A Film Viewing and Discussion with Producer Gladys Bensimon
On the eve of legislative elections in Venezuela, Americans will again turn their attention to an important southern neighbor. Oil-rich Venezuela continues to experience political and economic turbulence. Following his election in 1998, President Hugo Chávez marched steadily in a leftward, anti-American direction. The past decade has witnessed the rise of his Bolivarian Revolution aimed at creating a militarized, one-party state and constructing a statist, command economy that promises greater social justice under the guise of “Socialism of the 21st Century.”
Yet as President Chávez has moved to consolidate and perpetuate his presidential grip, a substantial, determined and more unified opposition movement has arisen despite numerous obstacles to free and fair elections. On September 26, this increasingly-unified Opposition will contest Chávez’s hold over a rubber-stamp legislature and seek voter support for a new legislative body that reflects democratic alternatives for all Venezuelans and defends the rights of individuals from an encroaching tyranny.
Crossing Our Borders delves into the problems that have faced Latin-America for more than 100 years – corrupt governments and dictators who perpetuate their power indefinitely forcing thousands to flee their countries to the United States and other nations, with the most recent example being Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. It examines the plight of the middle class and violations of human rights while exploring the domestic and foreign challenges presented by the Chávez Revolution.
This timely production will serve to remind American audiences exactly what is at stake on September 26 and in the days to follow.
More About the Speakers
Ray Walser, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Analyst