Venezuelan Ambassador Julio Escalona writes: President Chavez said "The Homeland is for all of us" and he's right. About 10% of the inhabitants of Venezuela represent the interests of trans-national corporations but they have great manipulative power and manage to move over 40% of the population to their side. The 90% is the people ... but the strength of tradition, habits and anti-communist prejudices, the bait with which the dogmas and mistakes of 21st Century socialism are written, the myths about private ownership, the loss of parents rights and kidnapping of children to educate them in ways contrary to accepted family values, etc., have added to the present mis-conceptualizations of the Venezuelan process, have created resistance from some and rejection from others.
The February 15 victory can be the point from which strategic re-orientation may begin to dissipate such feelings, focusing on "The Homeland" as being for all of us and demonstrating it each day as the essential path.
The 'Chavistas' have matured ... more than a million of them are still with us ... they may not vote for the opposition, but their interest is centered on the many deficiencies of government in key issues in regional and local government. They trust the President but they expect more. The people have consistently voted yes, but they also expect more. This last vote was not a blank check for Chavez ... and he knows it!
The YES victory is a clear reward to the leadership of President Chavez and the votes for the NO option are basically the anti-Chavez engine moving the opposition.
The YES option is filled with hope ... hope for the efficiency of central and local governments ... they hope for the eradication of corruption and some "redder-than-red" miscreants ... they hope to beat inflation and crime, improve education and health. They expect community councils to not be a party or the State, but to belong to the 90% of the Venezuelan people who have no other option than being part of The Homeland. It is expected that the great diversity of "Bolivarianism" will continue and that spiritual values will overcome materialistic consumerism. It is expected that we will overcome oil-fixated ideologies and it is expected that the ecology will prevail over economics as a vital part of the ecological complexities we face.
At the United Nations, the diplomatic team under the coordination of Ambassador Jorge Valero -- who is also our Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America & Multilateral Affairs -- will continue to struggle with world scenarios while for Venezuela this new historic year has already begun in February.
May this YES to Chavez really represent the beginning of a new age...
H.E. Ambassador Julio Escalona is Venezuela's Alternate Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York. He holds degrees in economics, geopolitics and environmental issues, and is a former director of the School of Economics at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas and head of its department of human development. He is a professor of economics, general economic history, economic education in Latin America, contemporary Marxism and contemporary social problems. He has coordinated research seminars on economic integration, local economies and local development, and alternative technologies and has been a participant and guest lecturer at seminars, forums, academic institutions in Peru, Brazil, Japan, Paris, Mexico and Venezuela.