Beyond the misiones and the Bolivarian process (el proceso Bolivariano) of empowering working people and the poor, two of the most significant initiatives of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela have been the restarting of closed factories under workers’ co-management with the state, and the rapid expansion of the cooperative sector of collectively-owned and collectively-operated enterprises.
'When the elephants fight, the grass suffers,’ says an African proverb. The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Doha Round – whose raison d’être was, supposedly, the development of the poor countries -- collapsed after five years of negotiations (it was launched in 2001). The reason was, the apostles of liberalism widely reported in the mainstream media, the failure by the United States and the European Union (the two biggest elephants) to make sufficient concessions in agricultural and exports subsidies, and in lowering their tariffs on agricultural goods. They fought stubbornly and selfishly, these commentators argued, and the grass (the poor countries) was trampled upon.
As the border organizer for Sierra Club's Environmental Justice program, I bounce back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border supporting grassroots environmental activists. More than the food, language, or currency, the biggest difference from one side to the other is what issues are considered "environmental." Perhaps nowhere else on earth is there such a long border between such a rich country and such a struggling one, and this disparity seems to carry over to which issues take priority, writes Oliver Bernstein.
You won't find commentary and language any more hostile to Hugo Chavez than on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.Their June 23 piece by Mary Anastasia O'Grady in the Americas column is a clear, jaw-dropping example. It's practically blood-curdling in its vitriol which calls Hugo Chavez a threat to world peace. The sad part of it is Journal readers believe this stuff and are likely to support any US government efforts to remove the "threat."
Maybe it's just a coincidence that just days before an international expression of solidarity demanding the US keep its hands off Venezuela and Cuba, Rep. Dan Burton (a right wing Republican in good standing) introduced an anti-Venezuelan resolution in the US House of Representatives.
This week, the State Department announced that it was banning all sales of weapons to Venezuela, alleging that the government of President Hugo Chavez was not cooperating in the worldwide war on terror.