Went with a friend today
Really powerful contributions from ambassdors for Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua – reflecting on the legacy of Hugo Chavez. Also amazing heartfelt contributions from the great Ken Livingstone and George Galloway.
Ken Livingstone hosted Chavez in 2006 in London. What struck Ken most was how as a president he was an ordinary guy committed to helping and empowering ordinary people. He achieved that but you never hear this in mainstream media.
The multiple ideological pronged assault on Latin America by its Northern neighbour through military coups, assassinations, sanctions, propaganda, now NATO (Colombia) and attempts to force trade agreements.
Speeches by the distinguished female ambassadors referred to the great solidarity between Latin American countries – establishing their own regional relationships, cooperation and peace.
A letter from Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez was read out (the event was being recorded) and Fidel Castro reflected on their genuine friendship, shared goals and relationships in spite of very different life backgrounds.
Social programs with their own regional unity and cooperation have achieved in Venezuela during Chavez leadership:
- 3.5 million saved from blindness
- 1.2 million low cost homes for the poorest
- Tenfold increase in entitlement to state pension
- Massive provision of education and literacy programmes
- A national health service
- By 2015 the exclusion gap in ability to vote 1.7% through widescale implementation of voting centres in poorer neighbourhoods and electronic identity registration
- Named social programs after national heroes to successfully encourage implementation.
- Gender gap reduced from over 60th in the world to 6th
- Reduced poverty from 48% to 24%
Ken Livingstone “All you can do is plough on and don’t let lies and smears get to you”
Without the right movement, the right ideas, this could not succeed. Those who hated Chavez did so because he empowered those without power. He renewed faith, hope and dignity.
Our event today is being wrapped up by @georgegalloway speaking powerfully , reflecting on Allende and how the history of Latin America demonstrates that the left and progressives cause is the advance of democracy and empowerment- in the teeth of bitter opposition #Chavez20 pic.twitter.com/fYA1vkNcKn
— VSC (@VenSolidarity) October 13, 2018
Hugo Chavez in London: