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Jorge Martin Speaks at St. Louis University
Thursday, 18 May 2006
For audio of Jorge's speech click here
 
One day after Chavez’s monumental speech in Vienna, 50 people came to see Jorge Martin, international secretary for the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign, speak on the process of world revolution at St. Louis University as part of his US-Canadian Tour. His presentation was called “A World in Revolt” and focused on events going on in Venezuela, Bolivia, France, and the USA, outlining the processes at work on an international scale and the impact these have on the world working-class movement.

The event was put on by the St. Louis Venezuela Solidarity Committee and events like this are essential in order to bring the experience of the Latin American Revolution to the United States amidst the fog of lies about what is actually going on in the region. In recent months, the corporate media has stepped up its attacks on Latin America, particularly Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba. For instance, the day after Morales’ partial nationalization on May Day, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, in typical “fair and balanced” fashion, had military analysts on to assess the “threat” posed militarily by Chavez and Morales.

Kaveh Razani, chair of the St. Louis club of the Young Communist League, opened the event relaying his exciting experiences as part of the World Festival of Youth and Students. He was followed by Mike Mancini of the School of Social Work at St. Louis University, who had just returned from a trip to Venezuela, what he described as a “listening tour” taken by school teachers and professors.

 

Jorge Martin speaking

Jorge Martin, International Secretary of Hands Off Venezuela 

Jorge began by detailing the partial nationalization of gas resources in Bolivia and explaining that, “This would not happened if it wasn’t because of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, and the hope it has given to the working-class, the peasant movement, and the left-wing progressive movements throughout the continent.” In doing this, he laid out the interdependence of individual revolutionary movements to the continent-wide, and increasingly worldwide, revolutionary upsurge and ferment.

One of the most important features of the Bolivarian Revolution is that despite attacks from the ruling class, “Ordinary working people in Venezuela have defeated once and again all the attempts of counter-revolution…This is very important, because in Latin America it gives hope to a whole generation, who were coming from the 1970s where there were, also, a number of progressive governments…In all occasions, these movements were defeated, were smashed, through military dictatorships, supported by the United States administration. And there was a feeling of hopelessness…However, Venezuela proves that this is not the case.”

He then drew an essential connection between the leftward swing in Latin America to the immigrant rights movement here in the US. Both are not isolated movements, but rather, are part of a general process, one that cannot be contained within the borders of bourgeois nation-states. Thus, the revolution in Venezuela is not only relevant to Venezuelans but is, “relevant to working people around the world, even in advanced, industrial countries.”

Jorge then described many of the gains of the Venezuelan Revolution, even during its relatively short existence. He talked about the war on illiteracy, the creation of the free and progressive Bolivarian University, the Into the Neighborhood healthcare campaign, and the redistribution of idle land. These all involve direct participation of the masses in the running of their daily lives, and this is democracy. “And this is dangerous,” to the ruling class of Venezuela and ultimately to international bourgeoisie.

 
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