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Venezuela: translating the revolution aims to promote solidarity with Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution by providing translations of interesting and important Venezuelan news articles and opinion pieces. It welcomes genuine discussion and debate on the posted articles.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

New call to voluntary labour

Translated by Owen Richards 

Comandante Chavez, in a meeting with the promotions committee of the Great Patriotic Pole [pro-revolution electoral alliance], held on Thursday at the Alba Hotel Caracas, reflected on the construction of socialism and its pillars. He referred to the importance of volunteer work for the creation of the spiritual and material bases of Socialism, and gave the example of one of its most genuine adherents – Che Guevara.

“There’s something that really contributes to the spiritual basis, the material basis of Socialism: voluntary labour.

“I encourage you to undertake volunteer work in the countryside, in the cities, that we may all - the Great Patriotic Pole, the collectives – get working.

“Have you seen Che Guevara, the photos and films of Che cutting cane, brick making, working…? What else… Carrying bags… Voluntary labour, let’s do it, help our people do various things, and it needs to be planned, it must be planned. The workers, the communities, the collectives.”

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on reaching the milestone (or kilometre post) of 10,000+ page views. Keep going! It's interesting to note that while Chavez promotes volunteer work in Venezuela, citing the example of Che, in Cuba, Raul Castro has acknowledged the "bureaucratic" distortion of this concept and the consequent erosion of its voluntary and vanguard character, citing "the organisation of voluntary work on days off without real content nor proper coordination, generating expenditures and spreading dissatisfaction and apathy among our compañeros”. This is not a criticism of the concept in principle. While volunteer work brigades may be less important in Cuba today that in other periods if the Revolution - the emphasis has shifted to restoring some semblance of the principle "to each according to their work" after two decades of the Special Period - in natural disasters such as the 2008 hurricanes it comes to the fore. An example is the electrical workers brigades that restored the grid, coming from all over the country and working day and night for weeks. The same can happen in capitalist societies, such as in Australia in the wake of the Queensland floods last year, but the sheer scale of the Cuban response and the institutional support for such efforts (people being away from their regular jobs for weeks) is impressive.