Aporrea.org, a left-leaning website that has historically been supportive of the PSUV and chavismo in Venezuela, published a scathing article yesterday in which it blamed the crisis affecting the country on the “failed model” that Hugo Chavez implemented in Venezuela throughout the fourteen years of his rule.
The article, written by Leon Moraria, begins with acknowledging that what the opposition blames the crisis on – “un modelo fracasado” [“a failed model”] is a reality, and the country’s abysmal socio-economic figures are evidence of it. Moraira takes aim directly at Chavez in his article, saying:
This economic disaster has a first and last name: HUGO Chavez, [creator of]chavismo, which is based on demagogic populism, hyperleadership and a cult of personality. It is a political ideology that adorns itself with biblical, Marxist, Christian-socialist, fascist, neo-nazi, and militaristic quotations in a peculiar form of ideological syncretism.
For Moraira, chavismo is not a type of socialism. Moraira argues that the crisis Venezuelans are living through today is the result not of a failed socialist model, but of a failed chavista model, one that is corrupt and incapable of governing.
Moraira concludes his piece with the following analysis (emphasis in original):
In the name of the revolutionary, proletariat left wing, those who abstained from voting or spoiled their ballots: we reject the infamy that is pretending to draw some kind of connection between socialism and the chavista model. Socialism has absolutely nothing to do with what has happened in Venezuela during the past 17 years, which is why we’ve always considered this government to be neither revolutionary nor bolivarian, and much less socialist. It is a military government, with the military and for the military, which is why the military academies don’t teach socialism, which is something that can only be learned through the worker’s struggles, in the struggles of campesinos for land, and through the ideological struggle of students in their universities.
Socialism is the exclusive patrimony of the working class. Without the working class, there is no socialism. As a consequence, it is wicked to say thatchavismo is socialism.
Oil Workers Cry Foul Over Wage Increase
Two weeks ago, oil industry workers voted to approve a government proposal that would see their wages increased by 143%. While the agreement was hailed at the time, a representative for the oil workers denounced today that the government lied to them and that they have not in fact received the wage increase to which they agreed.
Eudis Girot, the executive director of the Federacion Unitaria de Trabajadores Petroleros de Venezuela [Unified Federation of Venezuelan Oil Workers] (FUTPV) said earlier today that the actual increase the workers have received is of 93%. Girot explained that oil workers are now making approximately Bs. 4,032 a week, but lamented the fact that even that figure is not enough to cover basic necessities:
[When you] subtract the Bs. 1380 for insurance, then we’re only earning Bs. 2,652. That’s not enough to buy a chicken and a bag of rice.
Family Needs 14.4 Minimum Salaries to Eat Well
The price of the nutritious food basket – the combination of food items a family of five needs in order to eat a healthy diet – rose to Bs. 139,373.68 in December. The figure is Bs. 17,420.05 higher than it was in November, and it means that a family of five needs to earn 14.4 minimum monthly wages in order to eat well.
The figure, which is calculated periodically by the Centro de Documentacion y Analisis Social de la Federacion Venezolana de Maestros [Centre for Social Documentation and Analysis of the Venezuelan Teacher’s Federation], marks an increase of 361.5% from the same month in 2014.
The same study found that the difference between the price the government sets for certain food items and the price for which the products sell in the black market is 2,260.4%.
Colossal price increases are not limited only to food. During the same one-month period, the price of clothing and shoes rose by 13.8%, while the price of renting an apartment rose by an average of 9.5%. Similarly, the price of soap rose by 46.1% between November and December of 2015, while that of deodorant rose by 26.1%.
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