Published on 6 March 2015 by TeleSUR English

The 4th extraordinary summit of the Petrocaribe bloc of nations closed in Caracas, Venezuela on 6th March. 

Petrocaribe continues to promote regional developmentThe summit, attended by 17 delegates from member states, generated several important decisions for the Caribbean bloc’s future, one of which was the decision to create an economic zone, and another was a focus on regional peace: “We reaffirm that the Caribbean is peaceful region, where member states promote integration processes and friendship, to keep guaranteeing the greatest amount of happiness for our people.” The final decisions of the bloc affirmed that “the founding spirit of Petrocaribe is to be a mechanism of solidarity, cooperation and friendship between the peoples of our region."

Initiated as a pact to assist in the economic and social development of countries in the region, Petrocaribe is primarily an effort to alleviate the economic dependence experienced by many small developing countries in the Caribbean and Central America. Petrocaribe is the brainchild of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who understood that social and economic development in lower income countries of the region was hindered by the need to spend on an indispensable resource – oil.

from Whittington to Caracas, health is a right not a commodity!As part of an international week of action, on Saturday 7 March, activists from the Revolutionary Communist Group brought solidarity with Venezuela to their weekly action against the privatisation of Whittington Hospital in Archway, London. 

While the Government is happy to bail the banks out to the tune of £1.5 trillion, it has imposed £18 million cuts on the hospital, which is literally the lifeblood of the community. The board are slashing vital jobs and services while at the same time paying city consultants Ernst & Young £426,000 to carry out an audit of the hospital and a further £500,000 consultancy fees to a former car parts company, Unipart.

The privatisation and dismantling of the healthcare system in Britain is in stark contrast to the outstanding commitment to healthcare shown by Venezuela. Since 2003, Venezuela has guaranteed universal free healthcare to all of its citizens through the Barrio Adentro scheme it set up with the help of Cuban doctors. Now residents from poorest urban communities and the most far flung indigenous communities have access to healthcare. Not only does Venezuela ensure healthcare for all of its citizens, through the Operation Miracle project, Venezuela in collaboration has provided free cataract operations for over 3.4 million people across Latin America. A shining example of internationalism

Published on 6 March 2015 by

Venezuelans take to the streets to mark the death of Hugo ChavezThousands of Venezuelans gathered in the Plaza Bolívar in the center of Caracas yesterday to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of late president Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías with an 'Anti-Imperialist Peoples' Court.'

Although the occasion was solemn, the mood was joyous, as innumerable red-clothed bodies celebrated with smiles, laughter, and boisterous chants the life and legacy of the leader they call the 'Eternal Comandante.'

"The legacy of Comandante Hugo Chávez is life, it's life for those families, those people who were always excluded from the services of healthcare, education, [etc.]. The legacy of Hugo Chávez is the guarantee of living well, of being able to study, to have free healthcare, and everything else,"

Grey's Monument, NewcastleActivists from the Revolutionary Communist Group, Britain, held a street meeting on 7 March in Newcastle upon Tyne as part of an International week of solidarity with Venezuela called by Los Pueblos con Venezuela

Capitalism is in crisis - cuts for the poor, bailouts for the rich, squeezing out profits as governments impose privatisation and austerity across Europe whilst intensifying exploitation war and occupation of underdeveloped countries in a scramble for resources. Humanity is at a cross roads, the choice is stark – build socialism or face never-ending austerity, racism and war. The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela demonstrates what can be achieved when people take a stand against austerity and imperialism!

During the 15 years of the Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela alongside Socialist Cuba has been at the forefront of regional integration, contributing to healthcare, education and mutual development projects across Latin America, opposing neo-liberalism and private profit. This defiance has brought Venezuela into the cross hairs, today the inspiring achievements of the Venezuelan revolution are threatened by a violent, right-wing opposition backed and directly funded by US and European interests to the tune of $90 million.

Venezuela, alongside socialist Cuba is spearheading a movement for socialism across Latin America, challenging imperialism and neo-liberal exploitation, demanding dignity and human development over profit and private interests. Venezuela remains a beacon of hope and inspiration for movements across the globe.
Hands off Venezuela! their fight is our fight- Break the media blockade!

Published on 12 February 2014 by TeleSUR English

Visit TeleSUR's special webpage for full details'The War on Venezuela's democracy'

Coup plotters planned on assassinating the Venezuelan president and installing a de facto government.

A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address.

Those involved were being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said.

Venezuela’s president stated that the coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up once the plan, which included bombings on the Miraflores Palace and the teleSUR offices in Caracas, as well as assassinations of members of the opposition, Maduro and others, was carried out.

Maduro explained that a video of masked military officials speaking out against the government had been recorded, which was set to be released after the planned assassination was carried out.

Published on 7 February 2015 by TeleSUR English

New houses in the 'Hugo Chavez' Socialist cityVenezuelan president Nicolas Maduro handed over 3,456 homes to families in the Carabobo state Friday, as part of the Great Housing Mission Venezuela (GMVV).

Maduro said that Hugo Chavez Socialist City urbanization, where the new homes are located, has schools, sports fields, a subsidized food market and numerous green spaces for residents. The homes are also fully equipped with appliances including refrigerators, ovens and washing machines.

The president added that each housing complex in the urbanization must develop socio-productive projects to help the community to meet their immediate needs.

“This is Chavez's dream, it is the people's dream, the dream of the territorial socialism, all our children and all our people can enjoy the dream of the Bolivarian Revolution,” Maduro said.

Former President Hugo Chavez created the GMVV in 2011 in order to ensure quality homes to Venezuelans, given that hundreds of thousands live in improvised housing due to lack of investment from governments prior to the Bolivarian revolution.

The program is especially geared to families affected by the heavy rains in 2010 and 2011. So far, 677,400 homes have been delivered across the country, with Maduro saying that as many as 400,000 will be constructed and turned over to families in 2015.

By Eva Golinger. Published on 2 February 2015 by counterpunch

Same old dirty tacticsThere is a coup underway in Venezuela. The pieces are all falling into place like a bad CIA movie. At every turn a new traitor is revealed, a betrayal is born, full of promises to reveal the smoking gun that will justify the unjustifiable. Infiltrations are rampant, rumors spread like wildfire, and the panic mentality threatens to overcome logic. Headlines scream danger, crisis and imminent demise, while the usual suspects declare covert war on a people whose only crime is being gatekeeper to the largest pot of black gold in the world.

This week, as the New York Times showcased an editorial degrading and ridiculing Venezuelan President Maduro, labeling him “erratic and despotic” (“Mr. Maduro in his Labyrinth”, NYT January 26, 2015), another newspaper across the Atlantic headlined a hack piece accusing the President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, and the most powerful political figure in the country after Maduro, of being a narcotics kingpin (“The head of security of the number two Chavista defects to the U.S. and accuses him of drug trafficking”, ABC, January 27, 2015). The accusations stem from a former Venezuelan presidential guard officer, Leasmy Salazar, who served under President Chavez and was recruited by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), now becoming the new “golden child” in Washington’s war on Venezuela.

Published on 24 January by

23 of Januarys March of the undefeatedOn Friday, thousands took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the toppling of the Pérez Jiménez dictatorship as well as to voice their support for the government of President Nicolás Maduro in the face of economic war and political destabilization.

Setting out in the morning from Plaza Fabricio Ojeda in the historic 23 de Enero neighborhood, a combative barrio itself named after the date of Pérez Jiménez’s ousting, the march concluded in the Plaza O’Leary in El Calvario, where the President spoke and led a spirited rally, amidst a sea of red banners.

 Shortages and the “Economic War”

Friday’s march comes in the midst of severe inflation and widespread shortages of basic goods, which President Maduro has termed an “economic war” that is reportedly being waged against the Bolivarian government by elements of the opposition. The President accused distributors of hoarding everyday products and presented them with an ultimatum to cooperate or face “tough measures.”

Published on 24 December 2014 by Steve Ellner - New Left Project

Chavez Lives! the struggle continues!Nearly two years after the death of Hugo Chávez, the key question that many on the left are debating, in Venezuela and elsewhere, is whether his successors have been true to his legacy, or whether the ‘revolutionary process’ initiated more than a decade ago has now stalled or even been thrown into reverse. The recent emergence of a number of pressing problems has convinced some Chavistas that the revolution has either been betrayed or, at best, that President Nicolás Maduro is severely lacking in Chávez’s political acumen. High on the list of difficulties are the chronic shortages of numerous consumer goods and products, including basic ones, as well as an annual inflation rate of over 60 percent. Both of these, Maduro claims, are part of an ‘economic war’ being waged by powerful interests to destabilize Venezuela. The government’s difficulties include the universally recognized problem of corruption.

Of course, these scourges were also prevalent under Chávez, but with less intensity, and in any case he faced them head on. His response to the shortages of basic commodities – which became particularly severe in 2007, influencing the outcome of the referendum on proposed constitutional reform – was to decree widespread expropriations. In 2009 he faced the problem of corruption that led to a major financial crisis by jailing at least 16 bankers, including the brother of a trusted cabinet minister, and ordering the arrest of over 40 others who fled the country, while at the same time nationalizing 13 banks.

Radical Chavistas point out that Maduro is lacking in audacity of this type. They criticize, for instance, the decision to replace the Chavista slogan ‘Chávez Lives, the Struggle Continues!’ with ‘Chávez Lives, the Homeland Continues!’ as indicative of political retreat and a lessening of the leadership’s revolutionary fervour. One Chavista radical concluded that, given this type of rhetorical modification, ‘Chávez is facing a second death.’ [1] The radicals also questioned the rationale behind the proposed ‘peace dialogue’ with opposition leaders and the business sector, designed to control the violent protests that shook Venezuela in early 2014. They were convinced that underlying these conversations were concessions to the historical enemies of the Bolivarian revolution. Antonio Aponte and Toby Valderrama, an ex-guerrilla of the 1960s whom Maduro has attacked personally, wrote ‘It’s time for self-criticism: we wanted to avoid sacrifices and so we extended our hand to the bourgeoisie, the enemies of peace… we wanted to control the capitalist monster that is uncontrollable.’ [2] 

These critiques raise the question of how to evaluate a government committed to taking the gradual democratic road to far-reaching change in the context of extreme polarization and conflict. Is a period of lull in the deepening of change, including compromises with adversaries, necessarily a sign that all has been lost, as those who invoke the term ‘permanent revolution’ often argue? Certainly, history is replete with examples of governments committed to structural transformation that, after initial advances, begin to backslide and end up completely abandoning the struggle. On the other hand, Lenin’s slogan of ‘one step backwards to take two steps forward’ (in reference to the New Economic Policy) may be applicable to Venezuela under Maduro, as some Chavista moderates suggest. Finally, what are the issues we should be looking at in evaluating the Maduro government’s claim to have inherited Chávez’s revolutionary mantle? And what are the issues that are not particularly germane to this discussion but that some on the left are raising in a misguided attempt to define the ideological orientation of the Maduro government?