Fire This Time Editorial Board member Alison Bodine was an international observer in the elections for governors, mayors, state legislatures, and city councils held in Venezuela on November 21, 2021. She was part of a delegation of over 300 people, including representatives from the European Union, the Carter Center (a non-governmental organization founded by ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter), the U.S.-based National Lawyers Guild, and the Council of Latin American Electoral Experts. While in Venezuela, Alison could interview Miguel Torres, a young revolutionary Venezuelan assisting with the delegation. The election’s outcome was a powerful message to the people of Venezuela that they support the Bolivarian revolutionary process and will continue to defend their sovereignty and self-determination in the face of brutal U.S. sanctions and attacks.
Alison Bodine: Good afternoon, Miguel. Thank you for taking the time to sit down with Fire This Time for this short interview. Can you please let our readers know about you and what you do as a young person in the Bolivarian revolution?
Miguel Torres: Well, my name is Miguel Torres. I belong to the youth of this revolutionary process. Currently, I am fulfilling the role of attaché, accompanying the international delegates here in Venezuela to observe the regional elections. We are pleased with the elections and everything we have achieved in this short time, during which we have managed to understand many things and overcome any difficulties inherent in any political process in the country.
AB: What has been your experience during this election, which is taking place at a time of many difficulties, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the imperialist blockade and attacks against Venezuela?
MT: The process of these mega elections was quite dynamic. It exceeded all expectations because of the pandemic factor, which, as you said, is having a negative impact worldwide. As far as politics goes, there is some evidence that the pandemic has had an impact; there was not as much enthusiasm as in previous years. But this year, there was clear participation of people who wanted to exercise their right to vote, and they were able to vote.
AB: What is your message to people who live in North America, who do not know what is happening in Venezuela, beyond what they hear from mainstream media?
MT: Well, beyond what people think about whether we’re wrong or we’re right, what I want to tell you, from my heart, is that you shouldn’t lose hope, you shouldn’t lose faith. We are progressing; we will continue working, strengthening our capacities in political matters, knowledge, producing things, and more. In the face of difficulties, we will continue forward, and we will continue working constantly. It is a beautiful thing to be Venezuelan within the Bolivarian revolution, to feel so strongly about our roots as children of the land of Bolívar. So now that you know, do not believe in the lies of those big international media outlets that distort the reality of different countries, for the simple fact that these countries think differently.
AB: As a young person in Venezuela, you have lived your entire life under imperialist sanctions and blockade. How has this impacted you?
MT: It has had a negative impact. For example, thanks to foreign interference, I have seen many of my relatives decide to leave Venezuela. It was their decision. I don’t know for sure, but I think that they will come to regret leaving. But for now, I must accept those difficult decisions of people in my family.
There was also a time when I was much younger that there was difficulty getting food and certain goods. But I never lost hope because even though I know that these challenges can be considerable, I am happy to see my parents, community, and Venezuelan society heading in a new direction. That is what is most important to me.
AB: Is there anything else that you would like to say?
MT: Well, the other thing I would like to say is that you have to know the story, you have to read it. Reading is life. We must strengthen our knowledge and thus teach future generations everything related to our past and where we came from. That is important. Thank you very much.
Alison Bodine: Thank you for your time and insight. Viva Venezuela
Follow Alison on Twitter: @Alisoncolette
Back to Article Listing