socialism

Many analysts have rushed to give their opinions regarding the “crisis of the MAS” and its consequences.

Yet, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS — the party of President Evo Morales) has always been in crisis — if by crisis we mean internal disputes for power and the existence of personal interests.

Despite this permanent “crisis”, the MAS was able to cohere the majority of plebeian sectors through a kind of corporative alliance.

A huge transformation of agriculture is taking place in Venezuela, a transformation that has lessons for every other country in the world. I had the opportunity in July to visit the country and see the changes that are taking place first hand.

Venezuela’s Law of the Land and Agrarian Development, the Law of Food Sovereignty and Security, and the Law of Integrated Agricultural Health set out the agenda.

With the symptoms of social and environmental crisis all around us — runaway climate change, Third World poverty, seemingly endless wars — it is sometimes easy to feel discouraged about our ability to change “the way things are”. We can forget that millions of ordinary people have many times over said “enough is enough” and come together to take action to change history.

The federal election result was a breakthrough for all who dream of being liberated from the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee politics that has been foisted on Australia for many years.

By denying the major parties a majority mandate, and by swinging strongly to the Greens, the possibility for a very political future has been opened up.

Of course, there are many challenges ahead.

One of Venezuela’s state-run food supply networks increased by 70% its sales in July, Edward Ellis reported in the Correo del Orinoco International on August 13.

Ellis said commerce minister Richard Canan told Venezuelan television program Desperto Venezuela of a record income for the Bicentennial Markets, which took in a total of US$56.5 million in July.

Ellis said Canan, a member of socialist President Hugo Chavez’s government, reported a 2.1 million people visited the markets in July, an increase of 35%.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the focal point of a political shift to the left that has affected most of the Latin American continent for just over a decade. For several years this has been met with denunciations of the nation and its president, Hugo Chavez, from TV personalities like Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson to establishment figures like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all of whom liken the nation to a military dictatorship.

An August 10 summit between recently inaugurated Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has lowered tensions in a region that some believe was on the brink of armed confrontation.

The situation reached boiling point after Colombia’s July 22 claims in the US-dominated Organisation of American States that Venezuela was “harbouring terrorists”.

Recent scenes of roadblocks, strikes and even the dynamiting of a vice-minister’s home in the Bolivian department (administrative district) of Potosi, reminiscent of the days of previous neoliberal governments, have left many asking themselves what is really going on in the “new” Bolivia of indigenous President Evo Morales.

Since July 29, the city of Potosi, which has 160,000 inhabitants, has ground to a halt. Locals are up in arms over what they perceive to be a lack of support for regional development on the part of the national government.

“In the end, capitalism is the only viable system we have for organising our economy”, said Lucy Turnbull, business person, former mayor of Sydney and partner of former Coalition leader Malcolm Turnbull at the iQ2 debate in Sydney on August 10 on the topic “Only capitalism can save the planet”. Turnbull was the only politician to make the Business Review Weekly's 2010 Rich 200 list this year.

Well, she would think that, wouldn't she?

Despite US President Barack Obama’s promise to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that his administration wouldn’t interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is channelling millions to anti-Chavez groups.

Foreign intervention is not only executed through military force. The funding of “civil society” groups and media outlets is one of the more widely used mechanisms by the US government to achieve its strategic objectives.

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