Hugo Chavez: Venezuela and capitalism's crisis

Issue 

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the party led by Chavez that has almost 6 million aspiring members, has also produced a document analysing the global economic crisis and the tasks for revolutionary socialists for discussion in its branches across the country. A translation of the document can be read at the socialist e-journal, Links ().

An adivisor to the Chavez government and a participant in the construction of the PSUV, Luis Bilbao, will be one of the international guests at the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, April 10-12. For more information, or to register, visit World at a Crossroads.

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I read some last-minute news from AFP: "Crisis causes American people to accept underpaid jobs".

"The wave of sackings in the US is starting to be evident not only in the macroeconomic figures, but also for waiters, parking attendants, car washers and others in underpaid jobs that were traditionally performed by Latin American immigrants.

"We are not firing people, but we are not hiring either; and American people in greater numbers than before come to ask us for jobs, most of them are Afro-Americans', AFP was told by Isaac Gonzalez, who works for the Santa Palm Car Wash, located in a slum in West Hollywood "

The figures that show an increase in unemployment in the US are really frightening. About 650,000 jobs have disappeared monthly so far this year.

Meanwhile in Venezuela, and thanks to the economic policy the Bolivarian revolution has been implementing, unemployment rates continue to decrease in the middle of this giant world crisis.

The US president himself says the situation is close to catastrophic levels.

I have in my hands the February edition of the monthly report by the National Institute of Statistics, entitled Situation of Venezuela's Labour Force.

The report said: "The number of unemployed people in February 2009 reached 927,045 persons (7.4%); which, compared to the previous month (1,200,890 persons: 9.5%), experienced a decrease of 273,845 persons; out of which 143,230 are men and 130,615 are women.

"According to age groups, there was a drop of the unemployment rate in persons aged 15-24 (125,386 persons); from 25-44 (121,592 persons) and up to 65 (8390 persons)."

I urge compatriots reading this, setting aside any subjectivity and political ideology, to see clearly this reality and know how to appreciate its contents, especially its economic, social and ethical meaning.

Another AFP article, dated March 20, reads: "The world economy is likely to see negative growth in 2009, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria said on Friday 'Now we are probably seeing a world which will go negative because even the positive growth of India and China is not going to be enough to offset the negative growth in (developed countries)'."

This is the reality that shakes the world and our country has to do something about it in order to safeguard the great social successes we have achieved and reinforce the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution, working towards its deepening.

This is the so-called perfect crisis that goes beyond the US borders, affects the entire global economy and has forced us to assume the unpostponable responsibility of making precise and radical decisions without affecting the sacred commitment that links us to our people especially to the big majority left unassisted and impoverished.

During the 10 years so far of our government, we have finally started to prove in the flesh that it is possible to reach the greatest sum of possible happiness.

The circumstances that many countries face represent a threat, or even a danger, to Venezuela. We have to be strong in the face of these threats and dangers from the internal and external point of view. This is the reason why I have announced a new set of economic measures and decisions made in the Council of Ministers.

This government has decided to keep the social successes; defend employment; preserve the capacity of the oil and gas industry; reinforce the internal productive sector that is committed to the country; and direct our public financial capacity, taking into account the impacts that the nature, depth and duration of the world crisis can have on the Venezuelan economy.

I want to reiterate: the more "perfect" the capitalist crisis, the clearer will Venezuela's socialist path be towards a greater homeland and independence.

The opposition vultures have been left with nothing but the vain belief that our efforts would be oriented to favor the privileged groups that have always negotiated with the future Venezuelans.

In this sense, the decision of preserving the social missions, education, health, wages, salaries and family income, pension payment and social security considering the importance of these elements to keep the purchase and consumption level of the families high confirm our unrefusable certainty that our government is of, by and for the people.

I have always said it: we are currently in labour. Our Bolivarian revolution (a new thing) has not been born yet and capitalism (an old thing), based on an evil and unequal system, has not yet died.

Thus, looking at the international panorama, we can say we are close to an organic crisis, in which capitalist hegemony starts to feel the effects of its powerlessness to make use of its totalitarian control. This means it is a paper tiger, but this is also why it is so dangerous.

This is a great opportunity for the Venezuelan people to advance in the face of this perfect crisis.

Homeland and socialism! We will win!