Hugo Chavez Peoples’ Defense Front Holds Second Assembly in Montreal

by Hugo Chavez Peoples’ Defense Front

66115_530563500347355_1037638663_n On the 230th birthday of the leader of the Latin American revolutions, Simon Bolivar (born July 24, 1783) and also in remembrance of the birth of Comandante Hugo Chavez (born July 28, 1954), over one hundred members of the Hugo Chavez Peoples’ Defense Front (HCPDF) held their second assembly in Montreal, Quebec on July 27th, 2013. The objectives of this intense work meeting were to strengthen the national network, to build solidarity, and to design a plan of action for the coming months. Further, the encounter aimed to promote and support social movements in Venezuela and in all Latin America, primarily the initiative of Social Movements towards ALBA . In attendance at the Assembly were delegates from across the country: Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Kitchener, Montreal (the host delegates) and members of First Nations communities.

The event began with a welcome and a blessing from a representative of the Kahnawake Mohawk people, who shared his experience of building relationships with the Bolivarian revolution such as the translation into Spanish of an explanation of the Great Law of Peace of the Indigenous Haudenosaunee people (which includes the Mohawk, Cayuga, Tuscarora, Seneca, Oneida, and Onondago nations). He offered his insights into the necessary transformations people must make in order to continue to carry out the changes and ideas that Hugo Chavez promoted. There were also messages of solidarity from the 32 County Sovereignty Movement from Ireland, as well as diplomatic representatives of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

62400_530586550345050_1425736010_n Pablo Vivanco (HCPDF Toronto) gave a firsthand report from the First Continental Assembly of Social Movements towards the Bolivarian Alliance for Our America (ALBA) that took place in Brazil which gave context into the key areas of work being identified. HCPDF Toronto area spokesperson Santiago Escobar stated “it is important that we work together with the social movements of the South, not only because they have successful organizational experiences, but also because we are trying to be part of a continental movement of resistance.”

The delegates split into groups to discuss how to strengthen and coordinate HCPDF work in the areas of popular, free and alternative communication, building popular power; and political, cultural and education program.

Joey Hartman, a Kitchener activist and participant in the conference stated that “We now have a better understanding of how to combat the attacks faced by the progressive movements in Latin America, giving us a way to move forward with concrete steps”. This feeling was also echoed by Dianne Hartman, a political organizer who said “I am glad I came, we achieved a lot in a short period of time”.

HCPDF next assembly is scheduled to be held in Toronto in October 2013.