|SocialismToday Socialist Party magazine|
Too uncritical of Chavez?
I AM from Venezuela and live in the USA, where I have just gained an education at graduate level, in a program truly related to community building. I concur with many socialist ideas, initiatives and movements; for instance, I feel comforted when I read articles published in Socialism Today that question authority and criticize capitalism. I am an advocate for the inclusiveness of all individuals in society, the role of women, minorities, and any other individual who has been segregated in the world.
In Socialism Today, I have noticed some sort of sympathy for the role of the current president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Although I strongly believe in the need for changes in our society and the redefinition of goals, this process should not be obscured by the misconduct of the current leaders. In Venezuela, a country immersed in poverty and a low level of education, but rich in natural resources and enthusiastic people, Mr Chavez has sent a tremendous message: the participation of low-income groups in the decision-making process is imperative, and Venezuela must define its strategies according to its own interests, regardless of those of the powerful groups. Moreover, he has empowered the powerless by raising their voices. This is my humble understanding of his achievement, and I find his message gratifying.
However, he and his administration have not been able to build consensus among the whole society. Corruption, violence and false expectations are a few of the issues that are ruining our hopes. Consequently, Mr Chavez is about to destroy the opportunity of creating a beautiful example of socialism in Latin America. The media and big business groups, and also many independent organizations, have definitely taken the decision to discourage support for President Chavezís ideas. Unfortunately, he has done a lot to feed them. If you asked for my opinion, I would say that eventually Mr Chavez could become a perversion of what socialism is and even will hurt low-income grassroots groups, those that he claims to protect.
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