Saturday, November 24
¡Si, Con Chavez, Con la Reforma!
Now that the privledged upper class students who surrounded pro-chavez students in Caracas' university of social work recieved the reaction they asked for from pro-chavez workers who obviously will not tolerate an attempt at another 2002-style coup and will defend the gains of the revolution that has pulled hundreds of thousands if not millions out of poverty and given the people power. Now that the corporate media uproar against Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution to a opposition instigated situation has calmed down here, I think its important to analyize what's going on in Venezuela and why every one who wants to see a world without poverty, exploitation, and oppression needs to show solidarity with the Revolution in Venezuela.
The biggest question people have to be asking is what are these reforms which people are ready to violently fight back to defend?
1.) Institutionalization and switch of Federal money from bureacratic state & local governors to the Communal Councils. After Chavez's initial election and even before leading up to the 1998 election, councils and groupings started to form in Venezuela all over the countries. When Mao Tse-tung, leader of the Chinese Revolution, said "A Single Spark can light a prarie fire" he wasn't kidding. What started off as a few councils to support Chavez have ignited into nationwide people's cells of power in almost every neighborhood where people decide how to use funding for their communities and how to rule collectively. The constitutional reforms being voted on December 2nd will increase funding to these bodies where everyone can join in and excercise their power. Critics claim that taking money away from the local governments and giving them to these community councils is dictatorial because these councils are a base of support for the Bolivarian Revolution. The truth is that the state governments are bureacratic and remnant of the old order. Ruling class corporate sponsored politicians are in charge in the state governments while its the people who are in charge in the communal councils. Critics in the US corporate media are simply scared of real people's democracy being legitimized in Venezuela because it means that the same type of corporations which fund these news outlets are gonna be losing power in Venezuela. Everyone who believes in real democracy needs to support this reform
2.) Lowering the amount of hours in the work day from eight to six. Venezuela has alredy garunteed all its people pensions, raised the minumum wage to the highest in the region and in general taken big steps to protect working people's rights. Lowering the amount of hours in the work day is another big step. It means working people will have more time to relax, spend time with their family, and in general enjoy life. This reform in particular has scared the US government and corporate media because it represents everything the US government stands against. People's rights? Worker's rights? This means that US corporations in Venezuela will be less profitable and more humane, something corporations are modeled to be the polar opposite of. This reform is an example of Venezuelan workers taking their country out of US corporate hands and Venezuelan robberbaron hands and putting it into their own.
3.) Lowering the voting age from 18 to 16. The prospect of a larger amount of youth and young people getting involved in the political process is a scary thought to the rulers of the US because the youth have always been the ones who are ready to change shit, they are the most progressive sector of society and they have the longest time to live in this world of any other sector of the population, thus logically they will vote based on what they think is the best for humanity in the long term rather than what's gonna get them lower taxes and out of paying for things like young peoples pensions and education like the older generations tend to vote based on. In any case this is a very democratic no matter what because its simply allowing more of the Venezuelan population into the political process. Not suprisingly, US corporate media tries its best to ignore this part of the new reforms and continues to call Chavez a evil dictator.
4.) Abolishing Term Limits. As you can probably imagine the US corporate media jumped like heroin fiend at this part of this reform using it as alledged proof that Chavez is the evil dictator ready to destroy the world and create a breeding ground for terrorism in Venezuela. What the corporate media ignored however, was the fact that countries deemd "beacons of democracy and liberty" throughout Europe have no term limits! Also the US itself has no term limits in its house and many states have no term limits for their governors. On the contrary, have no term limits is more democratic. The Bolivarian Revolution has a bold leader, so why should he go if the people don't want him too?
5.) Nationalize the Central Bank. The last major reform being proposed is taking the central bank out of the hands of the rich and wealthy bankers and putting it in the hand of the people so that any surplus value made will go to funding people's needs like healthcare and education rather than a new yacht or golf course for some banker. The corporate media reports this as Chavez the dictator taking control of the bank, but the truth is that it is not Chavez who will benefit from this, it is the working people of Venezuela.
In Summation, all progressive people need to stand with these reforms despite the widespread campaign by corporate media to spread disinformation about them. Anyone who supports real democracy should be behind Venezuela's Socialist process going on right now. It's because of this that I encourage everyone in the New York City Area to come out at 1 PM on December 1st to the Venezuelan Consulate located on 7 East 51st Street (between 5th Ave. and Madison Ave.) You can take the E, the V, or the 6 train. The ANSWER Coalition along with other organizations are calling for a emergency picket in support of the reforms which will be voted on the next day. Bring your friends, bring family, and be loud!