One month before the first anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death, countries such as Bolivia, Cuba, Argentina, and Russia are participating in a global campaign to pay homage to him and his political achievements.
The campaign is being lead by the Venezuelan government through its embassies. The government is calling on social movements, political parties, unions, intellectuals, artists, and sportspeople around the world to participate in the activity from 4 February until 15 April.
Already some countries are planning to hold forums, exhibitions, story competitions, concerts, marches, food festivals, cultural performances and print books.
According to a government statement, the aim of the campaign is to “mobilise public opinion around the figure of comandante Chavez, the importance of his legacy for the struggles of the people and the achievements… of the Bolivarian revolution… as well as to strengthen the movement of solidarity and in defence of the Venezuelan process”.
At the launch of the campaign in the Venezuelan embassy in Bolivia, the Venezuelan ambassador there, Cris Gonzalez said, “We owe the creation of new structures such as Unasur, Celac, and …the Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) to Chavez”.
“The crisis of capitalism has passed from a uni-polar world to a multi-polar world thanks to Latin America, and this wouldn’t have been possible without Chavez. He synthesised and articulated all of our dreams,” said Hugo Moldiz on behalf of the Bolivian Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defence of Humanity.
The Venezuelan embassy in Cuba has planned a formal ceremony, a conference, and a photo exhibition.
The Venezuelan embassy in Argentina is planning forums on 15 April, and a soccer tournament on 8 February between people from Colombia, Haiti, Paraguay, Bolivia, Russia, China, Argentina, and Venezuela. On 10 February a debate will be held and a photo exhibition.
In Ecuador, activities will be held for a month, beginning yesterday. In Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca there will be forums on topics such as twenty-first century socialism, social justice, and the role of women in processes of change. There will also be a homage ceremony, political-cultural activities, cinema forums, and a launching of the second edition of the Eternal Comandante magazine.
In Sydney, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) is organising a month of solidarity. It started it off yesterday with a public forum about the issues facing the Bolivarian revolution. A photo exhibition is being held from 28 February.
In Olinda, Brazil, the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) is planning to include the figure of Chavez among the giant dolls that are exhibited each year in the city’s Carnaval.
Other countries and cities already planning activities include Canada, New Orleans, New York, and Paraguay.