Understanding the Venezuelan Revolution: Hugo Chavez Talks to Marta Harnecker Hardcover – 1 Nov 2005
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About the Author
Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, re-elected under a new constitution in 2000, and won a large majority in a 2004 recall referendum.
Marta Harnecker is director of the Center for Research on Popular Memory in Latin America (MEPLA) in Havana and author of "Venezuela: Militares Junta al Pueblo" and numerous books on the Latin American left.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While the Bush administration, a plutocracy, is willing to do just about anything in order to avoid a new electoral victory by Hugo Chávez on December 3, 2006, Venezuela continues to implement reforms aimed at further improving the standard of living of the population. Its prestige in the continent is proportionally direct to the twilight of US influence in the region. The reason for that is quite simple: while Venezuela has destined 28 billion dollars in terms of external assistance for its neighbors for a seven-year term-an annual average of 3,6 billion dollars-, the United States has announced a massive decrease of its contribution for the year 2007, with a 28,5-percent fall in the assistance for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean, a 10-percent fall in medical assistance and an 11-pecent decrease of its financial contribution to the Organization of American States (OAS). Messages also opposed each other in this area: Caracas contributes 3,6 billion dollars annually as part of its assistance for Latin America, while Washington expects to decrease its 1,2 billion-dollar economic support.
The Bolivarian government successfully challenges the neo-liberal doctrine, which is unsustainable in social, economic and political terms and that explains the anger of the White House. Despite several aggressions and threats coming from the U.S., President Chávez launched signs of opening to Washington by saying: "If they change that attitude, we will respond in the same way. Everything can be improved, if they show respect for our sovereignty, respect for our decisions". However, is not very probable that reason and dialog lie in the incompetent and belligerent President Bush.
This book carefully traces by means of a detailed interview of Hugo Chavez on the how and why the Venezuelans begin the painful process of turning Venezuela inwards, beyond the image of beauty queens and oil prostitutes dressed in Giorgio Armani, and move in stead towards a living process of rebirth dictated by the Bolivarian ideals of its birth as a republic.
"It has not been easy," says Hugo Chavez time and time again. The well documented restraint of this man and his people after the CIA blessed "golpe de estado" of April 2002, is a constant theme within the book, the necessity of avoiding violence, of permitting the filth and venom from media outfits which act as the pivot and hammerhead of the counterrevolution, but to see beyond, to force the change no matter what.
It is difficult not to stop at times and shout: "Viva Chavez!" When you read this book, as you understand step by step the incredible human story that is the process of the Bolivarian revolution. It is difficult to remain neutral upon such a process, so I do not pretend to be such a man. I then remember the voice of Martin Collins, the Irish hero, who once asked his people who would take his place if he was to fall and say: I am Chavez, now dead and his legacy still there alive. I am Chavez as his people cry and carry his legacy forwards. I am Chavez, and see the future with hope, and fully expect in the humble people that in Venezuela's past represented nothing but an object of contempt, the example to follow, the dawn of a new day for this blessed land of Bolivar and Monsignor Romero. Viva Chavez!!!!
Don't read this if you're looking for an inside look into the revolution. Read it if you want to know what is inside Mr. Chavez's head. Even then, it's difficult to find any truth to what he or any president has to say.
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