting for months against the closure of the shipyards]. The whole audience shouts, “The shipyards will not be closed down!” He talks about the democratic revolution in Venezuela, of how the people support the revolution. He talks of the peoples of Latin America. “If Bolivar lived today, he would be a socialist”. He also mentions Marx. Incidentally, on his way in, he stopped to browse at the bookstall of El Militante. He spoke to the comrades. When he saw Alan Woods’ books he said: “Oh, Alan Woods. He is a friend of mine”. We want to give him the books he has chosen as a present, amongst them several by Alan Woods, Ted Grant and Trotsky, but he insists he wants to pay for them. At the end he accepts Alan Woods’ “Bolshevism, the road to revolution” as a gift.

He now talks about the workers and the need for unity. “There is a socialist international and a Christian Democratic international. Why can’t we form a democratic and revolutionary international? Unite all the oppressed peoples, the workers, the indigenous peoples ...”. There is another standing ovation. He develops the idea: “the working class must be the vanguard of the revolution (...) It should not only concern itself with immediate or wage demands, which are necessary and must be fought for, but it must also look beyond, to the transformation of society as a whole”. The enthusiasm is overwhelming. “Long live the working class”, and “the working class has no borders” are slogans which become alive and are shouted by the whole audience as one.

During the speech, standing up, he has been given cups of coffee which he drank. It has been a very packed day. He was at the Complutense University, where the students also received him with enthusiasm, surpassing all expectations. He met with Zapatero, with artists and intellectuals in the Circulo de Bellas Artes, and then at 10:30 pm he met with the workers... The best part of it, he snubbed a meeting with big business. Today the media complain and say this is not acceptable because he snubbed a meeting with 200 “business leaders”. Today, workers understand more who Chavez is and the support he receives from Venezuelan workers.

It is past 11:30 and finally he says goodbye. As he leaves the hall, as when he came in, there is a standing ovation. We are all shouting, “the revolution forward, forward, and those who do not like it, will have to stand it” (“La revolución p’alante, p’alante y al que no le guste que se joda y que se aguante”.)

As always, everywhere he goes, this enthusiasm is also expressed in the desire to get close to him, to greet him personally. Despite the bodyguards and the security measures, when he comes out he is surrounded by a sea of hands showing their solidarity and support for the Venezuelan revolution. He is extremely polite, tactful and educated, and in an impossible attempt, he tries to greet and talk to all those who come close to him. He understands that this show of solidarity reflects the desire of workers to show, through him, to the workers and the oppressed in Venezuela, the hopes that their revolution has raised amongst workers and youth around the world.

Madrid, 23-11-04

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy