Viaje al otro mundo

Caracas and the Bolivarian Revolution

The World Social Forum kicked off on Tuesday with a big opening march, and now Caracas is alive with many thousands of foreigners interested in the ongoing Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, and many thousands of Venezolanos who are allowed to participate in the Forum without paying. Walking the crowded streets of Caracas alongside delegations and participants from Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and more, it was clear that all eyes of Latin America are on Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.

Carrying on the independence struggles of the Simon Bolivar, and the themes of a unified Latin America of Che Guevara, there is a growing belief here that the chains of imperialism can be broken and that real independence lies ahead. The age of natural resource exploitation, environmental and social destruction, and stagnant and corrupt governments doesn’t feel so permanent here anymore.

Themes of cooperation, integration, and solidarity abound here. Evo Morales wasted no time since being inaugurated as Bolivia’s first indigenous President, and has just signed 8 agreements with Venezuela for greater co-operation, including Venezuelan aid for Bolivia to develop its natural gas infrastructure. Recently Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina had agreed to build a $20 billion gas pipeline between the 3 nations.

I skipped the events of the first day of the Forum to go on a tour of various social “missions” in the barrios of Caracas — seeing a quality community healthcare mission, a couple of worker-cooperative clothing factories, and a museum of contemporary art that has been bringing art to the people of the barrio and rewriting the definition of accessibility. From literacy to art to participatory citizenship, this ‘other world’ is looking to be a lot more inclusive. We (in the States) have a lot to learn…


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  1. * Benjamin Haas says:


    Thanks for the regular updates! I finally got a chance to read your missives, and I’m eager to hear anything and everything you choose to write about. I’m sorry you lost your camera & phone, but like someone else wrote, that’s one way to lighten your load. Best of luck to you, and thanks for fighting the good fight.


    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago

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