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Report: Jorge Martin in Oakland, CA
Thursday, 22 May 2008
On May 12th, at the Niebyl-Proctor library in Oakland, the Venezuelan solidarity Network and San Francisco Hands off Venezuela, hosted Jorge Martin (International Secretary of Hands off Venezuela). Roughly 25 people attended mostly workers and activists, but also a good number of youth among the audience. The meeting was very spirited and one of the organizers was eager to continue having events in defense of the Bolivarian revolution.  
JM in Oakland

Martin spoke for more than an hour on the current state of the revolutionary processes of Venezuela. He began by highlighting the gains of the nationalizations of SIDOR, and the growth of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). One of the most important analyses of Martin is that the revolution is far from complete and the most urgent tasks are the role of the economy, the need for a revolutionary party and the role of the state.

The weakest point is the divisive role the UNT has played in furthering the nationalization and in working with FRETECO.

There were many questions and comments, including some accusations of Chavez being a populist, and the others questioning why the referendum was defeated. Martin explained that the reason people did not vote in support of the referendum was because they still not seen the revolution solve their most immediate needs such as food, clothing, or shelter. There are still many poor barrios in Venezuela where there is a lack of basic necessities. Martin explained that the revolution must go forward to meet the needs of the workers in order to advance their conditions. In relation to Chavez being the head of a populist government, Jorge stated that the Chavez is not a populist because the ruling class is not part of the government; on the contrary, many of oligarchic and foreign investors have fled Venezuela leaving workers in difficult circumstances with food shortages.  He explained that a better term is to describe the process as a national democratic revolution moving towards socialism. He also explained that the new PSUV has adopted their ideology not only from Simon Bolivar, Miranda, Ezequiel Zamora, but as well as that of Marx, Engel’s, Lenin and Trotsky.  

Finally, Jorge explained, the best way to build solidarity with Venezuela is to fight for our own revolution here in the U.S, there was a loud hand of applause and enthusiastic and revolutionary spirits in the end.
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