[News] Huge March Defends Venezuela’s Democracy and Revolution
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 24 13:59:41 EST 2013
Huge March Defends Venezuela’s Democracy and Revolution
By Tamara Pearson
Merida, January 23^rd 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The vice-president
and ministers marched with up to a million people today to defend the
Bolivarian revolution on Democracy Day, while the opposition march
turned out to be a small rally. Further, sectors of the far right have
called on the armed forces to resist what they referred to as the
“invasion” of “Castro-communism” in Venezuela.
Today’s marches commemorate 23 January 1958, when a civic-military
movement overthrew the Marcos Jimenez dictatorship. However, this year
the opposition first called a march for the date, to reject what it has
called the “unconstitutional” measures taken by the national government,
as President Chavez wasn’t able to be present at his swearing-in
ceremony on 10 January while he was recovering from an operation for cancer.
In response, the PSUV also convoked a large march, together with other
movements and organisations, with the slogan “The people will never be
*Marches for the Bolivarian Revolution in Caracas and around the country*
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Caracas today, leaving from
three main points, and marching to the barrio 23 de Enero.
Vice-president of the Socialist Bolivarian Workers’ Central (CBST),
Francisco Torrealba, said his organisation mobilised 35,000 people for
today’s march, to express their “commitment to the Bolivarian
revolution”. That contingent left from Libertador Avenue, while
Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) and Grand Patriotic Pole (GPP)
contingents left from La Bandera station.
Meanwhile the Bolivarian militia left from Propatria, with social
missions and other movements and political organisations also leaving
from all three points.
Vice-president Nicolas Maduro marched among the giant crowd from
Propatria, waving to people around him and to people watching on from
buildings. Other ministers and well known PSUV leaders also took part in
Hundreds of community radios and other movements also participated in a
“chain-marathon”, reporting on the march from all the main plazas of the
different states of the country.
At around 1pm, when some of the marches had arrived at 23 de Enero, a
short concert was held there, before historian Chela Vargas, journalist
Jose Vincent Rangel, and Maduro addressed the crowd. The people chanted
continuously, “We’re all Chavez!” (Todos somos Chavez). Many carried
placards saying the same thing, and some men even painted the slogan on
Journalist Jose Vincent Rangel in his speech declared, “We have to be
clear that 23 January is a symbol of a people who don’t give up”.
“With Chavez and Muduro the people are secure,” people chanted when it
was Maduro’s turn to speak.
Maduro emphasised the significance of a people who “woke-up” after being
tired of the “torture, disappearances, misery, lack of education,
unemployment, and a state that was called ‘democratic’ but only had that
name because the Venezuelan bourgeoisie called it that”, during the
period following the overthrow of the dictatorship.
People who participated in the over-throwing of Jimenez were on the
Caracas stage today, and 3000 police were set up around Caracas to
ensure the march was peaceful and safe. Aerial footage of the Caracas
march is available here
Revolutionary collectives also rallied yesterday in the 23 de Enero
barrio to help build today’s march. One placard read, “23 January 1958:
The people brought down a dictator. 40 years later: buried the 4^th
Republic. 55 years later: no pacts, no backing down”. In this case, the
4^th republic refers to the Punto Fijo Pact, where major right wing
parties agreed to share power, until Chavez was elected in 1998.
“This date [23 January] has two readings; the end of a dictatorship, and
also the betrayal of the right wing and the Pact of Punto Fijo,” said
William Gudino, of the National Network of Communes, to newspaper Ciudad
“The people shouldn’t forget ...this vision of combat which represents
us, and is also our reality,” Gudino said.
Other marches took place around the country as well. For the Andean city
of Merida, with a population of just 300,000, it was the second large
march in under a week. Around 4000 people marched on Friday to defend
Cuba after opposition students burned a Cuban flag and an effigy of
Fidel Castro, and a similar number also marched today.
For Hector Alejo Rodriguez, general secretary of the PCV youth, the aim
of today’s marches was to “remember the important role the youth played
in that battle 55 years ago to bring down the dictatorship”.
*Opposition rally and far-right destabilisation attempts*
Despite initially calling for a march on 23 January, last weekend the
opposition backtracked on those plans, and instead held a small rally
today of around 6,000 people in the sports courts of Miranda Park, Caracas.
Speaking at the rally, the general secretary of the MUD opposition
coalition, Ramon Aveledo read a 12 point manifesto to “defend Venezuela
in a time of uncertainty” and said that should there be new presidential
elections, the opposition would choose its candidate by “consensus”.
Legislator Alfonso Marquina also announced the re-launching of the MUD,
which he said would consist in “re-planning and rationalising” the
Public media agency AVN denounced that one public television journalist,
Carlos Cachon, was removed from the rally and beaten up. Media activists
reported that he was taken to hospital with multiple injuries. Just
before the violence, Aveledo, who was still giving his speech, said
“these people were sent by the government”, indicating the public sector
journalists and film crew who had just entered the rally area.
PSUV leader Dario Vivas speculated that the opposition “don’t dare to
march, they have realised the people don’t follow them”.
Vivas also denounced yesterday that opposition legislators are spreading
around, addressed to the armed forces, calling on them to not support
The document, called “Manifesto to democratic Venezuelan society and the
National Armed Forces [sic- they are the Bolivarian Armed Forces]” opens
with a preamble saying the Venezuelan government has “violated the
constitution” on “repeated occasions” and that it is “subordinate” to
the “Castro-communist regime of Cuba”.
The document makes claims that “the Cubans have slowly and progressively
taken control of our...registers, system of identification, our foreign
policy, and important sectors of the national economy”. It also claims
that “Castro-communism” is responsible for manipulation of the electoral
system and that national finances, rather than resolving the country’s
problems, are being used to “finance the expansion of Castro-communism”.
It talks about Venezuela as a “colony of Cuba” and suggests that the
armed forces, “supported by all sectors of civil society” take steps
forward and impede the “dissolution of the fatherland”.
The letter is signed by around 120 people so far, including a range of
far right opposition legislators and leaders such as Maria Corina
Machado. Machado walked out of the recent annual review in the national
assembly on 15 of January, and a few times has been proven to have set
up violent attacks against herself, in order to blame Chavez supporters.
Further today, the minister for justice and internal affairs, Nestor
Reverol, advised that ultra-right sectors of the opposition were
planning attacks on Maduro and on national assembly president Diosdado
Cabello. Reverol said state security organisations were alert and active
in the case of “terrorist actions against these comrades”.
Published on Jan 23rd 2013 at 5.04pm
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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