Caroras 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 Ive 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 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.