RACISM & NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS | NEWS/COMMENTARY


Hugo Chavez Launches for Presidential Elections with Program for Socialism
June 25, 2012, 6:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear Friends,

The article below reports an event that brings hope to the Venezuelan
people and to us. Hugo Chavez, recovering from cancer, is forging ahead
to challenge the Venezuelan people to take it upon themselves to change
society. “The key to building socialism,” said Chavez, is “a
popular power capable of dismantling the patterns of oppression,
exploitation and domination that persist within Venezuelan society.”

“This requires completely pulverising the bourgeois state form we
have inherited, which continues to reproduce itself via its old and
nefarious practices, and continuing to invent new forms of political
power.”
___________________________
Venezuela: Chavez launches 2012 for Presidential Elections with program
for socialism

By Federico Fuentes

A farming cooperative in Paramo that practices agroecology. Land reform,
and the creation of thousands of cooperatives, are among the gains of
the Bolivarian revolution led by the government of Hugo Chavez.

Despite much speculation in the international media regarding the health
of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a mass gathering of supporters
accompanied him on June 11 as he registered his candidature for the
October 7 presidential elections.

Chavez used the opportunity to address the issue of recent tests he had
undergone after his cancer treatment. “Everything came out
absolutely fine, I feel very well” said Chavez,  Venezuela Analysis
reported the next day.

Responding to claims by World Bank president Robert Zoellick just three
days before that “Chavez’s days are numbered”, Venezuela
Analysis reported Chavez said: “I think the one that has its days
numbered is global capitalism, of which the World Bank is a part.”

The corporate media have focused on what investigative journalist Eva
Golinger described as “necrophiliac storytelling about the
Venezuelan President”. But Chavez said that in the election,
“the life of the country is at stake, not any old thing is at stake
here, it’s the future of the country”.

Since being first elected in 1998, Chavez’s government has led a process
known as the “Bolivarian revolution”. It has redistributed the
nation’s wealth to the poor majority, promoted participatory democracy,
begun a process of land reform and re-nationalised strategic industries.

In 2006, Chavez was re-elected with a record 63% of the vote on a
platform of deepening the revolution to build “socialism of the 21st
century”.

This difficult process has faced obstacles, and on June 11 Chavez
presented a radical election program with the aim of receiving a new
mandate to push ahead towards socialism.

In his preface to the document spelling out the program, Chavez
described it as “a program for transition towards socialism and for
radicalising participatory and protagonistic democracy”.

The program, which is being widely disseminated and discussed among the
public, proposes five key objectives.

The first is consolidating Venezuela’s political, economic, social
and cultural independence. This requires: preserving sovereignty over
Venezuela’s natural resources and its wealth; developing the
country’s scientific and technological capacities; and strengthening
“national and Latin American identity, starting from the Bolivarian
principle that `the Homeland is America’.”

This objective, the document says, also requires deepening the alliance
between the people and the military to defend the country from outside
aggression.

Together with consolidating national independence, the program proposes
as its second objective the construction of 21st century socialism.

Chavez wrote: “We should not fool ourselves: the socio-economic
formation that continues to prevail in Venezuela is of a capitalist and
rent-taking character …

“Socialism has only begun to implant its own internal dynamic among
us.”

That is why “this is a program precisely to refine and deepen
[socialism]; to move towards a radical suppression of the logic of
capital that needs to be accomplished step by step, but without slowing
down the rhythm of advancement towards socialism”.

The key to building socialism, said Chavez, is “a popular power
capable of dismantling the patterns of oppression, exploitation and
domination that persist within Venezuelan society.”

“This requires completely pulverising the bourgeois state form we
have inherited, which continues to reproduce itself via its old and
nefarious practices, and continuing to invent new forms of political
power.”

In place of the old state, the introduction to the program promotes a
new state based on “the consolidation and expansion of popular
power”.

Central to this new state would be the existing communes and communal
councils that have emerged as forms of community self-government, and
the social missions, through which communities have organised themselves
to meet their education, health and other basic needs.

The third and fourth objectives locate the Venezuelan revolution within
the international context.

Chavez said the world is submerged in a “structural crisis” of
capitalism “which could become terminal”, but Latin America
continues to live through “a change of eras that is characterised by
a real and genuine change in power relations to the benefit of the great
majorities”.

The program proposes the promotion of greater Latin American unity aimed
at transforming the region into a peace zone. In the international
arena, it proposes contributing to building a new multipolar world based
on peace and equilibrium among nations.

The final objective, notes the introduction, is the “necessity of
constructing an ecosocialist productive economic model, based on a
harmonious relationship between humans and nature, that guarantees the
use and rational and optimal exploitation of natural resources, while
respecting the processes and cycles of nature”.

The 39-page document then goes on to list a wide range of specific
measures and policies aimed at turning these objectives into reality.

“In presenting this program,” wrote Chavez, “I do so
convinced that only with the protagonist participation of the people,
with the broadest possible discussion among the popular bases, we can
perfect it, unleashing all of its creative and liberating
potential.”

With less than 100 days until the elections, polls give Chavez an
advantage of 16%-25% over his main rival, the unity candidate of the
right-wing opposition, Henrique Capriles Radonsky.

The October 7 poll looks likely to provide the Venezuelan revolution
with another crushing mandate to push forward its radical agenda.

Conscious of this, the US government and its loyal right-wing opposition
inside Venezuela will undoubtedly be doing everything in its power to
deal blows not just to Chavez, but to a revolutionary movement united
behind an anti-capitalist program.

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/51441

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