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 Venezuelas 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 Venezuelas 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.
The following is abridged from a statement received by the socialist youth organisation Resistance from the Frente Francisco de Miranda (FFM), an organisation of revolutionary youth at the forefront of Venezuelas socialist revolution.
In front of more than 2000 promoters for the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on March 24, President Hugo Chavez called for all the political parties that support him to unite behind the new party. These promoters will carry out the first stage in the formation of a united pro-government party by the end of the year. Chavez emphasised that a united party is vital for the success of the Bolivarian revolutionary process.
Sixteen landed estates will be expropriated for Venezuelas land reform program, announced President Hugo Chavez on March 25, during his television program Alo Presidente. The total area of land that will thus become available for redistribution to peasants and agricultural cooperatives will exceed 330,000 hectares in the states of Apure, Anzoategui, Barinas, Guarico, Portuguesa and Aragua.
On his Alo Presidente radio program on March 5, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez reiterated his call for the creation of a united party of all those who support the Bolivarian revolution that his government is leading — a process that is struggling to transform Venezuela to overcome underdevelopment and poverty.
During a whirlwind tour of a series of Latin American nations, in what the media reported as a “counter-tour” to that being carried out by US President George Bush at the same time, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez signed a number of agreements that extend his country’s push to integrate the region’s economies. Via the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), promoted in alliance with socialist Cuba, Venezuela is signing a large number of agreements that aim to promote pro-people development based on cooperation rather than competition, in order to break foreign economic domination of the continent, predominantly by US capital.
A March 9 press release by the Washington-based Venezuela Information Office (VIO) pointed out that a US State Department report released on March 6 reveals that Venezuela strives to guarantee human rights and in fact, is beefing up measures to provide accessible avenues for lodging complaints and holding violators accountable.
A March 9 Venezuelanalysis.com article reported that the previous day Venezuelan authorities had arrested two National Guard officers over an alleged plot to assassinate Hugo Chavez, the countrys socialist president. Agents from Venezuelas Military Intelligence Directorate took retired General Ramon Guillen Davila and his son, Capitan Tomas Guillen, into custody. They will be tried for instigating rebellion.
“Our experience of Venezuela is of a mass people’s revolution. It was something completely different from anything I had experienced in my life … simply the feeling of a mass revolution is something fantastic. It is reminiscent of [Russian revolutionary V.I. Lenin’s] phrase that ‘a revolution is the festival of the oppressed’.”
During a visit to Venezuela, Argentinean President Nestor Kirchner signed an agreement with Venezuelas socialist President Hugo Chavez that will launch the Bank of the South (Bancosur) within four months, reported a February 22 Venezuelanlaysis.com article. Bancosur is part of the push, led by Venezuela, for Latin American integration to challenge US corporate domination. Chavez has promoted the bank as a source of cheap credit for countries in the region and a non-exploitative alternative to the First World-controlled International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.