JM in SF

Jorge Martin in San Francisco: Hands Off Venezuela!

JM in SFOn May 11th, 2008 the Workers International League (WIL) in cooperation with the US Hands Off Venezuela campaign, hosted Jorge Martin, international secretary of Hands Off Venezuela, in San Francisco as part of his ongoing North American tour.  The topic of the meeting was about Latin America and the revolutionary struggle.  Meeting was held in the Brava theater in the heart of the Mission district, an overwhelmingly Latino neighborhood.

There were a total of 37 people in attendance, including a number of youth and Latino immigrant rights activists. Jorge started the discussion with the latest development in Latin America including the mention of the revival of the fourth fleet of the U.S. Navy in charge of patrolling Latin America, the military and diplomatic incidents between Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador and the recent election of Fernando Lugo Mendez in Paraguay.

He went on to mention the achievements of the Venezuelan revolution: the recent nationalizations of the cement industry, some industries in milk processing and meat cutting; the social programs enacted by Venezuela to end analphabetism and provide quality health care to working people; the experiences of worker’s control; as well as the enactment of the ALBA trading agreement between Venezuela, Cuba and Colombia.   He also mentioned the problems facing the
revolution such as the sabotage of food distribution chains, the bureaucracy left over from the fourth and fifth republics and the lack of decisiveness against the oligarchy.  He mentioned that the revolution has only gone “half-way” and that it needs to push forward in order to establish socialism of the 21st century.

He gave the example of one crossing the street and only walking half way,  and pointed that obviously one cannot do that and sooner or later one would get run over by a vehicle.  He said the Venezuelan revolution is in a similar situation.  It will have to go all the way or it will be crushed.

JM in SF

After his initial lead off, the floor was opened for questions and comments.  The people present brought up a number of issues including the nationalization of the steel plant SIDOR, the situation in Colombia and the guerrillas, the changes in Cuba and the nature of the Venezuelan revolution.  The event ended with a vociferous round of applause.   The WIL and HOV were pleased to have Jorge Martin.

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