Inside Story

Associate editor Rose Marie Berger joined a January delegation to Venezuela organized by Marie Dennis of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns. The group followed an exhaustive (and exhausting) itinerary, visiting civil society groups and the U.S. Embassy, youth clubs and base Christian communities. And, for five long hours one Sunday, they were in the studio audience for the Venezuelan president’s weekly call-in television show, Aló Presidente.

At a farming cooperative called Alianza, high in the Andes, the delegates were led on a tour of the various farm projects, from the dairy (where they enjoyed fresh yogurt) to composting bins to strawberry fields. When a farmer rode up on his horse to get milk and yogurt to take along into the fields, Rose practiced her Spanish on the horse. The horse, of course, was the only one who would listen.

On Rose’s return the rest of the staff happily listened to accounts of her trip, even though she brought no fresh yogurt to share. She did, however, bring back stories from many Venezuelan people of faith who—while always suspicious of power—are finding cause for hope in a politics that seems to take seriously the real needs of poor people. And that, of course, will always be central to a resurrection faith that does justice to the least of these. —The Editors

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Sojourners Magazine May 2004
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