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      Solidarity as a Constitutional and Strategic Aspect in Venezuela

      Speech by Wilfredo J. Perez Bianco, Venezuelan Consul General in Vancouver at the Fire This Time Newspaper 10 Year Anniversary Celebration. April 2, 2016

      Para leer el discurso en español presione click aqui

      In light of the recent events in Venezuela and throughout our America it is imperative to redefine or re contextualize the word Solidarity. And it’s not just a new conceptualization that is merely semantic or only for discussion. It is about taking theory into practice, because in addition to speeches we need actions. It means concrete actions to influence and prevent the abrupt interruption of the progressive processes that have given great hope to a big part of the planet and that show us that “another world” is possible. A fairer, more equitable, more habitable world.

      This will be possible if we understand the new role of solidarity.

      Eternal Commander Hugo Chavez insisted on reviving the ideas of our Liberator Simon Bolivar regarding the unity of the peoples to defend their sovereignty, self-determination and independence. But that this was only possible if they worked together, together in a just and necessary solidarity.

      Solidarity with the peoples of the world, in Venezuela, is enshrined in our Constitution. In other words, it is an essential part of our culture, our politics and our conception as a nation – being in the solidarity with the world.

      Article 152 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela says: “The international relations of the Republic serve the ends of the State as a function of the exercise of sovereignty and the interests of the people; they are governed by the principles of independence, equality between States, free self-determination and nonintervention in their internal affairs, the peaceful resolution of international conflicts, cooperation, respect of human rights and solidarity among peoples in the struggle for their liberation and the welfare of humanity. The Republic shall maintain the finest and most resolute defense of these principles and democratic practices in all international organs and institutions."

      There we see the essence of the Homeland as per the legacy of Chavez. With respect for the principles of independence, equality between States, self-determination and, importantly, non-intervention in internal affairs. We advocate for human rights and solidarity between peoples in the struggle for their emancipation and the well-being of humanity.

      Our singer of the people Ali Primera told us that, “Homeland is the man” (and the woman), meaning that Humanity, in a clear allusion to the Cuban liberation fighter José Martí, who had already proclaimed “Humanity is homeland”; that is, we must feel and encourage the natural bonds we share with our brothers and sisters around the world: we are all humanity, that is the only way we can understand true solidarity. Solidarity becomes imperative, necessary and urgent to face the dangers threatening not only our progressive process which, incidentally guarantees the continuity of humanity, but also to struggle against the rapid development and uncontrolled savagery capitalism exercises on our countries, on our people and on progressive governments that have taken charge of their own destiny.

      In the political will and testament of Hugo Chavez, called “Plan for the Homeland”, solidarity is also enshrined as a fundamental axis. Among its historical objectives the Plan for the Homeland states that, while continuing with the defence, expansion and consolidation of our national independence and strengthening the foundations of the irreversibility of national sovereignty, the plan drawn up by Chavez indicates that we should all of us “ ensure the continuity of progressive processes” and “strengthen national identity and our culture”, thereby contributing to the” development of a new international geopolitics which embody a multicenter and multipolar world that would achieve the balance of the universe and ensure world peace “. A peace that undoubtedly also ensures the perpetuity of the species. Chavez speaks of a multipolar world, “without imperial domination and with full respect for self-determination.”

      For this reason, it is essential to have solidarity between individuals, between peoples, between nations. In addition, to achieve that goal, we must maintain the coordination and strengthening of social movements to reinforce the integration among people; and actively involve groups and organizations It is essential, in this new stage, as Hugo Chavez said, “You recover, regroup, re-articulate the scattered forces, demobilized, demoralized or confused by the adversary or by our mistakes. Our enemies prefer us scattered, disjointed and locked in sterile arenas, because they know that this is the way to stop the progress of revolutionary democratic forces.”

      As President Nicolas Maduro ratified in January this year during the Fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), “I welcome all the solidarity that has been received by the people of Bolivar and Chavez to the adversities which we have lived in in recent years. We are a popular, Bolivarian and socialist Revolution hounded by the imperial power” ... therefore, “We protect in a jealous manner the respect between our governments between our countries so that the union of of our community continues to reign."

      So this is where the importance of local, regional and global alternative media comes in. Only alternative medias, such as the one of my friends, colleagues and comrades, “Fire This Time” with whom we celebrate today its 10th anniversary, can show these fundamental aspects for the meaning of solidarity (as a word, as speech, but as well in action), and it is imperative to recognize and retake our humanity and make a commitment to defend the whole planet as Hugo Chavez taught us.

      As authentic, accurate and timely independent information sources that do not follow the imperial and hegemonic line of international news agencies and the mass media allied with transnational corporations and therefore subject to its capitalist, neoliberal interests and exploitation, alternative media is a fundamental tool for solidarity, for the defense of the planet and for the preservation of humanity. An example of this is Fire This Time, those whose efforts and gallantry contribute to the fight against the Media Dictatorship (in Venezuela), as Professor Luis Britto García mentioned in his work that bears the same name.

      This work is a reflection of the role of social media in recent years, while a tribute to the journalists, owners of media companies and alternative media who have defended freedom of expression and information despite all pressures from the economically powerful sectors. And analyzes the role of social media in recent years, specifically with regard to creating a variety of opinions aimed at destabilizing the legal, political and economic order in Venezuela replacing the work of traditional political parties. Projects like Telesur, which currently is under threat, demonstrate how alternative media is established as a different source of information beyond the information imposed by mainstream media. This kind of alternative media can influence and contribute directly to the defence of movements and progressive governments that today are under threat worldwide.

      Finally, Solidarity between peoples and the defence of alternative medias, represents the defence of the future of our planet and ensure the integration between our people and the continuation of the progressive processes worldwide, so we can ensure the preservation of our humanity, making each of us “more human towards humanity”. “ (Ali Primera).

      Many thanks comrades.

      Viva FIRE THIS TIME!
      Viva la Solidaridad entre los Pueblos!

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      To read the full report from the Fire This Time 10th Anniversary Celebration click here

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