Wednesday, January 28, 2009

marcha para la enmienda

a few days ago, just before leaving caracas, i got the chance to participate in a chavista rally and see the man in person

there was a sea of people dressed in red, all marching in support of different causes and representing different government groups.

i´ve heard from a lot of people, including people there, that they pretty much had to go if the government had helped them out in the past, or were in the process of supporting them, or they would be dropped

buses are sent out to all states to collect people that have been positively affected by chavez´s government, because a lot of them wouldn´t be able to afford to come out on their own

that´s not to say that most of the people there didn´t want to be there, because i think that they did. a lot of people were going wild with little horns, firecrackers, carrying people on their shoulders, it didn´t look like anyone was forced to be there

we made a poster to explain why we were there, to get people to stop glaring at us gring@s, and it ended up working really well

it says ¨united states citizens against the empire¨
venezuelans all throughout the march were asking to have their picture taken with us after that, and it was a great feeling to be so welcome

in the end, some venezuelans in the crowd found a marker and helped us make a second poster and pushed us to the front of the crowd when chavez came on to speak.
so i ended up about 20 feet away from him, but even so, i left pretty quickly because there were so many sweaty people pressed against me and chavez was rambling as usual

i think he´s looking right at me in this one^

i expected this moment to be much more powerful than it was. i think being here and being surrounded by propaganda and vocal political citizens at all times has made the government here, including seeing and hearing the president speak in person, an overwhelmingly ordinary part of every day life. i don´t know if i´ll ever be so close to someone so powerful ever again, but it felt natural

on that note, i want to take a moment to think about my own new president. while i know that a shift in practice and real change occuring is unlikely in the long run,
i really appreciate the shift in mentality that he represents.
i read this article yesterday:

and it made me really happy. it´s really simple, but the line about leading by listening and not dictating was so refreshing. of course i am waiting to see what will unfold, but right now i feel a sense of relief that obama´s picture is to the left of that article about my president rather than the disturbing mug of george w. bush. i like witnessing the beginning of his term from so far away, it´s helping to put a lot of things into perspective.


  1. Looks like youre kicking some ass. Im advising a club at UNCA and one of our primary goals is ending our empire abroad, so its nice that we are fighting the same fight. It is too bad that America has ruined the image of capitalism for everyone, I wish they would just hate America and not capitalism because what we do to them is really more like mercantilism.

    Also thats awesome that you got so close to Chavez, Obama's limo drove by me a few months ago so I was probably within ten feet of him and it is kind of a cool feeling.

    Make sure you dont spend all your time protesting and get out to the beaches! I heard they have some crazy surfing.

    Anyway, I like the stories and photos so keep em coming. Also you should add my blog to your blogroll... if you want to.

  2. never mind, you already added it, fanks

  3. Wow, totally awesome blog and amazing fotos. It's sad to hear that people are picked up to participate and that these rallies are not a spontaneous gathering of individuals excited about the revolucion. Still, I don't know how being so close to Chavez could feel just like an everyday event for you; however, I do understand what it is like to have an expectation of something phenomenal and then it ends up being just another event. I guess it is worth remembering: Chavez is, after all, just another human being.

    Have fun in Venezuela and please destroy capitalism while you are there. It will make the world a better place, regardless of what your friend Mike may believe.

  4. nice blog saroca! I was wondering... did they really send you up to the front with THAT sign? but then i saw. postcards

  5. por ahora, this blog is 100% VERDAD! anton

  6. oh, also, the mailing system here is super weird and postcards are hard to come by and i don´t think stamps even exist. but i´m working on it

  7. I can just see that picture coming up when you apply for a job with the CIA...

  8. chico says hi and is wondering if he will be able to relate to you after the revolution