Published on 19 August 2014 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
In an effort to more easily facilitate structural changes within the government, all ministers have offered their resignations to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, a development confirmed last night by Vice President Jorge Arreaza.
“We have decided as a group, vice presidents and ministers, to submit our resignations to President Nicolas Maduro so that he has the freedom to make decisions regarding government reorganization,” Arreaza said in a televised broadcast.
The move is part of a government “shake-up” – termed “the revolution within the Revolution” – announced last month by Maduro. It marks the second time during the president’s administration that ministers have taken such action.
Published on 5 August 2014 by Granma Internacional
If there was any doubt that the United States is behind opposition violence in Venezuela, the country’s very own Associated Press has added evidence, revealing that the State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a government funded group, sent some 7.6 million dollars to these Venezuelan organizations in 2013.
AP (Associated Press) gained access to documents which indicate that funds for the year were 15% greater than the 2009 allocation, although the story of U.S. financing of forces opposed to the Bolivarian Revolution goes back more than a decade.
Leopoldo López and María Corina Machado - two opposition leaders who publicly incited violence to overthrow current President Nicolás Maduro this past February - have been longstanding, funded collaborators of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Aid to International Development organization (USAID), provided funds to Leopolds’s political parties, Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, to María Corina’s non-government organization Súmate, and her election campaigns.
Published on 1 August 2014 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
Venezuela handed over the pro tempore presidency of the Mercosur commercial bloc to Argentina on Tuesday during the 46th presidential Mercosur summit in Caracas.
The Common Market of the South (Mercosur) is a customs and trade alliance founded in 1991. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela are full members, with the grouping comprising 275 million inhabitants and 83% of South America’s GDP.
A key task for the bloc during the presidential summit this week was to extend relationships with other regional organisations and potential members, with the hope of creating a complimentary economic zone across Latin America and the Caribbean.
In particular, Mercosur would like to construct more formal links with the ALBA, Petrocaribe, Pacific Alliance and Caribbean Community (Caricom) groups. Several countries in the region are Mercosur associate states, while Mexico and New Zealand are signed up as observers.
As the Bolivarian Revolution resists the most recent wave of destabilisation, official statistics on poverty in Venezuela for 2013 are deliberately manipulated, becoming yet another stick with which to beat the socialist government. Yet despite headlines in pro-imperialist Venezuelan newspapers crowing that ‘Over 700,000 Venezuelans slipped into extreme poverty in one year’ (El Pais, 28 May) and ‘Poverty in Venezuela swells from 21.2% to 27.3% in one year’ (El Universal, 23 May), a closer look at the actual figures shows that, under the Bolivarian Revolution, structural poverty fell to a record low in 2013.
The crucial fall in structural poverty
It is vital to distinguish between income poverty and structural poverty – something bourgeois commentators deliberately fail to do. Income poverty is a calculation of income and living costs. If a household’s income is below the cost of the daily basic food basket plus essential products and services, it is classed as in ‘poverty’. If a household’s income is less than the cost of the basic food basket alone, it is classed as in ‘extreme poverty’.
Structural poverty, on the other hand, assesses access to primary school and basic public services, housing conditions and economic dependency. As it relates to non-monetary indicators of development, it is less reactive to inflation. From a peak of 13% during the 2002 failed coup attempt and subsequent oil lock-out, extreme structural poverty has steadily declined to 5.5% at the end of 2013, the lowest on record. This drop, despite population growth and recession, reflects huge advances in the provision of services and infrastructure through the poverty-reducing ‘missions’ which have established universal free health care and education, provided subsidised food and built over half a million homes. The PSUV government has pledged to eradicate extreme poverty by 2018 and plans to construct 1,500 ‘social mission base’ community centres in deprived areas, bringing together existing social programmes in health, education, food, housing and culture.
Published on 28 July 2014 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
The iconic leader died of cancer in March last year after being reelected to a third constitutional term by a wide margin on 7 October 2012. A military officer from a humble background, Chavez spearheaded the political project known as the “Bolivarian revolution”, named after 19th century independence hero Simon Bolivar.
On 14 April 2013 Chavez’s former vice president, Nicolas Maduro, was narrowly elected as president on a ticket of continuing his mentor’s project and policies.
Official acts, marches and other gatherings are being held around the country today to mark what would have been Chavez’s 60th birthday, and to remember the life and legacy of the former president.
Published on 22 July 2014 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
Venezuela has signed 38 agreements worth US$18 billion with China, signaling a deepening of the two countries’ relations.
The new agreements were signed publically by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and Chinese president Xi Jinping in Caracas yesterday.
The accords include a US$4 billion direct loan for Venezuela and US$14 billion in Chinese financing for development projects in energy, mining, industry, technology, communications, transport, housing and culture.
Specific agreements include financing to increase oil production, explore mining reserves, expand public transport, launch a third Venezuelan satellite, and build factories to produce cement, fertilizers and other products.
During the high level bilateral meeting’s closing ceremony President Maduro said that the two governments had agreed to elevate their relations to a “comprehensive strategic association”.
“We find ourselves in a new political moment, forging, in this act, a new historic stage for the strengthening of relations for the wellbeing and prosperity of our countries,” he said.
Published on 16 July 2014 by the Venezuelan embassy in the US
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Wednesday that the meeting between heads of states of BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and of UNASUR nations (Union of South American Nations) will foster an alliance that will ensure peace and prosperity for the region.
“Without a doubt, the meeting between BRICS and UNASUR is historic. A South American bloc that is on its own path in terms of the economy, culture, politics, jurisdictions, of South American identity … [and] five of the most important emerging nations at the time” is a great alliance, the President said upon arriving in Brasilia.
He also noted that such an alliance would “correct the injustices of neoliberalism that privileged speculative capitalism in the world, that privileged looting through financial speculation, as in the case of our Argentinean sibling and the vulture funds.”