Big enthusiasm for Venezuelan revolution in Denmark

Hands off Venezuela Denmark has organised a speaking tour with Patrick Larsen, an eyewitness to the revolutionary events in Venezuela. To date four meetings have been organised across the country with three more planned for this week.

Big enthusiasm for Venezuelan revolution in Denmark Hands Off Venezuela in Denmark launched a speaking tour, beginning on February 14, with Patrick Larsen, a journalist who has lived in Venezuela and worked for the Venezuelan Marxist paper, El Militante. Unfortunately, not much is known about Venezuela in Denmark. One can, however, read an editorial almost every week in the mainstream press hammering the Bolivarian revolution and president Chavez. Many people are therefore curious to know what is really going on in Venezuela and why its president is denouncing Bush in such violent terms in the UN council, etc.

The speaking tour organised by Hands Off Venezuela Denmark, with its modest resources, has been very successful. To date meetings have been held in four different cities across the country, and three more meetings have been planned for the coming week.

The first meeting took place in Vejle, a small city in the western part of Denmark. The meeting, which was organised together with Socialistisk Ungdomsfront (SUF) in Vejle, gathered some 20 people. Both young students and former militants of the Communist Party had come to hear about the exciting revolutionary process.

 Patrick Larsen gave a detailed account based on his experiences during his stay in the country, both explaining the background of the revolution and the concrete struggles going on in the country, the movement of occupied factories, the trade union situation, the struggles of the landless peasants, etc. He explained that the basic reason for this revolutionary upsurge was to be found in the fact that capitalism has failed completely in the whole of Latin America. It is urgently necessary that capitalism be finished off in Venezuela if the problems of the masses are to be solved.

Big enthusiasm for Venezuelan revolution in Denmark After this introduction, the famous documentary "The revolution will not be televised" was screened in a small cinema. This film, an amazing live account of the failed coup in 2002, found a very good response in the audience. People were very impressed with the film and the lecture and one person remarked jokingly afterwards "well, are we going to storm the regional council now?". (In the documentary thousands of Venezuelans gather around the Miraflores palace to overthrow the coup-plotters.)

 The meeting in Copenhagen was the most important achievement so far. Hands Off Venezuela had taken the initiative to call a broad meeting, inviting all sections of the left, visiting trade union centres and inviting them to come, going to the universities, etc. The whole Saturday was dedicated to this event in order to give a good and thorough introduction to the Venezuelan revolution and to allow different groups to give their opinion.

Big enthusiasm for Venezuelan revolution in Denmark Fifty people showed up for the meeting. There were people from Colombia and Chile and also the Venezuelan ambassador was present and thanked the organisers deeply for making the event possible. Two comrades from Hands Off Venezuela in Sweden had also taken the trouble to come to Copenhagen and they made a small intervention in the debate, explaining their experiences during their trip to Venezuela in December 2006.

 There were interventions by Christine Lundgaard from International Forum, Pelle Dragsted from Enhedslisten (The Red-Green Alliance) and Patrick Larsen from Socialistisk Standpunkt. Again, the documentary "The revolution will not be televised" was screened and many people asked us how to get copies.

The discussions focused on how to accelerate the revolution and how to avoid any new attempts at a coup d'état. What will happen if, for example, Chavez is assassinated by some elements of the opposition? Some people asked if there is any kind of party or revolutionary force that will be able to hinder a new coup or be able to unite the movement if Chavez is assassinated.

Big enthusiasm for Venezuelan revolution in Denmark Patrick Larsen, in his response, said that there are forces that have been mobilising to build a defence against the counter-revolution. This was the case for example, when a number of left-wing Bolivarian organisations, including the FNCEZ (The Front of Landless and Poor Peasants) and FRETECO (the movement of occupied factories), made an alliance called "Oligarcas temblad" (Oligarchs Tremble!), during the December elections last year. Their basic aim was to form a united front that would mobilise the masses if any attempt to destabilise the Chavez government were made.

 Another question raised at the meeting was the new Enabling Law that allows Chavez to rule by decree. In the mainstream media this law has been portrayed as "proof" of Chavez's dictatorial tendencies. Unfortunately, some people on the left have jumped on the bandwagon and are now opposed to this law. Patrick explained that the Enabling laws are not a new thing in Venezuelan politics, and that many governments - including the Chávez government - have used this method in the past. Secondly, the law is seen as a revolutionary measure by the Venezuelan masses, who view it as a way of speeding up the nationalisations. In such a situation it is completely incorrect to argue for a "sovereign parliament" and oppose this law. What revolutionaries should do is to build a revolutionary democracy from below that can guarantee that this new law is used to push the revolution forward.

Big enthusiasm for Venezuelan revolution in Denmark The meeting ended in a good and comradely spirit and many people signed up to join the Hands Off Venezuela campaign.

Smaller meetings were held with the SUF branches in Aalborg, Albertslund and Vesterbro. In those meetings there was a lot of interest in the revolution and a lot of questions about its background and peculiarities. In one of them, we were able to show videos from Sanitarios Maracay, a factory in Venezuela under workers' control. The pictures of radicalised workers discussing how to manage the factory and deciding everything themselves served once again to animate the audience.

Denmark is generally seen as a quiet and prosperous country. But recently things have changed and significant sectors of the working class have been involved in long strike action. The level of enthusiasm that the Hands Off Venezuela speaking tour has aroused can only be explained by the fact that many people are inspired by a revolutionary alternative.

Join / affiliate to the campaign!

Make a donation!

Hands Off Venezuela's financial resources are limited so we rely on our supporters around the world.  Please make a donation of any size towards building the campaign