The rich protest while the poor celebrate!

FRFI's Speaking Tour: 'Reports from the frontline' kicked off in Glasgow on Sunday 6 April as comrade Rafael Ramos- Rafa- joined FRFI Supporters on a march in Govanhill Glasgow on International Roma Day. Chants of 'El Pueblo Unido- Ne vas sera vencido!'- 'The People United- Will never be Defeated!' in Spanish and English, alternated with our calls to 'Unite and Fight!'. We were proud to see our Venezuelan comrade hold the banner of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! on the march.

At the afternoon meeting Rafa detailed the incredibly positive achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela: the international record breaking levels of access to free education from nursery to university, the reductions in poverty and unemployment, the massive house building programs- all of which have pushed Venezuela up into the United Nations' attested higher levels of human development. Rafa was here also to describe how the Venezuelan people, the government and the working class, were dealing with the recent upsurge in 'protest' and 'opposition' organised by the wealthy in the country and abroad- principally the United States. Rafa quoted a poet who had wryly noted that in Venezuela '...the rich protest while the poor celebrate.' Rafa himself had lost a friend in the recent violent attacks of the fascist reactionaries. He assured the meeting that the people everywhere, in particular those in the barrios close to the well-off areas from which the attacks on schools, medical clinics, transport come, advocate a peaceful resolution of the situation. The politically experienced, educated and organised Venezuelan folk are aware of their country's history and of the history of Latin America. The speaker pointed out that Hugo Chavez had himself presented Barak Obama with a copy of Eduardo Galleano's book 'The Open Veins of Latin America'. Clearly Obama has chosen to ignore its truths. The Venezuelans know that the creation of a civil war scenario is the aim of the reactionary violence, to justify imperialist intervention. Having popularly defeated a United States' sponsored coup attempt in April 2002, the people were not about to walk into Uncle Sam's obvious and bloody trap. They are calmly and peacefully defending their Revolution!

To make the point that the Bolivarian Revolution is indeed also popularly recognised and supported throughout the world, comrade Rafa had no sooner entered a Glasgow pub and been introduced as a Venezuelan than we heard the cry of 'Viva Chavez!'. A tablet was produced showing the web page of Venezuela! Our Venezuelan friend and comrade gave FRFI comrades an account of how the party of Hugo Chavez- the United Socialist Party of Venezuela- organises its millions of members. Across the universities and colleges, in the barrios of the working people and in the workplaces, the advance of the Bolivarian Revolution is planned and put into action. It was for us a privilege and honour to hear from the frontline of the struggle in Venezuela and to be part of the battle to bring its victories to the people.


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