Published on 11 August by www.venezuelanalysis.com
The Venezuelan government has announced an investment of 7.3 billion bolivars ($US 1.2 billion) in programs to renovate and beautify the country’s poorer urban and rural communities.
The funds will be injected into the “New Barrio, Tricolour Barrio Great Mission” (GMBNBT), a government social program which aims to comprehensively improve living standards in the country’s barrios.
Key strategies of the mission include housing renovation, the construction of new public spaces, risk management, installation or improvement of basic services, community policing initiatives, and the promotion of communal organisation and productive activities.
The investment, which represents almost double the amount spent on the program so far this year, was announced by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro after a ministerial cabinet meeting last Thursday. The money will be used in the 63 geographical zones across the country where the program is already operating, and on ten new zones to be opened.
Published on 16 August by www.venezuelanalysis.com
Across Venezuela commune activists are creating regional Presidential Councils of Communal Governance in order to play an increased role in the management of local and regional affairs in conjunction with national authorities.
The development comes after President Nicolas Maduro travelled to the western state of Lara last month to install the first such council. The councils are meant to be made up of representatives of each commune in a regional state, in addition to representatives of national government institutions and social programs.
According to the communes ministry, these councils will be conduits of consultation and debate in order to influence national executive decision making. They are also to help design strategies and actions to effect a transition to a “communal state”, where powers and responsibilities are transferred from municipal and regional state governments to community councils and communes.
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.