I am a Chavista and No one can stop this movement

 

Cierre de campana 2

By

William Camacaro and Isolina de La Cruz

 

The day was nice and threatened by a gentle rain early in the morning. People were walking, going about their daily routine. But something else brewing in the air. Thousands and thousands of people came to Bolivar Avenue, laughing, eating, playing, dancing, and listening to music. There was a sense of excitement, yet was all very normal.

Here in Caracas, the government’s party and biggest political force in Venezuela, the SOCIALIST PARTY OF VENEZUELA (PSUV), officially closed their campaign with a large rally in the historical Bolivar avenue.

On the streets, one could feel the hope and the love for the BOLIVARIAN revolution and their leaders. The legacy of Hugo Chávez was alive in the heart of the people! On the stage, president NICHOLAS Maduro and the First Combatant, Celia Flores, danced to the tune of salsa. The people danced and rejoiced watching their president as he moved to the beat of the music. The Venezuelans are a happy people and the music, dancing, and cheers were felt all over the emblematic Bolivar Avenue.

As we stood in the crowd, we were overcome by emotions when President Maduro introduced various candidates running for the National Assembly, including a young man only 22 years old, an indigenous young woman, and an Afro-descendant young woman, as well as the first woman to become Admiral in Chief of the Bolivarian National Army. As we stood there listening to the crowd cheer as each candidate was introduced, we couldn’t help but think, this would never be possible in a country without a real people’s revolution.

As we were trying to wrap our minds around this experience, the President grabbed the microphone and in a symbol of respect, love, and appreciation for the women of La Patria, he started to sing a famous Venezuelan song “Mujer”. The President, shared anecdotes  of his youth in Caracas, long before he was to become the first Chavista president. HE recalled walking the streets of Caracas without a cent in his pockets, organizing the community. Maduro has been the subject of mockery by the opposition for coming from a humble background and having been a bus driver, something that for the poor and the working class of this country brings a sense of pride.

“Maduro, Maduro el pueblo está contigo!” “Maduro Gracias Por Tanto Amor” could be read in a colorful banner. Another popular chant was, “como sea vamos pa’ la Asamblea.”

a huge red river covered the Bolivar Avenue, this last Thursday December 3.

On December 4 we were absorbed, like the rest of the country, in anticipation of the approaching Election Day. The city seems normal, a crowded Plaza Venezuela near our hotel continues to move at a fast pace. But, today is not a typical Friday. As the countdown begins for the final hours before the one of the most important elections yet faced by Chavismo. Elections are two days away and as the city is preparing for this historical event, Dry Laws or prohibition goes into effect. It is 4pm in Caracas when friend and I confirm that by 6pm public establishments will not be allowed to sell alcohol until next Monday.

cierre de campana

Immediately, we found out where the nearest liquor store was to run and stock up ( for our own use!)on some bottles of the Cacique 500 años (a typical Venezuelan rum). We went into the liquor store right on time and before the line outside of the store became long enough to

Discourage us from ensuring we had some alcohol for the weekend. While waiting on the slow line to pay for our bottles of Cacique, We were amused to see some young folks getting ready to celebrate the victory of their candidates. One of them, a young man, wearing a white shirt, bright red pants, and a big smile, complained over and over to his friend “I don’t want to wait. I hate the lines and you’re not even waiting in line for food so at least you could shut my mouth.” They all laughed and we continued to pay attention to their good humor. The line was not moving and the young man continued to insist that “he was going to leave because he hated the lines.” That was not long before changing his mind, saying to his friend, “on Monday, we will celebrate the victory because we will win.” And pointing to her red pants he said, “because this country will continue to be rojo/rojito.” Inside we smiled and felt hopeful for the results of the elections and for the revolutionary consciousness that the Bolivarian process has instilled in the children and youth of Venezuela.

As a lady told us in the closing of the campaign in the middle of a group of very animated people, “I am a Chavista and no one can stop this movement.”

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