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page 7 | Analysis

page 8 | Opinion

It’s not the Chavez government who’s persecuting Occupy Wall Street movement expands nationwide, farmers but rather wealthy landowners calls for major change in US system

Friday | October 7, 2011 | Nº 84 | Caracas

Helping people equip homes In an effort to combat high prices and speculation from private businesses that comprise a majority of Venezuela’s consumer products market, the Venezuelan government has created a new initiative to provide affordable household appliances to homes nationwide. The products are part of an agreement with the Chinese company Haier that ensures accessibility and affordability of products such as refrigerators, ovens, washing machines and dryers and high quality flat screen televisions. So far the program has benefited over 1 million homes. page 5 Politics

Motorcyclists help craft new regulations New laws to control motorcycle transit were designed by those most affected. | page 3

Housing shortage addressed Venezuela’s public housing program is providing new homes for thousands. | page 4 Social Justice

Free women’s health services a priority New maternity and women’s health medical centers have opened nationwide. | page 6

ENGLISH EDITION The artillery of ideas

President Chavez Calls For International Grassroots Coalition for 2012 Campaign The “Great Patriotic Pole” will be composed of a diversity of social movements, organizations and parties in Venezuela Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced an open call this week for social organizations, unions, artist movements, collectives, political parties and other networks to join a nationwide coalition in preparation for the upcoming presidential elections in October 2012. The Venezuelan head of state indicated that the grassroots alliance should be unified and even international, including support from solidarity groups around the world. President Chavez is set to run again for reelection during the October 7, 2012 elections as the candidate of choice for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). He hopes to expand his official support beyond the 7 million member socialist party. | Page 2

Remembering victims of terrorism hirty-five years ago Venezuelan and Cuban-American terrorists committed one of the most barbarian acts in the history of international civil aviation. On October 6, 1976, Cubans were shocked by one of the most painful tragedies in history. Fifty seven Cubans, among them 24 members of the fencing team, died when Cubana Flight 455 exploded after


takeoff from Barbados Seawell airport. All 73 passengers and 5 crew aboard the plane died: the passengers comprised 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese, and five North Koreans. Among the dead were all 24 members of the 1975 national Cuban fencing team that had just won all the gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Championship. Since

the very beginning a possible human or technical failure was dismissed. It was evident that this was caused by terrorists, enemies of the Cuban Revolution. Investigations led Trinidad authorities to arrest Venezuelan Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo Lozano. These citizens were linked to the US CIA and to Cuban born terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, the intellectual authors of the atrocity.

Venezuela to defend Human Rights record in Geneva T/ AVN


e have come to say and defend the truth of a Venezuela that is living a renaissance. Since the participatory constitutional assembly convened by President Hugo Chavez in 1999, we have entered a process to overcome the historic obstacles left by a colonial state, which was imposed in Venezuela for 500 years”, said Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister, Nicolas Maduro in Geneva. After his arrival to Geneva, Switzerland, presiding over the delegation that will represent Venezuela during this Friday’s periodical test of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Maduro highlighted that since the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela has moved forward for the first time in history towards the construction of social, democratic, fair rule of law that guarantees human rights for all. The Venezuelan delegation is also comprised of president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Luisa Estella Morales; General Prosecutor of the Republic, Luisa Ortega Diaz; Minister of Indigenous People, Nilcia Maldonado; and Interior and Justice Minister, Tareck El Aissami. “We will show how our state has been built with respect for human beings. We will answer every question made regarding our Constitution, laws, social programs, education, culture, health, food, and policies”. The Human Rights Universal Periodic Review is the mechanism through which UN member states present, before the Human Rights Council, a report on the progress, protection and preeminence of human rights in their countries.


2 | Impact

The artillery of ideas

NoÊn{ÊUÊFriday, October 7, 2011

Chavez campaign prepares nationwide grassroots coalition to win 2012 elections This week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on all individuals, organizations, and social movements committed to the Bolivarian Revolution to join the “Great Patriotic Pole”, a grassroots coalition tasked with achieving a sweeping victory in next year’s presidential elections T/ COI P/ Agencies peaking at a Council of Ministers meeting on Saturday, Chavez told supporters that an open registration process to join the coalition will begin this Friday, October 7, one year to the date of the 2012 election. “Get ready, all you social, political, patriotic, nationalist, socialist, humanist, and Christian movements…but above all else the social movements, because starting October 7 registration begins for the Great Patriotic Pole”, Chavez announced. The Venezuelan President said his was an “open invitation” to all “existing political, social, cultural and other movements” to incorporate themselves into the coalition, adding that that membership will be based on “conditions of total equality” among its members. While the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), with some 7 million members, is expected to be a majority force within the coalition, Chavez emphasized the importance of “uniting” all of his supporters into one unified front. The coalition, Chavez said, “Will not come from the top down” but instead is to “surge from the roots, the base, to then rise as a volcanic force” aimed at consolidating the Bolivarian Revolution for years to come. According to Chavez, as soon as registration takes place the country’s patriotic forces will “begin the integration of networks that transcend the local;


networks that will be formed in neighborhoods, municipalities, states, the nation, as well as internationally,” because, he argued, “this battle transcends the borders of Venezuela”. “When we speak of the Great Patriotic Pole”, he said, “it is conceived as part of the global chess match for a multi-polar world”. Scheduled for October 7, 2012, the results of next year’s presidential elections will greatly affect the future of Venezuela’s democratic, socialist, and participatory revolution, as well as regional integration efforts across Latin America and the Caribbean and global initiatives to consolidate a multi-polar world spearheaded by the Venezuelan President. THE GREAT PATRIOTIC POLE: A MASS COALITION Just under a year ago, Chavez called for the “rebirth” and “renewal” of the Patriotic Pole, an electoral coalition formed in 1998 to help him win his first presidential election. After its initial victory, the Patriotic Pole went on to secure 120 of 131 seats of the country’s Constitutional Assembly, playing a vital role in developing the Constitu-

tion of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (1999). The coalition later dissolved and was largely replaced by the mass socialist party, the PSUV. Fernando Soto Rojas, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly and the top-ranking member of the PSUV tasked with bringing together the Great Patriotic Pole, recently submitted a report to the Venezuelan President on year-long efforts to relaunch and revamp the coalition. In it, the socialist lawmaker outlined numerous aspects of the proposed mass coalition, including, among other things: ongoing efforts to unite prospective members, ideas on how leadership positions will be determined, grassroots strategies for how to organize the coalition, the role of social movements, political parties, and individuals within the organization, and the role of the united front in upcoming elections. Speaking to members of the PSUV last week, Soto Rojas explained that the Patriotic Pole “is a line of action for mass organizing that goes beyond the PSUV”. “While it is not an electoral front”, he explained, all those who defend the Bolivarian Re-

volution “will soon face the important battle of October 7, 2012” and, as such, the Great Patriotic Pole will certainly become “an important political instrument” for pending encounters with the Venezuelan opposition. Soon after the October vote, Venezuela will hold gubernatorial and municipal elections in December 2012 an April 2013, respectively. Soto Rojas added that the long-term strength of the broadbased coalition is found in “its profoundly democratic, strongly nationalistic, and essentially anti-imperialist nature”, allowing all those who support the Revolution, the Constitution, and the President to come together under one umbrella organization. For example, in an interview this week with Venezolana de Television (VTV), Braulio Alvarez, of the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ), told reporters that the coalition, “guarantees the advance of an expanding alliance aimed at deepening and consolidating socialism”. The coalition, he said, will work with its diverse membership to sharpen “the ideological convictions and commitments associated with the revolutionary process”.

STRUGGLE FOR SOCIALISM Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Chavez explained that the Great Patriotic Pole isn’t “just about winning elections, it’s about defending them”. Questioning the democratic nature of right-wing attempts to select a viable candidate for next year’s election, the Venezuelan President said he only wished the opposition’s so-called Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) “would sign, as part of the numerous summits and signings they’re holding, an agreement to respect the results of the elections”. Chavez told supporters that it is “important to pay close attention” to opposition candidates, not out of concern for their electoral possibilities but “for another reason: their plans for destabilization”. He added that the Venezuelan opposition “defends the indefensible: capitalism”, and that the entire pool of opposition candidates currently engaged in a primary process “bend their knees to the United States” and its business interests in Venezuela. In contrast, said Chavez, the Great Patriotic Pole will be “a powerful moral, political, and social force” that will allow the Bolivarian Revolution to “once and for all bring an end to a bourgeoisie culture that had taken over Venezuelan society, forcing people to follow orders of the bourgeoisie, often unknowingly”. Citing Italy’s Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), Chavez affirmed that the struggle for a socialist hegemony “is a prolonged fight” against capitalism with “strong international connections”. “Just because we’ve been in power for 12 years and we win the election next October 7, it doesn’t mean that we’ve won the struggle (for socialism)”, affirmed Chavez. “However”, he said, “the accumulation of forces” that will result from the Great Patriotic Pole “will allow us to maintain and increase the new hegemony” needed to advance towards 21st Century Socialism.

The artillery of ideas

NoÊn{ÊUÊFriday, October 7, 2011


Venezuelan motorcyclists participate in writing new regulations T/ COI P/ Agencies ast weekend, approximately 7,000 motorcyclists registered in a national census in accordance with a new law meant to prevent crime, promote organization, and regulate motorcycle usage in this crucial facet of Venezuela’s transportation and commercial system. On the streets of Caracas, motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic to deliver goods and efficiently taxi people to hardto-reach destinations. They sometimes ride in groups to support a political cause or provide a neighborhood watch service to their communities. Unfortunately, the slyness and anonymity of helmeted motorcyclists make motorcycles a tool for crime – which the majority of Venezuelans cite as one of the country’s principal problems. In response, the Venezuelan government invited thousands of motorcyclists to sit down with government officials and officers from the Bolivarian National Police to create legal regulations that facilitate the legitimate use of motorcycles while preventing illegal usage. The process began in March and ended last Saturday when President Hugo Chavez signed the new norms into law during a televised meeting of his


Council of Ministers. The meeting was broadcast by satellite so that Chavez could address a joyous assembly of 2,000 motorcyclists gathered in the National Institute for Land Transportation (INTT) in Caracas. “This is an example of participatory democracy. You were working in the discussions with the state to formulate the law”, said the President, invoking celebratory applause from the crowd. “This new model of organization of motorcycle drivers is an example of the path to socialism, participation and inclusion”. Chavez added that as a result of their contribution to the

improvement of the nation’s transportation network, these “workers on wheels” would be assured inclusion in national programs to protect their security and help them escape poverty and have access to housing. “I am sure that you all are going to provide a good service to the collective”, said the President. Several motorcyclists interviewed at the assembly said the new law would help to “dignify” those who use motorcycles for their profession, and to help reverse the stigma that associates motorcyclists with crime. “For us, this gathering is a proud moment. We have de-

Polls: president Chavez’s approval rating nears 60% T/ Agencies enezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s approval rating has risen to 58.9 percent since he announced that he had cancer, according to Caracasbased polling firm Datanalisis. The opposition-run polling company compares to other government-friendly surveys, such as GISXXI, placing the Venezuelan President’s approval at 59%.


Chavez, who said he had a “baseball-sized tumor” removed from his pelvic area in June, has seen his popularity rise 10 percentage points since July, according to Datanalisis. The poll of 1,300 households, taken between August 29 and September 7, had a margin of error of 2.74 percent. “The President has managed the information he reveals about his illness very well”, Datanalisis President

Luis Vicente Leon said in a telephone interview. “Chavez always talks about the future. He shows himself to be a battler and he’s managed to get people to perceive him as such instead of a as a sick man in a critical state”. Chavez has said he is planning to run for a third consecutive six-year term in an election scheduled for October 7, 2012. The opposition has yet to decide on a candidate.

monstrated today that we want to register and adapt to the law and stop being demonized. The objective is also that the motorcycle will no longer be a means for delinquency”, said Nestor Chacon, a participant in the assembly and member of the Motorcyclist Front for Community Integration, one of the many guilds present in the assembly. Other guilds that participated in the assembly were the National Bolivarian Federation of Motorcyclists of Venezuela, the Franco Arquimedes National Bolivarian Front, and the National Association of Socialist Motorcyclists of Venezuela. Addressing the assembly, Vice Minister for Citizen Security Nestor Reverol said the government’s intention was to “hear all the concerns and complaints of all the different motorcyclist guilds nation-wide”. The census will continue in the coming weeks in regional offices of the INTT until all of the approximately 120,000 motorcyclists who use public roads nation-wide have been registered, Reverol said. NEW REGULATIONS PREVENT CRIME The new law issues a special identification card that each motorcyclist must carry at all times. The ID number must be displayed on the motorcycle, on the driver’s helmet, and on a color-coded vest that the driver


3| must wear to distinguish the official use of the vehicle. Motorcyclists working for state security forces including the Bolivarian National Police and the National Guard will wear an olive green vest, while motorcycle taxi drivers will wear an orange vest, and those using motorcycles for other commercial uses will wear blue vests, according to the law. Drivers must also obtain a medical certificate and take a test to prove their capability to operate a motorcycle. The new norms mark the first time in Venezuelan history that motorcyclists were systematically included in a process of rulemaking to organize and improve the sector as an integral part of the nation’s economy and transportation system. “We are called to create consciousness. How can it be possible that they continue to demonize and stigmatize us? We are really demonstrating that we want to organize”, said Alexis Tovar, the president of the Franco Arquimedes National Bolivarian Front. Ricardo Vargas, a member of the National Confederation of Motorcyclists, declared: “This is a sector that has been working hard and is willing to continue constructing and consolidating the revolutionary process”. The motorcycle regulations are part of a broad anti-crime effort that includes increased sports and recreational programs at the community level, local crime prevention officers, increased arrests of drug traffickers, and the creation of a new national police university to professionally train the Bolivarian National Police in crime prevention.


4 | Politics

The artillery of ideas

NoÊn{ÊUÊFriday, October 7, 2011

Venezuela solving housing shortage, providing homes nationwide

sion Housing is a great hope for us. Even if we have to build it ourselves or if it comes through some state agency, we’re going to work hard to have our own home”, she said. The launch of Mission Housing Venezuela took place in May and has already registered more than 2.4 million people in the country’s most populated areas. The creation of the initiative is the result of the torrential

rains that swept through Venezuela at the end of 2010, displacing more than 130,000 people. Since that tragedy, President Chavez has taken on the question of housing as a personal challenge, vowing to replace the precariously built shacks that surround Venezuela’s major urban centers with well-constructed and affordable homes. The houses and apartments are being made available to residents with a sliding scale of subsidies which in cases of extreme need will reach up to 100 percent. Thus far, the government has completed the construction of more than 45,000 homes en route to reaching its goal of 153,000 by the close of 2012. This advancement includes the inauguration of Caribia City, Venezuela’s first planned socialist city which in addition to high rise apartment building includes schools, shops and work opportunities for residents just outside the capital district of Caracas. The first beneficiaries of the Mission Housing have been last year’s flood victims, but the program is intended to provide all Venezuelans with the opportunity to obtain their own home. This third wave of registration for the mission will be active throughout the month of October. Following the enrollment, small groups of volunteers will be formed to canvass neighborhoods and rural areas to verify the data provided by aspirants and prioritize the allocation of the new housing.

se and chart their own course independent of the Cuban regime”, and added that “other countries, such as Bolivia and Ecuador, are on complicated trajectories that have unfortunately limited the scope of our bilateral relations”. Cuba, Bolivia, and Ecuador are all members of the Venezuela-backed Bolivarian Alternative for the People’s of Our America (ALBA), a socio-economic integration effort aimed at improving quality of life for people in the region. If approved by the US Senate, Roberta Jacobson will become Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), succeeding Chavez-critic Arturo Valenzuela who served from late 2009 to mid 2011.

While at the State Department, Valenzuela also commented that a majority vote by the Venezuelan National Assembly, which granted President Chavez decree authority in the wake of torrential floods, was “an undemocratic measure” that “violates the shared values enshrined in the Inter American Democratic Charter” of the Organization of American States (OAS). Chavez was given the decree powers after record-setting storms left some 130,000 people homeless in December of last year. The Venezuelan President has used the authority to launch a massive housing construction project aimed at building 2 million homes by 2017, with 150,000 houses expected to be completed by the end of this year.

T/ COI P/ Agencies he third wave of registrations for the Venezuelan government’s new public housing program, Mission Housing, got underway last weekend in 12 states around the nation as the Chavez administration ramps up its efforts to ensure a dignified home for all citizens. The program, which seeks to build 2 million new homes in the South American nation by 2017, was received by long lines of residents wishing to enlist their families in the government’s most ambitious social mission to date. “It’s important that people take advantage of this opportunity because there has never existed a proposal of this type in our country. We have to applaud it”, said Nathalia Aguilera, a mother from the state of Cojedes last Sunday. The 286 registration points for the third and final wave have been set up in public squares in the states of Barinas, Cojedes, Guarico, Portuguesa, Apure, Amazonas, Anzoategui, Bolrvar, Delta Amacuro, Nueva Esparta and Sucre.


Residents interested in applying for the program need only arrive with their state-issued identity cards and answer a series of questions intended to identify those members of the community with the most need of housing. “What we’re seeing is something with historic connotations. Now there is hope for finding a solution to a basic necessity that was never addres-

sed by other governments”, said Gerarda Fraga, coordinator of the mission in the state of Nueva Esparta. According to Deimar Garcia from the state of Portugesa, the government’s housing plan represents a tremendous opportunity to become a first-time homeowner. “Our family lives in a house with other relatives because its really expensive to rent. Mis-

US president Obama nominates Chavez critic for top Latin America post T/ VenezuelAnalysis he President of the United States, Barack Obama, has announced his choice for the State Department’s top Latin America post. An outspoken critic of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Obama’s nominee, Roberta Jacobson, recently told a US Senate subcommittee that she was “particularly concerned” with the Venezuelan President because he “continues to disrespect the legitimate role of democratic institutions, restrict freedom, close press outlets and use the judiciary to persecute


political opponents and criminalize dissent”. The US President said it gave him “great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals”, including Jacobson, “have agreed to join this Administration to serve the American people”. On June 30, 2011, Jacobson told the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that the US State Department was “concerned” about the “difficult environment” currently faced by the Venezuelan people. She added that “Venezuela faces im-

portant elections in 2012” and that her colleagues at the State Department “believe that an early presence of well-trained international observers” would be necessary for Venezuela’s presidential elections. The Venezuelan opposition is currently carrying out primaries to decide who among them will face Chavez in next year’s presidential elections, set for October 7, 2012. Speaking on behalf of the State Department, Jacobson also said “concerted steps” were being taken to “help the Cuban people live the lives they choo-

The artillery of ideas

NoÊn{ÊUÊFriday, October 7, 2011


Venezuelan Government ensuring affordable household appliances for all

More than three million household appliances will soon be arriving in Venezuela to be sold at prices accessible to the country’s population as part of the government’s program My Well Equipped Home T/ COI P/ Presidential Press he announcement was made last Saturday by President Hugo Chavez during an event that saw the delivery of nearly 6,000 ovens, washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners to over two thousand families at the presidential palace of Miraflores in Caracas. To date, close to one million appliances have been made available to Venezuelans through the program that came about in 2010 as a result of an agreement signed between the Chavez government and the Chinese company Haier.


The deal, brokered by the Chinese government, provides the Venezuelan government with a credit line which the Caribbean country pays back through oil exports to the world’s most populous nation. According to Chavez, the initiative is proof of the Venezuelan government’s decision-making autonomy and its ability to form trade policies independent of United States interests. “This program would not have been possible with any of the former governments that ruled here”, Chavez said with reference to the political period known in Venezuela as the Fourth Republic. “And it wouldn’t be possible with any right-wing government because they wouldn’t have the freedom nor the desire to do it. When [the Fourth Republic] ruled, the oil was managed by Washington”, he asserted. One of the key features of the “My Well Equipped Home” program is its ability to provide necessary appliances at affordable prices, something almost impossible to achieve in country’s the private market.

BATTLING SPECULATION Taking advantage of Venezuela’s currency exchange controls, many private sector venders import appliances from free-zones in Central America at preferential prices only to sell those same products for as high as five times their cost. The result is a system of predatory capitalism that promotes speculation and denies the majority of working-class people the ability to buy essential products. For many residents, it is only through the government’s public supply network that essential commodities such as food, school supplies, and now appliances, can be obtained. On Saturday, Chavez attributed his administration’s ability to provide these basic necessities to, at least in part. the country’s growing relationship with China. “This program would not be possible if we hadn’t been building these intense and strategic relations based on equality between the Chinese government and the Venezuelan government”. Indeed, trade between the two nations has been growing stea-

dily over the years as a result of the Chavez administration’s desire to diversify its global economic partners. What once accounted for a mere 500 million dollars in trade in 2003 has now risen to more than $5 billon. Venezuelan press sources report that the South American country now exports more than 400,000 barrels of crude daily to China, a number that has risen from a mere fifty thousand in 2005. Chavez praised this bilateral relation last weekend while admiring the economic development of the emerging world superpower. “This century, China is going to become the greatest power in the world and it’s important to note that this country didn’t need to invade anyone, nor convert itself into a murderous empire that steps on people like the yankee empire in order to become what it is. It’s a great lesson for the world how through socialism people can rise from the abyss and put themselves at the top of human development”, the President said.


5| RECOVERY ADVANCING During last weekend’s event, the Venezuelan President also reported on the progress of his medical recovery in the face of continuous speculation emanating for international media sources. “I’m continuing with my recovery and everyday I’m stronger. I have a big surprise for those who want me to die and are saying that I’m in the hospital paralyzed and unable to speak”, he said. Last Thursday, Chavez held a special press conference to disprove the rumor spread by the Miami-based El Nuevo Herald which reported that the leader had suffered kidney failure and was undergoing dialysis. Inviting journalists to witness his exercise regime, Chavez referred to the falsehoods as “morbid and inhumane” and called for an end to the speculation. “I ask the Venezuelan people to ignore these rumors. If anything happened, I’d be the first person to tell you about any difficulty. Nothing’s happened beyond what’s normal in the treatment process”, he said. On Saturday, Chavez also reaffirmed his capacity to stand in next year’s presidential elections, commenting that his advancing health will only strengthen his chances for victory. “When the gates open, you’re going to be seeing Chavez in the streets, in the countryside, and in the shantytowns. We’re going to see who the people are with”, he said. The President of the OPECmember state referred to his popular support as “doubling” and encouraged his supports to continue working towards the goal of achieving a third presidential term. “We have to preserve, consolidate and amplify the advantage that we have as we finish off the opposition starting in July of 2012”, Chavez said with respect to the official start of the campaign season in Venezuela. As for the opposition, the head of state brought attention to the lack of unity that plagues the right-wing, calling their potential candidates’ attempts to out-do each other as similar to an electoral “auction”. “They’re all capitalists and they defend that system in which all of the world is sinking”, he declared.


6 | Social Justice

Women’s healthcare a priority in Venezuela

T/ COI P/ Agencies omen patients and medical professionals from all over the Eastern state of Sucre celebrated the first anniversary of the founding of the Candelaria Garcia Maternity Hospital last Sunday in an act attended by Venezuela’s Health Minister Eugenia Sader.


The artillery of ideas

NoÊn{ÊUÊFriday, October 7, 2011

The hospital, which has provided maternal care and medical assistance for more than 5,500 women over the past year, forms part of the Chavez administration’s social program Mission Baby Jesus, founded in 2009 to reduce child mortality rates by providing essential services to pregnant women and newborns. “Today it gives us great pleasure to say that more 5,500 Vene-

zuelans have been born here… and this is thanks to the work of all of the employees. This is part of the country’s well being, it’s part of the socialist homeland and the socialist medicine that we have been creating”, Sader told state television during the celebration on Sunday. As part of the government’s public health system, the Candelaria Garcia health facility pos-

sess advanced medical technology that has helped prevent the unnecessary death of newborn children who otherwise would suffer from a lack of care. “We’ve had babies born here that weighed 1.8 lbs that would have died before because we didn’t have the equipment to treat them”, said the director of the facility, Janoy Yanez during a tour on Sunday. In addition to the technology, the maternity hospital possesses 24 beds for women, six newborn intensive care facilities, and intensive therapy services for patients facing complications. According to Maria Faria, a patient in her ninth month of pregnancy, the government-run hospital has provided top notch service for her in her final days preceding birth. “I’ve felt great here. The doctors and the nurses have been terrific,” she told the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN). The facility also contains one of Venezuela’s seven human milk banks, providing between 30 and 35 liters of milk every month for newborns in the hospital. Sader explained the process of collecting, pasteurizing and preserving the milk during the tour last weekend. “This milk isn’t raw. We carry out a nutritional study and a study of bacteria in order to guarantee high quality milk for our newborns”, she pointed out. Initiatives such as Mission Baby Jesus and the nation’s other

flagship health program, Barrio Adentro, have helped Venezuela reduce infant mortality rates for children under 5 from 31.3 deaths per one thousand births in 1990 to 16.4 deaths per one thousand births in 2008, according to numbers from the government’s Ministry of Foreign Relations. The Ministry reports that such a reduction is consistent with Venezuela’s commitment to reach the UN’s Millennium Development Goals which sets the bar for reduction of infant mortality at two-thirds by 2015. For his part, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez congratulated the workers, administrators and patients of the Candelaria Garcia facility during a televised phone call to the hospital. “I’m very happy to see how we’re building our health system”, the head of state said from the presidential palace of Miraflores. “We need to accelerate this, step by step, so that every state, city, and locality has the quality of this national public health system at no cost whatsoever”, he affirmed. Just like all of Venezuela’s public health facilities, the Candelaria Garcia Maternity Hospital provides all of its services to residents for free. “We’ve taken care of almost 6,000 women here over the past year as we attempt to humanize this very special time for women, giving them what they deserve”, Janoy Yanez said.

dealing only with diseased animals, but did not comply with the regulations”, Sader said, without specifying what sanctions will be imposed. Mariño Mayor Alfredo Diaz said said that the elimination of

stray dogs was planned by the Regional Zoonosis Coordination Committee, a unit of the Health Ministry’s Regional Authority, and that employees under his supervision did no more that collect the bodies.

World Animal Day celebrated with protests for animal rights in Venezuela T/ EFE P/ Agencies orld Animal Day was celebrated Tuesday in Venezuela with a march protesting the massive poisoning of stray dogs on Margarita Island and congratulating Health Minister Eugenia Sader, who announced sanctions on officials who ordered them put down, animal rights activista Cristina Camilloni said. “I sincerely congratulate her and we hope that (her announcement of sanctions) will set a precedent so that such a thing never happens again”, Camilloni, president of the Animal De-


fense Association, said on state television over the weekend. Countless stray dogs were found dead on a number of beaches of the eastern Caribbean island of Margarita after eating food saturated with strychnine, the poison used by municipal and regional health officials, Camilloni explained. “What happened on Margarita was unjust - killing dogs so cruelly in a way no creature deserves...because they died burned up inside, floundering around in pain”, which is the effect strychnine has, Camilloni said after attending a Mass in Caracas offered up as a blessing for pets.

The march this past Tuesday also demanded campaigns for the sterilization of abandoned animals and the education of pet owners on how to stop the proliferation of stray dogs, as well as the abolition of bullfights, Camilloni recounted. Sader said that both the Margarita municipality of Mariño and the state government of Nueva Esparta, whose jurisdiction includes the island, “will be sanctioned for wrongful application of the prophylactic measure”. Mariño City Hall intended to take action in suspected cases of canine rabies, supposedly

The artillery of ideas

NoÊn{ÊUÊFriday, October 7, 2011


Murder of the Campesinos

private schools and attended the same universities, share a background of power and influence that has not necessarily diminished with the ascent of Chavez to the presidency in 1999. This challenges the contemporary human rights discourse, which portrays the country's judiciary as captive to the whims of a power-hungry "strongman" bent on stamping out political dissent. But the situation is quite the opposite. While powerful anti-government ranchers hire paramilitaries or hitmentoeliminate peasant leaders, theupper class judges and technocrats who dominate the local tribunals systematically impede the effecti-

geles Philharmonic’s president and chief executive officer. El Sistema aims to use the teaching of classical music to improve the lives of poor children and to help underprivileged neighborhoods. It has involved some 400,000 young people in Venezuela and spread to a number of countries, capturing the imagination of leading performers, teachers and executives in classical music. The Philharmonic-Bard program, inspired by El Sistema, will be called Take a Stand. Its first major act will be a conference in Los Angeles from

Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, involving participants from around the country. Then, starting in June, a first round of about 15 students will embark on a one-year master’s program, spending much of their time working at the Philharmonic’s Sistema-like project, the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, and at a charter school in Delano, Calif., associated with Bard, said Karen Zorn, Longy’s president. Longy and Bard are developing the curriculum. “El Sistema is an inspiration”, said Leon Botstein, the president of Bard.


Many of the deaths have taken place in the Western region of the country, where paramilitary activity originating from Colombia has spilled over into the largely lawless border areas. Such was the case with Pedro Doria, a doctor and community activist who was gunned down in front of his home in 2002. Doria's assassination, the result of his support for a local land struggle occurring in the area South of Lake Maracaibo, was followed two years later by the murder of his father as he pressed for a comprehensive investigation into his son's death. Currently, farmer organizations placethe number killed across the country at more than 300, but a precise record

of victims has been difficult to ascertain, given the circumstances of the murders and the lack of investigations carried out by the country's bureaucracy-laden judicial system. Indeed, for many working on the issue, more disturbing than the deaths themselves is the impunity that has accompanied the crimes. In fact, not a single landowner has been convicted in a Venezuelan court of law for contracting the murder of a campesino. The reason for this culpa lata lies in the class-based nature of the Venezuelan justice system and the manifestation of this at a local level. The landowners and lawyers, who studied at the same

Venezuelan music program to begin in United States T/ Agencies he Los Angeles Philharmonic has seized the initiative in guiding a national teaching program based on El Sistema, the Venezuelan-based movement that weds music teaching and social work. The orchestra announced on Tuesday


that it would open an office, host yearly conferences and support a training program to sustain the effort. Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, and the Longy School of Music, in Cambridge, Mass., are joining the orchestra in a partnership to support the movement and

will grant master’s degrees in teaching the Sistema method. Bard and Longy are in the process of merging. The partnership will hire two staff members and serve as a national reference point for Sistema-style “nucleos”, as the individual teaching centers are called, said Deborah Borda, the Los An-

7| ve implementation of justice. This alliance of interests has robbed the impoverished families of murdered farmers of any sense of justice and has permitted the deaths to continue. For its part, the national government has attempted to foment the creation of farmer militias to stave off the assassinations but anger at the murderers' impunity remains. Peasant organizations, firm in their support for the Chavez administration and the government's agrarian reform, have taken to the streets to demand action from the nation's public attorney's office. Chavez himself has called for the national guard to protect farmers and in one case, in the state ofYaracuy, he assigned his personal lawyer to attend to the widow of a murderedcampesino. But even this measure has found its way into the black hole of bureaucracy: no one has been prosecuted for the assassination of Hermes Escalona. Until real reform is enacted in the Venezuelan judicial system in order toenshrine the rule of law and break upthe power of local elites, the politically motivated murder of landlessfarmers will not end. And until the international and domestic human rights communities take notice of this issue, rather than employing all available resources to portray the democratically elected President Chavez as a repressive dictator, the lives of many of the nation's most vulnerable residents will continue to be lived in peril. But the taking up of such an issue may prove to be imprudent for such advocates as it runs the risk of implicating leaders of Venezuela's conservative opposition in the crimes being committed in the countryside.

T/ Edward Ellis enezuela, the resource-rich South American country that is home to the largest oil reserves on the planet, has been a focal point for international journalists, pundits and human rights activists for the better part of a decade. This has been thanks to the provocative and defiant stance of the nation's leftwing PresidentHugo Chavez. Unrelenting in his criticism of western governments, the socialist President has made countless headlines the world over for everything ranging from his nationalisation of key industries to his chemotherapyinduced baldness. Scant attention has been paid, however, to some of the grittier policy initiatives that have defined Chavez's “Bolivarian Revolution”. Perhaps the starkest example of this neglect concerns the Venezuelan countryside – an area that has been transformed into the battleground for a conflict occurring beneath the radar of both the international human rights community and the major media for more than 10 years. Since 2001, when the Chavez government pledged to break up the country's vastly unequal land holdings that have stifled agricultural development for more than a century, a wave of reprisal killings have consumed rural areas as large landowners contract assassins to end the "invasions" by pro-governmentcampesinoson their illegitimately acquired and many times fallow estates.


ENGLISH EDITION The artillery of ideas

Friday | October 7, 2011 | Nº 87 | Caracas |

A publication of the Fundacion Correo del OrinocoÊUÊ `ˆÌœÀ‡ˆ˜‡ …ˆivÊEva GolingerÊUÊÀ>«…ˆVÊ iÈ}˜ÊAlexander Uzcátegui, Jameson JiménezÊUÊ*ÀiÃÃÊFundación Imprenta de la Cultura

‡Ê6ˆ>ÞÊ*À>Å>` alse modesty does not become the media. When it comes to the Tea Party or the Taliban, reporters are quick to offer an explanation of their motivations and their demands. When it comes to the protests of the Left, there is reticence to do any real reporting or analysis. Imagine this sentence from the Associated Press’ Verena Dobnik that opens the second paragraph in her article (“Wall Street Protest Accrues Interest”, October 2) on the Occupy Wall Street Protests (now into its 3rd week), “They lack a clear objective, though they speak against corporate greed, social inequality, global climate change and other concerns”. It seems to me that there are at least 3 clear objectives in this sentence itself: to end corporate greed, to fight for social equality and to create mitigating policies to lessen climate change. Then there’s the pure condescension. This is from Joanna Weiss of the Boston Globe (September 27), “It’s hard to take a protest fully seriously when it looks more like a circus — some participants seem to have taken a chute straight from Burning Man — and when it’s organized by a Canadian magazine and a computer-hacking group”. Is there now a dress code for democracy? I spent an afternoon at Occupy Wall Street and in a few minutes got a flavor of the social vision have now inspired similar protests from Boston to San Francisco. “We are the 99%”, say the people who are in Zuccotti Park (Liberty Square). What they mean is simple: social policy in the country is dominated by the 1%, whose will dominates an economy that the International Monetary Fund says has entered the “danger zone”. They are right. In Ron Suskind’s new book Confidence Men, he offers us a window into the advantages given to the financial sector by theObama administration. From one side of the White House, Obama pledged to appoint Elizabeth Warren as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and from the other, more powerful side,


The 99% talk back

De-Colonize Wall Street

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner assured the banks that this wouldn’t happen. Much the same occurred when Geithner’s Treasury Department prevented the restructuring of the far too powerful Citigroup. Suskind calls Geithner’s refusal to follow what appeared to be a settled decision a “fireable offense”, although Geithner remains very much in office. If Geithner had been fired, he might have accepted the job he had been offered in September 2007 by Stanford Weill, to take over Citigroup. Weill was no longer at the bank, so he had no business making a firm offer to the head of the New York Federal Reserve. A banking analyst told Andrew Sorkin that the offer has to be seen in another light. “How else can we

interpret this but as a nice juicy carrot being dangled in front of the President of the New York Fed by a bank that was going to need Fed help in a big way”. This is the world of finance capital and its politicians. But this financial sector has paid nothing for the problems it has engineered. Instead, ordinary people have been stiffed with the bill for the outrages of the financial class. No wonder that the Occupy Wall Street say the following, “We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting

nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything”. Government data confirms this sentiment. The latest gloomy report from the Pew Center details the miserable situation in the US Latino sector of society. Latinos have the highest unemployment rate (11%), the greatest decline in household wealth from 2005 to 2009, the greatest food insecurity with a third of households in this condition, and 6.1 million children in poverty, the largest number for any ethnic group. The only political vision for the Latino population, crucial to Obama’s re-election prospects, is going to be more anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric. Occupy Wall Street has a simple message: reduce the power of finance capital over the US gover-

nment. Absent such a reduction, there is no rational social policy available for the US. Neither the Obama government nor whoever wins the next election will be able to move an agenda to benefit an economy in the doldrums. It is to the credit of several unions that they have endorsed Occupy Wall Street. On Wednesday, October 5, tens of thousands of workers joined the march from Liberty Square to Wall Street. What would be equally valuable is if the unions declare that their support in the election of 2012 is conditional on specific policies to constrain the power of the banks. It would be equally valuable if the unions extend their endorsement of the Occupy Wall Street to the call for a primary challenge to President Obama. As our letter that calls for the primary challenge put it, “In an uncontested Democratic primary, President Obama will never have to justify his decision to bail out Wall Street’s most profitable firms while failing to push for effective prosecution of the criminal behavior that triggered the recession, or his failure to push for real financial reform. He will not have to defend his decision to extend the Bush era tax cuts nor justify his acquiescence to Republican extortion during the debt ceiling negotiations. He will not have to answer questions on how his Administration completely failed to protect homeowner’s losing their homes to predatory banks, or even mention the word ‘poverty,’ as he failed to do in his most recent State of the Union Address, even as more and more Americans sink into financial despair”. A toothed challenge to the status quo would bring the unions to endorse this call. With the Republicans unable to settle on a candidate who has any room for reason, it is imperative that the election-cycle not go by without a serious challenge to finance capital’s chosen instrument, the Obama team. It proves the Occupy Wall Street movement right that the New York Police Department has now arrested over 1,000 of their number, far more than the government has arrested from the suites of the banks. The 99% pay the social cost, as the 1% condescends to reality.

English Edition Nº 84  
English Edition Nº 84  

President Chavez Calls For International Grassroots Coalition for 2012 Campaign. The “Great Patriotic Pole” will be composed of a diversity...