Amin George Forji President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela prior to his official swearing in ceremony for a third presidential term had announced intentions to transfer the country to a full socialist state. 

Speaking in a live broadcast on Monday Jan. 8th, his first since the start of the year, Chavez said if Venezuela aspires to develop and improve the standard of living for its the citizens, it must transfer the ownership and control of lucrative companies that directly affect daily lives of people from foreign hands to state control through what he described as “a revolutionary enabling law”. To that effect, he announced that upon beginning a third crucial mandate, he will seek a parliamentary vote to grant him extra powers to nationalize all major Venezuelan oil refineries, energy, and telecom companies. He added that Venezuela was on a journey of no return to become a full socialist state par excellence. Venezuela is moving towards a socialist republic and this requires deep reform of our national constitution”. 

“We are in an existential moment of Venezuelan life,…We’re heading toward socialism, and nothing and no-one can prevent it.” The move means that all corporations that were privatized under the structural adjustment program (SAP) would eventually revert to state control and ownership. 

“All of that which was privatized, let it be nationalized. The nation should recover its ownership of strategic sectors.” Mr Chavez added in a defiant tone. American owned Corporations are expected to be affected by this imminent nationalization policy, notably, CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, Electricidad de Caracas and AES. The country’s telecommunication firm, CANTV is also expected to fall victim to the nationalization plan. Caracas and Washington have had poor relations for the past five years. Chavez accuses Washington of sponsoring dissidents to destabilize Venezuela and take-over power through a coup, and foster America’s “dark” agenda, which he clams is bound to fail for life. Washington in turn accuses Chavez of sowing seeds of discords in Latin America. 

In his speech, Chavez also frowned at the autonomy currently enjoyed by the central bank, saying it has been “disastrous” for Venezuela, and so must come to an end. “The central bank must not be autonomous, that is a neo-liberal idea,” he said. According to Swissinfo, Venezuelan bonds felt by over 1% in the stock exchange markets just ours after Chavez’s speech. 

See: http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/swissinfo.html?siteSect=43&sid=7412346  In the fiery speech, Chavez also criticized the Sec. Gen. of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza , qualifying him as “an asshole” and “an idiot”. He said the best advice he could give him at the moment is to resign. 

Chavez won a convincing victory of 63% in the last presidential ballot o Dec. 3rd 2006. Parliament is dominated by his allies, and except otherwise, any bill however controversial it may be is expected to pass through.

[Edited by Simon – Spelling and grammer] 

 

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