Viva Chavez! Chavez wins 6 more years as Venezuela's president - Political Quote

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Monday, December 4, 2006

Viva Chavez! Chavez wins 6 more years as Venezuela's president

Hugo Chavez has won his second term as President last night with a wide margin over the opposition candidate. Chavez won 61.3 percent of the vote compared to 38.4 percent for Manuel Rosales.

Rosales has admitted that there was no fraud and has accepted that the elections were fair although he insists the actual figures are much tighter than above.

The victory is a confirmation of Chavez's policies of targeting the needs of the poor with the huge profits from the country's oil industry. Until Chavez's election most of these profits went into tax breaks for the middle and upper classes in Venezuela.

When you consider that at the time of his election almost 60% of the country lived below the poverty line. Giving tax breaks to the wealthy at the obvious expense of the poor could not be justified. Chavez campaigned on these issues and on reform of land ownership.

Since his election Chavez has poured money into anti poverty measures and a literacy campaign. Poverty has been reduced by 20% and illiteracy has been eradicated.

Land reform is proving more difficult than he originally expected. In Venezuela less than 5% of the population owns 80% of the land. The most vocal opponents to this scheme to reform ownership are people like one of Britain's richest men, Lord Vestey, who says he'll fight the Venezuelan government to stop hundreds of peasant farmers taking over land on his cattle ranches in South America.

Doesn't this sound familiar to anyone? I think it should certainly ring some bells here in Ireland.

Hugo Chavez is the best chance for the poor of Venezuela. He is their best hope for a fair society, where they have an equal chance for food, education, health and home ownership.

Except for food these are the exact same issues that will be the priorities of the 2007 General Election here in Ireland.

We should not forget where we have come from. We should help and support the likes of Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected President of Venezuela.

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