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Jorge Martin 'Revolutionary Venezuela' Tour Hits the U.S.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Jorge Martin's 2007 North American tour has now come to the United States.  Below are brief reports and images from events held in San Francisco, St. Louis, and Madison.  Jorge has two more events on his schedule, in Minneapolis and Providence .  Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more info.

From our HOV correspondent in San Francisco, CAJM in SF

Our HOV-sponsored talk by Jorge Martin was a very successful event.  There were approximately 30 present from all age brackets.  One could tell that the audience was engaged during the entire presentation since they laughed or even applauded at the appropriate moments.  Jorge was flooded with questions and the audience was nodding with appreciation at his answers.  At the end, a number of people made it a point to tell us how much they learned.  They were very glad they came.

Spirited Meeting of Hands Off Venezuela in St. Louis 

The evening of Saturday, May 12th saw an enthusiastic gathering of nearly 50 people in solidarity with the Venezuelan Revolution in St. Louis, MO. The meeting, titled "The Latin American Revolution - Lessons for U.S. Workers" featured Jorge Martin, International Secretary of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, as part of his U.S. tour. The meeting was sponsored by the Universal African People's Organization, Gateway Greens, and the Workers International League, and several members of the Organization of Black Struggle were present along with members of KOREZAPA from the Haitian community.

Don Fitz of the Gateway Greens gave introductory comments. The meeting was the first public event to be held in the CAMP building on Cherokee street in south St. Louis, which is jointly run by the Gateway Greens and other local organizations. The city government had refused to issue the building a permit to hold public meetings for several years, despite the fact that the right to free assembly is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. So much for democracy in the U.S.! Despite the best efforts of the city government, the first meeting held here was a success and attracted young and old, Black and white who came to learn more about revolution in our hemisphere.
Jorge Martin spoke for more than an hour on the history of the Venezuelan Revolution, the dynamics at work in the revolutionary process, and how although the revolution began as a bourgeois-democratic process, it is confronted with distinctly socialist tasks today. This is the permanent revolution at work.

He also explained that the Venezuelan workers and peasants are not struggling alone. In Bolivia, Mexico, Ecuador, and across the continent, we have seen the masses mobilized into action, from the campaign against electoral fraud and the Oaxaca commune in Mexico to the recent mass support for a Constituent Assembly in Ecuador. In the past period, Latin America had seen the worst of neo-liberalism, and now the imperialists are reaping the whirlwind. There is not a single stable capitalist regime from the Rio Grande to the Tierra del Fuego.

However, the revolutionary process in Venezuela, which stands at the forefront of the Latin American revolution, is far from complete. Many of the most urgent tasks of the revolution have not been carried out - the questions of the State, the economy and the revolutionary party have not been resolved. After the defeat of the oligarchy in December's elections, the main front of struggle for the Venezuelan masses is now within the Bolivarian movement itself, against the pro-capitalist bureaucratic elements who are doing their utmost to steer the revolution into safe channels - safe for capitalism.
After Jorge's speech, there were many questions and comments from the floor. The meeting went well past it's alloted time, and despite the fact that it was getting late, those in attendance had trouble tearing themselves away from the discussion. Meetings such as this prove that there is growing support for the Venezuelan masses' struggle for socialism here in the U.S. Ultimately, Jorge explained, the best way to build solidarity with Venezuela is to fight for the socialist revolution here in the U.S - or as they say in Venezuela, in "the land of the people of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr."

JM in StL

Madison, WI 

Jorge Martin met in Madison with a group of around 15 Latin America solidarity and immigrant rights activists, many of them organized in the Union of Immigrant Workers (UTI in Spanish).  The discussion ranged from an outline of the revolutionary process taking place in Venezuela (which included the granting of citizenship and full rights to some 2 million undocumented Colombians living in the country), to an analysis of the current state of the U.S. immigrant rights movement.  It was agreed that the Latin American revolution will not stop at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has profound implications for U.S. imperialism.

Everyone present was excited to hear about events that are not reported on in the mainstream media (Univision, the main Spanish-language channel here in the U.S., just happens to be owned by the Cisneros family in Venezuela, who are rabidly against the revolutionary process). The discussion on strategy and tactics in the immigrant workers' movement as part of the working class' world-wide struggle against capitalism and imperialism was wide-ranging and showed how organically inter-connected these questions are.

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