March 2012, Week 5


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Sat, 31 Mar 2012 14:25:53 -0400
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Chavez: We Have to Make the Economic Revolution Now

By Rachael Boothroyd
March 29, 2012


During a telephone call from Cuba last Saturday,
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the
government would carry out an "economic revolution"
within the coming years as he approved more funds for
the industrial development of the country.

Speaking to a meeting of Vice-ministers in Caracas,
Chavez said that his administration would build a "new
industrialised model in Venezuela," capable of
satisfying the collective needs of the nation.

Making reference to Marxist intellectual Ivan Meszaros,
Chavez spoke of the necessity to make Venezuela's
transition towards socialism "irreversible", explaining
that the country had experienced a political revolution
but that the government "now had to make the economic

"Throughout the past few years there is no doubt that
we have made a political revolution," he stated, "but
the economic revolution is there, creaking in the
background, something unfinished".

"The political revolution is there following its path,
and of course we have to look after it, a revolution
based on knowledge, consciousness, revolutionary
ethics...the political revolution which has been
advancing like a river, we can't let it be rolled
backwards... but if we don't make the economic
revolution, what use is the political revolution?" he

Although Chavez said that this economic revolution
would have to begin in the Venezuelan countryside, he
also approved funding for the development of the
country's industrial sector, which he said would also
be important in overcoming Venezuela's rentier and oil
dependent economy.

Some of the funding approved by the president include
US$100 million to construct iron and steel processing
plants as part of state company Ferrominera in Bolivar
state, US$2 million to start production at a socialist
food factory in Portuguesa, as well as US$24 million
for the mixed socialist coco-processing plant in Sucre
as part of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of
Our America (ALBA).

The Venezuelan president also announced the forced
expropriation of the Guanare Sugar processing plant and
its associated businesses after a farmers' collective
complained that the factory was affecting the wellbeing
of the local population and its workers earlier this

During the meeting, Chavez, who is expected to sweep to
victory in this year's October presidential elections,
affirmed that the country was currently moving towards
the construction of a socially productive economy based
on the 5 stages set out by Venezuelan Finance Minister,
Jorge Giordani, in his book "Venezuela's Transition to

These 5 stages are comprised of the modification of the
productive forces in the country, a change in the
state's role in relation to the economy, collective
self-management in production, as well as a move
towards consolidating the country's independence in the
face of the "globalisation of the capitalist system".

Advances in Agricultural Production

On Sunday, the Venezuelan president also stated that
fishing and seafood farming had gone up by 300% since
the end of the 1990s.

"Agricultural production is one of our fields of action
and one of the lines for strategic development in the
2013-2019 period, and we are already working on this,"
he concluded.

Between 1998 and 2010, the Bolivarian government
managed to increase national agricultural production by
44%, national cattle farming by 82% and the amount of
land used for cultivation by 48%.

The government has attributed these figures to its
agrarian programmes, which have benefitted over 168,000
farming families with regulated land since 2003, as
well as to the passing of progressive legislation which
favours the small producer and state social programmes
aimed at stimulating national production through
providing training and micro-credits to small scale

Chavez went on to confirm that increasing national
agricultural production would be central to the
government's planned economic revolution and stated
that the goal for this year was to further increase
agricultural and fishing production by 20%.

"We have to make sure that all the good land produces,"
he said, adding that the increase in agricultural
output would be achieved through credits for farmers,
the Zamora fund, technical support, machinery and


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