Venezuela Speaks!
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223 pages

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For the last decade, Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution” has captured international attention. Poverty, inequality, and unemployment have all dropped, while health, education, and living standards have seen a commensurate rise. The international mainstream media has focused predominantly on Venezuela’s controversial leader, President Hugo Chavez, who has routinely been in the headlines. But without the active participation of large and diverse sectors of society, Chavez’s moment on the scene would have ended long ago.

Venezuela Speaks!: Voices from the Grassroots is a collection of interviews with activists and participants from across Venezuela’s social movements. From community media to land reform; cooperatives to communal councils, from the labor movement to the Afro-Venezuelan network, Venezuela Speaks! sheds light on the complex realities within the Bolivarian Revolution. These interviews offer a compelling oral history of Venezuela’s democratic revolution, from the bottom up.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 janvier 2010
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781604862942
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.




Table of Contents
Orginizations & Abbrevations
Spanish Translations
Author Biographies
“Michael Fox, Carlos Martinez, and JoJo Farrell cut through the mist that usually surrounds discussions of Venezuela to enter a world of impressive political and cultural diversity. Venezuela Speaks! is a geography of struggle, a sociology of passion, and an ethnography of hope, of the unrelenting insistence that people have a right to control their own lives, and that in doing so, a better world will be made.”
—Greg Grandin, author of Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism.
“Venezuela Speaks! provides a platform for Venezuelan revolutionaries to speak for themselves, to tell their own stories, to use their own words to explain the Bolivarian Revolution. Unadulterated, captivating, and a must read for anyone who wishes to truly understand today’s Venezuela and its historic political process.”
—Chesa Boudin, author of Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America and The Venezuelan Revolution: 100 Questions – 100 Answers.
“The authors of this book are not starry-eyed ideologues; they are experienced activists who have traveled the world observing diverse efforts at ending poverty and injustice. They portray a Venezuela in struggle that we can all learn lessons from in our efforts to save humanity from itself.”
—Dr. Kevin Danaher, Co-Founder, Global Exchange and Green Festivals.
“I once asked a woman in Caracas if she was a follower of President Chávez. She replied, “No. He is following my ideas.” Venezuela Speaks!: Voices from the Grassroots gives the English reader an opportunity to hear some of these ideas directly from the mouths of those whom Chávez is trying to follow.”
—Charlie Hardy, author of Cowboy in Caracas: A North American’s Memoir of Venezuela’s Democratic Revolution.
“This collection of brilliantly organized interviews embraces the complexity of Venezuela’s hopeful revolution without simplifying or understating the country’s grassroots fervor. It brings the voices of those who share the burdens and benefits of transforming Venezuela directly to the reader, straight from the hearts and streets of a nation going through historic changes.”
—Benjamin Dangl, author of Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America and editor of the Latin American news website Upside Down World.
“Venezuela Speaks! is… a kind of radical hearing aid – appearing at a time when North Americans especially would benefit from doing a lot of listening.”
—Max Elbaum, author of Revolution in the Air, and editor of the War Times/Tiempo de Guerras.
“This book is a must-read for those who have gone through the secondary books on the Chávez phenomenon and have gotten a fair share of analysis and theory. Venezuela Speaks! represents a necessary balance to these works by providing extremely interesting insights from the “people” in their own words.”
—Steve Ellner has been a professor at the Universidad de Oriente in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela since 1977. His most recent book is Rethinking Venezuelan Politics: Class, Conflict and the Chávez Phenomenon.
“This book is a must read for all who are interested in the critical dynamic between grassroots social movements and sympathetic governments. It is clearly not enough to elect somebody different, though that helps; movements must stay mobilized and must still struggle in contested terrain for every real gain. Venezuela Speaks! shows us how.”
—Peter Rosset, author of Promised Land: Competing Visions of Agrarian Reform and Food is Different.
“The revolution within the revolution are the many, powerful voices of the everyday people of Venezuela. They have suffered and survived the era of the oligarchy; they rose up in El Caracazo (1989), dreaming of another world; they voted in numbers and often for the Bolivarian regime, and they came out on the streets to defend their government in 2002. These are the people. They have words. Venezuela Speaks! gives us a taste of them.”
—Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.
“When we hear about Venezuela, we often hear about the Chávez administration, or the opposition. But we hear very little about the ordinary people who are running the literacy programs, staffing the missions, and creating a radio collective or a worker cooperative. This book gives us some of those voices, which are essential to broadening the debate about contemporary Venezuela.”
—Sujatha Fernandes, author of Who can Stop the Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela.
Image A: Venezuela – 2008 Population, roughly 28 Million People.
Few places are easily understood from the outside, but following the 2006 Venezuela Presidential elections, it became clear that the international media was increasingly losing its touch on Venezuelan reality. The idea for this book took shape during this period, with innumerable support from countless individuals.
First and foremost, we are grateful to the countless Venezuelans who took the time to sit down with us for many hours and share their experiences and histories. Many appear in this book. Many do not. If not for their support, advice, suggestions and contacts, Venezuela Speaks! would never have made it past the idea stage.
Our transcribers were integral in putting these people’s words on to the page. Among them, many thanks to Angela Pinto, Leonela Delgado, Cesar David Escalona Diaz, and Erwin Cox.
We are grateful to the advice and support provided by Chesa Boudin, Eva Golinger, Greg Wilpert, Kirsten Moller, and Kevin Danaher, who helped to get this project off the ground. Thank you also to Juan Carlos Rodríguez; Roberto Rodríguez; the Casa Azul; ANMCLA; Antonio Frausto; Alvaro Cabrera; Alvaro Morillo; Lisette Torrealba; Marcela Fica and Roberto Fogolin; Julia Pereira and the Centro Internacional Miranda; Maria de Los Angeles Peña and Fundayacucho; and Micaela Ovelar and Patrick Leet at the Bolivarian University. Edward Ellis, Jennifer Martinez, Megan Hise, Karin Orr, Jill Replogle, Zachary Hurwitz, Marc Becker, John Gibler, Yeiber Cano, Jordan Klein, and Maryann Fox all took a look at early sections of the manuscript, and helped with countless suggestions, revisions, and edits. Marybeth Stocking supported us as an intern in the early stages of the manuscript with transcribing, translating, and editing. Greg Wilpert revised sections of the manuscript and we are honored to have him write the prologue to the book. Leo Lameda, Skipper Bailey, and Dario Azzellini’s guidance and advice were also significant for the development of the book.
James Suggett could almost be considered a co-editor, providing us with contacts, conducting and transcribing the interview with Cesar Carrero, adding his suggestions and comments to numerous chapters, and acquiring last-minute pictures of María Vicenta. Michael Fox’s loving wife, Sílvia Leindecker, deserves extra special recognition for her constant support and understanding through the many late nights. Sílvia is the photographer behind many of the pictures in the book, and spent many long hours over the last year editing and preparing all of the photographs for publication. Lainie Cassel, Michael Fox, Carlos Martinez and Edward Ellis also contributed photographs.
Kate Mcmahon, JoJo Farrell’s beautiful fiancé, sacrificed much for this book. She edited and re-edited, and remains his inspiration.
Many thanks to Ramsey Kanaan and the rest of PM Press for running with the project. Countless gratitude to both Ramsey and our editor, Romy Ruukel, for their professional and timely work.
The contact we made with the various people presented in this book would have been impossible without the foundation provided by the work of organizations such as Global Exchange and Venezuelanalysis. The Venezuelanalysis crew deserves special thanks for continuing to produce some of the most in-depth on-the-ground investigative English news on Venezuela despite economic hard times. Perhaps most importantly, this book would not be a reality without the constant support and encouragement from Kirsten Moller and Global Exchange. We are indebted for their excitement and support.
And, of course, many thanks to our parents, who gave us the wings to embark on this type of project; families; friends; anyone we may have forgotten to mention here; and countless others who played a pivotal role in helping bring this book to fruition. We are grateful, and hope that the words on these pages will bring the international community that much

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