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Chavez Pushes ‘Revolutionary Reading’

From his fans at BBC News:

Venezuela’s revolutionary reading

By Will Grant
Aug 2, 2009

At April’s Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez surprised many by giving President Barack Obama a gift.

It was a book entitled The Open Veins of Latin America. Within hours, the left-wing classic by Eduardo Galeano had shot up to number two in the New York Times bestseller list.

Now the Venezuelan leader is trying to promote much more than the bible of the Latin American left.

"Today we launch the Revolutionary Reading Plan," he announced live to the nation in April. "Read, read, read, read. That should be our slogan for every day."

Since the announcement, the pace of the reading plan has quickened. A key component is a series of free book distribution events, which have been held in public squares across the country.

The government has given out tens of thousands of free copies of Don Quijote by Cervantes and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, saying that such events "promote reading for the construction of socialism and humanist values"

Titles on the list include The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, Selected Speeches of Hugo Chavez and State Terrorism in Colombia.

"There are lots of accusations that we’re somehow indoctrinating people which I think is completely false," says Edgar Roa, who organised the book event in capital’s main square.

"What we’re doing is putting books within everybody’s reach, including children’s literature with absolutely no political content. Or Les Miserables by Victor Hugo which can be interpreted in many different ways depending on your political colours."

Beyond the book give-aways, another key part of the Reading Plan are thousands of "book squadrons".

These are basically roving book clubs that are intended to encourage reading on the metro, in public squares and in parks.

Each squadron wears a different colour to identify their type of book. For example, the red team promotes autobiographies while the black team discusses books on "militant resistance".

The government say they will spread the word of the benefits of reading to the rest of the community. The opposition say they are the thought police…

Well, the lucky citizens of Venezuela will have even more time to enjoy Mr. Chavez’s carefully selected books, now that he had shut down so many of their radio stations.

Mind you, this has nothing to do with indoctrination.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 2nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Chavez Pushes ‘Revolutionary Reading’”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Mein Kampht was required reading too!
    Here’s the telling part……#2 on the NYT Best Sellers List!

  2. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    So why is Orwell’s 1984 not on the reading list? Oh that’s right, it, along with other non-approved books are being held in reserve for the public bonfire.

  3. canary says:

    Obama’s book suggests following pg 315 “..Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, or turning traditional priniciples of social organization, like Islamic law.
    I don’t dismiss these critics out of hand. America and its Western partners did design the current international system, after all; it is our way of doing things – our accounting standards, our language, our dollar, our copyright laws, our technology, and our popular culture – to which the world has had to adapt over the past fifty years. If overall the international system has produced great prosperity in the world’s most developed coutnries, it has also left many people behind – a fact that Western policy makers have often ignored and occasionally made worse.” The Audacity of Hope by Barack Hussien Obama. Jr.

    He blames America, likes tyrants, murderers, drugs, and he is without any doubt a closet muslim. It’s in the Quran he says he studied in Indonesia school, the one he said was on his book shelf growing up, that there are instances you can pretend not to be a muslim and follow customs. Read that part in an old copy at the Library.

  4. canary says:

    Obama raised on The Communist Manifesto teachings.

    The Baltimore Sun
    by Tim Jones Tribune National Correspondance
    Barack Obama: Mother not a girl from Kansas: Stanley Ann dunahm shaped
    a future Senator. Mercer Island, WA


    At Mercer High School, two teachers — Val Foubert and Jim Wichterman — generated regular parental thunderstorms by teaching their students to challenge societal norms and question all manner of authority. Foubert, who died recently, taught English. His texts were cutting edge: “Atlas Shrugged,” “The Organization Man,” “The Hidden Persuaders,” “1984” and the acerbic writings of H.L. Mencken.

    Wichterman taught philosophy. The hallway between the two classes was known as “anarchy alley,” and students pondered the challenging notions of Wichterman’s teachings, including such philosophers as Sartre and Kierkegaard. He also touched the societal third rail of the 1950s: He questioned the existence of God. And he didn’t stop there.

    “I had them read ‘The Communist Manifesto,’ and the parents went nuts,” said Wichterman, adding that parents also didn’t want any discussions about “anything to do with sex,” religion and theology. The parental protests were known as “mothers’ marches.”

    “The kids started questioning things that their folks thought shouldn’t be questioned — religion, politics, parental authority,” said John Hunt, a classmate. “And a lot of parents didn’t like that, and they tried to get them [Wichterman and Foubert] fired.”

    The Dunhams did not join the uproar. Madelyn and Stanley shed their Methodist and Baptist upbringing and began attending Sunday services at the East Shore Unitarian Church in nearby Bellevue.

    “In the 1950s, this was sometimes known as ‘the little Red church on the hill,’ ” said Peter Luton, the church’s senior minister, referring to the effects of McCarthyism. Skepticism, the kind that Stanley embraced and passed on to his daughter, was welcomed here.

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