Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism

by Rachael Boothroyd, Venezuela Analysis

In a cabinet meeting with his top ministers on Saturday, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez strongly criticised his political team for failing to show commitment to the participatory democratic model currently being proposed by his government and urged them to undertake serious “self-criticism”.

Chavez at the cabinet meeting on Saturday

The meeting was the first cabinet meeting to have taken place since the Venezuelan national elections were held on 7 October, in which Chavez won a third presidential term with over 54% of the vote.

During the televised meeting, Chavez made many criticisms of his party, especially with regards to the construction of the country’s communes, which group together communal councils in a given region. Continue reading

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Venezuela’s Recovery from Austerity: The Successful Outcomes of the Bolivarian Revolution

by Kurt B.

The war against global capitalism and American imperialism has been a long and bloody struggle for those feeling the oppression and exploitation in the developing world.  For those countries which share a close proximity to the United States, the creation or adoption of counter-ideologies has sometimes become the inevitable result of combating existing inequalities and injustices due to neo-colonialism.

Throughout the 20th century, many Central and South American nations have undertaken this course of action, including the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which has embarked on the most revolutionary transition in the entire region in recent times.

The Bolivarian Revolution was instigated in 1997 by the Fifth Republic Movement; a left-wing political party led by Hugo Chavez (renamed the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in 2007).  After winning democratic elections in 1998 and being formally inaugurated as President of Venezuela, Chavez fully dedicated his incumbency to fighting poverty, illiteracy and the vast inequalities that engulfed his country.  He strived to achieve these goals by reforming every realm of societal existence and the policy-making process to ensure that any positive changes made would stay intact. Continue reading

Raul Castro Welcomes Hugo Chavez to Cuba

Prensa Latina, Havana

Cuban President Raul Castro welcomed his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, who will continue receiving the radiotherapy sessions that he began here last week, as part of his treatment against pelvic cancer.

According to the official press release published on Sunday, Raul Castro welcomed Chavez at the Jose Marti International Airport on Saturday night.

The two presidents held a brief and animated meeting at the airport, added the source.

Relatives and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro accompanied the Venezuelan president.

Shortly before departing from Venezuela, Chavez explained that he would undergo radiotherapy treatment over the next five days, and will return to Caracas to rest for 48 hours before resuming treatment, which he expects to complete in five weeks.

“I will go to fulfill a commitment, to a battle that life brought me, a new battle, but I ask God and Christ the Redeemer to help me, in addition to the people’s love, to win this battle,” Chavez told national radio and television before departing for Havana.

Chavez, 57, underwent surgery in Havana in June 2011 to have a malignant pelvic tumor removed. He underwent surgery again a month ago, also in Havana, due to a recurrence of the tumor.

The Venezuelan leader will run for reelection in the presidential elections on October 7, and almost all surveys grant him a clear victory over opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.