Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Will They Leave Chavez Alone Now?

Probably not. If you haven't heard already, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has survived three, count 'em, THREE, referendum votes (that's 'recall' votes for the Californians out there). Can you imagine if former Governor Gray Davis had survived three recall votes and the Republicans still cried foul play? Well, that's what's happening in Venezuela, as the elite right-wing opposition to Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, headed by Chavez, claims massive election fraud. This despite independent elections monitors including ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter declaring that the election was fair and that Chavez is still the valid democratically-elected President of the country. Oh, did I mention that the right-wingers also own just about all of Venezuela's big media? And they STILL lost! Damn, that makes me happy! And it gives me hope that all is not lost in the world. Read more here.

And if you haven't seen "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" already, step to it! And let's pray that U.S. 'democracy' can one day be as engaging and vibrant and pluralistic as Venezuela's, where folks across race and class barriers have united to rebuild their society from the bottom up, using the massive profits of their nationalized oil industry to build schools, start clinics, create urban organic gardens and provide free health care and education.

If you're interested in checking out Venezuela's revolution yourself, email the Venezuela Solidarity Group, which organizes trips for North Americans. It's probably the only real way to know what's going on down there, since media coverage is not always reliable (I just went to a VSG reportback last week and it was truly inspiring).

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