We must change our evil ways. How many of us, as well as the Teabaggers work for the evil Corporation? How many of us depend on the evil Corporation for our food, water, cell phone communications, electricity and even our news media? We know that the Corporations are buying off our politicians yet we have allowed the Corporation to take over every aspect of our lives.
Where once their were small family farms there is Agribusiness. Where we once had small mom and pop stores we have big box conglomerates. Where we once passed our own community rules the United Nations now makes our rules for us.
Those that pretend this all happened in a natural non-violent way needs to study the real history of Corporate Capitalism that has taken over our lives. Take back our country? First we need to take back our lives.
With cell phones, ipods, HDTV, Corporate Entertainment, and Corporate News Providers as well as Corporate ISP providers where in our lives is the people owned businesses and people own media?
We have a Corporate Entity, a fictional person ruling over and controlling real people and real things. Talk about BORG BROTHER, its already here and growing like a virus embedding itself into our lives at our power points.
The Corporate CEOs and the Politicians are ruled by the needs of the Corporation. Its been a bloody take over at times but mostly silent weapons for silent wars as Corporations silently take over our Government and our communities.


It is not Chavez. It is the People.

Revolutionary youth mobilise in Caracas, February 12, 2010.Photo by ABN.

Today, April 14, is a very special date in Venezuelan history – the 8th anniversary of the return to power by President Hugo Chávez after the failed coup d’état, initiated on April 11, 2002. On April 11 some members of the military high command, supported by the private television channels, the Metropolitan Police and Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecámaras) moved against the government, detaining President Chávez and senior members of his government. They demanded but failed to obtain his resignation and first took him to Fort Tiuna just west of the city. Pedro Carmona, president of Fedecámaras was installed as interim president.

Carmona issued a decree (the Carmona Decree), dissolving the National Assembly and Supreme Court, and voiding the 1999 Constitution. On the evening of April 12 the golpistas flew the real president to the remote naval base of Turiamo, near Puerto Cabello in the Caribbean, where he was threatened with assassination. At one point one officer declared to another, “If you kill the president here we’ll all be killing one another.” But the most important story in this saga was about the people who demanded and got their president back, ending the coup and restoring their government.

Petare is one of the largest grand barrios in Latin America with a population of 1.7 million people. It encompasses about 150 barrios within. Jose Felix Ribas barrio (photo) is one of them, resting on an eastern mountainside of Caracas, home to 120,000 Venezuelans. Most of them are fervent revolutionaries and supporters of President Chávez.Photo by Emma Lynch, BBC

On my first visit to Venezuela in 2004-5, I walked through Baruta, one of the great barrios that cascades down a Caracas mountainside like a waterfall in blocks of red-roof, multicolored houses stacked one above the other, separated by crowded narrow streets and walkways. With “Oscar”, my translator & guide at my side and recorder and camera in hand, I was seeking my first interviews of the Venezuelan people. Oscar first introduced me to a policeman stationed at a security kiosk on a busy intersection. The policeman took my name and passport number before nodding for us to pass into the heart of the barrio. As we walked up a typical narrow passage between houses and stores, I suddenly spied an elderly woman who was standing behind the counter of her little store with only a pull-down, metal security gate, separating her store from the street. She sold one thing only – watches that cost about $10 or less.

Pointing, I told Oscar, “I’d like to interview her.” She stood behind her counter, primly dressed in purple with a bright scarf tying back her gray hair. As she saw this gringo approaching she seemed to stiffen up a bit, squaring off to face me while looking over the shoulder of a customer. After her customer left, Oscar introduced me, “Senora, this is my friend Les, a perodista, visiting from the United States and he would like to interview you for a publication on his website.” She nodded in agreement without a word and I asked her a few benign, preliminary questions; then, “In the United States we have been hearing a lot about your country and many of us are very curious about what’s happening here in Venezuela.” She nodded again. – “In the United States, we have read many things about the way they kidnapped your president 2 years ago but we’d like to know from people like you what really happened at that time.”

This small, trim woman, 75 years of age, firmly planted physically and ideologically, replied with a serious tone, “Well, what would you like to know?”. Frankly a little intimidated by her, I asked, “Well, for example, if you don’t mind saying, where were you on April 11, 2002 when they came to Miraflores Palace and took the president away?”. Setting herself squarely on two feet and placing her wrinkled hands on the glass countertop over her watch display, she immediately replied, “I was right here – in my store!” – “Can you tell me what happened that day?”. She relaxed a bit and explained,

“Well, we heard some rumors about something going on at Miraflores and everyone turned their televisions on but there were only cartoons on all the channels. We couldn’t get any news on the television, but we had these,” as her hand shot up from behind the counter with a mobile telephone. “And we had them!” – pointing to a motor bike sitting in front of her store. “So with our telephones and the boys on the motos, we found out and we got word around that they kidnapped our president and he didn’t resign like some people said.”

“And then?”, I asked. Matter of factly she replied, “Well, the next day we walked down there – all of us – to Miraflores and demanded that they bring our president back.” (It took me an hour to get to her store by bus from Central Caracas.)

On April 12, hundreds of thousands, possibly a million of the newly liberated poor, poured down from the barrios surrounding Caracas and other poor neighborhoods into Central Caracas, stormed the gates of Miraflores, facing the soldiers, looking down the barrels of automatic weapons, refusing to leave and demanding that their president be brought back to his democratically-elected place. The troops refused to fire on their own people and instead retook the presidential palace without firing a shot. They brought President Chávez back on a military helicopter in the small hours, about 3 a.m. on April 13 to the masses who were still waiting outside the gates at Miraflores. The infamous coup ended 47 hours after it began and its criminal architects who were not shot or even imprisoned have faded into oblivion. Only their snipers who shot people down in the street are in prison today.

Even today, 8 years later, when I hear the arguments of the opposition and ask them about the 2002 coup, they denounce it. They no longer want to be identified with that massive failure even though many of them supported it at the time and would still be delighted to see the government overthrown, but successfully the next time. Meanwhile, the Bolivarian Revolution grows progressively stronger constructing a socialist society, without violence or repression and according to constitutional law in a democratic process. It doesn’t move as rapidly as some would like, but El Presidente confidently smiles and reminds us, “Poco poco”. (step by step)

Returning to my story in Barrio Baruta, I then ventured to tell this stately, elegant woman of years, “I have read stories – I don’t know if they are true or not – that there are people who want to remove your president even if means assassinating him.” I asked, “What would you and your friends do if they assassinated President Chávez?” Her broad, disarming smile, the first in this interview, surprised and puzzled me, considering the nature of my question …

“Oh Señor, you don’t understand, do you! We love our president, but this is not his revolution. This is our revolution and it will always be the revolution of the people. If President Chávez goes, we will miss him dearly but we will still be here. We are revolutionaries and we will always be here. We will never go back!”

I thanked the woman who owned the little barrio watch store and walked away, spirit rising and tears on my cheeks flowing from my first meeting with people who now realize their power over any government that would ever think about controlling them or their destiny. It was on my first visit to Venezuela, that day in Barrio Baruta, that I knew I had to live with them and learn from them things that I never before imagined.

Bio and more essays by Les Blough

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