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by Susan Sayre: Posted by John Earl
Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2006 at 8:59 PM
I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of the over 200 Global Exchange Delegates to the World Social Form which took place in Caracas, Venezuela from January 24, 2006 through January 29, 2006. The information I am presenting is based on what I learned from WSF presentations...as well as what I learned from...the Venezuelan people...
hugo_chavez.jpg, image/jpeg, 470x322
By Susan D. Sayre
Since Hugo Chavez came to power, I have wondered how he managed to organize such a huge, marginalized and disenfranchised population into a force strong enough to put him in power and to keep him there.
Sometime around September, 2005, I found out that Global Exchange had created a Reality Tour to send a delegation to the World Social Forum in Caracas and to study the movement that the Venezuelans call their “Bolivarian Revolution”.
I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of the over 200 Global Exchange Delegates to the World Social Form (WSF) which took place in Caracas, Venezuela from January 24, 2006 through January 29, 2006. There were over 2,250 scheduled events, and a large number of unscheduled events to choose from.
We took time off from the WSF to visit local communities, and to interact with a number of the over 100,000 delegates representing over 100 countries. We also spent a considerable amount of time relating to local Venezuelans.
I would like to give special thanks and appreciation to the Venezuelan Students who worked tirelessly to make sure that we experienced the best Venezuela had to offer and that we had a reasonable understanding of what we were experiencing.
We had the opportunity to participate in an Anti-War/Anti-Imperialism protest march along with the other WSF delegates, the first day of the WSF.
Later in the week I joined the Boston Delegation in a Vigil at the Plaza Bolivar in Caracas. The Vigil was organized for the purpose of thanking the Venezuelan people for giving their oil at cost to the poor people of North Eastern United States who could not afford to pay for heating oil to heat their homes. We also thanked them for their offer of medical aid to the Katrina victims, even though the U.S. Government did not have the grace to accept it. We informed the Venezuelans that we stood in solidarity with them and encouraged them to stand up to the Imperialist Forces that are trying to destroy their Bolivarian Movement. The Venezuelans, spontaneous as they are, came out of nowhere by the hundreds to meet with us. They provided us with chairs, a microphone, poetry, conversation, not to mention music and dance.
After the close of the WSF, I traveled with the Global Exchange Delegation to Senare and nearby communities located in the Venezuelan State of Lara. We visited a number of different communities. We all experienced the love, passion, compassion, gracious hospitality (which often included being entertained with music and dance) and the euphoric sense of empowerment felt by most of the Venezuelans we came in contact with.
The information that I am presenting is based on what I learned from WSF presentations and the literature that was distributed, as well as from what I learned from my interaction with the WSF Delegates, the Venezuelan people, and from the Global Exchange Field Trips.
The remaining 9 chapters can be read at www.ocorganizer.com at the following links:
A Touch Of Venezuelan History: http://www.ocorganizer.com/html/history.html
Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution: http://www.ocorganizer.com/html/bolivarian.html
The Revolutionary Movement: http://www.ocorganizer.com/html/revolutionary.html
Agricultural and Land Reform: http://www.ocorganizer.com/html/land_reform.html
The People: http://www.ocorganizer.com/html/people.html
Myths About Hugo Chavez: http://www.ocorganizer.com/html/myths_chavez.html
Concerns About Hugo Chavez: http://www.ocorganizer.com/html/concerns.html
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