Caracas, October 10th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Following his election victory last Sunday against the MUD rightwing coalition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, newly re-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave his first press conference on Tuesday outlining his thoughts on the election and national and foreign policy issues.
Speaking from Miraflores Palace, the president described his electoral triumph as the “perfect battle” and stated that his government had not just beaten Capriles at the ballot box on Sunday, but also an “international coalition,” making reference to the economic and media support that the MUD had received from outside of the country.
“In spite of that whole battle and all those infinite, incalculable resources that the rightwing put into play, we won in all states apart from Merida and Tachira,” he commented.
Chavez went on to speak specifically about the hundreds of thousands of cold calls that had been made to Venezuelan families prior to the elections, mimicking Chavez’s voice in an attempt to rile voters.
“How much did Capriles’ team spend on their campaign? Nobody knows. How much money did they spend persecuting people through those phone calls?… What we won on October 7th was national independence, because behind the other candidate was colonial dependency,”.
Despite his criticism of the rightwing, the head of state also emphasised that he was willing to begin dialogue with the country’s opposition, but said he would not succumb to rightwing attempts to force an agenda onto his government.
“I didn’t come here to subordinate the State to the bourgeoisie,” he continued.
New age of empire
During the press conference, the head of state also expressed a series of opinions relating to the current situation in Middle East, and commented that the world had entered into a new “age of empire”, driven mainly by the United States government. The president also exhorted his US counter-part, Barack Obama, to reflect on the role of his administration in the internal affairs of other countries.
“It is unfortunate that the world has entered a new age of empire. The main cause is imperialism and hopefully the majority of the world will realise that,” he stated.
Chavez also used the conference as an opportunity to publicly reiterate his support for the Syrian government of Bashar Al’Assad against the current armed attacks against his administration.
“How can we not support the government of Bashar al Assad if that is the legitimate government? Who am I going to support? The terrorists? We are defending the peace in Syria, world peace,” he commented.
Chavez has refused to follow other governments such as those of the UK and France, who have withdrawn their support for the Syrian government in favour of the country’s rebel movement. Venezuela is currently involved in talks with Iran to form a “peace commission” made up of a group of non-aligned countries with the aim of encouraging dialogue in Syria and reaching a negotiated solution to the unrest.
New social ministry and looking ahead
The Venezuelan head of state also made a series of comments on the problems currently facing his own government, and resolved to address them over the next few years. He commented that one of the “most serious failings that we have is a lack of monitoring”of the social missions, and announced that his government would create a new ministry aimed at making his government’s social programs more efficient.
“I have faith that a system aimed at monitoring (the social missions) will manage to obtain one of our most important goals; to increase efficiency across the board and at all levels,”.
The president also called on the Venezuelan opposition to participate in the effort and to “submit proposals and criticisms” to help consolidate his government’s second “socialist plan for the nation”.
“Right now we have to strengthen and rectify many things inside this socialist revolution, we have to renew it,” he continued.
Amongst other comments, Chavez also said the next 6 years would be a chance to consolidate regional organizations such as Mercosur, and highlighted the various bilaterial integration projects being implemented by Latin American governments.
“For the first time there are presidents (in Latin America) which are like the people, or who are the people, not products of the elite who are always playing in the interests of Washington and against the interests of the people… and we are united to keep fighting,” he said.