Skip navigation

Venezuela

POSTPONED

Venezuela

Join CODEPINK’s trip to Venezuela. You’ll have great fun learning about this beautiful country and its inspiring and resilient people, but most of all, you will get to experience one of the most outstanding social achievements in Latin America: Venezuela’s socialist communes.

What is a commune?

The commune is a form of popular political and economic organization based on the principles of self-governance, participation and direct democracy. In a commune, it’s the community members who plan, define and execute policies and projects within their own territory through enterprises that they themselves own and run.

"The commune must be the space on which we are going to give birth to socialism.  Socialism has to emerge from the grassroots, this can’t be decreed; it has to be created. It is a popular creation, of the masses, of the nation.” Hugo Chávez

Our delegation will visit 5 communes: 

  • Che Guevara Commune in Mérida: This commune is located near Lake Maracaibo, at the foot of the Andes Mountains, where coffee and cacao are the main products of the sector. Due to its proximity to the border with Colombia, many families displaced by the Colombian civil war found a home in this region. The delegation will learn how amidst the U.S. blockade against Venezuela, the commune runs the Che Guevara Social Production Enterprise, a cacao processing plant, and the Colimir coffee producing cooperative, as well as their collective grassroots political organization process. 

  • Mango de Ocoita community in Miranda: This Afro-Venezuelan community is known for its traditional cacao cultivation and its rich history of popular organization, beginning with maroon settlements or “cumbes,” created during colonial times. The delegation will be able to exchange with members of  the commune and community councils in the process of building and strengthening their organizational structures. 

  • El Panal 2021 Commune in Caracas: This commune is located in one of Caracas most renowned popular sectors, with a deep tradition of popular resistance and organizing. This urban commune, the first one officially registered as such in Venezuela, was spearheaded by a grassroots collective, the Alexis Vive Patriotic Front, and is an example of decision-making by assembly. Initially sustained by the operation of a bakery and a textile factory, it has now organized its own tilapia and pork production for the community in the face of the U.S. blockade. They also run “Radio Arsenal,” an independent community radio station, as well as their own monetary system and a popular education project called “Pluriversity.”  

  • Altos de Lídice Commune in Caracas: This commune emerged from the necessity of creating a collective response to the economic crisis that resulted from the sanctions imposed by the U.S. Our delegation will visit several productive units of urban agriculture, product recycling, maintenance and repair.  We will learn about the self-governance process of the commune including how the yields from urban agriculture are used in the communal kitchen, how they run a communal pharmacy and how the recycling social productive company uses its profits to invest in public areas.

  • Luisa Cáceres Commune in Anzoategui: Communards of Luisa Caceres cleaned up an abandoned lot where they set up a communal recycling plant and a communal garden with more than 2,500 plants cultivated organically and using recycled materials. The lot also includes a space for communal assemblies. Our delegation will learn about the ecosocialist alternative that guides the Luisa Caceres commune. We will learn about the communal recycling process including the collection of recyclable materials, the production of recycled finished products and the commune’s organization. We will also visit the Women’s Communal centers and how they implement government-supported programs for the protection of women’s rights. 

Please note: 

  • All travelers must bring a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test in either physical or digital format (with QR code), with the last dose administered at least 14 days prior to the entry date in Venezuela. If more than 270 days has passed since the last dose of a completed vaccination schedule, proof of a booster dose is required.  In lieu of proof of vaccination, passengers must present a negative PCR-RT COVID-19 test result, taken within 72 hours of arriving.  

  • A detailed itinerary will be sent 3 weeks before the trip 

If you can’t join our delegations but want to help, consider donating to defray the cost of travel to help students, low-income individuals and/or people of color get a scholarship to join the delegation.

 


You won’t want to miss this amazing travel opportunity!

Make a non-refundable $250 deposit here. Reserve your spot here

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ below or email [email protected] or [email protected]

$750

*Cost per traveler based on 10 - 15 fully paid participant. A few scholarships might be available!

Program Cost Includes: 

Accommodations: It will vary depending on the commune we are visiting. Please note that we might be staying in the houses of commune members and not hotels. In some places we might sleep on mats.

Breakfast lunch and dinner everyday

Water everyday

Ground transportation to and from the airport; 

Internal transportation to and from the communes

Visits and cultural activities included in the program; 

A farewell dinner and cocktail party with Venezuelan guests 

Translations and expert guides

  Program Cost does not include:

Airfare and travel expenses to and from the U.S. to Caracas

Health Insurance 

Meals and drinks not included in the program as indicated in the itinerary; 

Tips or gratuities; 

Personal items/expenses; or 

Optional and/or unscheduled activities

A detailed itinerary will be sent 3 weeks before the trip 

What do I need to do before leaving for the Venezuela trip?

  1. Fill out a participant registration

  2. Make a non-refundable $250 deposit here 

  3. Get your plane ticket to and from Caracas to arrive on the 6th and return the 18th and send Michelle your travel itinerary in order to obtain your visa
  4. The rest of the fee ($500) should be brought to Venezuela in cash

What type of payment is accepted?

$250 credit card and $500 in cash 

What does the payment include?

Accommodations: It will vary depending on the commune we are visiting. Please note that we might be staying in the houses of commune members and not hotels. In some places we might sleep on mats.

Breakfast lunch and dinner everyday

Water everyday

Ground transportation to and from the airport; 

Internal transportation to and from the communes

Visits and cultural activities included in the program; 

A farewell dinner and cocktail party with Venezuelan guests 

Translations and expert guides

What is not included?

Airfare and travel expenses to and from the U.S. to Caracas

Health Insurance 

Meals and drinks not included in the program as indicated in the itinerary; 

Tips or gratuities; 

Personal items/expenses; or 

Optional and/or unscheduled activities

What documents do I need to bring with me?

You will need a valid passport (passport must be valid for another six months before you depart) a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or a certified proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel from an accredited testing center. We will take care of Venezuelan visas!

What happens if I miss the flight to Caracas?

Try to get on a flight the next day, and let us know asap.

How can I get in touch with other delegates before the trip?

We will create a Whatsapp group before the trip for delegates to connect with one another! We will also create an email list serve for delegates who are not active on Whatsapp

What should we wear/pack?

The temperature varies from about 66-82 degrees Fahrenheit in October, and rain is likely. In Merida temperature could drop to 60 degrees Fahrenheit

Make sure to bring all toiletries and medications you may need -- because of the U.S sanctions they could be challenging or expensive to find in Venezuela. There is no dress code for the trip, so bring whatever you are the most comfortable in. 

Must haves:

  • Your passport
  • A Covid-19 vaccination certificate or a certified proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel from an accredited testing center.
  • $500 fee in cash + some more for your personal expenses
  • Any medication you use
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste)
  • Sun-hat, visor, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • One set of nice clothes for high-level meetings (no need to be very professional, but bring something presentable!)
  • One pair of comfortable shoes 

Some things to consider packing:

  • Aspirin, pepto bismol, or immodium just in case
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Day pack
  • A notebook and pen
  • Light sweater for the evenings
  • Dancing outfits if you choose to go dancing
  • Ear plugs (in case you are a light sleeper and your roommate snores)
  • Pink clothing! :)

How much money should we bring?

$500 in cash to pay the rest of the fee which means you must withdraw it before we leave for Caracas. You should get your bills from the bank in the U.S. so that they are unmarked and clean. Try to bring 50s, 20s, and 10s. 

For personal expenses you can’t use US credit cards but it is common to find private shops accepting Zelle payments. 

Below is a list of items/activities that you must might need money for.

Might need money for:

  • Other beverages
  • Private excursions / optional cultural activities separate from the group (evening shows, not included in the program, etc.)
  • Transportation if you go off on your own (the public transportation is very unreliable, but taxis are easy to find and affordable)
  • Shopping! There will be lots of artwork, gifts, and rums to purchase for yourself or friends back home, so make sure to budget accordingly!

What is the electrical voltage and what plugs do they use?

The plugs are the same as American plugs! 

Will all the meetings be translated?

Yes, everything will be translated to English.

Can we drink the water?

You should drink bottled water during your stay in Venezuela. It is available in stores throughout the cities. For those of you with environmental concerns regarding the use of bottled water, an alternative is to bring with you a water purifier or tablets– the kind used for backpacking in regions where the water is impure. We encourage you to buy large bottles of water and fill up your individual bottle as needed.

Will there be documentation of the trip?

We encourage participants to share their best photos and videos. 

What else can we do on our return?

In addition to giving talks and contacting the press, you can also help pushing your elected officials to lift the sanctions on Venezuela. We’ll provide you will information on your return.

We recommend that you spend some time researching the economic and political situation in Venezuela, as well as Venezuela-US relations. We will be meeting with politicians, local activists, doctors, journalists, professors, and other experts on our trip. It is important to have a base level understanding of the history and current political context of Cuba to get the most out of our meetings.

Some articles:

What the New York Times left out of the Picture on Venezuela, by Michelle Ellner

Venezuela dialogue offers way out of crisis, by Leonardo Flores

Books

  • Viviremos. Edited by Claudia de la Cruz, Manolo de los Santos and Vijay Prashad 

Videos:

Webinars:

Be patient and flexible: Traveling in any group presents challenges, and this is especially true in such a large group. Number one requirement to make this a great experience is PATIENCE. Number two requirement is FLEXIBILITY. Plans change at the last minute. Speakers don’t show up. Buses break down. Make the best of these snafus by making new friends in the group, leading us in song, telling jokes. Have fun and bring up the spirits of the others, especially the grumpy ones!

Be courteous: Please be courteous to your fellow participants, our country hosts, guides, translators, waiters and those Venezuelans who choose to make presentations to our group. If a difficult situation should arise, try to think in terms of how you, as a member of the group, can contribute to a solution.

Respect and help the trip leaders: All of the trip leaders, both in the US and Venezuela, have been working very hard to put this trip together, and will be working REALLY hard during the trip. Please give all the trip leaders thanks, encouragement and assistance. For reasons of safety or for the interest of the group, there may also be times when the group leaders will advise against a particular action. Please respect their request.

Be punctual: Please try to be at our meeting places on time. Being mindful about punctuality will ensure that the group isn’t late and/or you won’t be inadvertently left behind. 

Respect different political views: Please remember that we are guests in Venezuela, a country with a different culture from that of the US, with a different (although intertwined) history. It is best to approach each new situation with an open mind. You are not there to convince either the other participants or the Venezuelans that Venezuela (or the US) are really great or really terrible. You’re there to learn, exchange ideas and have a good time. And remember: there are very different political viewpoints among Cubans, and among the trip participants. During this trip, you'll be hearing the pro-government side at many of our official visits. Some of your best information about everyday life in Venezuela can come from interactions with your guides, the informal evening sessions, and conversations you might strike up with people on the street.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.