Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Venezuala's Revolution Explained To New Zealand

28 September 2004

Venezuala's Revolution Explained To New Zealand

Resisting international pressures has allowed Venezuela’s wealth to be directed towards the poor majority in forms such as food and healthcare, said Leonel Vivas, the Venezuelan ambassador to Australia.

Mr Vivas was in Wellington to promote Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, which is changing “political and socio-economic trends”. He spoke at an Alliance Party-sponsored public reception at St John’s Hall on Saturday night.

President Chavez, in power since 1998, has been accused of violating human rights and being anti-democratic. Opposition factions arrested him during a coup in 2002, but he was reinstated following massive street protests in his support.

Mr Vivas highlighted the economic progress President Chavez has made despite foreign intervention.

The Bush administration is indirectly trying to unseat President Chavez by means such as funding the opposition, Mr Vivas said. Ninety-eight per cent of private media is American-directed anti-Chavez propaganda, he added.

He said the “neo-liberal economic model implanted by foreign powers” is a main reason for the corruption and poverty that plagued the country when the Chavez Government came into power.

Despite Venezuela’s abundant resources, and oil in particular, 70 per cent of the population are living in poverty. Mr Vivas said: “We are a rich country, but a poor nation.”

The Chavez Government has tried to redistribute wealth to the poor: “The main goal of the Bolivarian Revolution is to fight poverty and give the people a better way of life ... the only way to fight poverty is by giving power to the poor.”

Over the last five years, the government’s economic policies have reduced Venezuela’s external debt to the lowest level in Latin America, from US$35 billion to US$19 billion, he said.

Venezuela now trades oil for meat and dairy products with Argentina, and for doctors with Cuba because Venezuelan doctors are reluctant to work in poor areas. “Two years ago, that would have been impossible because the decisions were being made somewhere else, like London,” Mr Vivas said.

The Venezuelan people confirmed their support for President Chavez this year when the government won 58 per cent of the vote in a recall referendum on August 15. International observers confirmed the elections were fair.

Mr Vivas said: “The result was not only a resounding victory for Chavez, but also for democracy and the Bolivarian Revolution.

“Venezuela is now a model of participatory democracy … this is one of the most important achievements of the Chavez government.”

About 50 people attended the reception. Afterwards, Mr Vivas said it was important for people to know the situation in Venezuela

“By promoting international solidarity through meetings like this and informing the people of what is happening – that’s the best way for New Zealanders to support the Venezuelan people.”


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news