Venezuela

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 Venezuela’s 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.

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 country’s socialist president. Agents from Venezuela’s Military Intelligence Directorate took retired General Ramon Guillen Davila and his son, Capitan Tomas Guillen, into custody. They will be tried for instigating rebellion.

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.

“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 Venezuela’s 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.

In Venezuela, after decades of class polarisation, neglect of the needs of the majority, corruption on a massive scale and unbridled bureaucracy, the magnitude of problems that Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution led by socialist president Hugo Chavez is attempting to tackle is enormous.

Luis Britto Garcia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1940. He is the author of a vast work that encompasses 47 titles, eight of them narrative fiction. In 1970, he won the Casa de las Americas Prize with his collection of tales Rajatabla. In 1979, he won that international distinction again with his novel Abrapalabra.

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