Thursday, October 11, 2007

Popular power is the essence of full democracy

From Venezuela Analysis today (Oct 11, 2007):
Chavez Outlines Proposed Social and Economic Structure for Venezuelan Socialism

"With the approval of the Constitutional Reform, with the power that it will give to the people, we will break from this straightjacket that the colonial model imposed upon us," said Chavez on Sunday from the Humboldt Hotel on the mountain above Caracas.

Chavez spent much of his show this week explaining what he calls "the new geometry of power," which will reorganize the political, territorial, and economic structure of the country. Chavez has said that these changes will be fundamental to the planned transition to a socialist system in the country.

The president explained the proposed territorial distribution, which will be made up of states, federal districts, municipalities, communes, federal territories, and island districts. Chavez has explained before that organized communities will unite to form communes throughout the country, which will basically be self-governing entities.

As for political organization, the communities will exercise power through the communal councils, workers councils, and farmer and producer councils. Chavez emphasized that in this way the communities will have increased decision-making power with regards to the administration of public resources and public works.

"It's not bringing power closer to the people, but rather giving power to the people," emphasized Chavez.

The national government will be assigning a total of Bs. 3.2 trillion (US$ 1.4 billion) to communal councils in 2008, according to Chavez. He said that the money would be progressively administered to the communities over the next year as they get organized.

"For next year, once we have popular power included in the constitution, the government will be ready to transfer resources, duties and responsibilities to the communes, starting in January of 2008," said Chavez.

He went on to explain the proposed economic configuration that will set up productive units under the management of communes and in the form of socialist enterprises and cooperatives. Chavez emphasized that the economy would be centered on satisfying the needs of the Venezuelan communities and decreasing inequality in the population so that "there are not such extreme differences among Venezuelans."

"Popular power is the essence of full democracy, of socialism, of socialist democracy. Only in socialism can we achieve it," he said.

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