Originally posted by rwingett
Terrific link. Here are some highlights. When debating what is wrong in the USA, there is room for hope that Latin American influence will bring this kind of political awareness and participatory democracy to the fore.
"in the rural areas they have conserved many elements of what is “ours”, from our ancestors, the indigenous communities, the afro-Venezuelan communities. These values are still there. For this reason it is easier in the rural areas than in the urban areas." Precisely - it is an awakening of non European, non Capitalist, non individualistic values that have been repressed for too long.
"when you go to the communities, the majority of those who are participating are women, and the majority of people who are studying in the missions are women. Historically in Venezuela and in Latin America, the societies have been very sexist and it has often been difficult for women to even leave the house. Before Chávez came to office, women’s participation was really rare. Women from the Left—from the vanguard—have always participated in social and political life. But now it is more widespread. I think that in the higher levels of the process, there are a number of valuable women doing incredible things." Women in the developed world are still considered irrelevant or marginal. The gains of feminism are actually very vulnerable.
"Another fundamental thing that has changed is that before 1998, there was no political debate in the barrios. I was part of a small vanguard that was resisting this, trying to raise political debate in the university. In the 1980s, it was only the students who would mobilize, come out on the streets. But now people are talking about politics everywhere, on the bus and in the bars. It is rare that two people having beers are not talking about politics." Right on. Shamefully inadequate political understanding is displayed on this and other forums.