World Social Forum in Venezuela is on Track Say Organizers

Organizers of the 2006 World Social Forum in Caracas expect 100,000 participants at 2,200 events, in 250 meeting spaces this coming January 24 to 29. Transportation problems between airport and city will be dealt with.

Caracas, Venezuela, January 12, 2006—100,000 participants from around the world, with the largest delegations coming from Colombia, Brazil, and the United States, are expected for the 2006 decentralized World Social Forum, to be held in Caracas, January 24 to 29. All planning is on track and the forum will take place as scheduled, despite the problems that exist with transportation to and from the airport, said the organizers during a press conference held yesterday.

The Forum will involve 2,200 events to be held in 250 spaces in several complexes in Caracas’ geographic center. The events are organized around six thematic “axes”: 1. Power, politics and the fight for social emancipation; 2. Imperial strategies and resistances of peoples; 3. Resources and rights to life: alternatives to the predatory model of civilization; 4. Diversities, identities and cosmo-visions in movement; 5. Work, exploitation and reproduction of the life; and 6. Communication, cultures and education: dynamics and democratizing alternatives.

Jacobo Torres, one of the organizers, who represents the Hemispheric Social Alliance, said that at no time did organizers consider suspending the Forum because of the collapse of a freeway valley bridge that allows transportation between the main Caracas airport and the city. According to Torres, visitors arriving at the airport will find information there on how to best get to Caracas. “We are fighting against al types of speculation with regard to cab fares [from the airport],” added Torres.

Torres also confirmed that both Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and Brazil’s President Lula da Silva will participate in the Forum.

UCV sociology professor Edgardo Lander, one of the other members of the Forum’s organizing committee said that the Forum’s program is currently being put together, which will fit into morning, afternoon, and evening time slots on January 25 to 28. The 24th is reserved for a cultural and political event against war and imperialism.

Chavez will speak in the evening of the 25th, in an event with Brazil’s landless peasants’ movement (MST). At noon of the 29th, there will be an encounter with social movements, which Chavez will attend and in the evening will be the closing event in Poliedro, a Caracas arena.

Events will take place in the high school liceo Andrés Bello, Parque Central, the Teatro Teresa Carreño, Plaza Los Museos, Hotel Caracas Hilton, and Parque Los Caobos, In the Parque Los Caobos there will be 10 tents dedicated to the people of the U.S., Mercosur, ALBA (the Chavez government’s proposal for regional integration), and peasants, among other topics. Also, there will be 40 tents set up in the Carlota airport, a small air force airport in the city, for various events.

All Forum participants will receive courtesy upon arrival at the main Maiquetia airport, where organizers are expecting 30,000 participants to arrive. Another 30,000 will come via land route and the rest are expected to come from within Venezuela.

With regard to translation, Zuraima Martinez, another of the organizers, who represents the Coalition of Movements and Peoples of America, said that they need approximately 300 translators capable of simultaneous translation for English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

Intellectuals who are to come to Venezuela for the Forum are Eduardo Galeano, Atilio Borón, Samir Amin, and Francois Utar, among others.

The 2006 World Social Forum is being held on three different continents, with one in Caracas, Venezuela, another in Bamako, Mali (January 19-23, 2006), and the third in Karachi, Pakistan (March 2006). The 2007 WSF will take place in Africa.

For more information on the World Social Forum, those interested are invited to see its Venezuelan website: