Solidarity Brigade to Caracas

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Welcome to the revolucion!

Welcome to the revolucion!

Caracas greets you as amazing mountains running intoa sprawling mass of housing and barrios, buildings, and then quickly to thegorgeous Carribean sea - this is the route we flew into Venezuela on. That was about 5:30pm here, Mon arvo, having spent the day testing our spanishwith a lovely taxi driver who is pro-Chavez and belongs to an Argentinian leftgroup, then flying to Bolivia then on over the Amazon forest and mighty river,some glimpses of the edge of the Andes, then to Caracas....

We were met at the airport by companeros from the world youth festival - several from Venezuela (one thankfully with great english) and one from brasil and onefrom CUba - there were photos and soon we met up with about 20 other comradeswho had arrived in the last couple of hours at the airpעrt....

Even the trip from the airport was breathtaking - a bus with 25-30 AUstralaincomrades, with our venezuelan hosts, blaring Latina pop musica, frighteningdisplays of driving, amazing scenes of the barrios, some stacked 6, 7, 8, 9 high(75% of Carcan´s live in these) - its very clear the revlution has hugechallenges in front of it, but that makes it all the more inspiring - itsdisgusting that a country so rich with oil has been run in a way that condems somany to such an existance....

And all through it, revolutionary messages on hugebillboards, masses of grafiti saying ¨Vota No¨(to the recall referendum againstChavez) ¨Viva Chavez¨¨Chavez no se va¨(Chavez, he wont go!), liberator SimonBolivar´s image - unfotunately camera baterry ran out so missed this jjourney,but HEAPs of other photos.A few delays and we were at our Hotel Cristal, and i ended up sharing withbrother Aaron and John from Adelaide. All the comrades - now about 40 - dine onpizza, pasta and many Polar Beers at a nearby haunt, all very cheap...even whenhome at 11:30, have we escaped the revolution? No! We turn on the tv andimmediately can make out the words ¨socialista¨, ¨revolucion¨and even try todecipher some of what a progressive priest says on a show called ¨Sermon porpaz¨(for peace)This morning (its 9:30am) we are off sightseeing, doing the Bolivar walk,gardens, miaflores palace (where the coup took place) and hopefully much more,in 33 deg heat! Tomorrow the brigade starts at the bolivarian university, beforeour group heads overnight ot merida.....

viva la revolucion
love to all
Pablo

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