Maduro Denounces Distortion of Hugo Chavez's Image

President Nicolas Maduro has denounced the distortion and manipulation that opposition sectors are trying to make of the history of the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez.

When speaking to his compatriots on Saturday, during the main event on the 25th anniversary of the civic-military rebellion that took place on February 4, 1992, under the leadership of Chavez in Maracay, the president called to show the true image of the Bolivarian leader on television and movie theaters.

We have to bring Chavez to television and the national and world cinema, he said. Maduro instructed Ernesto Villegas and Adan Chavez, ministers for Communication and Information and Culture, respectively, to comply with this task.

The campaign by the political and economic ruling class of the national and world right wing, which makes efforts to manipulate the history of Commander Chavez as a world leader who managed to awaken popular struggles, has became more intense in recent weeks, he said.

Maduro pointed out that 'the enemy is terrified by the example that Commander Hugo Chavez means, meant and will mean for the history to come in Latin America' and for that reason, they endeavor to distort the recently lived history, with TV series and films, he added.

During his speech, the president stressed the meaning of the civic-military deed against the government of Carlos Andres Perez and his neoliberal policies, and emphasized that with that action, the patriotic and independence ideal of Simon Bolivar was reborn.

He pointed out that Commander Chavez roused the people on February 4, and recalled that his appearance on television, where he acknowledged his participation in the military rebellion marked a milestone in the country's history.

About 2,362 gunmen from the military garrisons of Aragua, Carabobo, Miranda, Zulia and the Capital District, led by young officers Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, Francisco Arias Cardenas, Yoel Acosta Chirinos, Jesus Urdaneta and Miguel Ortiz Contreras, participated in the February 4, 1992, historic action.

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Venezuela's President Insists on Dialogue to Secure Peace

Venezuela's Government insists on the political dialogue as the best tool for peace, despite the denial of the right wing sector to seat at the discussion table, President Nicolas Maduro said.

At a television appearance, Maduro added that several initiatives have been implemented, as well as meetings between foreign observers and the opposition alliance Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD, in Spanish).

A document came out of those encounters which is under debate to move forward in the political talks.

Maduro said the MUD should still abide by commitments it pledged to since last November.

'I'm optimistic, however, that the opposition will carry out those agreements, that's why I call on the opposition to stay on the peace process for the good of the country', the President said.

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Venezuela Rates Meeting on Dialogue as Excellent

Caracas, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro rated a meeting that took place here with the international partners of Unasur and the Vatican to strengthen the dialogue process in the country as excellent.

Maduro made his remarks this morning in Twitter after meeting the Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, in the Palace of Miraflores, in order to continue strengthening the momentum of dialogue between the National Government and opposition sectors.

The ex-presidents José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Leonel Fernández, Martín Torrijos, attended the meeting along with the Apostolic Nuncio, Aldo Giordano, who will be the representative of the Holy See in the talks.

Unasur issued a press release of the participants in the process restating the support and commitment to re-launch dialogues between both sectors.

In the document, they announced that they will present a plan to the Government and to the so-called Democratic Unity Board (MUD) aimed at re-launching the talks that are now facing a stage of stagnation due to the opposition's refusal to talk.

Samper said that the initiative to reactivate the dialogue contemplates the solution of different types of proposals and needs that Venezuelans have.

He added that in addition to the political part, the dialogue has to do with the solution of the social problems of Venezuelans with the different commissions.

The former Colombian president said that this process has already shown results and created spaces of confidence among political sectors, while announcing the interest of meeting with the opposition spokesmen today to convey to them the same concerns expressed to the government.

By its part, the government representative at the dialogue table, Jorge Rodríguez, ratified the support to the talks with the opposition sectors and stressed that the only possible path the government is committed to reach peace, is dialogue.

The mayor of Caracas also asked the opposition sectors to cease any violent action that generates destabilization and chaos in the nation, and to join again to the national dialogue.

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The 10 Victories of President Maduro in 2016

In early 2016,Venezuela’s authorities had very difficult problems to solve. Namely, 1) the neoliberal opposition had won the legislative elections of 2015 and controlled the National Assembly, 2) the price of oil, the main export of Venezuela, had fallen to its lowest point in decades, and 3) US President Barack Obama had signed an executive order that declared Venezuela to be an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the US national security and foreign policy”. 

That is, in three decisive areas (political, economic and geopolitical), the Bolivarian revolution seemed to be playing defensively. Meanwhile, the counter-revolution, both internal and external, seemed to have power at its fingertips. 

Furthermore, Chavismo had been under attack from the media since Hugo Chávez arrived to power in 1999. The negative propaganda had intensified since April 2013 and reached unseen levels after the election of President Nicolás Maduro.

This permanent aggression by the media created and propagated such a level of disinformation about Venezuela that it even confused many friends of the Bolivarian Revolution. In particular because, in this “post-truth era”, lies, intellectual fraud and deceit aren’t sanctioned with any sort of negative consequence, not even in terms of credibility or image. Anything goes, everything that’s useful to achieve an end is valid in this era of post-factual relativism, and sometimes not even the most objective facts or pieces of data are enough to disprove false statements. Denunciations against this strategy are ridiculed by media as “conspiracy theories”, and an obsolete element of an “old narrative” that has no basis. 

As I was saying, all odds seemed to be against the President of Venezuela in early 2016. The head of the National Assembly, opposition member Henry Ramos Allup even dared to say, emboldened by the parliamentary majority they had achieved, that he would oust Maduro “in less than six months”. He was undoubtedly inspired by the institutional coup that had ousted President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, and hoped to achieve a victory in a recall referendum.

That was the state of affairs when President Maduro, in a masterful series of moves that nobody had predicted —and that were perfectly legal according to the Constitution—  surprised everyone. He renewed the members of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), whose Constitutional Court has the last word when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.

And then the opposition made two huge mistakes:

They decided to ignore the warnings of the SCJ and carry out a session with three deputies from Amazonas state, whose appointment was under cautionary suspension due to irregularities in their election. Of course, the SCJ blocked this act of disobedience and declared the National Assembly to be in contempt due to the presence of three “irregularly elected” deputies and therefore stripped all validity from decisions made by the organism until this situation is solved. So not only did the assembly fail to legislate to control the government but it annulled itself, wasting the power it held. That was Maduro’s first victory in 2016. 

In their obsessive effort to overthrow the President, the anti-Chavista opposition also decided to ignore the legal requirements to launch a revocatory referendum in 2016. And therefore, they failed again. And that was Maduro’s second victory.

Even so, there was a phase, in March and April, where everything got terribly complicated. Because the usual attacks by the enemies of the Bolivarian revolution were joined by another destabilizing factor: a huge drought, the second biggest since 1950, and extreme heat caused by El Niño. In Venezuela, 70% of electricity is generated by hydroelectric plants, and the main hydroelectric central comes from the Guri dam.  When the amount of rain decreased, the water levels of this dam dropped to next to minimum.

The counter-revolution sought to take advantage of this situation and sabotage electricity to enrage the people and create chaos and protests. This was even more dangerous because the lack of rain also caused drinking water shortages. 

But once again, President Maduro acted swiftly and took dramatic measures: he decreed that millions of incandescent light bulbs had to be replaced by energy saving light bulbs, that old air conditioning systems had to be replaced by new, energy saving ones, he ordered public administration to work half time, and he decreed a special plan of national savings of electricity and water consumption.

Thanks to these bold measures, the president managed to avoid energetic collapse, and obtained one of his most popular victories in 2016.

Another important problem, probably the biggest that the government had to face, partly caused by the economic war on the revolution, was the shortage in food distribution. Before Chávez became president in 1999, 65% of Venezuelans were poor and only 35% had a high quality of life. That means that only 3 out of 10 Venezuelans regularly ate meat, chicken, coffee, corn, milk, sugar and other basic goods. But Chávez wanted everyone to be properly nourished, and in the last 17 years, food consumption grew by 80%. This required a massive investment to increase national food production, but it didn’t grow enough to satisfy the growing demand.

Demand grew, and also speculation. And due to the structural limitations to produce enough, prices hiked vertiginously, while the black market, or bachaqueo, expanded. The government set ceilings on prices of essential goods. Many people bought those cheap, government-subsidized products and sold them for higher prices. Or smuggled them across the border to Colombia or Brazil, where they sold them for double or triple the price. Therefore, Venezuela lost its dollar reserves (which were already scarce due to the drop in oil prices) to the bloodsuckers that stole basic goods from those in need to get rich. Such madness had to stop.

Once again, Maduro decided to act with a firm hand. First of all, he changed the philosophy of social welfare. and he corrected a very important mistake that Venezuela had been making for years. Instead of subsidizing products, the government had to subsidize people. So that those who were truly in need had access to cheaper products. Everybody else pays the market price. This eliminates speculation and smuggling.

And he also announced a change in the economic model of the country: from a “rentist model” to a “productive model”, and defined 15 key sectors to restart the economy of the private, public and communal sector.

One of the practical implementations of these two measures is the creation of Local Committees of Supply and Production (CLAPs), a new form of popular organization. The representatives of organized communities deliver bags full of low-cost food to each home. Many of these foods are produced by the new national industry. In the upcoming months,, CLAPs should feed around four million families. 

Another victory was the government’s record in social expenditure: 71,4% of the budget was allocated there. That’s a world record. No other state in the world dedicates that much resources to the wellbeing of its people.

In healthcare, for example, the number of hospitals grew 3.5 times since 1999. And investment in the new model of humanitarian, free-for-all healthcare grew ten times.

The Barrio Adentro Mission, aimed at caring for the health of those who live in the poorest urban areas of the country, has been received almost 800 million visits and saved 1,400,000 lives. Free medical universities have trained 27,000 new doctors, and other 30,000 will graduate in 2017. Eight states have achieved a 100% coverage with the Barrio Adentro Mission (the goal had been set at six). In 2016, the percentage of retired people who earn a pension (regardless of whether they were able to pay for retirement deductions during their active years) reached 90%—a new record for South America.

Spectacular results were achieved by the Housing Mission, which builds accessible homes for disadvantaged families. Only in 2016, this Mission delivered 359,000 homes for the humble. (While a developed country like France made 109,000 in 2015). Since the beginning of his administration in 2013, a million and a half houses have been made for Venezuelan families. This achievement isn’t even mentioned by hegemonic media.

Last but not least, we must recall some of the brilliant victories that Venezuela obtained in the geopolitical arena. For example, it prevented the Organization of American States, which is dominated by Washington, from condemning Caracas by invoking the Democratic Charter against Venezuela.

It also reaped success at the XVII Summit of the Non Aligned Movement that was held in September 2016 in the country, with the attendance of many heads of state and of government representatives from 120 countries who expressed their solidarity with Venezuela.

The main victory of President Maduro in this area was the unprecedented deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to coordinate a reduction in exports of oil. To achieve this, Maduro carried out many international tours.

This historic agreement, signed in November 2016, immediately stopped the drop in oil prices, which had been plummeting since mid-2014, when the price was at 100 dollars a barrel, to 24 dollars in January. Thanks to the agreement, the price hiked to 45 dollars by the end of December 2016.

In the longest and hardest year, in which many thought he would fall, President Maduro, overcame all obstacles and proved his exceptional ability as a statesman. And as a trustworthy leader of the Bolivarian revolution.

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Venezuelan Government Faces Speculative Crisis

The business sector in Venezuela are acting on Sunday in the campaign against the constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro to make products more expensive and to speculate with the needs of the population.

The case of toy company Kreisel that raised the prices of these items through a chain of marketing and distribution emerged this week with a profit margin of up to 95,000 percent of speculation, the National Superintendency of Fair Prices (Sundde), Willian Contreras, explained.

Faced with these actions that are intended to cause discomfort in the population during the Christmas season, authorities are acting and the visit of Sundde inspectors to businesses to demand prices with discounts from 30 to 50 percent in some cases became a practice for a few days.

In the case of Kreisel and other companies, they bought the products with preferential dollars and then sold them through their distributors, which in turn transferred them to another company that finally sold them to the public with a speculative final price, Contreras said.

The National Superintendency of Fair Prices ordered on Friday the seizure of 3,821,926 toys that Kreisel's distribution company hoarded in its warehouses in Caracas and Guarenas.

This case is just a test button of the onslaught against the country's economy, something that has increased these days in items that create discomfort among the low-income population.

Bread was scarce or was not available today in many municipalities of the capital, while business owners or employees said that 'there is no flour', so the discomfort of the Venezuelans certainly increases.

Many people blame the government and are unaware or try to ignore the fact that the speculative mafias, those who govern the (illegal) parallel dollar and those who manipulate the situation for political purposes, are responsible for the situation.

Authorities in Miraflores are working on and are launching initiatives to support the population.

This is the end of the year in Venezuela, the government is intensifying the struggle and its campaign against sectors that boost the economic war, and those trying to increase the discontent of the population and insisting on making a political judgment of Constitutional President Nicolas Maduro, whom they blame for a crisis induced by themselves.

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Venezuelans Mobilized in Support of Government-Opposition Dialogue

Caracas, Nov 3 (Prensa Latina) The Venezuelan people has taken the streets of this capital today to reaffirm their support for dialogue between the government of Nicolas Maduro and the opposition, despite this sector continues its hostile policy.

The march, convened by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), started in several central sites for the Miraflores Presidential Palace.

The PSUV Youth has been focused since yesterday night on areas surrounding the government building in support of the Bolivarian government and the perseverance in the exchange with the opposition to achieve stability in the country.

The camps are carrying out some recreational and educational activities, in which delegations of amateur artists have played a key role, the coordinator of JPsuv activities, Andreina Tarazon, reported.

That body urged the establishment of a roundtable discussion between youth and student sectors at all academic levels, she added.

PSUV Vice President, Diosdado Cabello, warned that the opposition has a plan to affect this mobilization. 'There are an 'Operacion Troya', they will try to get some people into the Miraflores Palace,' he said during his weekly program ' Con el mazo dando'.

The socialist legislator stated that several representatives of the opposition launched new threats and gave the government a 10-day deadline for talks that began on Sunday, October 30, to reach peace in the nation.

The legislator stated that the political consciousness of the people continues strengthening and the society is fighting to improve the country.

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ECLAC: There Is “Definitely No Humanitarian” Crisis in Venezuela

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has dismissed claims circulated by the Venezuelan opposition and the international media that the country is facing a “humanitarian crisis”. 

In an exclusive interview with Sputnik News earlier this week, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena stated that it was “necessary to make it clear” that the country is “definitely not” in the midst of a humanitarian emergency. 

“There is scarcity of certain products and political tension, but Venezuela still has many elements in order to be a vibrant country and thrive economically, and it is making efforts to diversify its production,” stated the ECLAC head. 

Bárcena also added that it was impossible “to obscure” how the national government had “lifted many people out of poverty,” while praising the current Maduro administration for taking new “interesting” measures aimed at directly “supporting the poorest families” in the country. 

In further comments to the news agency, the ECLAC Executive Secretary predicted that the Venezuelan economy would contract just 4% in 2017, as opposed to 8% this year, “due to the recovery of oil prices”.

Nonetheless, Bárcena recommended that the government take action on its currency exchange controls, which she described as “causing damage to the Venezuelan economy”. 

The country has been facing an economic war brought about by the private sector leading to scarcities of food and medical supplies. 

In recent months, the national political opposition has attempted to have the country categorised as facing a humanitarian crisis in its bid to unseat the elected national government.  


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Venezuelan Army Rejects Opposition's Plan to Impeach Maduro

Venezuelan Defense Minister appeals to opposition to abide by the rule of law. 

Venezuelan Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino Lopez Tuesday appealed to Venezuelans to exercise “prudence and good sense” following threats by conservative lawmakers in the National Assembly to impeach President Nicolas Maduro.

RELATED: Media Deliberately Omits Critical Info to Demonize Venezuela

Padrino reiterated the armed forces' commitment to protect the Venezuelan constitution against any unlawful threat, and to defend Venezuelans against any attempt to destabilize the country and promote violence. He also reiterated his support for Maduro's government.  

“We urge Venezuelans to act according to law and promote the dialogue between the government and the opposition, that has been always promoted by President Maduro in order to find a solution and together solve the problems of Venezuela,” Padrino said.

After a weekend of tension, Venezuela's socialist government and right-wing opposition Monday announced that they would sit down for formal talks mediated by the Vatican and other international agencies; however, staunch government opponents like Henrique Capriles have dismissed the dialogue and called for violence in the streets to overthrow Maduro. 

“We reject incitement to violence of some opposition sectors who had even called to an international intervention in Venezuela ignoring the despicable consequences that such thing would bring, chaos and anarchy,” Padrino said. 

Meanwhile, thousands poured into the streets of Caracas Tuesday to support Maduro and reject the opposition's attempt to overthrow him. 

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