Venezuela by hedongchenchen


    Opposition to, and Consequent
      Radicalization of, Chavez
• Coup in April 2002
• Oil Shutdown December 2002 (Management
  lockout, administrative and professional
  strike, and sabotage of oil industry) August
  2004 Recall Referendum
• In January 2005, Chavez announced that that
  his government build a “Socialism of the 21
Constitution of 1999
          Chavez’s election in
            1998 gave him a
            mandate for
            widespread political
          In April 1999,
            Referendum Passed
            to Invoke
          Constitution of 1999

• The Constitutional Assembly was elected with
  members who were pro-Chavez
• The Constitution of 1999 was an essential part
  of the program for political and economic
      Five Branches of Government
•   Executive
•   Judicial
•   Legislative
•   Citizen Branch
•   Electoral Branch
  Electoral Branch and Citizen Branch

• Both the Electoral Branch and Citizen Branch
  have “Watchdog” functions.
• The Electoral Branch ensures that election
  procedures are properly complied with
                 Citizen Branch
• Purpose: To ensure that all other branches
  comply with their functions
• Subdivided into:
  – Defender of the People/ Human Rights Defender:
     • Ensures that the State does not violate Constitutionally
       Guaranteed Human Rights
  – Attorney General
     • Protects Citizens from other Citizens
  – Comptroller General
Constitution Includes Rights of Liberal
•   Right to Due Process of Law
•   No Ex Post Facto Laws
•   Right to an Attorney
•   “Double Jeopardy” Clause
•    Right against Self-Incrimination
•   Right to privacy in one’s home; protection
    against unwarranted state intrusion
            Freedom of Speech
• Everyone has the right to express freely his or her
  thoughts, ideas or opinions orally, in writing or by
  any other form of expression…and no censorship
  shall be established… Anonymity, war
  propaganda, discriminatory messages or those
  promoting religious intolerance are not
          Right to Information
• “Everyone has the right to timely, truthful and
  impartial information, without censorship, in
  accordance with the principles of this
  Affirmative and/or Economic Rights
• In addition to the “negative” rights –that is,
  the rights to be free of an overbearing state,
  there are also “positive” rights – that is,
  certain guarantees – social and economic--
  provided by the state.
             Right to Housing
“Every person has the right to adequate, safe
and comfortable, hygienic housing, with
appropriate essential basic services, including a
habitat such as to humanize family,
neighborhood and community relations. The
progressive meeting of this requirement is the
shared responsibility of citizens and the State in
all areas.”
          Right to Health Care
“Health is a fundamental social right and the
responsibility of the State, which shall guarantee
it as part of the right to life. The State shall
promote and develop policies oriented toward
improving the quality of life, common welfare
and access to services. All persons have the right
to protection of health, as well as the duty to
participate actively in the furtherance and
protection of the same…”
        Right and Duty to Work
“All persons have the right and duty to work.
The State guarantees the adoption of the
necessary measures so that every person shall
be able to obtain productive work providing him
or her with a dignified and decorous living and
guarantee him or her the full exercise of this
right. It is an objective of the State to promote
          Basic Material Needs
  “Every worker has the right to a salary
sufficient to enable him or her to live with
dignity and cover basic material, social and
intellectual needs for himself or herself and his
or her family.”
        Participatory Democracy
• “The participation of the people in the
  formation of, execution, and control of public
  administration is the necessary means for
  achieving the involvement that ensures their
  full development, both individual and
  collective. It is the obligation of the State and
  duty of society to facilitate the generation of
  the most favorable conditions for putting this
  into practice.” – Constitution of Venezuala
       Methods of Participation
• Referenda
• Local Public Planning Councils (CLPP): Purpose
  is to make plans for municipalities, and ensure
  that they are properly executed
• Social Audit: The right of any citizen to audit
  any public body
• Cooperatives
            Economic Policies
• Can be divided into:

  – Social Democratic & Keynesian

  – Participatory/community-based socialist
    experiments (21 Century Socialism)
         Social Democratic and/or
•   Currency Controls
•   Redistribution of wealth via land reform
•   Social Programs
•   Progressive taxation
•   Trade Restrictions
     Creating a “Social Economy”
• The notion of the social economy has evolved
  over time. It has come to include:
   – Microcredit
   – Support for cooperatives
   – Endogenous development
   – Industrial co-management
   – Social Productive Enterprises
“Nobody is the chief here. We are the owners of our
  own decisions.”

      • Government
        has created

      • 2001 Banking
2001 Banking law
requires all banks to
set aside at least 3% of
credit for micro-
     Support for cooperatives

• Constitution
  as a means
      Endogenous development

• Defined by the Chavez Government:
  – 1. Based in existing capacities and resources
  – 2. Motivates community participation in planning of the
    economy, via new forms of organization, such as
    cooperatives and social networks
  – 3. Organized from below towards above
  – 4. Based on the values of cooperation and solidarity
  – 5. Uses appropriate technologies without compromising
    environmental equilibrium
         “Mission About Face”
• Begin in early 2004: To identify “Nuclei” for
  sustainable endogenous development
• Provide skills, training, and support for
  unemployed workers to begin cooperatives in
  fields where the country needed to gain
  greater self-sufficiency (agriculture and
  industrial production)
      Industrial co-management

• Chavez government has allowed some
  nationalized industries to be co-managed with
• This experiment began with the main
  electricity company, CADAFE.
• Continued with two private companies that
  the state nationalized after going bankrupt
• State-owned aluminum company, in 2005
    Social Productive Enterprises

• Social Productive Enterprises are firms that
  are meant to explicitly take into account social
  and communal concerns.
• EPS program officially created in 2005
    Social Productive Enterprises
• To qualify as an EPS a firm must “produce
  goods or services in which work has its own
  meaning, without social discrimination nor
  privileges associated with one’s position in a
  hierarchy, in which there is substantive
  equality between its members, planning is
  participatory, and they operate under state,
  collective, or mixed ownership”
    Social Productive Enterprises
• Social Productive Enterprises receive benefits
  from the state, such as financing and
  privileges in state purchasing.
• In 2005, 500 companies had been given EPS
     Need to Diversify Economy
• The continued growth and revenues from the
  oil industry creates difficulties in developing
  other industries, or in agriculture
• Consequently, Venezuela remains an net
  importer in almost all other sectors
    “Internalizing” Oil Production
• Develop industrialization of oil production, to
  produce oil related products, rather than just
  crude oil
• Create “spin-off” industries that would lead to
  industrialization in other sectors
           Currency Controls
• Volatility in the currency markets between
  1984 and 2002
• Bolivar was allowed to float in 2002
• Oil Shutdown in from December 2002
  February 2003 caused currency to plummet
             Currency Control
• To control Capital Flight, Chavez imposed strict
  Currency Control in 2003
• To have access to dollars, businesses had to
  prove need for imports
• Beneficial consequences: Venezuelans forced
  to find domestic investment opportunities
• Stock Market boomed between 2003 and
     A Path Towards 21 Century
• Chavez on possible definitions of 21 century
  – “There is no solution within capitalism. Nor is it
    about statism or state capitalism, which would be
    the same perversion of the Soviet Union. We must
    reclaim socialism… Humanism, putting humanism
    and not the machine ahead of everything, the
    human and not the state.” World Social Forum,
  21 Century Socialism as Political
• “Socialism of the political: this has a
  combination of elements, but one is central:
  participatory and protagonist democracy. This
  is the central axis of socialism in the political
  [realm], democracy from below, from inside,
  full democracy…” Chavez, 2005
 21 Century Socialism as collective,
    cooperative, and communal
• Socialism is “…increasing cooperativism,
  collectivism, collective property, the
  submission of private property to the social
  interest and to the general interest.”
• It is a “communal system of production and

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