The European Venezuela solidarity movement meets in Amsterdam

hov_delegat_amsterdam_09-thumb.jpgThis is a report from the HOV delegation to the first all-European gathering of Venezuela solidarity organisations in Amsterdam with over 100 participants from different solidairty organisations around Europe. The HOV delegation consisted of comrades from Poland, Hungary, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and Portugal.

hov_delegat_amsterdam_09.jpgOn June 19 the first all-European gathering of solidarity with Bolivarian Revolution and the socialism of the 21st century started.

More than 100 people gathered at the IIEC to listen to the opening remarks of the Venezuelan ambassador to the Netherlands.

A new concept of the international solidarity based on the people‘s diplomacy ( “La diplomacia de los pueblos”) was defended – an exchange between communities and not just an exchange between nations. The ambassador made an appeal to overcome authoritarian practices and to engage in a deep transformation of the consciousness of the people, to create the “new man” that Che Guevara talked about. Egalitarian international relations should be the basis for the new international order.

After the initial speech, a representative for the Venezuelan Vice minister for External relations in Europe explained the challenges of the Venezuelan foreign policy and how the international media distorts the truth: if there is cooperation, they talk about intervention and in Venezuela about waste of resources. In that sense it was clear that Spain, especially the Spanish bourgeois media, is a centre of propaganda. It is in this country where the best allies of the opposition are based.

Finally, the President of IIEC made some remarks, welcomiming the event and Rodrigo Rojas. Representatives of the Bolivarian circle of Amsterdam said that this event is yet another battle against capitalism. Then the actual conference started.

Fernando Soto Rojas, a long standing leader of the Socialist League (Liga Socialista) and member of the PSUV (the unified socialist party) opened the main debate with a historical overview of the struggles of humanity from primitive communism to the Spanish colonisation and the fight for sovereignty.

The hideous class and race division that Bolivar mentioned. “For revolutionaries a revolution is more of a school than 20 years of preparations”, he said.

In the speech, really linked to the field of international relations, he said that he did not believe in the possibility of reforming UN, and that the issue of the state is the key debate: “The role of the state, tne building of a new state: a social and democratic state with social justice…” He also reflected on how the Russian Revolution took over the state in a bloodless manner and mentioned the role of Trotsky leading the Red Army.

He put forward the tasks for the weekend: to debate the Programme and how to go through national Bolivarianism to socialism, and how to build Socialism 21st Century in the international context, as Socialism can’t be built in one country.

hov_delegat_pablo_amsterdam_09.jpgOn the second day, Xiomara Tortosa from the Catia neighborhood and the Universidad Simon Rodriguez explained how the workshops were to work.

The Hands Off Venezuela delegation to the event was the second most important, after the Bolivarian circles. We had comrades from Poland, Hungary, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and Portugal.

Our role was to link the revolution with the events that are happening in Europe and how the Socialism of the 21st century can have a positive effect in the trade union, socialist and communist movements across Europe.

The workshops discussed a proposal of unity of work, which we welcomed, but we raised the issue that this unity has to come from the grass roots – that local, regional and national committees should elect their representatives. This was welcomed by all. In the end the organisers launched a series of proposals that will have to be implemented in the coming 12 months until the next event which was scheduled for July 2010 in Greece.

We consider that the event was satisfactory and that it was a good first step to establish more coordinated work in the solidarity movement and to widen the debate about Socialism and Revolution in Europe.