- Alongside, cheap jeans and nail polish, street vendors sell Chavista t-shirts, bracelets, watches, caps and pretty much anything you can think of (even talking Hugo Chavez dolls!).
- We are often met with cries of "Viva la revolucion!" and "Viva Chavez!" as we walk through the streets in our red Chavista shirts.
- Despite the astronomical inflation rate (prices are beyond First World. Every year, minimum wage is increased by 20-30%, and every year, capitalists repond by hiking prices of goods in retaliation, in an effort to create food shortages, and to rpeserve their profit margins), I can observe positive changes since my last visit. There is less visible poverty; very few homeless people (particularly in copmarison to other Third World Countries, and definitely less than the USA); less full on advertising; people look a bit sharper, healthier, well-fed; and the opposition seem to be on the defensive. I see lots of PDVALS - government shops that sell heavily subsidised basic food items to offset the impact of inflation.
Valenica, Venezuela, on our visit to La Comuna
- We bump into some construction workers, start talking to them. Turns out they are building new public houses. We talk about wages, conditions and how life has changed since the revolution. Fascinating stuff!
- We are constantly getting into conversations with strangers who want to discuss the process, the political situation, they want to tell us the truth. One woman on says the biggest difference since the revolution started is that everyone - children, young people, adults and the elderly - are now studying, learning, enrolled in some course or other.
- We steal half an hour at the beach to get some time out from the crazy intensity of the revolution. It`s so close to paradise :-)