This June, we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo. As we experience a pandemic and the most violent and criminal blockade in the history of Venezuela, we will also be welcoming friends and allies of the Bolivarian Revolution to commemorate. It is not a date in the distant past but the dawn of a new horizon for Venezuelan socialism and the urgent struggle that all humanity must undertake to overcome the current exploitation model.
The battle of Carabobo had been won even before it started. Victory was not a surprise but was instead the outcome of a process started years earlier, which combined the determination of a people to obtain their collective political freedom and their emancipation. It counted with the genius and selflessness of Simon Bolivar as a revolutionary leader who prepared the conditions for a victory that would make South American independence irreversible.
The lessons are still the same. The unity of all forces committed to emancipation is key. Commitment and revolutionary ethics are key. The unity of the working class throughout the world is key for crafting a new future and a new society. We welcome the Carabobo bicentennial, and we welcome our new horizon.
• The world mourned the passing of Yuan Longping, the Chinese scientist who developed hybrid rice. Motivated by the fight against hunger, after helping millions overcome hunger in China, he trained over 14 thousand technicians in 80 countries. As news of his passing emerged, thousands of people in Hunan Province took to the streets to pay tribute to Yuan.
• Brazilians took to the streets on May 29th in response to a call by the Brazil People’s Front and the People Without Fear Front, against Bolsonaro and in demand of vaccines for all of Brazil. Thousands of protesters filled the streets of the 27 state capitals and over 100 other cities in this nationwide protest. Brazilians also demanded state funds to aid working families and stood up against what they have described as a negligent policy to combat Covid-19, which amounts to genocide.
• A year after the murder of George Floyd, the Simon Bolivar Institute held a discussion on systemic racism in the United States and Colombia. Professor Akinyele Umoja from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement said, “with the U.S. imperialist state, black communities are still subjected to occupation… Police are not seen in our communities as people that protect and serve, they’re seen as instruments of occupation”. Encouraging signs of change were also identified. Professor August Nimtz said: “What happened a year ago was the beginning of liberation, a liberation thanks to the masses; and second, most importantly, it was a multi-racial protest, more than half of the participants were Caucasian… we had never seen that before”. Likewise, in the case of Colombia, Charo Mina Rojas spoke of the protests and the repression of Afro-Colombians and concluded that “an anti-racist position is the only one that will help us dismantle, not only racism but the system that sustains it, which is capitalism.”
• Streets all over Venezuela were filled with caravans in solidarity with Cuba on May 29 and 30, demanding the end of the criminal blockade imposed by the United States. Caracas, Maracaibo, Maracay, and other cities joined and expressed gratitude towards Cuba and their medical brigades, which have been at the forefront of combatting this global pandemic. Caracas also marched on May 25th to defend Palestine and denounce the most recent aggression from Israeli forces.
• This week, on the 150th anniversary of the fall of the Paris Commune, the Simon Bolivar Institute joined a group of 27 publishers in 15 countries to publish Paris Commune 150 in 18 languages. The legacy of the Paris Commune should always inspire us in creating our new horizons, particularly in Venezuela, where we struggle to build our communal society with justice, solidarity, and peace.
• We remember Maurice Bishop, born on May 29th, 1944. Leader of the New Jewel Movement in Grenada, overthrown by imperialism in 1983. “This is the true meaning of revolutionary democracy. It is a growth in the confidence in the power of ordinary people to transform their country and thus transform themselves. It is the growth in the appreciation of people organizing, deciding, creating together. It is a growth of fraternal love”.