Venezuela's Chavez outlines plan for 'greater advance' to socialism

Recently re-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his next six year term would mark a period of “greater advance” towards building socialism, as well as “greater efficiency in this transition from capitalism”.

The Venezuelan president made the comments on October 10 during a ceremony with the National Electoral Council (CNE). Three days earlier, Chavez beat right-wing candidate Capriles Radonski by 11.11% in presidential elections. Chavez took more than 55% of the vote.

In his speech, Chavez said the project of 21st century socialism in Venezuela was something that must be built “in the long term”. Chavez promised his government would try to respond to citizen’s concerns over the next 6 years.

“We are obliged as a government and as the state to speed up the administration of efficient responses and solutions to the thousands and thousands of problems that the Venezuelan people still suffer from,” he said. “We are obliged to be more efficient, precisely so we can continue every day with greater force.”

The thrice-elected president also confirmed that in the next few days his government would launch “Mission Mercosur” (Common Market of the South), aimed at developing areas of Venezuela with railways and deep-water ports in order to export products to other Mercosur member nations.

“There is an extremely important project to convert La Ceiba, Trujillo state and the Lake of Maracaibo into international ports. Further, we should start at once to begin the construction of the railway line between the Orinoco and the Caribbean.”

Chavez said: “This is the power of Latin America, this is the historic project.”

Chavez also announced the deepening of government social programs through the implementation of what he termed “micro-missions.” He said these would be implemented at a local level by organised communities and focused on those most in need.

“We are drafting up ideas, revising notes and the specific and fundamental objectives of the micro-missions, as there will be many. They will be applied in towns, regions, factories, schools and the different places where they are needed”.

Chavez said that for these projects to be effective, they must be rooted in grassroots organisation. “We must keep giving power to the people, that is the solution. It’s not the power of the bureaucracy and elites that is going to solve the problems of the people.”

The announcements reflect a new approach by the Chavez government aimed at guaranteeing greater effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of social programs and other policies. Chavez also recently announced the creation of a new government ministry of social missions to the same end.

[Reprinted from Venezuela Analysis.]

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