Venezuela

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).

@intro =”The United States government cheered the outcome of Venezuelan’s constitutional reform referendum of December 2, which prompted Venezuela’s Ambassador to the U.S. to accuse the Bush administration of a ‘double standard’ because of its criticisms of the referendum shortly before the vote”, Kiraz Janicke wrote in a Venezuelanalysis.com article on December 4.

With the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s proposed constitutional reforms, aimed at “opening the path to socialism” in the referendum on December 2, by a tiny margin of 50.7% to 49.3% with 90% of the vote counted, many Venezuelans and supporters of the Bolivarian revolution internationally are asking “what happened?”.

@body intro = BREAKING NEWS — As Green Left Weekly goes to press, the Venezuelan government has released video evidence of a violent destabilisation campaign being planned by US-funded opponents of the Chavez government and the process of change. The campaign is based on rejected the outcome of the referendum being held on December 2. Speaking to up to a million supporters of the constitutional reforms and the revolution on November 30, President Hugo Chavez threatened to cut off oil supplies immediately to the US, in retaliation against any violent attacks.

Much coverage of the Venezuelan revolution in the corporate-owned media presents a severely distorted picture of what is occurring in Venezuela and the nature and actions of the government of President Hugo Chavez. James Jordan, the emergency response coordinator for the US-based Venezuela Solidarity Network (<http://vensolidarity.org>), attempts to answer some of the key lies and distortions.

Following the massive student protests in support of the constitutional reforms and the revolutionary process on November 21, Venezuela’s workers’ movement met the next day, with around 1500 representatives from workplaces gathering at the Teatro Teresa Carreno to plan the campaign to ensure a “Yes” vote in the referendum on constitutional reforms on December 2.

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