Chavismo in Venezuela
Bolivarianism is institutionalized.
by Stephen Lendman
Chavez remains hospitalized. He's recovering from complicated cancer surgery. It's his fourth in 18 months.
His scheduled January 10 inauguration was postponed. Venezuelans turned out en masse. Tens of thousands gathered outside Caracas' Palacio de Miraflores. It's Chavez's official workplace.
Many others rallied throughout the capital. Red-shirted supporters were everywhere. Sound trucks aired Chavez campaign music.
People danced. The mood was celebratory. Air Force jets flew overhead. Vendors sold Bolivarian memorabilia.
Chavez and Simon Bolivar photos were displayed. Their images adorned shirts. Signs read "I am Chavez." "Chavez is the heart of the people." Other Chavistas expressed support their way.
"Today we are all Chavez," people said. They symbolically took the oath of office in his absence.
Chavismo without Chavez expressed mass support in his absence. A recording aired him singing the national anthem. He ended saying "Long live the Bolivarian Revolution."
"Who said Chavez is absent," former Paraguay President Fernando Lugo said. Obama conspired with right-wing Paraguayan politicians to oust him. Junta power replaced him. Venezuelans are resolute not to let it happen to them.
Evo Morales urged more popular support. "My friends," he said, "the situation of our brother Hugo Chavez is not only a concern of the Venezuelan people, but of all those who are a part of this struggle."
"The best tribute and solidarity with Chavez is unity. Let's keep unity between our countries".This gathering of Chavez supporters is really enviable." It reflects Venezuelans' "capacity for mobilization."
Other leaders and dignitaries expressed similar support. Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, called Thursday's rally "the largest concentration of people (he'd) ever addressed in (his) life."
Nationwide television aired it. Millions watched or rallied nationwide.
Dominican President Eliud Williams said "We are fervently supporting Venezuela, and we are here to say to our friend (Vice President Nicolas) Maduro that although your leader is going through a difficult time, you can count on Dominica as a reliable friend."