Sunday, November 26, 2006

Largest Demonstration in the History of the Bolivarian Revolution?




Whether it was or not, this was something else. If you've never been on a demonstration of an estimated 2 million-plus, I highly recommend it!

Today, November 26. 2006 was the "closing of the electoral campaign" for Chavez. The Venezuelan people poured into the streets by the millions, completely filling Avenida Bolivar (the widest and most important thoroughfare), as well as dozens of neighboring streets and avenues. The place was totally jam packed. The mood was electric, joyous, confident, and determined.

From before 9 am, the sea of red poured into downtown Caracas:

"For Socialism and Against Imperialism"

By 11 am, you could hardly move. It was like being at a gigantic concert, spanning several football fields. Despite the crowds and difficulty in getting around, everyone was friendly, in a great mood, happy to see HOV at the demo, and very interested in our opinion of the demo and the revolution in general. When we said we were in full support - and that we felt the process had to accelerate and deepen - everyone was extremely adamant that yes, after the elections, things should and must go forward.

Raucus cheers swept the crowd for hours on end, live bands and DJs played music and people danced in the street. While Chavez spoke (transmitted live on several large screens and across speakers set up all over), people listened with attention, cheering, and yelled back at him, encouraging him to go forward, to deepen the revolution.

Victory is assured on December 3rd, and the vast majority are ready for the revolutionary process to charge ahead. "No Volveran!" ("They Will not Return!") was a common and determined slogan raised by tens of thousands.

Some images of the heart of the revolution - the people of Simon Bolivar - the front line of the Latin American Revolution (though Mexic, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc. are fast catching up!):

Youth Members of the Territorial Guard

"10 Million" [Votes for Chavez]

From the state of Amazonas

The "10 Million Votes" Dance

The Infamous "Talking Chavez" Doll

"Venezuela Taming the Devil"

The Future of the Bolivarian Revolution

Colombians in Venezuela for Chavez

Massive Crowds Listening to Chavez

Chavez Speaking (he was closer than it looks!)

The joy and confidence at today's concentration is impossible to convey - the confidence of a revolutionary people aware of and sure of their upcoming victory. As Chavez put it, the people are not really re-electing him, they are re-electing themselves, and this is what the people really feel, and why they see in Chavez all their hopes and aspirations.

But at the same time, it wasn't a naive confidence. The Venezuelan workers, peasants, youth, and urban poor have learned a lot in the last few years. They have survived several serious tests, and emerged strengthened. They are acutely aware that these elections will mark a turning point, that the revolution has not been completed, that there will be very sharp struggles in the coming period. But for the moment, they were happy to let loose for a day, to enjoy their collective strength and optimism in the revolutionary future of Venezuela.

Hopefully these images and the video convey a bit of that mood. We'll get asub-titled translation of Rosy Peralt's song as soon as we get a chance.

John P.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey John! Great job! I envy you for being able to be a witness of this wonderful piece of contemporary history. I'll be looking forward for more of your interesting comments.

Receive lots of appreciations from Vancouver, Canada.

JA

German said...

Here is a free translation of Rosy Peralt's song. The song is called LA NEGRA, it refers to the card -with that name- that the opposition candidate is offering to people to vote for him. The card will supossedly distribute the income from oil between all venezuelans.

I'm sorry that in order to fully understand the lirics, a bit of recent Venezuela's history must be known, as well as, expressions such as Juan Bimba and ... others

Enjoy,

LA NEGRA

Manuel Rosales
we don’t want your NEGRA
even if it’s plenty of oil
I detest it! … I deplore it!

Here I am to tell you
something that you seem to forget:
when oil prices go down
good bye light! … you are extinguished!

That day I’ll ask
NEGRA, why did you go off?.
Because the oil was
the air you use to breath

The Juan Bimba card
this year has a different color
it will be the NEGRA card
with white color in it’s heart

If you don’t want to be Juan Bimba
I ask all you please
don’t accept that NEGRA card
because we are all tired
of discrimination

If they offer me the card
I don’t accept it, I’ll say no thanks!,
because I am not that kind of fish
that is friendly with the bait.

The people never forget
that they all looted Venezuela
and that even a Governor
closed down the state-tv

In many years to come
the people will never forget
that the opposition
caused a coup d’etat.

This is why they will never come back
for all the damages they caused,
the forty years they were in power
will be floating in the past!! …
the forty years they were in power
will be floating in the past!!