On March 5, activists and community members gathered in San Francisco's Mission District to express their solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the revolutionary government of President Nicolas Maduro. The rally was held on the one-year anniversary of the tragic passing of Hugo Chávez, who led the Bolivarian Revolution to power in 1998 and became an international hero of all oppressed people struggling to be free.
Since Feb. 12, right-wing gangs have been provoking violent altercations throughout Venezuela, which have resulted in fatalities. At the San Francisco demonstration, people chanted "Chávez vive! Maduro sigue!" ("Chávez Lives! Maduro Continues!") The crowd rallied around a banner that paid homage to Chávez’s legacy and anti-imperialist struggle. A second banner called on the U.S. government to free the Cuban Five, the unjustly imprisoned heroes fighting for Cuba’s sovereignty.
Around five right-wing counter-protesters tried to loudly interrupt the demonstration, but their lies were discredited by revolutionary Venezuelans. Many Venezuelans who now reside in California came to speak and discredit the notion, spread by right-wing media in both the United States and Venezuela, that the Venezuelan people are against Maduro and the revolutionary process. They pointed out that Venezuela has a higher school enrolment rate than the United States because the Venezuelan education system focuses on educating the poorest of the poor. They dispelled the lie that people were starving in Venezuela, which in fact has seen food insecurity plummet as a result of the revolution.
The impressive turnout demonstrated that many in the United States are not fooled by the imperialist media's lies and distortions about the situation in Venezuela.