Venezuela

Since January 12, more than 1600 delegates to the founding congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) — along with thousands of local socialist battalions (branches — have been discussing the new party’s program, principles and statutes, and in large part the future of the Bolivarian revolution.

Venezuela’s Energy Minister, Rafael Ramirez, characterised a series of court orders obtained by Exxon Mobil Corp. in Britain, the Netherlands, and the Dutch Antilles, freezing up to US$12 billion in assets of Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA, as "judicial terrorism" in a statement today.

The president of the Venezuela’s National Assembly’s Energy and Mines Committee, Angel Rodriguez, rejected the illegal judicial decision on behalf of British, US and Dutch courts, of freezing the Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) assets in their countries, as part of a lawsuit brought by the US Exxon Mobil, due to the nationalisation of the Orinoco Belt, which took place last May.

“Celebrating the completion of nine years in office, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez presented what he considered to be some of the main economic achievements of his government” according to a February 4 Venezuelanalysis.com article.

“We lack everything” Frances Buitrago, a small shopkeeper in the city of Merida, commented to Green Left Weekly. “There isn’t any milk, rice, mayonnaise, oil, wheat, or butter.”

Although the corporate media present an image of Venezuelans suffering under would-be dictator President Hugo Chavez, whose supposedly irresponsible and populist policies are ruining the country, a new poll released by non-profit NGO Latinobarometro reveals that Venezuelans have the most positive view in Latin America about the state of their country and the direction it’s heading in.

During the final week of campaigning around Venezuela’s December 2 constitutional reform referendum, which was narrowly defeated, solidarity activists from Australia and Canada had an opportunity to witness first hand the Bolivarian revolution being led by socialist President Hugo Chavez.

On January 12, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez opened the founding congress of the provisionally-named United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Chavez argued it was necessary to go on the offensive with the PSUV “as the spearhead and vanguard” of the revolution his government is leading. “We have arrived here to make a real revolution or die trying.”

A collective discussion is occurring throughout the revolutionary movement led by President Hugo Chavez following the defeat of the proposed constitutional reform proposals — that were intended to deepen the revolution to help open the way towards socialism — in the December 2 referendum.

John Riddell and Suzanne Weiss traveled to Venezuela at the end of November, as participants in a tour organized by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (<http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org>. The authors are members of the editorial team of Canadian publication Socialist Voice (http://www.socialistvoice.ca).

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