The people’s struggle for the protection and advancement of the revolution continues: Upon returning from President Chavez’s 4th Commemoration Event
By Professor Hurh Seok-ryol (Advisor, International Strategy Center)Translated by Song Dae-han(chief editor, The [su:p])
March 5 marked the 4th year anniversary of the passing of President Hugo Chavez — spark of the Bolivarian Revolution. The Venezuelan government held several events in this occasion and and set out to continue the revolution along with the people. As part of the commemoration activities, foreign delegates were invited and a conference was held discussing solidarity between social movements around the world and the Bolivarian revolution, the formation of a network of alternative media and intellectuals that from the point of view of human liberation oppose the imperialist media’s distorted reporting of Venezuela and ways to support the Bolivarian revolution carried out through the solidarity of peoples of the ALBA countries.
The international delegates were made up of three groups that held their own events while also coming all together in joint events. ALBA social movements whose delegates came from Latin America were part of the Anti-imperialist Chavez Forum; those from other regions came from the he Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity; there was also the Preparatory Meeting for the 1st Conference of Grassroots Organizations and Social Movements.
March 5 started with a memorial celebration for Hugo Chavez held at the National History Center. The celebration entitled “Chavez: A People Made Soldier” was held outdoors and was open to the public. Present were also the international invitees and members of the Patriotic Bloc - a group made up of Venezuelan Chavistas. Representatives from Russia, Cuba, Colombia, and Vietnam talked about President Chavez’s achievements. Every once in awhile, the audience of everyday Venezuelans shouted “Chavez lives! The revolution continues!” and thus vowed to realize President Chavez’s dying wish. Then, a memorial service, including religious ones, was held In front of President Chavez’s tomb. Participants paid their respects by laying a flower upon and touching his coffin.
On the 6th and 7th, each of the three groups held separate forums. The author participated in the forum by the Network of Intellectuals. The Network of Intellectuals held its 15th annual forum. The topic was “An emancipatory communication or a colonized homeland?” Setting the tone for the discussions, Maduro had addressed the international delegates on the 5th emphasizing that while xenophobia and neo-Nazi movements were reviving around the world, social movements standing up against them offered hope. He noted that since the end of World War 2, there have not been progressive and socialist movements standing up against such reactionary tendencies. Humanity’s fate would be determined by whether or not we can create a multipolar, multicentric, democratic world. In addition, the summit meeting of the Non-aligned movement had recently opened in Caracas and suggested dialogue between different cultures and regions for the sake of world peace. He continued that after the great progressive wave started in Latin America at the beginning of the 21st century, the reactionary current led by Argentina’s Macri and Brazil’s Temer was having a large impact on Latin America. However, Latin America would create a second emancipatory wave much more powerful than that first.
The Network of Intellectuals forum involved presenters from Venezuela and from abroad and a lively debate with the audience about the corporate international media’s distorted reporting and the ways of overcoming it.
A declaration was adopted based on the results from the discussions on the 6th and an open discussion was held on the 7th. A participating senator from Chile recited the declaration. It warned about the plot to repress Venezuela’s international rights and destroy its just system. It criticized the OAS general secretary for playing the role of Venezuela’s executioner and called to oppose the false news spread about Venezuela. These fake news were part of the international right’s efforts to weaken the Bolivarian Revolution by bringing down President Maduro. Thus, the declaration called for the creation of a new communication network that can stand against these fake news and analyze and report the essence of Venezuela’s reality.
In the discussion on the 7th, the participants discussed strategies to construct alternative communications network. In particular, participants discussed various methods on resisting information fabricated by new technologies and introduced their efforts in their countries to stand up for truthful reporting about Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution.
In addition to the Network of Intellectuals’ forum, on the 6th, I had the chance to briefly participate in the social movements forum － “Preparatory meeting for the 1st Conference of Grassroots Organizations and Social Movements.” The theater was packed with various people of the “Patriotic bloc.” Representatives from Vietnam, India, Colombia, Chile and Spain presented on the status of their efforts to support the Bolivarian revolution and educate their people about the truth of Venezuelan people’s struggles. It was moving to see audience members standing up during the presentations and chanting their desire to protect the revolution. Those chanting “No Volveran!” [They will not return!] made clear that this hard earned revolution would not be given up so easily.
On the 8th, a luncheon was hosted by the Vice-Minister of Culture that discussed the current situation in Venezuela and participants’ efforts at in their countries in supporting the Bolivarian revolution and people. One particularly powerful moment was hearing Palestinians stating the great happiness at coming to Venezuela, one of the countries most actively supporting their struggle. Sure enough, the Bolivarian revolution is a revolution that stands with the most oppressed.