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Uh, Ah, Chavez no se va!

Uh, Ah, Chavez no se va!

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EDITOR: The above headline was the slogan used in the campaign recall referendum of 15/8/04 in Venezuela by supporters of President Hugo Chavez. The majority of Venezuela’s poor – 58 per cent of the voting population – came out in their numbers to support their President who represents their hopes and aspirations for a better life. {{more}}
President Chavez’ chief undertaking on taking power in Venezuela was to improve the living standard of the poor and dispossessed. The funds required had to come from the country’s petroleum industry, which is state property. The prime beneficiaries were the masses.
President Chavez passed the Hydrocarbon Law, which indicated that the national petroleum company (PDVSA) had to have a stake in all foreign oil companies and that these companies should pay 37 cents out of every dollar they made instead of the 16 cents they were paying. He also decided that resources from PDVSA would be used to finance the social programmes for the poor. This drew the wrath of senior officials at PDVSA who resorted to sabotaging the petroleum industry with the help of the opposition. They indicated in no uncertain terms that the funds of PDVSA should not be used to benefit the poor. PDVSA’s millions were supposed to benefit the elite and not the poor; as far as they were concerned the country’s resources were theirs for the taking.
Members of the opposition claim that the use of PDVSA’s funds to finance social programmes will cause unprecedented decline in the economy. This has been refuted by Victor Alvarez, president of the Foreign Trade Bank (Bancoex) who claims the Venezuelan economy is expected to have a ten per cent GDP growth in 2004 and is heading to a stage of sustained growth for at least the next five years.
Those who oppose President Chavez are to a large extent driven by extreme greed (the hallmark of modern capitalism).
President Chavez, with the support of the poor and dispossessed, has been able to survive a number of attempts to remove him from power carried out by the opposition under the so-called Democratic Coordinator with the assistance of the so-called Endowment for Democracy, an agency of the White House. One of the intentions of these alleged promoters of democracy was to “Floridarize” the recent recall referendum in Venezuela. The overwhelming support of the people prevented this from happening.
The results of the recent referendum are a lesson for all: that when a people are united, no force can prevail against them. The wealth and power of the elite class can never smother the will of the masses.
The victory of President Chavez has brought out some of the most outrageous responses from some who oppose him. A White House spokesperson made the following statement: “Winning most of the votes does not make Chavez’ government legitimate.” These are the same people who want us to accept the Latortue regime in Haiti as legitimate. What manner of men!
Even after the OAS and The Carter Centre have stated that the referendum was well run and conducted without fraud, the opposition continues to refuse to accept the results.
On the evening of 18/8/04, President Jimmy Carter had to be escorted by heavy security from a restaurant in Caracas, after members of the opposition and their supporters threatened him with physical violence.
Uh, Ah Chavez no se va! (Uh, Ah Chavez is not going!)
Dr. Franklyn James

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