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 Weeklys Venezuela bureau who were in Caracas on the day of the December 3 presidential election.
Venezuelas socialist President Hugo Chavez spoke for people the world over at the United Nations General Assembly in September when he attacked US imperialisms attempt to dominate the world and subjugate its people. Referring to US President George Bushs speech the day before, Chavez said: The imperialists see extremists all around. No, its 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, 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.
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.
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, Venezuelas left-wing president, before he was reinstated by a popular uprising. She spoke to Green Left Weekly in late October. Golingers latest book is Bush vs Chavez: Washingtons War on Venezuela. (The first part of this interview appeared in GLW #691.)
On November 17, President Hugo Chavez unveiled Mission Energy Revolution, a social project aimed at reducing energy usage in Venezuela. The program was launched in the state of Nuevo Esparta by Chavez, energy minister Rafael Ramirez, other ministers, and representatives of the Cuban government. Ramirez said the mission was aimed not only at rationalising residential electricity consumption, but more fundamentally usage by the industrial and commercial sectors, the November 18 Ultimas Noticias reported.
Michael Lebowitz, author of Build it Now: Socialism for the Twenty-first Century and professor emeritus of the economics department at Canadas Simon Fraser University, is a director of the Centro Internacional Miranda. The CIM is a Caracas-based foundation for analysis and discussion of Venezuelas Bolivarian revolution the radical process of social change led by the countrys socialist president, Hugo Chavez. Lebowitz spoke to Green Left Weekly about the challenges facing the revolution (the first part of this interview appeared in GLW #690).
More than 12,000 young people rallied in the Poliedro Amphitheatre on November 17 to express support for the re-election of socialist President Hugo Chavez in the December 3 presidential election. The members of numerous social and political organisations chanted, sang revolutionary songs, and displayed placards, balloons and banners expressing their support Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution he leads.
As the Venezuelan presidential elections on December 3 draw closer, and the tensions grow as the revolutionary forces led by President Hugo Chavez face off against the US-backed opposition fronted by Manuel Rosales, the world is watching with huge interest. The stakes in this election are immense: the future of the Bolivarian revolution and the struggle to construct socialism of the 21st century are on the line.
Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American lawyer and author of The Chavez Code, which exposed US government involvement in the April 2002 military coup that briefly ousted left-wing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, before he was reinstated by a popular uprising. Golinger is a determined campaigner against Washingtons attacks on revolutionary Venezuela. She has just published a new book, Bush vs Chavez: Washingtons War on Venezuela, detailing the current US threats to Venezuela. She spoke to Green Left Weekly in late October.
As the campaign for the Venezuelan presidential elections on December 3 entered its final month, the popular mobilisations in support of left-wing President Hugo Chavez increased in size and intensity. On October 30, thousands of residents of one of the largest communities in Caracas, Barrio 23 de Enero (Barrio January 23) braved intermittent rain to surround the truck carrying Chavez through the neighbourhoods hilly streets.
Venezuelas socialist President Hugo Chavez began a November 8 press conference, the first with the international media for many weeks, with a passionate statement against Israels war on Palestinians, which had killed four children and two women that morning.