Our Readers' Opinions
February 2, 2016
17 years of Bolivarian revolution

This February 2, 2016, we commemorate 17 years of the coming into power of Hugo Chávez, after a resounding election victory. It was a break from the corrupted and neoliberal past of previous administrations, which left most Venezuelans in misery.

The Bolivarian Revolution embodies in its essence a social project of popular and humanistic character, driven by a model aimed at satisfying the most pressing needs of the Venezuelan people, politically, socially, economically and culturally.{{more}}

Today, our revolution can show with pride that we are a country where social inclusion for the poorest has become a reality in these past 17 years, thanks to the social policies of the Bolivarian Government. Just to mention a few figures, with the Bolivarian Revolution poverty was reduced from 50 per cent to 19 per cent, and misery from 25 per cent to 4.7 per cent; we are the country with the second largest university enrolment on the continent, with 2,500,000 students; we built one million homes for the poor in the last three years; social security for our seniors increased from 300,000 to almost three million pensioners, reaching 84 per cent of coverage; in 2005, UNESCO declared Venezuela free of illiteracy; unemployment is now the lowest since 1999, reaching about six per cent.

Thanks to the sovereign character of our revolutionary project, the fair distribution of wealth has allowed in Venezuela, from 1999-2014, a social investment of 732 billion dollars – 62 per cent of our income – designated for programmes of health, nutrition, education, as well as major infrastructure, transport and housing. A goal achieved for the first time in our history of over 100 years as an oil producing country.

Internationally, it is about a revolution driven by the thoughts of integration and solidarity of our Liberator Simón Bolívar. Under the leadership of President Chávez and now of President Nicolás Maduro, new cooperation mechanisms such as ALBA, Petrocaribe, CELAC, UNASUR have been promoted, rejecting the interference of any imperial power.

Today, our revolution is subject to external and internal aggressions, and we suffer the ravages of a brutal economic war and the fall of oil prices. President Maduro has made the call for the entire country to come together to address this complex situation, and to build a stronger, more productive economy.

As noted by our head of state, despite the difficulties, 2016 will be the year of rebirth of the Bolivarian movement, thanks to the moral force of our ideas, always with the support and brotherhood of the peoples of the world, and most notably those in Latin America and the Caribbean.

(Contributed by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)