Hi Everyone and Happy New Year!
Hands Off Venezuela and Pluto Books invite you to the book launch of "The Real Venezuela" by Iain Bruce, a British journalist and film-maker who has worked extensively in Latin America, at Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way,London W1T 5DL on Wednesday January 14th at 7.30pm, free entry. T
he author will be presenting his book, with additional speakers to be confirmed. Iain Bruce has made documentaries for Channel Four and the BBC and hasworked as a BBC correspondent in Brazil and in Venezuela. He is currently an adviser at Telesur, the Latin American news channel based in Caracas.His previous book for Pluto, The Porto Alegre Alternative, looked at experiences of direct democracy in Brazil. The Real Venezuela aims to grasp the significance of the political changes underway in Venezuela, by listening to the stories of the ordinary Venezuelans most directly affected. The book focuses on developments since the August 2004 referendum – the period described by President Hugo Chavez as “the revolution within the revolution”, intended to prepare the way for“a socialism of the 21st century”.
It starts from the grass-roots investigations carried out by the author when he was the BBC correspondent in Venezuela in 2004 and 2005. But it goes beyond these journalistic beginnings, returning to many of the same people and places over subsequent years. By following up the experiences of a these individuals and communities,most of them poor, The Real Venezuela tracks most of the key areas of change: oil-funded health and education programmes in the barrios;co-operatives and the plans for self-sufficient development; land reform;participatory democracy in workplaces and the beginnings of popular power in the neighbourhoods. How far have the changes announced in these areas really been carried through? Have the expectations of the revolution’s own core supporters been met? What is the balance between policies from above and initiatives from below? Is this indeed a novel path towards a new kind of socialism, or a reversion to earlier forms of paternalism? The result is a unique insight into where the political process in Venezuela is heading – and what exactly ‘socialism in the 21st century’might look like.
Best Bolivarian Wishes HOV London