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Monday, January 30, 2006

VENEZUELA: World Social Forum — Chavez calls for ‘socialism or death’

by Jim McIlroy and Chris Kerr

January 29, 2006

Green Left Weekly

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez proclaimed “socialism or death” in finishing his rousing speech to a rally of around 10,000 people at the Polihedro Stadium on January 27. The rally was a feature of the Latin American section of the Sixth World Social Forum held in Caracas on January 24-29.

The forum attracted an audience of up to 100,000 people from all over Latin America and the world, to a feast of more than 2000 public meetings and seminars on themes of anti-imperialist globalisation and the struggle for a better world.

Chavez said that unlike Karl Marx, when he first issued the call for socialism in the 19th century, “we do not have much time left”. The 21st century has now come, “when the dilemma must be finally resolved”.

“Time is short. If we do not change the world now, there may be no 22nd century for humanity. Capitalism has destroyed the ecological equilibrium of the earth. It is now or never!”, Chavez declared. “We should go toward setting up a worldwide anti-imperialist movement. We have already taken steps in this direction”, Chavez told the cheering crowd. He commented that at the previous WSF in Porto Alegre in 2005, “many talks were occurring without conclusions. We are not here to waste our time. We must urgently build a new socialist movement.”

Chavez blasted the US empire. “It is the most perverse empire in history: It talks about freedom while invading and destroying other nations ... The empire is very powerful, but not infallible. This century we will bury the US empire. The empire has to face the people of Venezuela and Latin America. It has failed in Iraq already.”

He urged the audience to “imagine a world in which the US administration declares peace to the world, withdraws its forces, and uses its resources to produce medicines and food for the poor people of the world”.

Chavez contrasted the US’s record to the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, with the help of Cuba, which taught 1.5 million people to read through Mission Robinson in just two years.

“Injustice and inequality are losing: it is now up to us to define the formula of unity for victory. We need unity of all our currents. While respecting the right to autonomy of the movements, including the green movement and the various political and national movements, all of us should get together in a victorious offensive against imperialism.”

Many prominent figures in the international progressive movement were featured on a podium, including Aleida Guevara (Che’s daughter) and Cindy Sheehan (US anti-war leader whose son was killed in Iraq). Huge applause greeted Chavez’s speech, and the rally included a rousing rendition of the workers’ anthem, “The Internationale”.

Chavez’s stress on the need for urgent international political action against global capitalism and oppression was a major theme of the forum. The whole conference was filled with the overwhelming influence of the Venezuelan revolution. The “Bolivarian spirit” was pervasive from the very first day, when around 20,000 activists marched to launch the WSF. The lively and colourful march featured the banners, clothing and chants of the many national contingents, especially from Latin America.


Anonymous cuztbh said...

hi travis...please - a word of advice - I live in venezuela...I was born in Amsterdam, Holland, and let me tell you that one of the biggest hypocrits (besides Bush) is Chavez...
Please, read a bit more on the country , try to get both sides of the story, before publishing stuff like this!
(The guy is actually destroying the country's economy, making everybody poor...Is that the new socialism???)

5:14 PM  
Blogger BALLS AND MY WORD™ said...

thanks for your comment.i really apreciate the input.i think we need to be somewhere in between the extremes of both Chavez and Bush.
One thing i'm sure of is that the planet can no longer substain the kind of environmental damage we are subjecting it to. Governments are now merely arms/extensions of corporations and have zero moral or ethical standards,only shareholder dividends.
I feel strongly that serious changes need to be made NOW.
The old saying "absolute power corrupts absolutey" will surely apply to Chavez as it has for Bush.
I posted that article because i feel its important to shed light on the movement down there as well i agreed with almost everything Chavez said in it.

Thanks for the comment!

6:01 PM  
Anonymous cuztbh said...

cool! i agree that never an extreme is ok, i guess making a phamily has changed my radical/anarchist days are over! i also agree that the planet's health is the most important, i have been agreeing with that for the past 20 years...(i am only 32). Between the things that Chavez says and the things he does...boy, there's the difference between light and dark for ya! After posting i thought about that what would really count is a movement, but i can assure you that (like Bush) Chavez is an evil man! Never have i seen so much evil before in politics, in the people that surround him. So, my question is, should we accept someone who is dirty rotten at the core and has occasionally a (late) but just remark?

5:23 PM  

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