(March 6, 2013) – Ten years ago, on May 31, 2003, Dada Maheshvarananda’s After Capitalism: Prout’s Vision for a New World was published in Caracas. The book launch marked the beginnings of years of cooperation between Proutists in Venezuela and the country’s authorities.
At the International Book Fair a presentation of the new book was followed by pouring red, blue and yellow flower petals on it, the colours of the Venezuelan flag. The next day the author was invited to meet Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on national television. Dada presented a copy of the book to the President and explained that he was inspired by the departing words of his master, the founder of PROUT, at the end of his 1979 visit to Caracas, in which he said, “Venezuela needs good spiritual political leaders. If Venezuela can produce spiritual political leaders, it will not only be the leader of Latin America, it will also be the leader of the planet. Venezuela is a blessed country.”
“It is difficult to say whether Venezuela so far has been able to implement policies suggested by PROUT in areas such as natural resources, local economy, employment, etc.”
President Chavez said, “Dada Maheshvarananda has given us a book that we appreciate very much. Your visit has come at such an opportune moment. After Capitalism: Prout’s Vision for a New World includes a preface by Noam Chomsky and contributions by our good friend Frei Betto and others. And what a coincidence: on page 127, I see where you write about food cooperatives, just like the food cooperatives in the food plan of our Agricultural Minister Efren Andrades. Thank you very much, brother, and let’s continue with spirituality, spirit, good faith, morality, and the mystical force that moves the world.”
“Dada Maheshvarananda and other citizens of the world are welcome to visit, especially those who come in good faith and offer their ideas, their spirit and their moral flame to the Bolivarian Revolution. This has attracted the attention of the whole world, especially those that struggle and dream of a better world, just as it says in After Capitalism: Prout’s Vision for a New World,” Chaves said.
Two years later, four officers of Proutist Universal (PU) headed by Dada Maheshvarananda conducted a two-week tour in Venezuela sponsored by PDVSA, the national oil company. It was the second time that PDVSA has contracted Proutist Universal to support Endogenous Development by giving public conferences and training on cooperatives.
The PU representatives gave lectures to Vice Minister Raul Pacheco of the Ministry of Planning and Development and his staff, and to Superintendent Carlos Molina of SUNACOOP and his staff. Lectures and intensive cooperative training were also given to co-op workers in Guatire. In total more than 1,000 people attended trainings and lectures. The themes of the conferences included economic democracy, defining economic progress as increasing purchasing power for everyone, cardinal human values to combat corruption and dishonesty, ideal leadership, ecological protection and the need for self-reliance in food and medicines.
At the passing away of President Hugo Chavez it is difficult to say whether Venezuela so far has been able to implement policies suggested by PROUT in areas such as natural resources, local economy, employment, etc. As Dada Maheshvarananda writes in his reminiscence: Hugo Chávez was a very strong man who led his people through a tremendous social transformation. Now Chávez has passed on and the work continues to make Venezuela and the world a better place for all.