Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution"--similar to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal--involves a progressive income tax, public works, social security, cheap electricity. These programs make him exceptionally popular with the poor--and most Venezuelans are poor. His opponents, the four-centuries' old white plutocracy--unused to sharing oil wealth--brand him as a communist anti-Christ.
When he took over as president, Chavez faced the might of foreign oil giants who were keeping about 84% of Venezuela’s oil profits. To attack the problems of health, illiteracy and poverty, he is now demanding that 30% of the profits go to his government in its efforts to help the people. Venezuela's present double-digit-GDP boom is rapidly improving his country, with $10 billion per year slotted for anti-poverty programs and schools.
A career military officer, Chávez founded the leftist Fifth Republic Movement after orchestrating a failed 1992 coup d'état against former president Carlos Andrés Pérez. Chávez was elected President in 1998 on promises of aiding Venezuela's poor majority, and was reelected in 2000. In 2002 he defeated a two-day coup attempt engineered by local plutocrats in alliance with US interests, and in the 2004 recall vote, 90% of voters turned out to support Chavez. His strength rests with the poorest citizens who have mobilized behind a broader agenda than his, one which includes participatory democracy and elevating the status of women.
All evidence points to American agents being behind the attempted coup d'état against President Chavez on 11 April 2002. It has been proven that the persons attempting the coup were paid by Bush administration agencies. The "Reverend" Pat Robertson, a virulent Bush ally, told his faithful extremist Christian followers in August 2005 that Chavez should be assassinated, clearly articulating a Bush Administration wish. "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him," Robertson said, "I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war . . . and I don't think any oil shipments will stop." Establishment media only mildly criticized Robertson's insane call for Chávez's assassination and primarily on the basis that murdering heads of state violates a U.S. law.
Chavez appears to be a highly intelligent person who genuinely wants to help the common people throughout the world.
In the fall of 2006, the United States named a "manager" for its intelligence operations against Venezuela and Cuba. North Korea and Iran are the only other countries that have been assigned so-called "mission managers," who supervise intelligence operations against them. A statement released by the office of John Negroponte, the national intelligence director, said the manager would be responsible "for integrating collection and analysis on Cuba and Venezuela across the intelligence community" and "ensuring the implementation of strategies" that have not been disclosed.
“Not only should the other major oil companies be embarrassed this winter for failing to help low-income Americans with their record-high heating bills, but our government is failing its citizens in this regard as well,” Serrano said. “Cuts to the amount federal assistance available through the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program at this time are insensitive and wrong. We should be seeking to increase the help for our most vulnerable this winter. I applaud CITGO for its good sense of corporate responsibility.”
On September 20, 2006, Chavez addressed the United Nations. In his speech, he called Bush the devil in an ironic and accurate depiction of this buffoon. The cabal-dominated world press went ballistic, consigning Chavez to the outer darkness and other unseemly places. Within a week, the cowardly 7-Eleven company, which had been buying its gas for over twenty years from Citgo Petroleum Corporation, a Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-run oil company, announced that it would no longer sell Citgo gas. On September 27, 7-Eleven officials admitted that the decision was partly motivated by politics.
The reason we are featuring Hugo Chavez in this edition of Celebrating Courage is that his U.N. speech and his continuing actions to assist people throughout the world are genuine acts of bravery and good will. We encourage you to read the speech in its entirety and then determine how you can join your own personal efforts with Chavez and other persons who are putting their lives on the line for human peace and freedom.
While we can commend Chavez's courageous stand against the demonic cabal, we must be clear that no ruling group in the world--including Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and his entourage--are totally in support of common people. Chavez has done relatively little to expand the public sector and has pursued economic policies that fall well within the parameters established by the International Monetary Fund, passing laws allowing the takeover of the Venezuelan telecommunications sector by the multinationals and assuring the property rights of the foreign oil corporations. The Venezuelan ruling elite has continued to be able to assert its unfettered control over an oil-rich economy that has long yielded it huge fortunes, while leaving 80 percent of the population in poverty.
None of this obviates Chavez's outstanding populist actions and programs--the reason we are celebrating his courage in struggling against the demonic cabal.
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