Venezuela’s Chavez Reiterates Support for Socialism

President Chavez, at the opening of the 4th Summit on the Social Debt, reiterated his support for socialism as the only viable alternative to capitalism and to overcome poverty. He said, though, that socialism had to be reinvented for the 21st Century.

Chavez speaking at the 4th Summit on the Social Debt in Caracas, Venezuela.
Credit: ABN

Caracas, Venezuela, February 26, 2005—In a speech that further solidified President Chavez’s embrace of socialism, Chavez said that he “has no doubts” that socialism is the only model that will allow societies to overcome poverty. According to Chavez, “Within the capitalist model it is impossible to overcome the drama of poverty, of misery, and of inequality.”

Chavez gave this speech at the opening of an international conference on the “social debt,” which began on Friday in Caracas, where analysts from around the world discussed the foreign debt, the Social Charter of the Americas, environmentalism, and Western domination. Chavez’s speech at the conference represented a further endorsement of how his views had moved towards an embrace of socialism since his speech at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a few weeks ago.

Chavez added that it was necessary to “invent the socialism of the 21st century,” rather than applying the old model that had been tried before. “This is a debate that we’ve begun to have in Venezuela,” said Chavez.

According to Chavez, it is not just the Third World debt that prevents their development, but also their lack of unified action. Also, it is not just neo-liberal capitalism that contributes to poverty, but its concept of sustainable development does not help either.

Instead, Chavez proposes “endogenous development” and the creation of an International Humanitarian Fund, 50% of which would come from Third World countries’ foreign debt payments, which are estimated to be at $270 billion per year.

Chavez also reiterated the need for debtor countries to develop a unified strategy for dealing with the Third World debt.

As part of this need Venezuela is promoting the creation of a Social Charter for the Organization of American States, which would complement the existing Democratic Charter. The Social Charter will be one of the main topics of discussion at the conference.