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This analysis of what the rightwing in Venezuela would do--a platform that was not part of the public record but was leaked--indicates, in reverse, what Venezuelans' "New Deal" is all about--what they have voted FOR over the last decade--for instance, everybody gets food, housing and health care, banks are strictly regulated and required to serve the society and the most vulnerable groups get extra help, for instance, children under 4 and the elderly ride free on buses, and all elderly people get pensions (even if they worked in the informal sector before--say, as street vendors--and were excluded from the pension system). These and other Chavez government policies not only created sizzling economic growth (10%) during the 2003 to 2008 period, and a quick recovery from the Bushwhack-induced worldwide depression (Venezuela economic growth has climbed back to over 5%), they have created "THE most equal country" in Latin America (UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean).
Venezuela's rightwing--like the Reaganites and Bushwhacks and our own Democratic "neoliberals"--want to END Venezuela's "New Deal," create banks like we have here, that speculate unconscionably then hit the poor with their trillion dollar 'shortfall,' and kick the poorest people "off the island" in a sickening binge of greed, also like we have here.
Venezuelan Opposition Economic Plan to Roll Back Public Services Revealed
Barinas, August 23 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – An internal document has been leaked to Venezuelan press revealing the economic policy of Venezuela's political opposition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), should they win the presidential elections in October. The plan includes the deregulation of banks, opening up the economy to private investment and the reduction of state funding for public services and communal council projects.
MUD candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski is standing against two-time incumbent President Hugo Chavez, with voting set for 7 October.
Referring to the current global financial crisis, the MUD document states that it would be unable to maintain the current social spending levels of the Chavez administration and predicts a decrease in the demand for oil from countries such as China and the USA – Venezuela’s largest trading partner.
The opposition document states that based on current spending levels, the government’s public sector deficit as a proportion of GDP (gross domestic product) will be 8% in 2013. The document classifies this figure as potentially dangerous in the event of a global economic downturn and states that the MUD would aim to reduce this figure to 3-4%.
In order to respond to the “crisis” caused by a potential decrease in the global demand for oil, the opposition says that it would take “concrete steps to decrease, in the medium and long term, the heavy load of goods and services” provided by the current government in a bid to reduce its social spending budget and in turn the public deficit.
Other steps to decrease the government budget for social spending would include the decentralisation of the provision of social services to municipal governments, who the MUD argues would make services “more efficient”.
The government’s social missions, including the Barrio Adentro health program and the children’s educational centers knows as “Simoncitos,” would also be transferred over to municipal government. Health and education missions, including the maintenance of school and hospital infrastructure and the provision of food, would be opened up to “private initiative”.
Charges for some of these services would also be implemented in a “controlled” manner, an action that the opposition argues would allow the new government to reduce the financial burden on the state.
This process of decentralisation would reverse actions carried out by the Chavez government to put the administration of services under the control of central government. The government argues that it has done this in order to minimise the possibility of corruption and to ensure that access to health and education is universal, regardless of geographical location or local government politics.
Ex-governor of Anzoátegui state, David de Lima, was one of those who received a copy of the document.
In comments to Venezuelan television on Wednesday, the political independent said “there are two discourses , there is the economic discourse that’s used to get votes, and the real one, that aims to place the economic policy of the country back in the hands of the two or three sectors that always controlled it”.
Other areas that would be affected by the opposition's proposed cutbacks are food, housing and transport. The document states that a governing MUD administration would put an end to current government subsidies on housing built as part of the Great Housing Mission, although those already receiving the subsidised housing benefit would not be affected by the measures.
Subsidised food sold through the government´s MERCAL scheme would be provided and delivered by private companies, whilst funding available to communal councils for the construction and renovation of housing would also be “gradually reduced”.
Overall, the opposition states that it would aim to decrease the amount of government food subsidies by 60% over the next 3 years or potentially sooner.
Equally, subsidised transport would be eliminated. The price of travel on the Metro in Caracas, Valencia, the Ferrocaril del Tuy and Maracaibo would be raised by 5% every 4 months, at least until the service is able to meet its running costs. According to the document, the same policy would also be applied to other forms of transport such as buses, where children under 4 and adults over 65 can currently travel for free.
Current government policies, such as universal access to social security, would be rolled back. Social security for old age pensioners, currently pegged to the national minimum wage and tending to increase each year, would be frozen from 2013.
Likewise, the new government would retract the current government policy which allows old age pensioners to access social security regardless of whether they have paid their social security contributions in full.
All expropriated land and property would be returned to their previous owners within a maximum of 2 years.
Energy, Oil and Mining Policy
Whilst there are few details relating to the opposition's proposed oil and mining policy, the document states that the MUD would create a new framework for these areas which would no longer be based on a “nationalist ideology”. The subsidised provision of electricity would also be cut and opened up to the private sector, and electricity rates would be raised.
At the end of the document, the MUD states that it will release a separate document outlining its new oil policy.
Banking and Price Controls
The document, titled First Ideas of Economic Actions to Take by the National Unity Government (2013), strongly criticises the current government for its “excessive regulation” of banks and interest rates, as well as a policy which requires banks to designate a certain amount of their profits to social programs.
The opposition argue that current regulation, which states that 25% of a bank’s profits must go towards agricultural projects, 15% towards housing, 3% to micro-businesses, 10% towards manufacturing activities and 2.5% towards investment in national tourism, adversely affects the profitability of banks and their ability to allocate credit to “profitable activities”.
MUD policy recommends the immediate establishment of a “Committee for Banking Sector Reform” in order to begin the process of eliminating the banks’ obligatory social contributions, with the possible exception of regulations on mortgages, which would be made more flexible.
The government’s price control measures, implemented in 2011 in order to combat the adverse effects of inflation and hoarding are described as “absurd” in the document, which states that the measures produce “fear and anxiety in the productive private sector”. All price control mechanisms would be eliminated within a year.
Finally, the plan says that it would consider using the power of presidential decree* in order to “dismantle the socialised and collectivised state model that has been created by the so-called revolution”.
Private bankers and members of Venezuela’s business association, FEDECAMARAS, will be invited to the next MUD meeting to discuss the party’s potential economic policy further.
The document can be read in full in Spanish here (LINK--see original).
(Creative Commons License. My emphasis.)
*"using the power of presidential decree."
Funny, how the wingnuts get all nutty when Chavez uses powers of decree to build housing for the poor or to rebuild a town destroyed by floods, but intend to use it themselves to undo the equitable society that Venezuelans have voted for, by big margins, over the last decade.
For the record: presidential powers of decree are discussed and voted on by the National Assembly, are time- and issue-limited and are a common practice in Latin America. (Brazil's president, for instance, used powers of decree to protect a wide swath of the Amazon rainforest for an uncontacted Indigenous tribe.) These are beneficial and democratically conveyed powers--that is, if they are used lawfully, as Chavez has done.
The wingnuts in Venezuela are not great respecters of the law, however. In fact, in their coup attempt in 2002, they suspended the Constitution, the courts, the National Assembly and all civil rights--measures that were thought to be quite efficacious by the corporate media in Venezuela and by the Bush Junta. Venezuelans know all this--no thanks to the corporate media--and are not at all likely to put these fascists in power, in the coming elections, to undo everything. (Chavez is way ahead in the polls.) I point out the corporate media's role in the lawless, thieving, mind-boggling greed of those behind frontmen like Reagan, Bush Jr. and Capriles, to help the uninformed understand why Chavez has also sought to regulate the corporate media's use of the public airwaves--akin to our "Fairness Doctrine" regulation here, that the Reaganites dismantled.
Corporate media is how really bad leaders like Reagan get into power, without directly stealing elections, and how potentially good leaders like Clinton get blackmailed into ruinous policy (such as deregulating the banks). They also assist with outright election theft, here--but that is not a problem in Venezuela (which has an election system that is far, FAR more honest and transparent than our own). The corporate media in Venezuela has helped "launder" this rightwing candidate, Capriles, and won't be telling Venezuelans what he is really all about--dismantling their "New Deal." This is so similar to what happened with Reagan, here, that I thought I'd point it out. Venezuelan voters are not as clueless as our own, though, who got fooled, big time, by Reagan, which is how both our "New Deal" and our very democracy itself began to be dismantled.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:03 PM (12 replies)
Study of Polls Shows a Clear Lead for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's Presidential Election Race
By VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN UK, August 13th 2012
With just two months to go until Venezuela’s presidential elections on 7 October, a study of recent opinion polls has shown a clear lead for Hugo Chavez over his main rival Henrique Capriles Radonski.
The study shows Hugo Chavez has a lead of between 15-27% in each of the 8 polls examined (see table below).
The study is based on all polls published in July by the major polling companies that carry out polls in Venezuela (with data collected in the last week of June and during July 2012).
It includes pollsters that had some of the most accurate final predictions for the two previous elections that determined whether Hugo Chavez would be Venezuela’s President. These include: Consultores 30-11 and Hinterlaces (2006 Presidential elections) and Datanalisis (2004 Recall Referendum).
The strong lead for Hugo Chavez in these polls is consistent with the ongoing high satisfaction rating for his government which a range of polls have shown is regularly around 60%.
Found at: http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7168
Must be stupid Venezuelans planning to vote for Chavez what with all the terrible news about Venezuela from the Corporate Press duly reported here by some DUers.
Don't these peasants in Venezuela know that Chavez is, a) a dictator, and b) incompetent (an incompetent dictator?).
It's damn puzzling. His government keeps winning elections by big majorities but the Corporate Press and its DU echoheads NEVER SAY WHY. Why do people vote for this clown...er dictator?
Must be rigged elections, huh? Nope. Venezuela has one of the most honest and transparent voting systems in the world, certified by all the reputable election monitoring groups, and transparent on the face of the election system facts--far, FAR more honest and transparent than our own (like night and day).
Well, the last sentence above tells us part of the story that is blackholed in the Corporate Press: "The strong lead for Hugo Chavez in these polls is consistent with the ongoing high satisfaction rating for his government which a range of polls have shown is regularly around 60%."
Huh. How come those polls are NEVER EVER cited in the Corporate Press? How come studies like the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Carribean, which designated Venezuela "THE most equitable society in Latin America" are NEVER EVER cited in the Corporate Press?
Venezuela has problems, of course, like any country does. How come those are the ONLY things EVER reported by the Corporate News? And how come they are often reported without mentioning what the Chavez government is doing about them?
Our politicians would eat their hearts out for Chavez's poll numbers. How come this is NEVER reported?
The picture of Venezuela by the Corporate Press is so slanted as to be ridiculous! It is propaganda. And, what is more, it is a propaganda campaign that has been going on for a decade, and is monotonously negative often with the same "talking points" repeated almost verbatim from corporate news source to corporate news source.
And here we are again. Chavez way ahead in all polls and the ONLY thing we get from the Corporate News and its dittoheads is bad news about Venezuela.
Among other things--like the disgust I feel at being lied to time and again about the Chavez government--this long-standing, intense anti-Chavez campaign is worrisome. Does it mean a war is being planned? Another coup attempt? Or is it just that our Corporate Rulers simply don't want us to learn anything about an equitable society where most people like their government?
What a disaster it would be for our Corporate Rulers if our people found out the truth--that the Chavez government, though it certainly has its flaws, like any government does, is actually a good government, benefiting most Venezuelans, and with consistently high approval ratings over the decade! Venezuelans, not being stupid, have voted for fairness--for their own "New Deal"--for inclusion of the poor majority in the political process--for an expansion of civil and human rights and public participation. Our Corporate Press must bury this truth. And they do.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Mon Aug 13, 2012, 11:17 PM (9 replies)
and billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in military aid "to stop the drug trade"?
Or is it that the New York Slimes had a hole to fill, it's election time in Venezuela and the DEA, the AFT, the FBI, the DIA, the CIA, the DOJ, the Pentagon and the State Department were more than willing to empty their trash cans onto the pages of the New York Slimes to ONCE AGAIN slime the most hated Latin American leftist president of all time--the one who booted Exxon Mobil out of Venezuela?
This gets not so funny after a while. Clearly, Venezuela needs a bloodbath (i.e., Mexico), lots of dead trade unionists and other advocates of the poor and FIVE MILLION brutally displaced peasant farmers (i.e., Colombia) and a fascist coup and lots of murdered leftists-- teachers, community activists, labor leaders--and journalists, and more U.S. military bases (i.e., Honduras), to solve the "drug problem."
I want to laugh some more--sometimes that's all you can do--but, in honor of the millions of victims of the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs," I will refrain from rofling. This smells too much like the WMDs that weren't in Iraq (um, Judith Miller, New York Slimes).
This is A WAR. And what you are reading, in this corporate/war profiteer trash bin, is WAR PROPAGANDA. Whether it becomes another U.S. shooting war or not, we don't yet know. It smells like Iraq (the Democrats prep the war, the Bushwhacks drop the bombs and torture the prisoners). But if Leon Panetta can keeps winning 'gold medals' (Panetta 2, Latin America 0) (um, the fake "constitutional crises" by which elected leftist presidents were removed in Honduras and Paraguay), maybe only trade unionists and peasants will die and not U.S. soldiers.
And they can always send the Secret Service in, to debauch Chavez.
Sorry, dead people. Even with mountains of dead bodies, murdered by the U.S. "war on drugs"--or maybe because of them--sometimes you just gotta laugh.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Wed Aug 8, 2012, 10:45 AM (3 replies)
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