Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We just culminated the III Annual International Book Fair here in Caracas, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the National Book Center. This year's theme was "Is Revolution Possible in the United States?" and authors and long term activists such as Ward Churchill, Kathleen Cleaver, Amiri Baraka, Amina Baraka, amongst other important voices, gathered together for a week engaging in this very intriguing debate with the people of Venezuela. The event was extremely informative, inspiring and successful and led to the final determination that YES! revolution is possible in the USA, but it certainly needs a major push and some massive stimulation!!!!!

The Second Annual Festival with the Peoples of Africa is also taking place right now in Caracas. Cultural and political representatives from the Congo, Namibia, Benin and other African nations are meeting with high level members of the Venezuelan government and sharing cultural traditions with the people of Venezuela. These initiatives are part of the Chavez Government's foreign policy based on cooperation and integration with other people's around the world that share similar characteristics with Venezuela: poverty, rich natural resources, colonized past, developing status, immense potential for social and economic development.

In the meantime....the violent opposition students and political leaders are still trying to wreck havoc in the streets. Today is National Student Day in Venezuela and the streets are full of marches from all sides. We are expecting President Chavez to arrive in a few hours to address the crowd of tens of thousands of students that support the Bolivarian Revolution and the Constitutional Reform that will be voted on next December 2nd.


Renegade Eye said...

Really good blog.

The representatives of the American left, were a funny group. Kathleen Cleaver degenerated to being a Democrat. I believe she broke ties with the left. Baraka never went farther than being nationalist, and Churchill fought militarily against the Sandinistas.

tommyboy544 said...

I wondered what you might think of this:

"Why don't you shut up?!"

Maybe you’ve heard about Spain’s King Juan Carlos I telling Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to “shut up” at the recent Ibero-American Summit in Chile. The US news media, of course, have dumbed this down to a “diplomatic flap” caused by that “incendiary” Chavez.

But there is more to this than meets the North American eye - or ear. First of all, the monarch addressed Chavez in the familiar form of tu instead of usted (“Porque no te callas?”). The tu form does not exist in the diplomatic sphere except in those rare cases of close friendship between leaders – like Chavez and Fidel Castro.

To the ear of a native Spanish-speaker, Juan Carlos’s shouted question would have resonated like a parent’s scolding of a child, or a high-society putdown of a commoner, a “talking down” to someone.

And remember, the vast majority of Latin Americans are, like Chavez, mestizos, carrying varying amounts of the blood of the indigenous Americans who were brutally conquered and savagely ruled for several hundred years by the minions of Juan Carlos’s royal ancestors.

But what I think motivated the king’s exclamation is based on more recent history. What set this whole thing off was Chavez calling former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a “fascist.” That word means something in Spain.

I’ll keep it short: Juan Carlos’s grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, abdicated the throne in 1931 during a political crisis that led to civil war in 1936, when Generalissimo Francisco Franco led a military revolt against the democratically elected “Popular Front” government (a coalition of the Socialist and Communist Parties with several small, liberal bourgeois parties).

Franco, with massive aid from Hitler and Mussolini, won and in 1939 established a regime modeled on their repressive, corporatist states. Wisely staying out of World War II, Franco ruled Spain until his death in 1975. As part of a carefully planned transition to a well-managed bourgeois democracy, Juan Carlos was awarded the newly-invented title “Prince of Spain” in 1969 and began carrying out certain state functions. He became king upon Franco’s death.

And Aznar? During his time as prime minister (1996 – 2004) he was George W. Bush’s European lapdog. But is he, as Chavez charged, a fascist? Well, we know his father was a prominent columnist and apologist for the Franco regime for El Tiempo, Madrid’s biggest newspaper. And his grandfather was Franco’s ambassador to Morocco. And Aznar just happens to have founded a conservative rightwing party that includes a lot more sons and daughters of dearly departed servants of the ancien regime.

Maybe Chavez was right. But he was really more concerned with recent Venezuelan history. When he was briefly overthrown in April, 2002, only two members of the international diplomatic corps came to congratulate Pedro Carmona (dictator for a day and a half): one was, of course, the ambassador of the United States; the other, that of Spain.

From my blog:

tommyboy544 said...

I clicked on your picture and then I clicked to make it bigger. Then I clicked on the blue "next" button and I saw some pretty weird stuff. If that stuff is supposed to be there, well, okay, forgive this comment. But if it's not, well, I just thought you'd want to be aware of it and do something about it.


P.S. By the way, you're very pretty.

drjasonsmith said...

Dear Eva: I enjoyed reading your book Cracking the Chavez Code very much. -And, of course, I am happy to see your comments at Venezuelanalysis
At any rate if you get a chance you might read my books on Peru which are not too far from New York in the Harvard and Yale libraries and/or read some of my stuff at one or more of my websites beginning with
Best wishes,