People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 23

June 09, 2013


Kolkata: Talk Organised on Chavez, L America


THE Friends of Latin America (FOLA), India, organised a talk on the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, in Kolkata in the afternoon of May 12, 3013.


After a preliminary introductions by the secretary of the organising committee, Suman Putatunda, the meeting was addressed by Professor Asoke Bhattacharya , the key speaker of the afternoon.


Professor Bhattacharya dwelt on the overall Latin American scenario today as well as on the historical perspective of the Bolivarian movement founded and led by Hugo Chavez. He explained how the movement developed its network among the people and how, on being elected to power, the standard bearers of the movement carried out far-reaching reforms in favour of the poor and underprivileged sections of the population, laying adequate stress on health, education and employment. The resources of the state, so long not utilised for the benefit of these sections of the population, began to be allocated substantially to raise their standard of living. A decade and a half of such public policy of the state substantially reduced poverty in Venezuela and prepared an overwhelming section of the population to act as active citizens of a democratic and progressive nation.


The talk was followed by a film show, “South of the Border” by Oliver Stone, and then a very animated question-answer session in which a large section of the young audience asked incisive questions on the Bolivarian movement in general on and Hugo Chavez in particular. Professor Bhattacharya and Putatunda did their best to elucidate the issues.