by Bill Bonnar
When I arrived in Caracas I expected to walk into the middle of a political battleground – with fighting in the streets and large anti government protests. After all, this is what the western media are telling us – nothing could be further from the truth. Walking around Caracas there is an air of normality, with people simply going about their business.
As for the opposition, they are simply nowhere to be seen and are almost entirely located in the wealthy middle class suburbs in the outskirts of the city.
Support for the government appears strong. This has been shown by the large numbers signing the petition against American aggression and the carnival atmosphere around the petition in the main square. Since Monday around 5 million people have signed.
The economic situation remains difficult for most people – it is clear that the economic sanctions and a great deal of domestic economic sabotage are now driving this. While the opposition call for American political and military intervention, it is clear they are really waging and economic war against the Venezuelan people in the hope that they will become so desperate they will support any kind of change.
At first sight there is no evidence that this is working.
The news that secret talks have taken place between the Venezuelan Government and the United States has dominated the news here. It is clearly seen as a failure of the American aggression to force change and a triumph for the Venezuelan Revolution which remains strong against everything that has been thrown at them.
What has become clear to me is that the British media version of events is simply anti government propaganda. It needs to be exposed for the lies that they are.
As for the Scottish Socialist Party visit, this has been met with friendliness and interest – as was shown by my participation in a huge televised political rally last night. It was broadcast live on national television to an audience of six million people.
Bill Bonnar is the international secretary of the Scottish Socialist Party.
He will be speaking about his experiences in Venezuela at various public meetings across Scotland.
Ayrshire – Mon 2nd September, 7pm at the Vineburgh Community Centre, Irvine
Edinburgh – Tues 27th Aug, 7pm at the Jury’s Inn (Tickets)
Glasgow – 5th Sept, 7pm at the Pearce Institute in Govan
Inverness – TBC
Stirling – 18th September at Stirling University