Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Report on Venezuela brigade from Perth Resistance member

Hey folks,

For people I am still to meet, my name is Chris and am a member of the Perth branch of Resistance.

For the last two weeks I have been on a solidarity brigade in Venezuela to be here for the national elections and to get a first hand view of the revolutionary changes taking place across Venezuela.

The brigade itself was organised by the Australian Venezuelan Solidarity Network (AVSN), and consists of political activists and enthusiasts from Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, the UK, Canada and US. Before saying more, I'd thoroughly suggest this experience to anyone interested and with the means available to them.

By way of activities while on brigade, we have visited neighbourhoods, clinics, government offices, news stations, womens groups, land councils, factory committees, communal gardens - any group or place contributing to the process of extending and stregthening democracy in Venezuela. In each case, the folks we talk to all say the same thing - what they have achieved up until now is not socialism, we have not reached a point where political, social and economic decision making rests firmly in the communal hands of the majority.

How they view themselves and the movement generally is a measured progression towards that popular control, towards that democratic inclusion. People reflect on the quality of life experience by most Venezuelans 10, 5, 2 years ago, compare it to today, reflect on the means and nature of that change and see a revolution still in its first stages, though none-the-less real.

Workers committees in factories do not as of yet enjoy ownership of their workplaces, but they are much stronger positions today to prepare for this transition of power, believing in their own strength while being politically supported by the government and the community at large.

Just yesterday, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela won yet another general election, winning 60% of the vote [NB: actually 60% of the seats, the vote was actually very close]. While this fell short of the 75% target set by the party, it nonetheless expresses continued popular support for the government and the initiatives taking the country further down the revolutionary road. What goes from here is naturaly up to the movement of different forces and circimstances, and in Venezuela as in the rest of the world nothing is certain. Such an interesting time to be political!

A quick gist of things here. I'm here for another month. In the meantime, all the best with things back in Perth.

Love your work

Green Left on Venezuelan election results: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45530
Next brigade to Venezuela will likely be for May Day next year. For more information, email brigades@venezuelasolidarity.org or phone Lisa Macdonald 0413 031 108, Jim McIlroy 0423 741 734 or Roberto Jorquera 0425 182 994. 

BELOW: MUA assistant branch secretary reports back on previous Venezuela brigade.