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15/11/04 Venezuela: Setting the new revolutionary parameters by Richard Smith guest commentarist Richard Smith writes: With the political battle against the right wing opposition won … at worst in an impasse … after the convincing victory at both national and local level of the Venezuelan people in democratic ratification of President Chavez, as well as the group of political parties supporting the Bolivarian project, Chavez did not waste any time in calling a meeting of all Bolivarian State Governors and Mayors of last weekend in Fuerte Tiuna, the Caracas garrison.

The meeting laid the groundwork for the next phase of transformation and consolidation of Venezuela from what was still in some ways a “representative” democracy to a real and throbbing “participative” democracy … which is vital for the next phase of the revolution.

Details of the working groups have been sketchy so far to say the least, but based on information obtained from reliable sources, we can report the following:

The parameters discussed at Fuerte Tiuna meeting fit into the ideas expounded in the article “Revolution in the Revolution, or is it just cultural?” published in VHeadline on November 7, 2004 … especially terms of organization at the base.

It has now become official strategy to promote representatives of the “people” (pueblo) to stand as local councilors in the mayoralties for the elections on February 25, 2005.

The aim is to “deepen” the revolution from the base upwards, and move away from the traditional influence of the leaders of the political parties, by broadening the reach of social and political action. One suspects that the architect of this strategy is, in fact, the chief ideologue of the Bolivarian Revolution, Commander William Izarra.

The spearhead of this strategy will be formed by the UBE’s, originally Units of Electoral Battle for the Presidential recall referendum … as Units of Endogenous Battle to organize the communities to “battle” for their rights, and by mass participation in social action, improve the quality of life of the majority of Venezuelans who still live in conditions of poverty.

Local crime will also be combated in the popular areas by the participation of the population with the police and security forces if necessary. The pilot plan in Caracas has already yielded more than acceptable results, as the number of reported crimes has diminished by 43% since the operation started eight weeks ago, according to statistics from the Interior & Justice (MIJ) Ministry given on Venezuelan National Radio (RNV) this morning.

Political objectives:
With council elections just round the corner in February 2005 and national parliamentary elections due in 2005, government forces are already re-organizing themselves with various key political objectives in mind:

Gain a solid 11 seat majority in the National Assembly by revoking the mandate of the 9 opposition parliamentarians on December 5 this year, so as to pass several important laws with ease by December 15 — these include the Law on Social responsibility in TV & Radio and the National Police Law.

A landslide in council elections with candidates from the “pueblo,‰ so as to deepen the “revolutionary process”.

Win more than 110 out of 165 seats in the national parliamentary elections due in December 2005, so as to have a 2/3 majority in the Assembly and thus pass the Enabling Law for the President, so that new laws can be postulated in order to solidify and consolidate the changes underway in Venezuela — this is conventional and legal under Venezuelan Constitutional Law.

With organization form the base upwards, increasing people participation and political and social consciousness, pave the way for the re-election of President Chavez with 10 million votes (!) in 2006.

With the election of genuine peoples‚ councilors in February 2005, exercise Social Controls & Audits on the actions of Mayors and State Governors, so as to combat corruption, inefficiency and bad bureaucracy, still rife throughout the country.

Other points discussed at the Fuerte Tiuna meeting were the ideological education of the Venezuelan people — as Chavez has said on more than one occasion — “without political ideology and consciousness, there can be no revolution.” The strengthening of the civic-military alliance so as to push forward social programs, protect the homeland from any foreign incursion or invasion, create a stronger reserve armed force and gather the “pueblo” into the cooperative movement in the context of “endogenous development.”

The direction of the Venezuelan process is now clear and with “all quiet on the political front,” Chavez can begin to implement his plans which will eventually bring about a cultural change in individualistic attitudes and by extension lead to more social and human solidarity, especially at popular level, aiming at a more egalitarian society as a whole.

The dangers that still lurk in the shadows are ongoing sabotage by bureaucrats, opposition inspired strikes, latent assassination attempts and the actions of the US against the self-determination of the Venezuelan people.

As soon as there are more details available from the Fuerte Tiuna meeting, we will update readers and hope to give concrete examples of the new parameters outlined above … so as to come out of the realm of the “theoretical” into the world of “real accomplishments.”

Richard Smith

 Richard Smith is based in La Victoria (Aragua).  He was born 1950 in Wolverhampton (UK), and obtained a Masters Degree from the University of London and the University of Marburg-an-der-Lahn (Germany) forming close contacts with Latin America and more especially Venezuela since 1977. An expert in international marketing, he is a regular contributor to the specialized press directed at the leather industry (Spanish and English), represents a global fair group in Latin America and recently launched the cyber magazine Leather Press. One of his main concerns are the establishment of some form of “social justice” in Latin America since: “As I grew up in a post WWII society where free health care, education, jobs and social security were taken for granted, it came as an ugly surprise to discover that these elements do not exist for 90% of Latin Americans. Thus, social organization at the base is essential if the dispossessed are ever to ease their way put of the poverty trap.” Richard Smith may be contacted at email More commentaries by Richard Smith

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