Mérida, 28th May 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – With the formation of its Culture Council yesterday, Venezuela’s Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) coalition of social movements continues to organise itself ahead of the 7 October presidential elections.
The GPP coalition, which supports the re-election of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the deepening of the Bolivarian Revolution now and beyond the elections, has so far formed 16 sectorial councils representing different groups within the population, and 21 regional state councils.
The GPP’s Patriotic Council of Culture was established yesterday with participating intellectuals, artists, musicians and cultural figures filling the Teresa Carreño Theatre in Caracas.
The poet Gustavo Pereira expressed his opinion that Venezuela’s intellectuals and artists are committed to the task of re-founding the country as set out in the 1999 National Constitution, and “are united in the struggle to construct the new social order of rights and justice that the Bolivarian Revolution has initiated and is sustained under the leadership of President Chavez”.
In addition to forming the Council of Culture, participants in the meeting discussed proposals emerging from the cultural sector to contribute to the National Plan of Government 2013 – 2019.
GPP national coordinator Blanca Eekhout highlighted the importance of cultural figures to the Bolivarian process, declaring, “Through song, the written word, poetry, music and dance the dreams of a true country are being woven…for there to be revolution, there needs to be a cultural revolution”.
The Council of Culture adds itself to the now 16 sectorial councils of the GPP including afro-descendants, disabled persons, women, farmers and fishermen, transport workers, artisans, environmentalists, science and technology, youth, sexual diversity, community organisation and communal economy.
Eekhout, who is also a Vice President of the National Assembly and a representative of Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), stated that the GPP should convert itself into a “historic bloc” in Venezuelan politics, “that must definitively displace the hegemony of the imperialist bourgeoisie…this contest [the presidential elections] is for us a strategic, structural battle”.
Meanwhile Minister of Culture Pedro Calzadilla also argued the importance of the GPP for Chavez’s election victory and for the process of social and political change underway in Venezuela.
“There are collectives throughout the national territory working on the construction of socialism,” he said. “We’re preparing ourselves for the electoral battle of 7 October and for the battle of ideas”.
In a phone call to Vice President Elias Jaua yesterday, President Chavez reiterated the opinion that the GPP should continue organising beyond the presidential elections, forming part of a new political hegemony in the country.
He said that after delivering a “crushing victory” against the conservative opposition on 7 October, “The people’s will shall continue imposing itself, the will of the great majority of Venezuelans…the revolutionary and democratic will”.
The GPP’s Council of Disabled Persons was established last Wednesday. One of its proposals was to design a new government ministry directed towards people with disabilities, which will be presented to the general assembly of the GPP.
Tirza Martinez, a member of the National Promoter Team of the GPP and a spokesperson of the Disabled Persons Council, explained that there are over 2 million people with a disability in Venezuela and drew attention to the need for “joint policies…to give immediate and effective responses” to this group.
For Martinez, it is important to ensure the re-election of Chavez in order to maintain social programs that benefit disabled people such as the Dr. Jose Gregorio Hernandez mission, a program focusing on the health needs of the disabled.
“We have achieved enough things in the revolution. We are life and health for the commandant Chavez, and because of this, we are fighting the battle for him,” she said.
The GPP council of political parties will be formed this Saturday 2 June, when leaderships of seven political parties including the PSUV and the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) will meet.
The regional and sectorial councils are being formed ahead of the first GPP national assembly, where the coalition will form its organisational structures and leadership. The GPP was launched last year, with over 35,000 movements and collectives registering to join.