OAS Meeting on Poverty, Equity and Social Inclusion starts in Margarita island

34 countries are participating. President Chavez reaffirmed Venezuela´s commitment to reduce poverty and to increase democracy.

Porlamar.- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez installed last night the Organization of American States High-Level Meeting on Poverty, Equity and Social Inclusion, to be held in Margarita island, off the eastern Caribbean coast of Venezuela. 34 American countries are participating in the Summit which will last until Friday.

Chavez emphasized the necessity of all the countries of the world to really carry on the commitment made during the United Nations Millennium Summit and emphasized that Venezuela is devoted to diminish poverty and the increase of the democracy.

Chavez said that the Venezuelan Government is putting forward a plan aimed to the social inclusion of the less-favored sectors of society. “We are in the search for plans and developments that will allow us to end poverty and fortify democracy and its institutions; which are important, although the most important thing that a democratic system should have is the participation of the people”.

In relation to poverty in Venezuela, Chavez explained that in spite of the great mineral wealth that the country has (petroleum, gas, bauxite, gold, and iron, among others) and in spite of more than 100 years of exploitation of these resources “the poverty index is 80%”. He reminded that in the declaration of the Millennium Summit it was agreed that among the eight main objectives was “to reduce poverty by half by 2015, in addition to offer education and drinking water for all (…) Are we really carrying on the commitment we made? Here in Venezuela, yes, as in some other nations, but in general I believe it is not the case”.

The President reflected on the prediction made by those who after the fall of the Berlin Wall embraced the neoliberal model and “proclaimed the end of history, the tecnotronic era, the free market and its invisible hand (…) that was yeas ago ¿Where are the results of that? While some countries think about defense shields and wars, in some nations of Africa, more than 50 percent of their population is infected by the AIDS virus.”
Chavez took the opportunity to comment that the process that’s being put forward in Venezuela is not very well understood by some countries in the continent. “We have retaken the Bolivarian ideal after more than two centuries, and not only we have put it into speeches but we also put it into a Constitution, to produce a political system where Justice is the queen of the Republic”.

In that same sense, he said that some international representatives divulge statements without having a solid understanding of the reality that occurs in the country. He advised them to be very careful with some sectors of the Venezuelan political and economic elite because “they have a great capacity to deceive (…) during 40 years they made the world believe that there was a democracy in Venezuela, but there really was not”.

He added that the problems of Venezuela must be solved by the people of Venezuela. On the interference of international organizations in Venezuelan internal affairs -with regard to the seizure of the illegal microwave transmission equipment belonging to private TV station Globovision-, Chavez lamented that the transparency of the process carried out by the Government were being put in doubt”. He reminded that private property is not something sacred and that it cannot be a concept above the Constitution, but protected in it. The President said that an international organization dictated an injunction “that we are not going to obey, as they cannot protect delinquents who distort reality through their media”.

Chavez said that Venezuelans are full of faith and confidents that, as the World Social Forum slogan says, “another world is possible”. He named some of the plans being put forward by the revolutionary Government such as those aimed at improving education, such as the Simoncito for kids less than 6 years old, Bolivarian schools and technical colleges for those with ages between 6 and 15 years and the Bolivarian University and the National Literacy Plan “Mission Robinson”.

Poverty and inequality are the greatest threats to democracy

OAS Secretary General Cesar Gaviria celebrated the latest actions of some of Venezuela’s democratic institutions such as the Supreme Court and the Electoral Council. He was pleased by the fact that both the Government and its followers and the opposition were respectful of the recent decisions taken by the Supreme Court and the Electoral Council.

Gaviria pointed out that “poverty and inequality constitute the greatest threats, and the main challenges for democracy in our hemisphere” and “whether poverty is originated in the previous economic model or by the new one, is not an easily explainable matter”.

He said that “the reforms that have been implemented will not achieve by themselves the goal of diminish poverty”, but “to abandon those reforms is a risky prescription in a world as competitive and interdependent as the one that we lived in”.

Source: Venpres