Bolivarian Circles, Hugo Chavez and Occupy Wall Street
I’ve written before about what should be the known about the influence of Venezuelan Communism in the United States. Now, as Occupy Wall Street makes this planned Marxist confrontation visible, I reproduce a piece on the Bolivarian Circles, Communist cells which are in direct communication with Hugo Chavez and are operating within the United States. They have been highly active since 2005 and are the unspoken subject of Chavez’ speech which I linked to in my last post, but which I link to again.
In this speech he openly mentions that he is directly working with U.S. labor unions and that there is a long-range plan for integration. He also mentions how Citgo has become a part of this political project within the United States. He also says, somewhat cryptically, that he wants “to start the project right away.” He then further announces how he wants to provide heating oil to ” organized poorer communities in the U.S.”
Chávez builds grass-roots support in U.S.
Miami’s Jesus Soto supports Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s vision of “participatory democracy. ” Valerie Pusch of Chicago backs…
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Miami’s Jesus Soto supports Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s vision of “participatory democracy.” Valerie Pusch of Chicago backs Chávez because of his policies on behalf of the poor.
And they say so loudly, as heads of their local Bolivarian Circles — among the dozen or so U.S. copies of the groups Chávez has set up throughout his country to mobilize Venezuelans on behalf of his socialist “revolution.”
Even as Chávez attacks President Bush as his sworn nemesis, his government is running a strong campaign to curry favor with U.S. citizens through leftist grass-roots groups, paid lobbyists and public-relations operatives and offers of cheap fuel for America’s poor.
The Venezuelan leader is running a “grass-roots foreign policy,” said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., a group that supports Chávez.
“Obviously the government of the United States has not been very friendly, and the Venezuelans figure they have a better chance at dealing directly with the people who don’t have any particular reason not to like Venezuela,” Weisbrot said.
Chávez accuses the Bush administration of planning to topple him, and his prosecutors have filed charges of “conspiracy to destroy the nation’s republican form of government” against four leaders of a Venezuelan activist group that received U.S. money and helped organize a failed recall vote on the president last year.
Bush administration policy on both Venezuela and Cuba is to support pro-democracy groups — and Chávez seems to be taking a page from the same book.
Earlier this month, about 1,300 people paid $20 each to attend “an evening of solidarity with Bolivarian Venezuela” in New York City. Organizers said it was the largest U.S. public demonstration to date in favor of Chávez, and was followed up a few days later by a similar event in Los Angeles.
Fifteen Bolivarian Circles — named after Venezuelan independence hero and Chávez icon Simón Bolívar — now operate in the United States, in cities with populations of Venezuelan expatriates, such as Cincinnati, Boston and Miami, but also in places such as Salt Lake City, Knoxville and Milwaukee.
“Our purpose is to tell the world that there’s no dictatorship in Venezuela,” said Soto, a former police chief in Venezuela who founded the Miami circle in 2001 and has made several appearances on Spanish-language television.
Pusch, an adult-education teacher married to a Venezuelan, said that if the United States is supposed to be supporting democratic processes, “why is there is so much trouble accepting this democratically elected president?”
The Venezuelan government appears to have started reaching out to grass-root U.S. organizations two years ago, when its embassy in Washington created the Venezuela Information Office.