Venezuela

December 3 — Wild celebrations have broken out here as the National Electoral Council (CNE) has announced that left-wing incumbent Hugo Chavez has won the Venezuelan presidential elections with a vote of over 60%. In pouring rain, thousands of cheering supporters have flocked to the Miraflores presidential palace to applaud the president, who has spoken to the people from the balcony of the palace.
“The atmosphere in the early evening has been a big celebration already, with fireworks and loud music in the city streets, and a large crowd already gathering near Miraflores Palace”, according to Jim McIlroy and Coral Wynter, correspondents for Green Left Weekly’s Venezuela bureau who were in Caracas on the day of the December 3 presidential election.
The outcome of the December 3 presidential election was a resounding endorsement of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution, and a rebuff of Washington and the right-wing opposition. Now, Venezuelans face the threat of violent attempts to destabilise the country by the US and the opposition. Chavez’s government has already had to defeat a military coup and massive economic sabotage.
Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez spoke for people the world over at the United Nations General Assembly in September when he attacked US imperialism’s attempt to dominate the world and subjugate its people. Referring to US President George Bush’s speech the day before, Chavez said: “The imperialists see extremists all around. No, it’s not that we are extremists. What is happening is that the world is waking up and people everywhere are rising up. I have the impression Mr Imperialist Dictator that you will live the rest of your days as if in a nightmare, because no matter where you look we will be rising up against US imperialism.”
Manuel Rosales faces almost certain defeat in Venezuela’s elections but he has told his supporters: “It is true, we are winning.”
Marta Harnecker is the Chilean-born author of Understanding the Venezuelan Revolution (Monthly Review Press, 2005) and other books dealing with revolution and Latin America. She has been an active participant in Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution and an adviser to that country’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez.
Marta Harnecker, a Chilean-born author, intellectual and participant in Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Coral Wynter and Jim McIlroy about the significance of Venezuela’s December 3 elections, in which socialist incumbent Hugo Chavez faces right-wing, US-backed candidate Manuel Rosales.
Anyone who has visited this giant city of some 6 million people will know that one of the major social problems here is basura (rubbish). For years, the complaints of the population have mounted, along with the piles of garbage in the streets. Now, the Venezuelan government and the municipal council have launched a drive to tackle the problem.
Up to 20,000 people mobilised for a four-hour march through Caracas on November 20. The demonstration, led by campesinos (peasants), was in support of the reelection of revolutionary Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the December 3 election.
Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American lawyer and author of The Chavez Code, which exposed US government involvement in a 2002 military coup that briefly overthrew Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s left-wing president, before he was reinstated by a popular uprising. She spoke to Green Left Weekly in late October. Golinger’s latest book is Bush vs Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela. (The first part of this interview appeared in GLW #691.)

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