Tuesday, May 1, 2007
by Federico Fuentes
Global Research, May 1, 2007
".....Now five years on, Chávez called on the Venezuelan people to "radicalize" the revolution towards the "new socialism of the 21st century," to thunderous applause and chants of approval.
Throughout most of 2005 and 2006, the Venezuelan government focused its attention on consolidating its support internally and internationally. On the domestic front the government paid particular attention to strengthening the social missions in order to attack poverty and organise the population.
In the international arena Chávez travelled the world, seeking support for his government in the face of continued US hostility and Washington's attempts to isolate Venezuela diplomatically. Throughout the Third World, the Venezuelan government signed trade agreements, deepening both economic and social ties as part of a campaign to create an international anti-imperialist alliance.
By trading not just in dollars and petroleum, but in human capital — providing, jointly with revolutionary Cuba in many cases, education and health programs — and through Chávez's defiant and outspoken stance, such as his denunciation of Israel's invasion of Lebanon, the Bolivarian revolution has captured the hearts and minds of millions across the world.
This has helped provide the space for a rapid acceleration of the Bolivarian revolution, and with it an opening up of a period of definition of the process's goals and line of march. In the economic sphere, Chávez told the April 12 rally, the government has "no plan to eradicate private property in Venezuela, as long as it subordinates itself to the national interest and the socialist project." If it didn't, then it was "condemned to progressively disappear."
He added, however, that the government's emphasis would be in working with "new forms of property, social property … collective property … co-management, self-management." It would encourage "direct or indirect social property via the companies of social property, of social production, and many other mechanisms that we are designing."
In the social sphere, Chávez has called for "an explosion in communal power," urging the rapid construction of Communal Councils. These councils are based on the coming together of 200-400 families in urban areas, even less in rural areas, in order to plan and execute projects for the benefit of the community. In some areas, this has already progressed to the point where discussions have begun on the need to establish federations of Communal Councils, in order to tackle larger projects. There are now more than 19,000 Communal Councils. In essence, the aim of the Communal Councils is for power to reside in the communities......"