Re: P.S re Venezuela

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 22:39:15 EDT

At 22:20 16/05/2004, Paul Z wrote:
>--On Sunday, May 16, 2004 10:12 PM -0400 "michael a. lebowitz"
><mlebowit@SFU.CA> wrote:
>>addressing a demonstration today called to protest foreign
>>intervention (touched off by the fluke discovery last Saturday of the
>>Colombian paramilitaries training on a ranch owned by a Cuban emigre who
>>has been actively calling for a coup), Chavez indicated that the
>>revolution has entered a new phase-- one explicitly anti-imperialist--
>>and announced that in this situation it is necessary to arm the people.
>This would be major, and something Allende refused to do!  Any idea what it
>is to actually mean in practice, Michael?

Hi Paul,
         It is unclear at the moment (at least to me). He talked
specifically about expanding the army, creating reserves and third, arming
the people. The usually supercilious commentator on 'Alo Citizen' (which
comes on Globovision immediately after 'Alo Presidente', not held today
because Chavez spoke at the demo--- broadcast on all the channels in a
'chain') was very sombre, and his interpretation was that it meant the
formation of peoples' militias. Chavez did talk about the need for some of
the ex-military supporters in the government (eg., jesse chacon, minister
of communication) to play a role in working with civilians in this
expansion of the civic-military union. My only caution is that I would hope
that the experience with the local planning committees would not be
reproduced--- the opposition, after years of creating clientalist
structures, is so much more experienced than the more spontaneous Chavists
in organising quickly to take over new structures. I'll keep you posted.
         in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at

Residencias Anauco Suites
Departamento 601
Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1
Caracas, Venezuela
(58-212) 573-4111
fax: (58-212) 573-7724

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