Alan Woods' stirring speech and coherent argument at a meeting of about 150 people at the UEA massively boosted the interest of students and youth in the Venezuelan Revolution, thus proving the huge potential in this 21st century revolution for invigorating and giving hope to the workers and youth of the world.
Venezuela is the key to the world revolution and the alternative this offers to people everywhere who are sick and tired of the status quo, and the sense of hope, empowerment and the need to know more and help extend the Revolution that this key event engenders was typified at the meeting by a series of questions based mainly on the theme of "How can this be continued and furthered?" "Is there a danger the enthusiasm will fade?" and "Can Venezuela survive on its own?", and also by the unprecedented (at UEA at least) numbers of books and journals sold.
In the run up to Alan's meeting we had a successful meeting led off by Rob Sewell on Venezuela and Trotskyism, and it looks as if the continuing work towards highlighting the issue is paying off. Hopefully we can now build a series of important meetings and events to raise awareness of the key questions, such as workers' control and link the Revolution to Britain, through HOV and John McDonnell's campaign. Aptly, the meeting was held on the day of student elections (which more often than not take the form of popularity contests, with candidates handing out sweets as a bribe for votes) which were preceded by a debate and public question time between the various candidates, garnering an audience of twelve! The contradiction between the scales of the two meetings is a brilliant metaphor for why apathy towards bourgeois politics exists, and how revolution is the only way to change this.
All this reflects two things - that the Venezuelan Revolution truly is the key to the world revolution and a fantastic draw for the youth, and that ‘patiently explaining', consistent work, honesty and discussion are the best and only methods for building solidarity with it.
We must build on this success and make Norwich a stronghold for Hands off Venezuela. This is the best and most concrete way to defend the Venezuelan Revolution! Viva La Revolución!
A student captured the whole talk on his mobile phone and uploaded the video footage to the internet. The links below give a good idea of the meeting even if the video quality is not so good.