Venezuela and the Wonders of Equality

Published on Dissident Voice, by Robert Hunziker, October 15, 2012.

Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela, is one of the most demonized presidents in the world. Yet, he is also the most successful Latin American president for an emerging ever-larger portion of his country. Go figure!

Over the past week, Chávez won his third term, as reported by NBC News: “Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez wins 3rd term, vows to deepen socialist revolution.” Voter turnout was 80% and Chávez won 54% to 45% versus his opponent Henrique Capriles Radonski, a state governor.  

According to the Western press, Venezuela is autocratically controlled, has a bloated bureaucracy, and is riddled with violent crime, but Chávez is the first leader who the people of the country feel really cares about their best interests. This is why they came out in record numbers to support his re-election.

Speaking from the balcony of the neoclassical Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Chávez, holding Simón Bolívar’s sword, promised: “Venezuela will continue along the path of democratic and Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century.” Bolivarian socialism is named after Simón Bolívar, a 19th century Venezuelan military leader who triumphed over the Spanish monarchy’s colonialism. Nineteenth century Bolivarian socialism is based upon the following tenets: Democracy and independence for Latin America, freedom for slaves and indigenous peoples, land reform, and education for all … //

… Most Western prognosticators got the Venezuelan election wrong, claiming the progressive wing was exhausted and certain to lose. However, left wing and center-left governments continue to be re-elected from Ecuador to Brazil to Argentina because they reduce poverty and inequality by taking control of natural resources to benefit the people. Latin America is living the 200-year-old Simón Bolívar dream.

Chávez has proven to be the most successful popularly elected radical left leader in history at a time when the socio-economic model of capitalism is failing, especially in several European countries, while Venezuela and its Latin American allies, boasting healthy finances, have instituted innovative social programs, experiments in direct democracy, and proven it is possible to be both genuinely progressive and democratically popular.
(full text).

Links:

Magical pictures, on Daily Mail Online, Sept. 27, 2012;

Pewa: Small Fruits that Pack a Huge Punch, on nourishing the planet, by Molly Redfield, Oct. 15, 2012.

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