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Successful SF Bay HOV Election Report Back
Tuesday, 16 January 2007

The recent Venezuelan presidential elections represent a definite turning point in the revolution. Chavez' victory by the largest margin of any election in Venezuelan history is a reflection of the overwhelming support by the masses of the population for the deepening of the revolution, i.e., for the completion of the revolution by building socialism.  On Saturday, January 13, San Francisco Hands Off Venezuela hosted a successful election report back featuring speakers from Global Exchange, Global Women's Strike, and U.S. HOV National Secretary John Peterson.

Interest in the Venezuelan Revolution is high after Chavez' overwhelming electoral victory on December 3, and as moves towards "Socialism of the XXI Century" accelerate. With a shakeup in the government cabinet, the announced nationalization of the energy sector and a major telecom, and a vibrant debate around the question of workers' control and factory occupations, there are many questions surrounding events in the world's 4th largest exporter of oil.

sf hov meeting

With a wealth of facts, figures, and anecdotes, the speakers gave a brief glimpse at the contradictory and inspiring Bolivarian revolutionary process.  Descriptions of the social misiones in action, the role of the U.S. media in distorting and demonizing Chavez and the revolution, the vital role of poor women in pushing the process forward, and the perspectives for the future were clearly explained by the panel. The example of Sanitarios Maracay was used by Peterson to illustrate what workers' control looks like, and how socialism can be built in practice if this model is spread and linked up throughout Venezuelan society.

A lively debate on the nature of the current Venezuelan state, perspectives for success or failure of the revolution, the need to inform more people about the reality of the Venezuelan revolution, and the need to fight for fundamental change here in the U.S. as the best way to defend Venezuela followed.

Two supporters of the Bolivarian process from the city of Merida in Venezuela were also present, and spoke inspiringly of their experiences over the last few years of revolution, and expressed their warmth and gratitude at having found a group of supporters in the form of Hands Off Venezuela, pledging to get involved with HOV in their own city.

sf hov meeting

Turnout at the event was excellent, with some 50 people in attendance. The San Francisco Bay Guardian included the meeting in its events calendar and KPFA radio interviewed Peterson before the event. This was an important step forward in educating people in the Bay Area about what is really happening in Venezuela.  All those in attendance agreed that it is the Venezuelan people's right to decide what kind of society they want to live in without foreign interference.

For more information on upcoming HOV meetings in the Bay Area, or to schedule an HOV report back in your area, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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