Venezuela

The latest attempt by the US to isolate the revolutionary government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez failed when the Organisation of American States general assembly meeting in Panama on June 4 refused the US demand to criticise and “investigate” Venezuela for supposed attacks on freedom of expression.
Under the banner of “For freedom of speech and against imperialism”, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas on June 2 in defence of their revolution, and as a direct response to the domestic and international campaign being whipped up by Washington in the wake of the non-renewal of Radio Caracas TV’s (RCTV) broadcasting concession, dwarfing all of the opposition marches that had occurred in preceding days. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced: “If the Venezuelan oligarchy believe that they will stop us with their threats, with their manipulations or with their destabilisation plans, forget it!”
On June 2, masses of people from different parts of the country descended on the streets of Caracas to march in support of the government of socialist President Hugo Chavez, and the new TV channel Venezuelan Social Television (TVes). TVes is broadcasting on Channel 2, previously used by RCTV — owned by multi-millionaire Marcel Granier — whose 20-year concession ran out on May 27. RCTV will continue on cable, but many Venezuelans feel that after helping organise the April 2002 coup against the elected government, RCTV is lucky to remain on air at all.
Venezuela has been facing the most sustained campaign of destabilisation, including a barrage of media lies internationally and violent riots inside Venezuela, since the last serious attempt to overthrow the left-wing government of Hugo Chavez in 2004.
Led by the country’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan revolution is sending shockwaves through the corporate elite both within Venezuela and internationally. The Venezuelan people are waging a struggle to gain sovereignty over the country’s natural resources in order to rebuild the nation along pro-people lines.
May 27 will be end of the 20-year concession granted by the Venezuelan government to the RCTV corporation — owned by multi-millionaire Marcel Granier — to use the state-owned Channel 2 broadcasting signal. The Venezuelan government has announced that the channel will become a public station, similar to a number of stations in Europe, based on programs made by independent producers
Carora’s streets are much like other Latin American cities — bustling commerce on every corner, traffic, noise, people going about their daily routine. But there is something that distinguishes Carora and the Municipality of Pedro Leon Torres from any other municipality I’ve visited in Latin America, and in particular, any other in Venezuela. The city is on a path to democratise and transform its entire governance system, from the bottom up — led by the current Mayor Julio Chavez (no relation to President Hugo Chavez).
Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez threatened a round of new nationalisations when he announced fresh plans on May 3 to develop Venezuela’s economy along pro-people lines. This followed the May 1 nationalisations of oil projects in the Orinoco Belt, believed to be home to the world’s largest oil reserves, which gave the state-owned oil company PDVSA at least 60% controlling share of existing ventures owned by five oil multinationals, worth US$17 billion.
“Venezuela’s community health program Barrio Adentro made important strides yesterday with the graduation of the first group of Venezuelan doctors” trained in the Cuban-developed system of “general integral medicine” (GMI), according to an April 11 article on Venezuelanalysis.com.
“Thousands of Venezuelan workers took control of foreign-owned oil fields yesterday as Hugo Chavez stepped up his battle with Washington in a new wave of nationalisation and an announcement that the country was leaving the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [IMF]”, reported the British Guardian on May 2.
Some 53 million light bulbs in more than 5 million homes have been replaced with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, according to an April 21 Bolivarian News Agency report. This marks the successful completion of the first stage of Mission Energy Revolution, a social mission inaugurated by Venezuela’s government in November. As well the free replacement of energy inefficient bulbs with environmentally friendly ones, the mission aims to help develop the use of alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power.
The left-wing rebellion sweeping Latin America is one of the most significant events in politics today. It is a blow to US imperialism, which has dominated the region for so long, and it is an inspiring example to the rest of the world. Venezuelans, in particular, are openly debating the question of socialism and they are carrying out the first revolution of the 21st century.
Returning once again to Venezuela — having last spent four months here in 2005 — I recalled a refrain that had been constantly repeated by Venezuelans: “After we re-elect Chavez in 2006, the real revolution will begin.” It took very little time for me to realise exactly what they meant.
“How did it happen that the President of Venezuela reached out to help the poor and the indigenous people of the United States?”, Tim Giago asked in a March 19 Indianz.com article. He was referring to the provision of cheap heating oil to the US poor, including a number of Native American tribes, by the government of Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez.
An April 4 Survival International article reported that a decree by Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, had banned the planned construction of new coalmines on the land of the Wayuu, Yukpa and Bari indigenous people in the state of Zulia, which is governed by a leader of the pro-capitalist opposition.
According to Prensa Latina on March 24, Venezuela has replaced some 45 million incandescent light bulbs with white light thrifty bulbs, benefiting more than 4 million households. The move is part of an energy saving program, the Energy Revolution Mission. More than 3000 activists have been involved in carrying out the bub changes, and are aiming to replace about 54 million in total. The mission is also expanding renewable energy sources such as solar and wind and beginning to replace petrol with gas to supply cars. Prensa Latina points out that while Venezuela is the fifth-largest exporter of hydrocarbons, it is encouraging the use of less contaminating energy sources.

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