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    March 14, 2014

    In Commemoration of Comandante
    Hugo Chavez...

    Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Venezuela

    ** In Defense of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution
    ** Venezuela, One Year After the Death of Comandante Chavez

    Part 1:
    History, Reality & Legacy of Chavez

    Photo Gallery
    Click Photo to Enlarge

    Part 2:
    President Maduro vs. Right-Wing Opposition
    & Building Solidarity Movement with Venezuela

    Photo Gallery
    Click Photo to Enlarge

    Vancouver Forums Discuss the Progress and Challenges of Bolivarian Revolutionary Process in Venezuela

    In response to right-wing violence and attacks in Venezuela that began in the first weeks of February, 2014 the Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice organized a 2-part forum series titled, “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Venezuela: Venezuela, One Year After the Death of Comandante Chavez.” These forums were an opportunity for people in Vancouver to come together to discuss not only the current relationship of forces in Venezuela, but also the role of the U.S. in Venezuela, and the history of revolution and counter-revolution since the beginning of the process of the Bolivarian Revolution.

    "History, Reality & Legacy of Chavez,” was the title of the first part of the series held on March 14, 2014. Forum participants gathered in Joe's Cafe in East Vancouver to watch the documentary “Cuando la Brujula Marco el Sur” (When the Compass Points to the South). This documentary covers the history of Venezuela from colonization until after the 2001 failed coup against Comandante Chavez. Everyone in attendance also enjoyed greatly the opportunity to watch the interview of Comandante Chavez on the BBC HARDtalk program in 2010.

    “President Maduro vs. Right-Wing Opposition & Building Solidarity Movement with Venezuela,” was the title of part 2 of the series, held the following week on March 21. This forum featured multimedia, speakers, as well as time for a lively debate and discussion about the Bolivarian Revolution today. Forum participants included some that had attended the previous session, as well as new faces of people from many different backgrounds. There were over 55 people in attendance, from those learning about the revolutionary process in Venezuela for the first time, to the Consul General and representatives from the Consulate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Vancouver.

    The forum began with the presentation of a number of important videos that directly addressed the recent Western media frenzy in support of the violent and criminal right-wing in Venezuela. These included the CNN interview with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro where he responds to the media lies and manipulations.

    Following the videos, the first speaker was Carolina Escarra, the head of the North America section of the Foreign Relations department of the Youth of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Juventud del Partido Socialista Unida de Venezuela-JPSUV). Carolina gave a live update direct from Venezuela via video and audio conference. She explained the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution including Venezuela's social missions which have made great progress for people in the areas of health, education and housing. She also spoke about the electoral process wherein Comandante Chavez won 15 out of 16 elections and referendums since coming to power in 1999. She explained that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has declared the voting process in Venezuela the “best in the world.”

    Ali Yerevani, the Political Editor of Fire This Time newspaper and Battle of Ideas Press, social justice organizer and participant in Iranian Revolution 1979 spoke following Carolina. Ali analyzed many different aspects of the history and reality of the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela. “The question is to what extent is a government using resources and profit for the improving the life of people?” he asked, and answered with his presentation, saying “One simple fact: the Bolivarian revolutionary process, Chavez and the government of Venezuela have changed an anti-human system in Venezuela before 1998 to a potentially great human system today and progress continues.”

    Through his analysis, Ali also tackled bringing “Socialism of the 21 Century” into “Socialism in the 21 Century." He explained that “Revolution cannot be bought in a chain store, it is not dogma.” With these words he expanded on the response of the government of Venezuela to right-wing attacks and U.S. intervention, including the response of President Nicolas Maduro to the economical and political challenges he has faced in his time in office since the death of Comandante Chavez. Within this, Ali also brought analysis on the biggest challenges facing the development of the Venezuelan revolution today; the contradiction in Venezuela between a Revolutionary government and the capitalist system that remains, as well as the sabotage of the right wing opposition in the economical and political process of the country, either by creating shortages and disruption of distribution or through inciting violence in the country.

    Ali's talk ended with point regarding what activists and social justice fighters need to learn from the Venezuelan Revolution. He also called out to all who believe in social justice and a better world to join in the struggle to defend the Venezuelan people's self-determination and the Venezuelan Revolution. This presentation opened up into a discussion between forum participants, which continued to explore the foundation of the Revolution and how people in Vancouver can get involved in the solidarity movement. Discussion could have easily continued late into the night as people explored many of the aspects of Venezuelan society and politics today.

    The Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice has been organizing in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela since their foundation in 2003. This has included many writings and analysis that can be found at http://www.firethistime.net. During the past few months of escalated violent right-wing attacks against the Bolivarian Revolutionary process, FTT has supported and built demonstrations in support of the government and people of Venezuela and against US intervention. We invite people to join us in defending the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela.

    Chavez Presente!

    Long live the Venezuela Revolution!
    U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!