November 7th 2007, by Kiraz Janicke – Venezuelanalysis.com
Chavez speaking to supporters in Poliedro Stadium (ABN) Caracas, November 7, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com) - The campaign in support of the constitutional reforms, which will be voted on by referendum on December 2, "is the most important battle" of the Bolivarian revolution so far, and "destabilization, abstention and the ‘No' vote, are the three principle adversaries we have to defeat," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez explained to the Poliedro Stadium packed with aspiring members of his new socialist party, on Tuesday.
The event was a swearing in ceremony of the broad National Zamora Command, launched by Chavez to campaign in favour of the proposed reforms, and included activists from the new United Socialist Party of Venezuela, (PSUV), from Caracas, Miranda, Aragua and Vargas. In addition, almost 100,000 elected spokespeople and commissioners from the socialist battalions of the PSUV around the country were also listening to Chavez's speech in meetings at the same time.
Chavez warned that "the rightwing opposition in Venezuela plans to utilize a destabilisation strategy well known to the Venezuelan people;" refusal to recognise the legitimacy of the results of the constitutional referendum on December 2 because of a supposed "fraud." Therefore, "Our campaign strategy, our principal objective," he argued, "is to approve the constitutional reform in a resounding manner."
In August 2004, after the recall referendum initiated by the opposition against Chavez's presidency was defeated with 58% supporting Chavez, many opposition sectors claimed fraud, however the result was recognised as free and fair by international observers, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Organisation of American States.
Chavez recalled that sectors of the opposition also intended not to recognize the results of the presidential elections in December 2006. However, he said, "this plan was neutralized by the people in the streets."
He therefore recommend to his political supporters to take to the streets, and through popular mobilization, neutralize destabilization or any possible plan for a coup.
"This is the vaccine against a coup, against destabilisation, against the oligarchy, against Bush. This is what happened the 12th and 13th of April [of 2002], the people in the streets, popular mobilization, and of course, our soldiers together with the people."
The socialism that Venezuela is constructing is "totally democratic and humanist," Chavez reiterated, and the reforms, which recognize new forms of collective, communal, and social property alongside private property, as well as giving more power to grass roots communal councils and social programs, among other changes, aim to establish "a communal, socialist economic system in each commune."
He explained, "this economic system will be managed by everyone, by all the constituents of the communes."
For example, he argued, gas stations would be managed by the communes, and that the income from this could be used to provide resources for social programs and community projects.
To democratise the economy, Chavez argued, "Is the only way to defeat poverty, to defeat misery and achieve the largest sum of happiness for the people,"
However, he said, this contradicts the interests of capitalism and imperialism, and an international media campaign to demonize the reforms and the revolutionary government in Venezuela, has already begun, in order to justify a possible military coup or foreign intervention.
"This is a battle, a political war, it is part of an international conflict," he continued, "because we have declared ourselves free, and we are constructing freedom and imperialism is not going to take away our vision."
"The United States wants a Venezuela that is on its knees, weakened, dependent, like a sick person in intensive care, but they are never going to achieve this, because the Bolivarian revolution will struggle until death to make sure that Venezuela will be a free and sovereign country for centuries and centuries."
Chavez then went on to ask questions from the participants and to discuss in more depth, plans to organise and mobilize people in support of the ‘Yes' campaign.
"We are not going to leave the streets one single day in the 27 days that remain of the campaign," he said.