What is happening in Latin America? What are its Roots?
Posted: Friday, June 18, 2006
By Kasala Kamara
May 28, 2006
Latin Americans are charting a radically different approach towards the development of their societies. This new movement, called Bolivarianism, was first introduced by the famous liberator Simon Bolivar in the 19th Century (about 1826).
Bolivar's vision was based on continental unity and solidarity. His ideology embraced the tenets of popular participation, unification and sovereignty for all of Latin American peoples. He believed that states within South America should consider political and economic integration as the necessary mechanism to counteract the onslaught of Washington hegemonic and imperialistic influence.
This thrust to transform the Latin America was aborted for a very long time and a serious degeneration process was set into motion. In response to the question "How do you explain the explosion in social movements against neo-liberalism in Latin America?" veteran political activist Tariq Ali gives us a profound insight into the root causes of the crisis:
"I think the reason for this is that Latin America was used a laboratory by the United States for a long, long time. Everything the US wanted was experimented in Latin America first. When they wanted military – on the political level – when they wanted to crush popular movements by unleashing military dictatorships they did it in Latin America first: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, three of the most brutal dictatorships we have seen.
It is the atrocious political economic and social conditions created by US imperialism and its allies in Latin America which is largely responsible for the political and social upheaval taking place at this time. Here is a brief outline of the socio-economic situation in Latin America deformed by US imperialism. Two-thirds of more than 350 million Latin Americans live in cities. Latifundia – large landlord estates – still make up the basis of land tenure: over 60% of the entire land being used is in the hands of 1% of the landowners.
"Then after the collapse of the "communist enemy", they relaxed on the political front but they got Latin America in a grip economically, and they said this is the only way forward"
"We can summarise it like this: the laboratory of the American Empire is the first to rebel against the Empire".
All the social ills of Latin America – ruthless exploitation and lawlessness of the working people, poverty, a high mortality rate, and illiteracy – are most pronounced in the countryside. The indigenous rural population who make up the bulk of the Latin American population, are denied elementary human rights. Despite the exodus of rural inhabitants to the cities, labour "surplus" is equal to one-third of the able-bodied people living in the countryside. Partial unemployment, which is most widespread in farming, has stricken nearly 75 million people. From 10 to 25% of the economically active population in Latin American countries are jobless. Latifundism is the chief cause of low labour productivity in agriculture. As US corporations, employing the latest methods of exploitation, penetrated some farming sectors in Latin America, the agrarian crisis there aggravated, making the agricultural areas more dependent on the transnationals. Latin America, hit hard by a currency shortage, has turned from the exporter of foodstuffs into their importer.
Here are some striking statistics. Over a quarter of the Latin America population is illiterate, more than half of all children do not attend schools. Over 100 million people suffer from malnutrition; every fifth newborn child does not survive. Prices are constantly rising and the working people's standard of living, low as it is, is on the decline. The chief source of the disastrous social end economic conditions in Latin America is (apart from Latifundism and the local anti-national elites) US imperialism.
WHY LATIN AMERICA CANNOT BE IGNORED?
It is very rich in natural resources most of which are considered strategic for growth and development
|Argentina||Fertile plains of the Pampas; lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, natural gas and uranium.|
|Belize||Arable land resources; timber, fish, hydropower|
|Bolivia||Tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber and hydropower|
|Brazil||Bauxite, iron ore, gold, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber|
|Chile||Copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum|
|Colombia||Petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower|
|Cuba||Cobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land|
|Dominican Republic||Nickel, bauxite, gold, silver|
|Ecuador||Petroleum, natural gas, timber, hydropower|
|El Salvador||Hydropower, geo-thermal power, petroleum, arable land|
|Falkland Island/Islas Malvinas||Fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss|
|Guatemala||Petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower|
|Haiti||Bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble, hydropower|
|Honduras||Timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower|
|Mexico||Petroleum, natural gas, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, timber|
|Nicaragua||Gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish|
|Panama||Copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower|
|Paraguay||Hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone|
|Peru||Copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphates, potash, hydropower, natural gas.|
|Puerto Rico||Some copper and nickel; potential for offshore and onshore oil|
|Uruguay||Arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries|
|Venezuela||Petroleum, natural gas (147 trillion cu. ft. and another 196 trillion to be confirmed), iron ore, gold bauxite, coal, hydropower, diamonds, magnesium|
In this recent data released by PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela Socieda Anonima – PDVSA is the Venezuelan equivalent of PETROTIN) shows that Venezuela is of especial strategic importance to the growth and development of any civilisation which is dependent on petroleum resources
Published by ULTIMAS NOTICIAS Domingo 28 Agosto 2005 - From PDVSA News Bulletin
The GREAT PETROLEUM RESERVE project by means of which a strategy will be carried out for quantifying and certifying the hydrocarbon reserves present in the Petroleum Band of the Orinoco Basin, will allow for the completion of an economic analysis that will in its turn lead to determining the characteristics of the future business concerns to be established in that zone.
Moreover, thanks to this effort, Venezuela will become the petroleum country with the largest reserves on the planet, for it is expected that once the same is completed, these reserves will rise to 313 billion barrels, after some 236 billion barrels have been assessed, quantified and certified. At present the country has 77 billion barrels of proven reserves.
The first phase of exploration and development of heavy crude reserves in the Petroleum bearing Band in the Orinoco can be converted into investments of approximately 15(US) billion dollars.
HOW ARE THE LATIN AMERICAN PEOPLES RESPONDING TO THE EXISTING CONDITIONS?
The struggle of the peoples of Latin America to transform their societies and improve the quality of their lives continues to make world headline news:
Support Bolivian Anti-Privatisation Activist Oscar Olivera!
WHAT BENEFITS ARE THE PEOPLE OF LATIN AMERICA ENJOYING FROM THEIR STRUGGLES OF TRANSFORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT?
Coalition in Defense of Water and Life in Bolivia
November 29, 2001
This morning at 7:30 am the police in Cochabamba arrested Oscar Olivera, spokesperson for the Coordinadora, on his way to work. The charges are "sedition, conspiracy, instigating public disorder, criminal association, and other charges".
Brazil: Vivendi Moves to Keep Water Company
by Raymond Colitt, Financial Times
February 18, 2003
Vivendi Environment will today launch last-ditch negotiations to recover control of a Brazilian water company after a state government said it would take over management from the French utility
Brazil: South Could Become Stage for Water Wars
by Mario Osava, Inter Press Service
March 21, 2003
Developing countries rich in water resources could become scenarios of war similar to what is happening today in Iraq if water continues to be privatised and sold like any other merchandise or "good", warned Leonardo Morelli, the organiser of the Social Water Forum, taking place in Brazil
Bechtel's Water Wars
By Pratap Chatterjee, Special to CorpWatch
May 1, 2003
In November 2001 Bechtel sued the country of Bolivia for $25 million for cancelling a contract to run the water system of Cochabamba, the third largest city in the country, after local people took to the streets to protest massive price hikes for water
Brazil: Land Reforms Promised to Peasant Activists
By Andrew Hay, Reuters
July 3, 2003
Brasilia, Brazil – Brazil promise on Thursday to speed land reforms after landless movement leaders met with President Luiz Inacio da Silva, but the pledge did little to halt a wave of occupations by peasant activists.
Brazil: Wall Street Concerned over Mass Landless Movement
By Matt Moffett, The Wall Street Journal
July 10, 2003
Presidente Epaticio, Brazil – Outside of this central cattle town, activists have built a massive squatter camp, with 3,500 families who say they won't leave until the government gives them property. In other places, protestors demanding land have looted food trucks, seized toll roads, and taken over government agricultural offices. Last week, the nation's president convened an emergency meeting with the group's leaders, who refused to halt their protests.
Brazil: Battling for the Environment
By Paulo Cabral, BBC Brazilian Service
August 20, 2003
The virtual disappearance of a waterfall at Brazil's Paulo Afonso gorge – once called "Brazil's Niagara" by Victorian explorer Richard Burton – is perhaps the most visible of a number of changes along the Sao Francisco river made in order to generate hydroelectric power
Honduras: Creating a Logjam
By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
March 21, 2005
As deforestation erodes rural life, a priest has taken on the timber industry and forced an unofficial freeze. Critics call him inflexible
Bolivia: Political Landscape Shaped by Protests
By Monte Reel, The Washington Post
April 4, 2005
"Bolivia has natural gas, water, cocoa and all kinds of natural resources," said one activist. "But the problem is that they keep stealing it from us"
Brazil: New Logging Permits Banned in Amazon State
By Alan Clandenning, Associated Press
June 6, 2005
New logging permits were suspended Friday in a huge Amazon state where the rain forest is being cleared at an ever increasing rate, a day after police launched a crackdown on official corruption.
Ecuador: Amazon Indians say Texaco left Damage
By Gonzalo Solano, Associated Press
October 20, 2005
About 50 Cofan Indians, some holding handkerchiefs over their faces to fend off an arid chemical stench, gathered around two contaminated open pits they say were left behind and never adequately cleaned up by the former Texaco Corp.
Bolivia: Bolivia's Morales rejects US domination
By Hal Weitzman, The Financial Times
January 22, 2006
Evo Morales was sworn in on Sunday as Bolivia's first indigenous president in a historic and emotional ceremony that set the tone for his new government, promising to move much of the profits of Bolivia's natural resources to the people of Bolivia.
Venezuela: Indigenous Demonstrators Protest Coal Mining
By Humberto Marquez, Interpress News Service
January 27, 2006
Indigenous protestors from northwestern Venezuela marched Friday through the streets of Caracas, which is hosting the sixth World Social forum (WSF), to protest plans for mining coal on their land
Peru: Tangled Strands in Fight Over Peru Gold Mine
By Jane Perlez and Lowell Bergman The New York Times
October 25, 2005
Yanacocha is Newmont's prize possession, the most productive gold mine in the world. But if history holds one lesson, it is that where there is gold, there is conflict, and the more gold, the more conflict
Bolivia: Bolivia Indicts Shady Oil Transnat
February 20, 2006
Bolivia's President Evo Morales is analysing Monday with specialised officials the current situation of Andina Co., controlled by Spanish transnational Repsol which is acused of illegally trafficking petroleum.
Chile: 'Yes' to Gold Mine, but Don't Touch the Glaciers
By Daniela Estrada Inter Press Service
February 15, 2006
Environmental authorities in Chile gave the go-ahead Wednesday to the Pascua Lima gold mining project on the Argentine border, but told Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold that it would not be allowed to carry out its plans to "relocate" three glaciers
Mexico: Mexican strikes cripple mines, mills and refineries
By Frank Jack Daniel Reuters
March 2, 2006
Tens of thousands of Mexican miners and metal workers joined a nationwide strike on Wednesday in two separate disputes that crippled output at the country's biggest mines, metals refineries and steel mills
Peru: Substandard Peruvian Gas Pipeline Blamed for Spills
Environmental News Service
March 2, 2006
A pipeline crossing the Peruvian Amazon has spilled natural gas liquids four times since it opened 15 months ago because it was shoddily built by unqualified welders using corroded pipes left from other jobs, according to a new technical report by the nonprofit environmental consultancy E-Tech International based in San Diego
South America: Creating a Network Against Biopiracy
By Mario Osava, Inter Press News Agency
March 27, 2006
Two patents granted in the United States between 2000 and 2002 and another for which an application has been filed have put "maca", a high-altitude Andean plant that is used by the indigenous people of Peru, at the centre of a new battle against biopiracy, which involves the construction of an international network against the misappropriation of traditional knowledge
Bolivia: Neighbours Recognise Bolivia's 'Sovereign' Right to Nationalise Gas
By Marcela Valente, Inter Press Service
May 4, 2006
The presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela confirmed their interest in moving together towards regional energy integration, in a summit held Thursday in the northeastern Argentine province of Misiones to discuss the impact of the Bolivian government's decision to reassert state control over the country's energy resources
Bolivia: Oil Companies Not Entitled to Payment, Bolivian Says
By Carter Dougherty, The New York Times
May 16, 2006
The leader of Bolivia on Thursday ruled out compensating oil companies for nationalised oil and gas fields as he came under questioning from European officials at the start of a high-level meeting on energy and trade.
Ecuador: Bush Administration Breaks off free-trade talks with Ecuador
By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press
May 16, 2006
The Bush administration said Tuesday it had broken off negotiations on a free trade agreement with Ecuador following the South American government's decision to annul an operating contract with Occidental Petroleum Corp.
One of the outstanding examples of real benefits to the people of Latin America is the case of the citizens of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela under the presidency of Hugo Chavez Frias. Let the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, speak:
"President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela will today become the second head of state - after the Queen - to be welcomed to London's City Hall. When it comes to the social transformation taking place in Venezuela, the political qualifications often necessary in our imperfect world can be set aside. It is crystal clear on which side right and justice lies. For many years people have demanded that social progress and democracy go hand in hand, and that is exactly what is now taking place in Venezuela.
WHAT SIGNIFICANT INITIATIVES HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED VERY RECENTLY WHICH REFLECT THE CONTINENTAL VISION OF THE GREAT LIBERATOR, SIMON BOLIVAR?
"It therefore deserves the unequivocal support of not only every supporter of social progress but every genuine believer in democracy in the world.
"Venezuela is a state of huge oil wealth that was hitherto scarcely used to benefit the population. Now, for the first time in a country of over 25 million people, a functioning health service is being built. Seventeen million people have been given access to free healthcare for the first time in their lives. Illiteracy has been eliminated. Fifteen million people have been given access to food, medicines and other essential products at affordable prices. A quarter of a million eye operations have been financed to rescue people from blindness. These are extraordinary practical achievements.
"Little wonder, then, that Chávez and his supporters have won 10 elections in eight years. These victories were achieved despite a private media largely controlled by opponents of the government. Yet Chávez's visit has been met with absurd claims from rightwing activists that he is some kind of dictator.
"The opponents of democracy are those who orchestrated a coup against Chávez, captured on film in the extraordinary documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. It is a film that literally changes lives. By chance, a TV crew was in the presidential palace when the military coup of April 2002 against Chávez took place. It captured minute by minute the events that unfolded.
"Anti-Chávez gunmen, in league with the coup organisers, opened fire on a pro-Chávez demonstration. As guns are commonplace in Venezuela, some in the crowd returned fire. US television stations manipulated these images by editing out the gunfire aimed at the pro- Chávez crowd to claim that anti-Chavez demonstrators had been attacked.
"A million people took to the streets of Caracas to demand Chávez's release. The moment when the army deserted the coup leaders and went over to support the demonstrators is shown on film.
"It is a sign of how little David Cameron's Conservative party has changed that London Tories are boycotting today's meeting with Chávez. This contrasts, of course, with the Tories' longstanding feting of the murdering torturer General Augusto Pinochet. To justify their position they ludicrously compare Chávez to Stalin. Sometimes it is necessary to choose the lesser of two evils. Britain fought with Stalin against Hitler. But with Chávez the choice is not difficult at all. He is both carrying out a progressive programme and doing so through the mandate of the ballot box.
"George Bush's refusal to respect the choices of the Venezuelan people shows that his administration has no real interest in promoting democracy at all.
"Not since the 1973 coup that brought Pinochet to power have people faced a clearer or more important international choice. In Venezuela millions are struggling to take their country out of poverty. They are doing so by means that are among the most democratic in the world. Both are inspiring.
Today Venezuela is being opposed largely on the basis of lies. We have to make sure Venezuelans have to face nothing worse. It is the duty of all people who support progress, justice and democracy to stand with Venezuela."
The ALBA (Alternativa Bolivariana par las Americas), as its Spanish initial indicate, is a proposed alternative to the US-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas, differing from the latter in that it advocates a socially-oriented trade block rather than one strictly based on the logic of deregulated profit maximisation. ALBA appeals to the egalitarian principles of justice and equality that are innate in human beings, the well-being of the most dispossessed sectors of society, and a reinvigorated sense of solidarity toward the underdeveloped countries of the Western Hemisphere, so that with the required assistance, they can enter into trade negotiations on more favourable terms than has been the case under the dictates of developed countries.
By employing more effective mechanisms to eradicate poverty, ALBA provides a counterweight to the policies and goals of the FTAA. This alternative model also identifies the most crucial impediments to achieve a genuine regional integration that transcends the prerogatives of the transnational corporations. One of the obstacles to confront is the deep disparity that countries such as Haiti or Bolivia are compelled to compete with the world's leading economic power. In order to overcome trade disadvantages, ALBA pushes for solidarity with the economically weakest countries, with the aim of achieving a free trade area in which all of its members benefit (a win-win alliance)
The ALBA favours endogenous development and rejects the type of employment that the sweatshop industry generates because it does not contribute to the upsurge of the agricultural and industrial sectors of the poor countries and does not contribute to the elimination of poverty.
While not operating as a mere export-oriented activity under ALBA statues, agriculture instead would prioritise the food self-sufficiency of every country before focussing on profit-making processes. The agricultural sector cannot be deliberately subjected to market liberalisation, while developed countries maintain policies based on multi-million dollar subsidies and high import tariffs to protect their own internal production, thus flagrantly contravening the principles of free trade. However, ALBA considers that even if these countries eliminate their protectionist policies, the agricultural output from the developing countries still would not be able to compete because displaced farmers and the indigenous populations of agricultural areas would still be displaced from their sources of productive work, thereby increasing the pattern of social exclusion in countries with few resources.
ALBA represents a comprehensive programme aimed at the radical transformation of Latin America and the Caribbean. Some of the more important initiatives and projects are as follows:
PETROLEUM AND ENERGY
COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPORT
- LATIN AMERICAN-CARIBBEAN COMPANY OF ELECRICITY
- COMPANY GAS-SOUTH
- LATIN AMERICAN COMMISSION OF ATOMIC ENERGY
- INSTITUTE OF INVESTIGATION OF THE ENERGY OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
- THE NET RAIL LATIN AMERICAN (RFL)
- THE NET OF HIGHWAYS FOR THE INTEGRATION AND THE DEVELOPMENT (RCID)
- THE CARIBBEAN LATIN AMERICAN AIRLINE (LALC)
- THE FLEET FLUVIAL LATIN AMERICAN (FFL)
- THE FLEET MERCHANT CARIBBEAN LATIN AMERICAN (FMCL)
- CONFIRMATION OF THE CENTRE OF MILITARY FOR THE DEFENSE AND THE AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN INTEGRATION
- Elaboration of a LATIN AMERICAN DEFENSE DOCTRINE
- LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN TREATY OF RECIPROCAL ATTENDANCE
ECONOMY AND FINANCES
- CLUB OF LATIN AMERICAN CARIBBEAN DEBTORS
- LATIN AMERICAN INVESTIGATING COMMISSION ON THE FOREIGN DEBT
BASIC AND SLIGHT INDUSTRIES
- LATIN AMERICAN BANK FOR THE ENDOGENOUS MODEL AND INTEGRATION
- SOUTH ASSURANCE COMPANY
- COMMISSION FOR THE COMMON CURRENCY
- INSTITUTE FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE SOCIAL ECONOMY
- COOPERATIVE BACNK OF THE SOUTH
- LATIN AMERICAN CHAIN OF "BANK OF THE SOVEREIGN PEOPLE"
- LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN (FOCAL) COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENT
- INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL PROMOTION DE LATIN AMERICA
- INDUSTRIAL CENSUS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
- INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
EARTH, ALIMENTARY SOVEREIGNTY AND AGRARIAN REFORM
LATIN AMERICAN CARIBBEAN BANK OF SEEDS
- LATIN AMERICAN-CARIBBEAN COMMISSION OF DEFENSE OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
- ECOLOGIAL OBSERVATORY DE LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
- DETACHMENT OF THE SOUTH FOR EMERGENCIES AND NATURAL CATASTROPHES
- CARIBBEAN LATIN AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF FORESTATION
- COMMISSION LATIN AMERICAN CARIBBEAN "DRINKABLE WATER FOR ALL"
- INVENTORY OF THE PATRIMONY OF ORIGINAL AND CREOLE SEEDS OF LATIN AMERICA
- LATIN AMERICAN CAMPAIGNS OF LITERACY
- LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION
SCIENTIFIC TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
- CARIBBEAN LATIN AMERICAN NETWORK OF UNIVERSITIES
- ENCOUNTER OF UNIVERSITIES OF OUR AMERICA
- INTERUNIVERSITARIAN COMMISSION FOR THE VALIDATION OF PROGRAMS AND SECURITIES AMONG THE DIFFERENT UNIVERSITIES OF LATIN AMERICA
- To strengthen the OCLE AS FEDERATION OF LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
- TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTE OF THE SOUTH
- INSTITUTE OF LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
- TELEVISION OF THE SOUTH
- CHANNEL OF NEWS
- CULTURAL CHANNEL
- INFANTILE CHANNEL
- CHANNEL OF ENTERTAINMENT
- LATIN AMERICAN RADIO CHAIN
- LATIN AMERICAN STATE-RUN ENTERPRISE OF COMMUNICATIONS
- LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH
- LATIN AMERICAN CAMPAIGN OF VACCINATION
- DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURE OF MEDICINES
MIGRATIONS – IDENTITY
- WOMEN'S LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN INSTITUTE
- POPULAR DINING ROOMS
- POPULAR DAY-CARE CENTRES
- POPULAR LAUNDRIES
- PASSPORT AND LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP
- MISSION LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN IDENTITY
- LATIN AMERICAN FUND FOR THE HOUSING AND HABITAT
PARTICIPATION AND PROTAGONIC DEMOCRACY
- CONSTTUTION OF THE NETWORK OF CARIBBEAN LATIN AMERICAN PARLIAMENTARIANS
- PLEBISCITES AND OTHER MECHANISMS OF POPULAR CONSULTATION
MOVEMENT OF WORKERS
- INDIGENOUS UNIVERSITY IN OUR AMERICA
- INSTITUTE FOR THE INDIGENOUS LEGISLATION
- INDIGENOUS FUND OF OUR AMERICA
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF THE RECENT STRUGGLES OF LATIN AMERICA FOR YOU THE MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S GOVERNING COUNCIL OF NJAC?
- LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN CONFEDERATION OF WORKERS
- CARIBBEAN LATIN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF WORKERS OF ENERGY
- INSTITUTE OF THE WAGE AND THE WORTHY LIFE
Veteran political activist Tariq Ali puts it nicely:
"But I think..., the Venezuelan example is the most interesting one. It says: 'in order to change the world, you have to take power, and you have to begin to implement change – in small doses if necessary – but you have to do it. Without it, nothing will change...Chavez is improving the lives of ordinary people, and that's why it's difficult to topple him...it's pointless just chanting slogans, because for the ordinary people on whose behalf you claim to be fighting getting an education, free medicine, cheap food is much, much more important than al the slogans put together"
The struggle continues, ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!