[News] Huge March Defends Venezuela’s Democracy and Revolution

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 24 13:59:41 EST 2013


  Huge March Defends Venezuela’s Democracy and Revolution

<http://venezuelanalysis.com/printmail/7639>http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7639
<http://venezuelanalysis.com/print/7639>

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 
betrayed again”.

*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 
the march.

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 
their chest.

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 
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bWG3Z8hMRNw>.

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 
CCS.

“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 
organisation.

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 
a document 
<http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/manifiesto-a-la-sociedad-democr%C3%A1tica-venezolana-y-a-su.html> 
around, addressed to the armed forces, calling on them to not support 
the government.

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

-- 
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