Planning the Next Six Years of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution

by: Tamara Pearson

Planning the detail of the transition and revolution toward a socialist and
more just society, from community and worker organization, to consciousness
building, to production and distribution systems, to combating state and
judicial corruption and bureaucracy, to agriculture, mining, petroleum,
infrastructure, and relationships with other countries, is no small task.
The truth is, it has been a hard task writing this analysis. It has
required a certain level of restraint to force myself to be selective and
pick out only the most salient points of Chavez’s 39 page proposed plan for
the 2013-2019 period of the Bolivarian revolution. All of the objectives
and strategic points and sub points seemed important, and that in of itself
reflects something wonderful, I think. For the millions of us heavily
involved in this revolution, we are so drawn in that we care what the
agricultural goals are, we’re concerned about methods for reforming the
utterly rotten judicial system, we’re watching closely to see how food
distribution progresses — even if we aren’t ourselves directly involved.
We’re reading the plan (according to the national news agency of Venezuela
(AVN) one million copies have already been distributed) and realizing just
how much we have to do, because we feel like this is our responsibility
too, not just the state’s (or Chavez’s). It’s our project.

This plan, like its predecessor, the First Socialist Plan 2007-2013, will
be taken very seriously as a guide, or reference point for where we should
be heading and what needs to be done. It will be quoted at meetings, it
will be a permanent fixture on office desks, it will be browsed at night.
And importantly, first it will be debated. Over the next six months,
various fronts, councils, organizations, and movements, will discuss the
plan and send in suggestions, as the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) — Women’s
Council has already done. If Chavez wins the presidential elections, the
final version of the plan should be passed by the National Assembly in
January next year.

Of course, opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles has, as a
requirement at the time of registering for the presidential elections, had
to submit a plan as well, and I’ll briefly review his at the end of the
article. However, to compare the two plans is like comparing a Lego town
with a real city, or Harlequin ‘romance’ novels to Eduardo Galeano, or
origami tigers with the real animal. Capriles’ ‘plan’ is in fact a
pretentious collection of advertizing slogans. Even a non Spanish speaker,
taking a quick glimpse at the two (Chavez’s plan is available here and
Capriles’ here) can see who seriously intends to win the October
presidential elections, and who has lethargically hired a public relations
team to put together a few of the standard election key words used in every
single country by those vacant politicians who pretend to care about their
electorate, such as ‘progress,’ ‘quality’ and ‘future’ into a rather
childish looking power point presentation.

Chavez’s plan, double the length in pages and with about forty times the
content, is much more sophisticated and articulate in wording and
structure, opens with an introduction and a chapter on the historical
context framing the plan, whereas Capriles’ has no kind of introduction at
all, and simply leaves out a lot of vital issues such as Venezuela’s
relationship with other countries, with Latin America, and the United
States. Nor does it mention in any way culture, agriculture, the
environment, indigenous rights, racism, sexual diversity, or in fact,
laughably, most aspects of the economy.


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