President Chavez dedicates 20 minutes to In Defence of Marxism on the TV programme "Alo Presidente"*

Chavez, the President of Venezuela, does a regular TV programme, Alo Presidente. In the latest one he dedicated twenty minutes to In Defence of Marxism (www.marxist.com). Chavez had received a copy of Reason in Revolt sent to him and personally signed by Alan Woods. Chavez spent the whole time on the programme with the book in his hands. And towards the end of the programme, after having congratulated Zapatero and the Spanish people for having won the elections, he explained that the book had been sent to him by Alan Woods.

He read out quite a long quote from the book, the bit in the section on physics which explains the need for a catalyst to accelerate the molecular processes in the transitional phase, of the change from one physical state to another. He ended by quoting the bit that says that if the catalyst is missing the transitional phase will be longer, etc. Then he raised the idea that the "misiones educativas" [special literacy programmes], the Plan Vuelvan Caras (jobs), and the local elections in August must become the catalyst of the revolutionary process in Venezuela.

He then went on to explain that Alan Woods is a leading figure of the publication In Defence of Marxism, that in the Spanish speaking countries is represented by the Spanish journal El Militante. Then he read out Alan's note to Chavez in the book and also a part of the accompanying letter. First he read the bit that explains that Reason in Revolt was written in 1995 when internationally the bourgeoisie was launching an offensive against the ideas of socialism, taking advantage of the collapse of Stalinism.

Then he read the whole of the Hands off Venezuela international statement and he explained that In Defence of Marxism were the organisers of this campaign. He quoted Manzoor Ahmed, one of the Marxist MPs elected to the Pakistani Parliament and then listed the other Pakistani MPs who had signed the Hands off Venezuela appeal. He also read out other signatories. This led to some laughter because of the way some of the names were pronounced. The audience were splitting their sides laughing, and Chavez joined in.

He read out from the list of signatories many of the names. He mentioned Pepe Martin, many from the PSOE and the UGT, Pilar in the name of the Telefonica Moviles union committee, Txus from Vitoria. He then read out several from Italy. He spent a lot of time in reading out the French, German and US signatories. He also read out signatures from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Greece, India, Iran, Luxemburg, Mexico, Peru, Sweden and Britain.

At the end he passed the list to the "canciller" (Foreign Minister) and to his Department for International Relations and he told them that they must put In Defence of Marxism in touch with all the others that support the Bolivarian Revolution and he ended by saying that more and more, people belonging to different left currents are beginning to realise that the Bolivarian Revolution is part of their own project to build an international alternative to Neo-liberalism and Globalisation.

What this demonstrates is that solidarity action with Venezuela is very important and that any action that our supporters organise around the world should be reported to us. Any action that you carry out will get into the Venezuelan press; the people like to hear about it.

March 22, 2004