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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 May 2006

Chávez in London

The Venezuelan president's 'vision of socialism'

VISITS BY presidents to other countries are usually met with protests or indifference, but the visit by Hugo Chávez to London on Sunday was met by hundreds of people ready to welcome him to the city and eager to listen to what he had to say.

Denise Dudley

The late change of venue meant that many people were turned away at the door, although there was still room for at least 100 more people inside.

Chávez, having a reputation for his long speeches, spoke for around four hours. He appeared on stage alongside New Labour London mayor, Ken Livingstone, several members of his own government and various people associated with Venezuela support campaigns.

His speech covered a lot of ground - from his take on socialism, to historic Bolivarian revolutionaries, capitalism, imperialism and the threat to Iran.

Chávez thanked Ken Livingstone personally for his support and spoke of the 'two centuries of understanding between Britain and Venezuela'. He also thanked the British parliament and spoke of him and Ken having similar visions!

At various points in the speech, he returned to the topic of the 'Venezuelan revolution'. Chávez said that socialism was the only way forward, that we needed a socialism for humanity, that we should not see socialism purely as an economic system ('as in Russia'), but as a social system too.

There is no doubt that Chávez is a charismatic leader, he has done a lot for ordinary Venezuelans to improve their working conditions. He is recognised as one of the most prominent leaders to stand up to US Imperialism.

But where does he see the Venezuela revolution going? Chávez says that he and Ken will not be around to see the fruition of their efforts. In other words, he does not believe that a socialist revolution will be completed in Venezuela - at least not in his lifetime.

As socialists, we know that it will be the working class in Venezuela who will ultimately decide this - not just president Chávez - and definitely not Ken Livingstone!


See also: Appeal: Solidarity with Venezuelan workers

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In The Socialist 18 May 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Blair's market madness wrecking the NHS

Save jobs and services


Global Warming

Environment: not safe in their hands


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Join the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


International socialist news and analysis

The Venezuelan president's 'vision of socialism'

Building on our election successes

Solidarity with Venezuelan workers

Female factory workers in Russia start hunger strike

Ailing German capitalism slashes workers' wages and conditions

Germany: WASG rebels suspended

Massive European Social Forum rally in Athens


Socialist Students

How students and staff saved Chemistry at Sussex


Pensions

Pensions 'crisis' - working class will pay the price

Rail unions battle over pensions


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Postal workers prepare for action

Privatisation fails workers and customers

Fighting strategy needed to save jobs

Northumbria lecturers forced to strike

Lecturers continue the fight for decent pay

A matter of life and death


 

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