Notebook from Caracas: eyewitness to revolution

April 20, 2005

Roberto Jorquera, an activist from the Venezuelan Solidarity Network in Australia, is in Caracas to help prepare for the solidarity brigade the network is organising from July 25-August 15, and to report on the unfolding revolution there. Regular updates from Jorquera are being posted at <>.

Venezuelans talk socialism

More than 300 people attended a forum organised by the Revolutionary Marxist Current, one of a number of small Marxist groups in Venezuela, on April 12 at the Venezuelan Bolivarian University (UBV). Titled 'How to construct socialism in the 21st century", the meeting was addressed by veteran revolutionary Marxist William Izarra, who has been placed in charge of developing the ideology of the Bolivarian revolution, and also Alan Woods, the editor of, who has written extensively about Venezuela.

The UBV was set up by the government of President Hugo Chavez to provide education for the poor who have not been able to gain access to other universities, and is only just beginning its second semester of classes. At the entrance to the foyer, people are greeted with a large inscription of a quote from Venezuelan-born South American liberation hero Simon Bolivar: "The first duty of a government is to educate its people".

In his presentation, Izarra argued that it was essential to continue to build and develop the Centres for Ideological Formation. These recently launched centres bring together small groups of grassroots militants from the poor communities to study and help develop the ideology of the revolution, playing a crucial role in the building of collective consciousness and outlining what has to be done in the revolutionary process.

Izarra argued that "at the moment we are only seeing reforms, what needs to happen is a change in the structure so that we can advance to socialism". He added, "When we talk about socialism, for us we mean talking about popular power .

Woods also spoke of the need for measures to deepen the Bolivarian revolution and said that the process in Venezuela is a unique process that has not been seen before in Latin America or the world. It was the task of those sympathetic around the world, he said, to do what they could to help defend it.[Please think about donating to GLW to help us maintain a journalist in Caracas. For details, visit <>]

From Green Left Weekly, April 20, 2005.
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