Caracas Lurches Left and Rejects Markets
mstainsby at SPAMhotmail.com
Mon Aug 9 01:22:47 MDT 1999
>Has anyone seen a full text of Chavez's speech to the Constitutent
>Assembly that was referred to in the article?
I'll ask one better, Michael. Does anyone have a transcript of *any* Chavez
speech? Most interested in one's since he took power, even better would be
since the 121 of 131 seats election.
>Jay Moore wrote:
> > CARACAS LURCHES LEFT AND REJECTS MARKETSThe IndependentAugust 7,
> > 1999
> > HUGO CHAVEZ, the hugely popular President of Venezuela, has vowed to
> > lead his country away from the market economy and urged the new
> > Constitutional Assembly to extend his potential term of office from
> > five to 12 years. Mr Chavez, who took office six months ago on a
> > left-leaning, nationalist ticket, claims he has won a revolution
> > without firing a shot.
> > In the new assembly he addressed for the first time on Thursday, 121
> > out of 131 members are fervent loyalists. "We are fighting against
> > neo- liberalism and searching for equality, employment and justice to
> > cover the needs of the people," Mr Chavez thundered. "Venezuela is
> > rising out of its ashes." He lambasted the neoliberal economic model
> > as a "dogma of individualism" that had led the world to "fighting like
> > savages against each other".
> > Last week Mr Chavez took the sword of the 19th century liberator Simon
> > Bolivar from the national vault, paraded it through the streets of
> > Caracas, and unsheathed the golden blade from its diamond-studded
> > scabbard to hold it aloft over the cheering crowd.
> > An estimated 80 per cent of Venezuela's population is mired in
> > poverty, and they view Chavez as a hero, though most of the nation's
> > elite scorn him.
> > "I do not have absolute power nor do I wish to have it," Mr Chavez
> > says, but not everyone believes him. Soon after Mr Chavez changed the
> > country's name to the "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" Congress
> > suspended its sessions before serious conflicts could arise.
> > Since Mr Chavez declared a national emergency which requires the
> > dismantling of all corrupt institutions, the Supreme Court is
> > increasingly wary. The president says his popular mandate, with an
> > approval rating of 75 per cent, means his assembly holds sway over the
> > judiciary and legislative branches of the government before a new
> > constitution is ratified in six months. And the assembly can steamroll
> > any opposition.
> > All Latin America is watching as the charismatic ex-paratrooper,
> > jailed for two years after leading a failed military coup in 1992,
> > manoeuvers his military backers with the flair of a demagogue. Since
> > Mr Chavez was elected last December, he has appointed 173 officers to
> > oversee the running of most state institutions and holds council in
> > his Miraflores Palace with 20 military advisers. Fifty thousand
> > soldiers are on the streets, directing his "theatres of social
> > operation" and deciding which roads to repair and where to construct
> > hospitals and schools.
> > Foreign aid workers, accustomed to watching 80 per cent of their
> > project money trickle away in Venezuelan "administrative costs", are
> > watching the pragmatic results of the changes with a sense of wonder.
> > Venezuela is the world's No3 oil exporter and Mr Chavez plans to
> > revive Cuban oil refineries to process Venezuelan petroleum as part of
> > an idealistic economic scheme, which sets aside a quarter of the
> > country's bank loans for agricultural projects. Inflation is pegged at
> > 30 per cent, but soon expected to drop to 20 per cent because many
> > Venezuelans no longer have cash to buy much.
> > Political opponents mince no words. "The constituent assembly is
> > nothing more than a camouflage to make the world think that the coming
> > dictatorship is the product of a democratic process," said Jorge
> > Olavarria, an opposition figure who lost the assembly election.
> > Alfredo Pena, a former investigative reporter elected to the assembly,
> > sits amid a motley group of Chavez hangers-on that range from Mr
> > Chavez's brother and his wife, Marisabel, to grizzled guerrillas,
> > retired military brass, a folksinger and a racetrack announcer.
> > "With the power Chavez has now, he could ignore democracy," says Mr
> > Pena. "But there is democracy here because he wants it."
>Michael Pearlman email: pearlman at phila.k12.pa.us
>J.R. Masterman School pearl1 at erols.com
>17th and Spring Garden Sts. fax: (215) 299-3581
>Philadelphia PA 19130 phone: (215) 299-3583
>Money for Schools, not Prisons! Hasta la victoria siempre!
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