Last May 1, more than 1 million people joined the May Day celebrations in Caracas, Venezuela. Since then, Venezuela's impoverished population, led by socialist President Hugo Chavez, has taken over more workplaces, set up more cooperatives, established hundreds of free public education and health programs, organised their neighbourhoods and taken big steps towards exercising "popular power" in their country.
This year, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) is organising a May Day solidarity brigade to Venezuela for trade unionists and all others interested in seeing first-hand the unfolding revolution in that country.
The brigade will run from April 30-May 9. Participants will meet with various workers' organisations, visit occupied factories and educational institutions and a range of community organisations, and speak to government and social organisations about the country's radical social and economic changes.
A highlight of the brigade will be joining the huge national celebrations on May 1.
In the last two years, the AVSN has organised four solidarity brigades to Venezuela, involving more than 120 participants. These study/solidarity tours have been exciting and inspiring experiences for the brigadistas, and are proving invaluable for helping Australians better understand and build solidarity with Venezuela's struggle for a "new socialism of the 21st century".
The deadline for registering for the May Day 2007 brigade is February 28. Accommodation, transport and English translation in Venezuela will be organised for participants, and the AVSN can help you book your travel to and from Australia.
If you are interested in taking part, phone John Cleary on 0407 500 839 or Fred Fuentes on 0432 333 806, or visit <http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org>.