Spread the Message: "The Message of Revolution, the Message of Peace, the Message of Hope, the Message of Socialism"
Interview with Young Venezuelan Revolutionary Victor Salcedo
Interviews by Alison Bodine
In the beginning of April 2019 Fire This Time sat down with Venezuelan revolutionary youth leader Victor Salcedo in the City of La Guairá, Venezuela. La Guairá is located 30km to the North of Caracas, in the State of Vargas. This beautiful and important city is home to Venezuela’s largest Port.
Victor Salcedo is a member of the International Relations Commission of the Youth of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (JPSUV). He is also Historian for the Mayor’s office of the City of La Guairá.
FTT: Thank you, Victor, for taking the time to do this interview today. It has been great to learn more about your city and province, about the gains that you have made in the Bolivarian revolutionary process, and also about the challenges that lie ahead.
I have had an incredible experience during my short time here in Venezuela with the delegation of the Campaign to End U.S. and Canada Sanctions on Venezuela. During my last week in Venezuela, I have observed the leadership of many young people in the Bolivarian revolutionary process. What do you think is the most important task for revolutionary youth in Venezuela today?
Victor Salcedo: First of all, Alison, thank you for this interview. Thanks to Fire This Time for all your solidarity back in Canada, in Vancouver. We follow you very often. Every day we see your social networks and the different ways that you support Venezuela through rallies and mobilizations, together with the Consulate and other political and social organizations.
We appreciate this support because at this time, precisely when the empire is tightening its grip against Venezuela, we need more support from movements of friends abroad to spread the message; the message of the revolution, the message of peace, the message of hope, the message of socialism. Here we decided 20 years ago to build a model for the country, a model of peaceful revolution with a broad democratic base, but with a deep revolutionary and socialist character. That is why the United States has attacked us since the arrival of the revolution. That is why they have financed coups d'état. That is why they have tried to overthrow President Chávez and now are trying to do the same to President Maduro. Thank you from all my heart.
Well, to answer the question. It is evident that with the arrival of the revolution, youth were given a leading role in the political life of the country, in the construction of this political road. It is no secret that at present there are young ministers, mayors, deputy ministers, and governors. This is in addition to the youth of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). This is an achievement that we have been vindicated by during these long years. It has been a difficult struggle, but I think we have managed to have these young people, these political cadres, take a leading role in this revolutionary process.
I believe that the work of us as youth, as political cadres, should be towards the political and ideological formation of the youth, of the students, of those in secondary school, of university students. In this way, we can awaken the historical memory to raise awareness for these young people and make it such that they are not drawn to the side of the fascist right.
That is why we believe that our main task is precisely to answer the call for the political formation of these young people so that what happened with the guarimbas will not happen again. Political education and formation will also make young people aware of the reality of the games of the American empire and the same time allow us to build this revolution, that I repeat is a democratic revolution, a revolution that all Venezuelans can answer the call to build.
FTT: Can you describe some of the impacts of the criminal imperialist sanctions on La Guairá?
Salcedo: Yes, well, yesterday as you know, this delegation had a conversation with the Mayor of La Guairá, and the Mayor was referring precisely to this. The Mayor of the municipality of La Guairá had bought ambulances abroad, in Mexico, the boat was hired and paid for to bring them. As he said, we are not asking for crumbs, we were not asking them to deliver the ambulances for free, we paid for the ambulances and paid for their transportation.
It turned out that the shipping company received a threat that if it docks in Venezuela it will be subject to a boycott from the transnationals, from the big companies that the American empire handles. Because of this, the company decided not to transport those ambulances, ambulances that are for the Venezuelan people, so that the town can attend to any emergency in a timely manner. Now we are looking for another shipping company or another vessel that we can hire to bring the ambulances.
Recently, the same thing has also been happening to us with the boats that brought food for the CLAP boxes. A CLAP box, as is well known, is a box delivered to Venezuelan people by the government of Venezuela that normally contains food bought from Mexico, Colombia or other parts of Latin America. The companies that are shipping the food for these boxes are increasingly receiving threats from these transnationals, to prevent them from bringing food to Venezuela. The shipping companies are sanctioned or fined for coming to Venezuela and every time it reduces more their ability to come to Venezuela. As a reference, out of eight boats that used to come here, there are now three. There are only three because the other five have withdrawn precisely because of the threat that if you come to Venezuela you will be sanctioned.
FTT: Can you describe some of the ways that the people of La Guairá have been organizing as a community during the difficult times of the electrical blackout?
Salcedo: Yes, look recently from the mayor’s office of La Guairá we have created the “Patriotic Councils of Communal Power,” CPPC for short. These are leadership bodies that exist in each community, made up of leaders of social movements, communes, and communal councils. The CPPC can then report and consult with the Mayor's office to create solutions for the problems that exist in daily life: electricity, gas distribution, etcetera.
The CPPC’s have existed for six months but have yielded very good results. For example, through these patriotic councils, a structured plan has been designed to distribute meat and chicken to the communities at subsidized prices. The Mayor’s office buys the products, and then the distribution happens through the patriotic councils which make sure that the products reach all parties: the popular sectors, even the middle-class sectors, everyone is attended to equally at subsidized prices. These are prices that are incomparable to those on the speculative market that is always increasing the price of products. This has been an interesting experience.
This is an experience that is taking place throughout the country, not only in La Guairá. It's good that in cooperation with popular power we have managed to overcome in some way the blockade of the United States.
In addition to this experience the people are, as Alí Primera says, the people are wise and patient. In the people we find the wisdom, in the people we find resolutions. In talking with people we are able to face and overcome this blockade and the sanctions of the American empire and solve the problems of daily life: transportation, electricity, food consumption.
FTT: What is your message to the people of Canada?
Salcedo: My message has to do with what I said at the beginning. First of all, to thank those compañeros who exercise solidarity with Venezuela in this difficult moment. Those compañeros, students, poor and working people in Canada should come and see Venezuela so that we can share with one another and they can to know the reality of this country.
This country is not what the television sells, what the big chains sell, what CNN sells, what Fox sells. Its screens show that Venezuela is destroyed, that there is no food, that there are no solutions for the problems that we face, and that foreign interference is needed for us to solve our problems. That is not the case.
I invite you, Alison, to be a spokesperson for what is happening here and what you have seen, what life is like here, and what you have shared with the Venezuelans. Let them know that here in Venezuela there is a brave people, a people in resistance and a people that are mobilized on the street. Venezuelan people are a happy people, who like to work and to play. We are a cheerful people that show our joy when we are out on the street working and fighting for a better country and a better world.
Also, I want to say that here in Venezuela there is a brave people, a people in resistance, a victorious people, a heroic people. That we are the same people that over 200 years ago became independent of the Spanish empire. At that time, we were fighting against the Spanish empire and we won. Today we are fighting against the North American empire and we are going to win. That is the message.
FTT: Is there anything else that you would like to add to this interview?
Salcedo: We want to take advantage of your visit, Alison. We want there to be more cooperation between Venezuela and the social and political movements of Canada. We want to visit you soon in Vancouver, in Canada so that we can also do activities together, talks, forums, we are willing to go there to bring the truth of Venezuela to Canada, to other latitudes and other countries so that there is a cultural, political exchange between our social and political movements.
We know that that are movements in Canada that exercise solidarity with Venezuela and for that we are very grateful. We believe that your taking the opportunity to come here means that in the future we can go further and consolidate those bonds of friendship, those political bonds that are consolidated over time.
The people united will never be defeated!
FTT: Venceremos! (We will win!) Thank you, Victor, for this interview, and for your hospitality here in La Guairá.
Follow Victor on Twitter: @VictorSalcedo88
Follow Alison on Twitter: @Alisoncolette
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