Monday, December 4, 2006

The Axis of Hope is here to stay

Venezuela Viewpoint : Chavez wins!

Green Left Weekly - “The atmosphere in the early evening has been a big celebration already, with fireworks and loud music in the city streets, and a large crowd already gathering near Miraflores Palace”, according to Jim McIlroy and Coral Wynter, correspondents for Green Left Weekly’s Venezuela bureau who were in Caracas on the day of the December 3 presidential election.

The wealthy elite, which back the opposition and own the media, are terrified of the growing radicalisation of Venezuela’s working people. Chavez explicitly made the elections a referendum on his stated goal of constructing a “socialism of the 21st century”, and dramatically deepening the revolutionary transformation of the country. Yet again, the working people sent a powerful message: there should be no return to the past — the revolution must continue.

The elite are running out of options. However, funded and directed by the US government, they will continue to struggle to stop the process of change in order to defend their interests. During the election campaign, the opposition succeeded in remobilising their base in the middle class. Rosales’s final election rally, held on November 25, involved hundreds of thousands of people and was possibly the largest demonstration held yet by the opposition, easily the largest since their defeat in the 2004 recall referendum (an opposition initiative to prematurely end Chavez’s term).

From his victory speech - "Long live the socialist revolution! Destiny has been written ... We have shown that Venezuela is red! ... No one should fear socialism ... Socialism is human. Socialism is love ... Down with imperialism! We need a new world! It's another defeat for the devil, who tries to dominate the world ... Down with imperialism! We need a new world!"

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