By Rachael Boothroyd, Venezuela Analysis
Recently re-elected Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, stated that his next 6 year term would mark a period of “greater advance” towards the construction of socialism as well as “greater achievements and greater efficiency in this transition from capitalism”.
The Venezuelan president made the comments on Wednesday night during a ceremony with the country’s National Electoral Council (CNE), who named him the official winner of last week’s presidential election after Chavez beat right-wing candidate Capriles Radonski by 11.11% and took over 55% of the vote last Sunday.
In his speech, Chavez argued that the project of 21st century socialism in Venezuela was something that must be constructed “in the long term,” and promised that his government would try to respond to citizen’s concerns over the next 6 years.
“We are obliged as a government and as the state to speed up the administration of efficient responses and solutions to the thousands and thousands of problems that the Venezuelan people still suffer from. We are obliged to be more efficient, precisely so we can continue every day with greater force,” he said.
The thrice-elected president also confirmed that in the next few days his government will launch “Mission Mercosur” (Common Market of the South), aimed at developing areas of Venezuela with railways and deep-water ports in order to export products to other Mercosur member nations.
“There is an extremely important project to convert La Ceiba, Trujillo state and the Lake of Maracaibo into international ports. Further, we should start at once to begin the construction of the railway line between the Orinoco and the Caribbean,” said the president, adding that “this is the power of Latin America, this is the historic project”.
Chavez also went on to announce the deepening of government social programs through the implementation of what he termed “micro-missions,” which according to the president will be implemented at a local level by organised communities and focused on those most in need.
“We are drafting up ideas, revising notes and the specific and fundamental objectives of the micro-missions, as there will be many. They will be applied in towns, regions, factories, schools and the different places where they are needed”.
The Venezuelan president argued that in order for these projects to be effective, they must be rooted in grassroots organisation. “We must keep giving power to the people, that is the solution, it’s not the power of the bureaucracy and elites that is going to solve the problems of the people,” he said.
The announcements reflect a new approach by the Chavez government aimed at guaranteeing greater effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of social programs and other policies. The Venezuelan president also recently announced the creation of a new government ministry of social missions to the same end.