Mérida, 19th March 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Recently returned President Hugo Chavez addressed thousands of supporters on Saturday on the importance of the coming Venezuelan presidential elections and his state of health. Meanwhile, workers handed over 6,000 proposals to be integrated into the proposed new Labour Law.
Speaking from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Chavez declared to supporters that the 7 October presidential election “is not just any battle, we are playing for the life of the Bolivarian Revolution, the homeland of our children, and we’re not going to allow the country to be lost ever again”.
Chavez arrived in Venezuela on Friday night, after 21 days in Cuba, where he was successfully operated on for a cancerous lesion in the same region where he was treated for cancer last summer.
In his Saturday speech, along with confirming that he will begin radiotherapy treatment in the coming days, the Venezuelan president emphasised his will to fight cancer and to continue at the head of the Bolivarian process.
He also explained the stages of his presidential re-election campaign to secure a third term in office, mentioning an “organisational stage” which ends on 14 April, a “mobilisation stage” lasting until 1 July, and the full campaign thereafter until the elections.
Calling on supporters to mobilise from the grassroots, the Venezuelan president argued that “we are the guarantee of peace, stability and the future of our people, because we are moved by love, and because we have a clear project: the Simon Bolivar National Project”.
He also predicted a sweeping electoral victory on 7 October, declaring, “The thrashing we’re going to give to the Venezuelan right will be memorable”.
The president further asked for constructive criticisms of the government in order to identify failures and to correct errors in the revolutionary process.
Further, Chavez criticised the right-wing Venezuelan opposition as lacking a clear vision for the country, stating, “They don´t know which pole to hang on to”. He further categorised them as “a minority,” who still hold economic and media power, and “don’t have scruples, they’re dirty, they don’t fight clean, they will always have hidden cards”.
During the speech thousands of followers chanted “onwards comandante!” and in reference to his process of recovery from surgery “take care of yourself!”
Chavez concluded his speech by declaring to the crowd, “I’m here again…charged with more strength, more love and the desire to live…this cancer won’t be able to stop Chavez either…we’ll live and we’ll win!”
Workers Hand over Proposals for New Labour Law
Also on Saturday, in a separate event in the central Bolivar Square in Caracas, workers handed over 6,000 new proposals for integration into the proposed new labour law, which is expected to be passed by President Hugo Chavez on 1 May following the current consultation process.
The proposals were received by the Presidential Commission for the Law. Oswaldo Vera, one of 16 members of the commission, explained that the commission had now received almost 19,000 proposals and would “analyse, revise and assemble them,” before presenting the draft law before workers and President Chavez.
Will Rangel, president of the Bolivarian Workers Central, which gathered many of the proposals, stated, “This will be a historic new law, as discussions have taken place in Bolivar Squares across the country,” and warned against criticisms of the law from opposition sectors.
Workers present at the event mentioned ending sub-contracted labour, obligating employers to comply with collective contracts, and greater benefits for workers and pensioners as some of the proposals they had submitted.
“This will be a workers’ law, and not of the bosses,” said Angel Navas of the Federation of Electricians, who among others expressed their hopes that the new law would act to benefit the interests of the Venezuelan working class.