Venezuela

Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez spoke for people the world over at the United Nations General Assembly in September when he attacked US imperialism’s attempt to dominate the world and subjugate its people. Referring to US President George Bush’s speech the day before, Chavez said: “The imperialists see extremists all around. No, it’s not that we are extremists. What is happening is that the world is waking up and people everywhere are rising up. I have the impression Mr Imperialist Dictator that you will live the rest of your days as if in a nightmare, because no matter where you look we will be rising up against US imperialism.”

Manuel Rosales faces almost certain defeat in Venezuela’s elections but he has told his supporters: “It is true, we are winning.”

Marta Harnecker, a Chilean-born author, intellectual and participant in Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Coral Wynter and Jim McIlroy about the significance of Venezuela’s December 3 elections, in which socialist incumbent Hugo Chavez faces right-wing, US-backed candidate Manuel Rosales.

Marta Harnecker is the Chilean-born author of Understanding the Venezuelan Revolution (Monthly Review Press, 2005) and other books dealing with revolution and Latin America. She has been an active participant in Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution and an adviser to that country’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez.

Up to 20,000 people mobilised for a four-hour march through Caracas on November 20. The demonstration, led by campesinos (peasants), was in support of the reelection of revolutionary Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the December 3 election.

Anyone who has visited this giant city of some 6 million people will know that one of the major social problems here is basura (rubbish). For years, the complaints of the population have mounted, along with the piles of garbage in the streets. Now, the Venezuelan government and the municipal council have launched a drive to tackle the problem.

Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American lawyer and author of The Chavez Code, which exposed US government involvement in a 2002 military coup that briefly overthrew Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s left-wing president, before he was reinstated by a popular uprising. She spoke to Green Left Weekly in late October. Golinger’s latest book is Bush vs Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela. (The first part of this interview appeared in GLW #691.)

On November 17, President Hugo Chavez unveiled Mission Energy Revolution, a social project aimed at reducing energy usage in Venezuela. The program was launched in the state of Nuevo Esparta by Chavez, energy minister Rafael Ramirez, other ministers, and representatives of the Cuban government. Ramirez said the mission was aimed not only at rationalising residential electricity consumption, but more fundamentally usage by the industrial and commercial sectors, the November 18 Ultimas Noticias reported.

Michael Lebowitz, author of Build it Now: Socialism for the Twenty-first Century and professor emeritus of the economics department at Canada’s Simon Fraser University, is a director of the Centro Internacional Miranda. The CIM is a Caracas-based foundation for analysis and discussion of Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution — the radical process of social change led by the country’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez. Lebowitz spoke to Green Left Weekly about the challenges facing the revolution (the first part of this interview appeared in GLW #690).

More than 12,000 young people rallied in the Poliedro Amphitheatre on November 17 to express support for the re-election of socialist President Hugo Chavez in the December 3 presidential election. The members of numerous social and political organisations chanted, sang revolutionary songs, and displayed placards, balloons and banners expressing their support Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution he leads.

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