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Venezuela Speaks!

Michael Fox et al.

Voices From The Grassroots

Venezuela Speaks! is a collection of interviews with activists and participants from across Venezuela’s social movements. These interviews offer a compelling oral history of Venezuela’s democratic revolution, from the bottom up.

For the last decade, Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution” has captured international attention. Poverty, inequality and unemployment have all dropped, while health, education and living standards have seen a commensurate rise. The international mainstream media has focused predominantly on Venezuela’s controversial leader, President Hugo Chavez, who has routinely been in the headlines. But without the active participation of large and diverse sectors of society, Chavez’s moment on the scene would have ended long ago.

Venezuela Speaks!: Voices From The Grassroots is a collection of interviews with activists and participants from across Venezuela’s social movements. From community media to land reform; cooperatives to communal councils, from the labor movement to the Afro-Venezuelan network, Venezuela Speaks! sheds light on the complex realities within the Bolivarian Revolution. These interviews offer a compelling oral history of Venezuela’s democratic revolution, from the bottom up.

“Venezuela Speaks! is a very important book in the growing literature of books on Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. Almost all of the books written on this topic so far take a “top-down” perspective on what is happening in contemporary Venezuela. This book, though, provides an unfiltered participant’s perspective on Venezuela’s incredibly diverse social movements and, in the process, dispels the notion that President Chávez is the only one who counts when trying to understand Venezuela.”
–Gregory Wilpert, author of Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chávez Government and editor of

“The authors of this book are not starry-eyed ideologues; they are experienced activists who have traveled the world observing diverse efforts at ending poverty and injustice. They portray a Venezuela in struggle that we can all learn lessons from in our efforts to save humanity from itself.”
–Kevin Danaher, Co-Founder, Global Exchange and Green Festivals.

“Michael Fox, Carlos Martinez, and JoJo Farrell cut through the mist that usually surrounds discussions of Venezuela to enter a world of impressive political and cultural diversity. Venezuela Speaks! is a geography of struggle, a sociology of passion, and an ethnography of hope, of the unrelenting insistence that people have a right to control their own lives, and that in doing so, a better world will be made.”
–Greg Grandin, author of Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism.

“Venezuela Speaks! provides a platform for Venezuelan revolutionaries to speak for themselves, to tell their own stories, to use their own words to explain the Bolivarian Revolution. Unadulterated, captivating, and a must read for anyone who wishes to truly understand today’s Venezuela and its historic political process.”
–Chesa Boudin, author of Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America and The Venezuelan Revolution: 100 Questions – 100 Answers.

“The revolution within the revolution are the many, powerful voices of the everyday people of Venezuela. They have suffered and survived the era of the oligarchy; they rose up in El Caracazo (1989), dreaming of another world; they voted in numbers and often for the Bolivarian regime, and they came out on the streets to defend their government in 2002. These are the people. They have words. Venezuela Speaks! gives us a taste of them.”
– Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.

Michael Fox is a freelance journalist, reporter, and documentary filmmaker based in South America. He has covered Venezuela extensively as a former staff-writer for and as a radio correspondent for Free Speech Radio News. His articles have been published with Yes Magazine, Earth Island Journal, The Nation and NACLA on-line. He is the producer of the weekly Venezuelanalysis radio headlines; co-founder of the internet radio, Radio Venezuela en Vivo; and co-director of the documentary, Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas released by PM Press.

Carlos Martinez has been involved in Latin America solidarity work for many years. He recently served as the Caracas-based Venezuela Program Director for the human rights organization, Global Exchange, where he coordinated dozens of delegations to Venezuela. His articles have been published in Monthly Review Zine,, and Common Dreams.

JoJo Farrell lived in Venezuela for two years as the Global Exchange Venezuelan Program Director. Prior to living in Venezuela, he also organized delegations in Mexico and Cuba. He is a freelance journalist and former reporter for the Pacifica network’s KPFA news program. He currently teaches in Brooklyn as a New York Teaching Fellow, and is studying for his Masters in Education at Brooklyn College.

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