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Venezuela: A Breath of Fresh Air

The Earl of Crumpsall | 22.01.2008 04:49 | Workers' Movements

Eyewitness to progress in Venezuela - it's now a country for all. No longer will the masses allow it to be just benefiting the elites, with some large crumbs thrown to the upper middle class,

I visited and worked as a volunteer in the city of Carora in Venezuela last summer. Not only were the people a pleasure to meet, but it was also amazing to me to see how people, whose families have been kept in poverty for generations, are now taking an enthusiastic interest in politics and working at a grassroots level to improve the lives of themselves, their families, and their communities. The bulk of their participation takes place through their local community councils, where decisions on what their communities need most are made openly and democratically. Often, the community councils decide the poorest family in their area is in need of an affordable house, rather than the shack they might have inhabited for generations. Once agreed upon, the house is built using locals with the required talents, or with workers in cooperatives from the surrounding areas. I personally witnessed the funding for such projects being handed to a community council member by the mayor of Carora at an open air presentation. The presentation of the cheque was filmed and broadcast on local radio, and the full details of the project and its funding was revealed to any observers. The mayor had received the cheque directly from the central government. Unlike many cities in Venezuela, the mayor has a reputation of truly being with the people. One of the challenges for Chavez is rooting out corrupt bureaucrats and opportunists who talk socialism when it suits them to get votes, when in reality they are feathering their own nests. It is a continuing struggle for socialists in Venezuela to expose such people and remove them from their positions of power. However, one thing was made clear to me by countless Venezuelans: There is no going back to a time when their children had no food or health care. Those days, they proclaimed, are over.

The Earl of Crumpsall


Display the following 3 comments

  1. marvellous news — simon
  2. Chavez' other challenge — andyb
  3. What is the truth regarding Cuba? — The Now Legendary Earl of Crumpsall


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