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: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/world/middleeast/28arabiya.html?_r=2&hp
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.
Nos vamos como vinimos...gritando Libertad!
3 years ago