On May 7, the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign made a presentation at the 1st
annual Winnipeg Social Forum, held at the University of Winnipeg in
Manitoba. Joining some 60 people who had participated in a full day of
presentations, workshops, discussions, musicians, food, and street theatre,
the supporters of Hands Off Venezuela and Fightback participated in a lively
discussion on the important issue of Venezuela. Cy Gonick of SMAC
facilitated the session.
John Peterson, from the U.S. HOV campaign, briefly introduced the film
"Venezuela Bolivariana", an overview of events in Venezuela from the 1989
"Caracazo" uprising to the aftermath of the 2002 coup against
democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez. Unfortunately, due to
technical difficulties, the film was cut short. Peterson picked up where
the film left off, bringing the audience up to the present situation in
Venezuela. Many questions were asked after his introduction, and many in
the enthusiastic and attentive audience expressed an interest in forming a
Winnipeg HOV committee. Peterson also informed the audience of the World
Festival of Students and Youth taking place this summer in Caracas,
Venezuela, and issued an appeal for trade unionists in Canada to support the
latest petition of the campaign (see Open Letter to U.S. Trade Unionists).
After the event, many of those present visited the HOV / Fightback table to
sign the HOV petition, pick up leaflets and other materials, ask further
questions, etc. There was broad interest in the revolutionary events taking
place in Venezuela, with eagerness to build solidarity and raise awareness
through film showings, visits by trade unionists from Venezuela, visits to
Venezuela to learn from the grassroots movement, etc.
"Winnipeg, with its history of class struggle and workers' movements is a
great place to build upon the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, which I believe
will play a huge role in the fight to allow the Venezuelan people
self-determination free from U.S. intervention. Educating the people of the
world about working, evolving alternatives to capitalism and imperialist
governments is key in the struggle for a world
wide workers' revolution," said Aly Malabar, an HOV supporter in Winnipeg.
A meeting to formally launch the Winnipeg HOV committee will be announced
soon. We invite you to join us in this important campaign. The effects of
the Venezuelan Revolution will be far-reaching, and will shape the politics
of the entire hemisphere in the coming years. Please write us at
to get involved or for more information.