On the eve of the October 7, Venezuelan presidential election, Green Left TV's Peter Boyle spoke to Tamara Pearson (below), an Australian socialist who has been living in Venezuela since 2007. She writes for Venezuela Analysis and for Green Left Weekly.
Pearson lives in Merida but was in Caracas for the final stage of the election campaign and to help lead the 2012 Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade whose members are also there to witness this election campaign.
Pearson describes the high levels of youth involvement in the Chavez campaign, which is running on a detailed platform for socialist transformation.
Venezuela Analysis's Ewan Robertson wrote on September 28 about Venezuela's impressive culture of participatory democracy.
Robertson said: "I’ve witnessed the self-assured superiority of Paris, the imperial arrogance of Washington, the capitalist decadence of New York’s Manhattan, parliamentary elections in Germany and my fair share of elections in Britain.
"In none of them have I encountered a democratic political culture as profound as Venezuela’s."
A participant in the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade witnessing the election campaign, Ryan Mallett-Outrim spoke to Green Left TV (above) on a Chavista rall brigade members attended in Maracay, Aragua, on October 3, just four days before the 2012 Venezuelan presidential election. The Australian solidarity activists were warmly welcomed in the huge crowd.
Above and below, rally for Chavez in Maracay. Photos by Pip Hinman.
Brigade participant Pip Hinman said of the huge pro-Chavez demonstration that took over the streets of Caracas on October 4: "What an amazing day! Seven major avenues filled with supporters of the Bolivarian revolution and President Hugo Chavez.
"The rain came down at one stage and we all got soaked. Chavez stepped out from under cover and spoke to the massive crowd in the rain, which he welcomed as a blessing for the election on Sunday."
Photos below of the Caracas march are from the Facebook page of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) -- the mass party led by Chavez.