Venezuela

“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.

Venezuelan foreign minister Nicolas Maduro and London Mayor Ken Livingstone signed an agreement on February 20 for Venezuela to provide discounted oil to London authorities. In return, London will assist with city management and environmental protection in Caracas.

“Today a new epoch begins”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared in his victory speech on December 3, having won the presidential election with the highest vote in Venezuelan history on a platform of deepening the struggle to build socialism. “That new era is the new socialist democracy. That era is the new socialist society.”

“We, and millions of people around the world … believe another world is possible, a world free from war, poverty and hunger. Here in Venezuela the [government of socialist President Hugo Chavez] along with the majority of the people in our country are fighting hard to build this new world, despite the attempts of the old elite and the US government to prevent us from succeeding.” This is what 25-year-old university student Germania Fernandez told Pablo Navarrete, according to a December 1 article on Venezuelanalysis.com.

Hobart Resistance organiser Mel Barnes took part in the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade to Venezuela in December, to see the revolutionary process for herself. The brigade was timed to coincide with the presidential election in which President Hugo Chavez won another landslide victory as people voted to deepen the Bolivarian revolution.

Critics of Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, “finally feel vindicated (again)”, Venezuelanalysis.com editor Gregory Wilpert wrote in a February 6 comment piece. “The Venezuelan dictatorship that they have been predicting for the past eight years has, according to them, finally come to pass — for the sixth or so time.”

Nobody can quite believe their eyes and ears. More than 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has made it abundantly clear that his country is embarked on a socialist revolution.

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