Pacha Guzman, a leading activist with the Venezuelan-based Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ), is touring Australia in March. Guzman will be visiting various cities where she will address public forums and meet with trade unions, politicians and solidarity organisations.
The FNCEZ is Venezuela’s largest peasant-based organisation and a member of La Via Campesina and the Latin American Coordinator of Campesino Organisations.
The FNCEZ is also part of the Bolivar & Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ), for which Guzman is a national spokesperson. The CRBZ is an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal organisation with a strong presence within Venezuela’s communal movement, which is promoting the creation of communes and community councils as the foundations of the country’s grassroots democratic system.
The CRBZ are strong defenders of Venezuela’s pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution and work with the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
At the same time, the CRBZ have been publicly critical of issues such as corruption, bureaucratism and reformism in the process.
Lucho Riquelme, from the Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET), told Green Left Weekly that the tour they are coordinating is in line with LASNET’s aim of “promoting and supporting popular rural and urban organisations”.
“In terms of the countryside in Venezuela,” Riquelme said, “our main relationship has been with the FNCEZ, which was formed during the government of former president Hugo Chavez.
“The FNCEZ is a self-declared Chavista organisation that is pushing forward the Bolivarian Revolution from below, seeking to deepen the social and political changes occurring there to truly revolutionise Venezuela.
“Together with the CRBZ, they have been working among the grassroots of the Chavista and Bolivarian movement to deepen the process.
“That is why we proposed touring Pacha to the other solidarity groups in Australia.
“We think it is important to hear this vision and to break the media boycott that is failing to report the reality of what is happening in Venezuela today, where a brave people, together with a popular and progressive government, are fighting to build an alternative to neoliberal capitalism.
“We think that activists in Australia could learn a lot from this popular struggle.”
Among the groups supporting this tour are the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, the Latin America Social Forum (Sydney), Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (Melbourne), Australians in Solidarity with Latin America (ASLA), Colombia Demands Justice Campaign, Chile Solidarity Campaign, Mujeres Latinoamericanas 3CR radio program, Australia Cuba Friendship Society (Melbourne), the Socialist Alliance, Communist Party of Australia, Maritime Union of Australia (Sydney Branch) and the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
[For more information contact Lucho 0425 539 149 or Fred on 0412 556 527.]