HOUSTON – Almost 200 progressives here celebrated South American liberator Simon Bolivar’s birthday, July 24. Bolivar was born on that day in 1783. Similar celebrations were held in more than 100 cities in the United States and around the world.
Bolivar is considered one of the continent’s greatest generals and is called the George Washington of South America. His victories over Spanish colonialism won independence for Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. He is also called El Liberator (The Liberator).
The program honored Bolivar along with present day fighters for liberation and against imperialism, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Venezuela’s official name is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, having changed it after Chavez’s 1998 election and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution.
Speakers included a representative of Venezuela’s consulate general, along with local union, peace and civil rights activists.
The Venezuelan speaker explained the country’s revolution and how the poor and working masses were taking back their country from the capitalists bit by bit. He talked of the up coming elections and how important it was to the lives of the poor and oppressed.
We heard of struggles past and present against tyranny both here in Houston & in Venezuela.
Two activists who just came from a march to raise the minimum wage told the crowd more than 1,000 union members and supporters turned out.
In addition, despite arrests the striking janitors of the Service Employee Union continues with daily support marches.
It made me think of how the U.S. struggle against the 1 percent was the same as the people of Venezuela and of all working people of the entire world.
It was an inspiring day, and the organizers did a terrific job.
Photo: Jorge Andres Rodriguez Toro // CC 2.0