Change Is Possible
The second delegation to Venezuela was from November 17th to December 2nd. In the opposite corner of the planet, a 30 hour plane ride away,lies Venezuela - a country undergoing revolutionary transformation in the past nearly 20 years. The purpose of the trip was to witness the Bolivarian revolutionary process. Now, I am back recharged by Venezuela, commonly called the land of passion. “There is no country where the government is trying so hard to give the power back to people like Venezuela” said one of the leaders from community council. Like his words, the people in Venezuela are protagonistic, proud of what they have achieved and eager to spread the truth about the revolution which has been distorted by international mainstream media.
Despite the efforts to address the economic situation by the revolutionary government and people, everyone we met was concerned about the serious economic situation. The state budget shrunk due to the drop in oil price and speculation prevails due to the economic war waged by the rich. As a result the inflation rate is skyrocketing.
However, the government did not reduce spending on its social programs and people are not depressed. Although defeating the economic war is not easy, the will to overcome these problems among people was very high. They are trying to change the economic structure independent from oil, improve domestic productivity, and develop local industries and agriculture. Moreover over 60 percent of the population is young and I could see the bright future of Venezuela when we met the youth organizations.
While I was staying in Venezuela I could not help but to compare to South Korea (Korea). In contrast to Korea, free education and health care are implemented. People are considered more important than money, and relationships among people have been restored by building local communities. While the processes are not perfect, I witnessed that change is possible, that society can transform to one where people live with dignity once its values change.
The specific ways and methods may differ but I think most of Koreans agree that Korean society must change. To them, I would like to say, “Change is possible when the people have power and use it for the greater good.” For those that respond, “It is not easy to change” or “It will not change.” I would respond, “My hope for change is not based on blind optimism, but it what I saw in Venezuela.”
I will keep working for greater exchange and solidarity between Venezuelans and Koreas to protect the revolution and inspire the changes we need.
Jeongeun Hwang(General Secretary, ISC)