Venezuela Re-Takes Course Toward Socialism With Inauguration of Water Pump and Commune

March 6, 2009 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

On his weekly presidential talk show Aló Presidente Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez unveiled a new state-owned industrial water pump and pipeline in Aragua state that will improve agricultural irrigation and allow the restoration of one of Venezuela’s largest fresh water lakes.

In addition, Chávez announced that the state will develop a new network of “socialist agrarian communes” in Aragua state, and that these initiatives mark the beginning of a new era in which Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution” will be strengthened. Chávez also called for Venezuelans to be alert to the ways the private media manipulates information about the government’s projects.

“We should feel proud because we have produced a totally Venezuelan project,” Chávez said after switching on the motors of the water pump, the construction of which cost nearly $100 million and employed nearly 2,500 people, directly and indirectly.

“Hopefully, there will be no wars over water or oil in the future. Water is essential,” said Chávez.

The pump will transfer up to 3,000 liters of water per second from the Taiguaiguay Lagoon through a 6 kilometer pipeline to farmlands in the Tucutunemo Valley, Chávez explained, topographical map and marker in hand.

This will allow the restoration of the water level in nearby Lake Valencia, which has suffered from insufficient sewage treatment in nearby cities and irrigation based on “the irrational exploitation of the capitalist development model,” said Chávez.

An alternative, “socialist” development model is the aim of the Chávez administration, which is now laying out a ten-year plan, assuming Chávez is elected to a third presidential term after his current term ends in 2012. A third term is a possibility because voters approved a constitutional amendment to lift term limits on elected offices in a nation-wide referendum last month.

“The earth, the water are property of all Venezuelans’ they are social property,” said the president. “Let’s march together through the next decade to strengthen the revolution of 2009-2019, to construct true socialism.”

To compel an alternative model of farming in the Tucutunemo Valley, the Agriculture and Land Ministry distributed Argentine tractors, plows, seeders, and fertilizers, imports worth more than 1.5 million bolivars ($700,000), to local farming cooperatives.

Also, Chávez said his government would install and equip “socialist agrarian communes” in the valley, based on new economic structures outlined in agrarian laws passed by the Chávez government last year.

The communes represent “the collective work of the state, the regional and municipal governments, and organized communities,” and “will help overcome some problems that have not been able to be solved by the established bureaucracy,” according to Régulo la Cruz, the coordinator of the national Foundation for the Development and Promotion of Communal Power (Fundacomunal) in Aragua state, which is in charge of the projects.

“The priority will be that organized communities design public policies to solve their problems and transcend the corrupt bureaucracy,” said la Cruz.

To help organize the communities, a program of the Environment Ministry called Hidrocentro has taken charge of setting up local water committees in the Tucutunemo Valley and facilitating workshops with the committees about the rational use of water in their irrigation systems.

Chávez specified that while the idea is to transfer economic power to the communes, the private sector would not be eliminated. “We need the private sector to be united with us, not against us,” he said.

Nonetheless, Chávez warned that the private media, much of which is openly adversarial to the government, would step up its efforts to ignore and distort government activities as the government pushes harder toward socialism. “The oligarchy does not rest; every day it attacks us with its newspapers and its radio,” he said.

Chávez ordered government officials at the national, regional, and local level to make “a map of the media war” to identify the counter-revolutionary media in their sector and engage in “a daily battle” to strategically supply alternative information about government and community activities.

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This post was written by James Suggett

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