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Hands Off Venezuela at Rhode Island College in Providence
Tuesday, 31 October 2006

On Tuesday, October 24th, HoV held a public event at Rhode Island College in Providence. More than 30 people turned out to the event.  The speakers list included a reverend and a pastor, both of whom had traveled together in a delegation to Venezuela earlier in the year. Both spoke about the positive changes that have taken place so far in Venezuela. A local trade unionist that also traveled in the same delegation was slated to speak as well, but had to cancel due to a family emergency. The main speaker for the evening was John Peterson, National Secretary for the HoV campaign in the U.S.

John Peterson, National Secretary for U.S. HOV 

Peterson gave a clear history of the mass movement in Venezuela, and explained the historical, economic, and political conditions which led to the Bolivarian Revolution. He also went into the current situation in detail. He spoke about the Luis Primo tour, which brought a leading Venezuelan trade unionist from the UNT to more than a dozen U.S. and Canadian cities last spring. He also described the upcoming US HOV delegation which will be present for the Venezuelan Presidential elections on December 3rd of this year.

He also discussed the ongoing nature of the Bolivarian revolutionary process, explaining that although it has moved quite far to change the lives of the workers and poor, it is still is not secure as the US and Spanish multi-national corporations and the local oligarchy still control the economy. He explained that all indications are that the December elections could mark a definite change in this situation; however, the U.S. government is also well aware and is surely preparing to heighten its intervention in the coming weeks.

Those present agreed to formulate a local plan as part of the Emergency Response Network , part of a national effort to counter any provocation or intervention by the U.S.

government or the misreporting corporate-media. In the event of an emergency cal by the National ERN, the Rhode Island HoV campaign will send out an alert email to hold an emergency demonstration at the Federal Building directly across from the Kennedy Plaza bus terminal.

To get added to this alert list or make a donation to the local delegates who are traveling to Venezuela please contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

After the speeches, several people raised questions and suggestions for actions. One professor who had worked in Venezuela in the effort to end illiteracy asked about the process of land reform. It was also proposed  that due to the recent workers’ occupation of several Coca-Cola plants in Venezuela, the local Coke bottling facility could be a

future area of work for bringing to attention the situation in Venezuela. On the same note, the work of FRETECO was discussed as part of the tremendous role the working class is playing in pushing the Bolivarian Revolution forward.

After the event several people signed up to be informed about future activities, and several stayed to discuss a bit more one on one. Two HoV campaign members from Providence will be joining the international HOV delegation to Venezuela in less than a month and plan to return and speak about what the saw first hand there.

Thanks to Rhode Island College and everyone at the Unity Center for their work in organizing this event.

 
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