Deborah James

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Deborah James


Mansur Johnson, a union activist from Tucson Arizona, joined a Global Exchange delegation to Venezuela, August 10-20, 2005. He went to Venezuela with Global Exchange to support President Hugo Chavez Frias, because Eva Golinger wrote that the Bush administration had begun a massive black propaganda campaign against Chavez. ("The Bush administration has recently launched a new strategy intended to isolate and eventually topple the Venezuelan Government. The new aggression towards Venezuela is direct, open, public and hostile.This time around, the strategy is clear: turn President Chavez into an international pariah in the world media and justify an intervention to save democracy.", March 30, 2005 )

Hence my mission in Venezuela was born: it was to ask President Chavez to comment on 31 allegations in that op-ed piece. The South American Program Coordinator of Global Exchange did not give me much hope to interview Chavez.

Enter Deborah James, Global Exchange's anti-globalization point person. She was in Caracas for the 16th Festival Mundial de la Joventud y las Estudiantes (World Festival of Youth and Students) Venezuela 2005 . When she joined the delegation for dinner and described her encounters with President Chavez, I knew that to interview Deborah James would be almost the same as interviewing President Chavez.

Deborah first met President Chavez at the World Social Forum in Puerto Alegre Brazil in January 2003. She first visited Venezuela in May of 2003. She joined President Chavez on flights to Merida and Sucre in Venezuela when he was investigating the successes of community radio and land reform, respectively. While listening to part of President Chavez's address to the Tribunal on Anti-Imperialism at the 16 th Festival on TV from my hotel in Barquisimeto on August 14, 2005, I heard Mr. Chavez refer three times to "Deborah" and the camera found Deborah James in the front row. She consented to an interview at our delegation's hotel in Caracas. [1]


  1. Deborah James Interview in Caracasby Mansur Johnson]