US Hands Off Venezuela logo
Main Menu
Contact Us
About Us
HOV Mailing List
Online Store
Emergency Response Network (ERN)
Calendar of Grassroots Solidarity Actions
Venezuelan Delegation Visits Minnesota
Monday, 17 September 2007

On September 14, 2007, a delegation of representatives of the Venezuelan government visited Minnesota. The delegation included The Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States, Bernardo Alvarez, the Consul and Deputy Consul for Venezuela in Chicago, Martín Sánchez and Omar Sierra, and Marcos García, labor attache at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC. They met with a variety of local government officials, grass roots community organizations, Native American leaders, organized labor, and students.

Labor Meeting

 After meeting with local government officials and community organizations, Martín Sánchez and Marcos García met with over 30 local trade union leaders and labor activists at the United Labor Center in Minneapolis.  They gave an overview of the recent political history of Venezuela, of the Venezuelan labor movement, and of the main advances that have been made in the last 9 years as a result of the Bolivarian revolution.  They highlighted the experience of workers' control, communal and factory councils, and in general, the role played by the Venezuelan masses in this process. They also discussed proposed changes to the Venezuelan Constitution that would further enshrine and protect labor and trade union rights, including reducing the working day to 6 hours.  There were many questions and much interest in what U.S. workers could learn from the deep changes taking place in Venezuela.

Johan Santana and Ambassador Alvarez

Following the successful meeting with local labor, the delegation met with the local Venezuelan community for a lunch of traditional Venezuelan food, music and culture.  The highlight for many was the opportunity to meet pitcher Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins, last year's Cy Young Award winner.

Ambassador Alvarez

After further meetings with community groups in the afternoon, Ambassador Alvarez was the keynote speaker at a discussion on "Socialism of the XXI Century", sponsored by Macalester College in St. Paul.  The meeting room was packed to capacity, and after an exhaustive presentation which served to dispel many of the media's distortions as to what is really happening in Venezuela, there were many questions about socialism, about relations with Colombia and the ongoing negotiations for a humanitarian accord and prisoner exchange, on the Venezuelan economy, and more.  

Meeting Room

The day's events were a great success, an example of what is possible when a wide range of individuals and organizations come together in a broad coalition to defend the Venezuelan people's right to decide their own destiny. Many local workers, youth and activists who knew little about the revolutionary process in Venezuela are now eager to get involved in building solidarity with Venezuela. 

The visit was sponsored by sponsored by the Minneapolis Central Labor Council, the Liberty Tree Foundation, Minnesota Cuba Committee, Hands Off Venezuela, the Minnesota Venezuela Committee, and Equal Exchange. 

For more information on upcoming Venezuela solidarity activities in the Twin Cities area, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it 651-373-7609.

Vheadline Aporrea Corrienta Marxista Revolucionaria RNV Venezuela Analysis
U.S. Hands off Venezuela 2006, powered by Joomla, free software released under the GPL