Friday, September 14, 2007
A Day in the Revolutionary Life
Last night I broke the news on the new NED-funded "NGOs" in Venezuela on the most popular nightly program in the nation: the always satirical, insightful and humorous "La Hojilla", run by good friend and host Mario Silva. You can catch a segment of the program (en español) here.
For those of you unaware with the daily routine of a revolutionary in Venezuela on a Saturday. Here's a snapshot (given today because obviously as you will see, tomorrow's a busy day!):
Morning run/jog, lots of black coffee
10:30am: Conference on Constitutional Reform at the Centro Internacional Miranda where constitutional lawyer and member of the Presidential Commission on Constitutional Reform, Carlos Escarrá, will be speaking along with Ricardo Menéndez, geographer, expert on "territorial restructuring" and member of the Presidential Commission on Constitutional Reform, and the always enjoyable and enlightening Juan Carlos Monedero, Professor from the Complutense University of Madrid and an all-around very knowledgeable and funny young guy (can you tell he's my friend?). The focus will be on the integral nature of the 33 articles presented for reform by President Chávez, with insight from those advisors who aided the President in drafting his proposal. Knowing all three of them, it will be a very lively and informative debate. The public at these events is generally very active and participatory and I'm sure tomorrow will be no exception! This conference forms part of hundreds being realized throughout the nation every day with the objective of ensuring that everyone has access to detailed information on the proposed constitutional reform and also has the opportunity to express concerns, criticisms and commentaries on the content of the reform to people who have influence over the National Assembly (Carlos is a congressman) and the Committee charged with making adjustments to the reform.
2:00pm: Assembly meeting of my Batallón of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). We have these meetings every Saturday afternoon as part of the ongoing creation of the new party PSUV. So far, everyone is just considered an "aspiring" member of the party since the party has not yet been created, but is in development. This Saturday we will continue discussions on the Constitutional Reform to finalize a document we are preparing with suggested modifications to the President's proposed reform and we will further our debate on the structure of the party itself. I've never been much for political parties precisely because they are generally exclusionary and end up serving just a certain group's interests. I'm also not the best team player because I just like to cut through the crap and get things done. However, President Chávez announced the idea of the PSUV precisely to break free from the traditional party structure and to create a grassroots, horizontally-structured party with self-disciplined, pro-active, uncorrupt and committed members. So far, the discussions are quite interesting and enriching and everyone in my Batallón has a constructively critical stance, which is really necessary to ensure that things just don't play out in the interests of certain groups as usual.
7:00pm: After an intense day of discussions on constitutional reform and politics, the evening will be filled with the rich and unique sounds of Flamenco! Direct from Spain, Diego el Cigala - the most-revelled contemporary Flamenco artist in the world wil be performing at Caracas' famous Teresa Carreno Theater and this blogger will be there. Yeah baby! El Cigala is on his "Dos Lagrimas Negras" world tour and will be acommpanied by Cuban pianist Guillermo Rubalcaba and two of the best Latin percussionists in the world, Changuito y Tata Güines (both Cuban, obviously).
See, we revolutionaries like good music and fun times too. And no, Venezuela is not a "banana republic" nor a place where you-can-not-go-out-after-dark-or-you-will-be-shot-or-robbed like you read in some mass media. We have a vibrant cultural life and lots of healthy, interesting things to do and see all year round. See you Sunday after Aló Presidente....