Caracas, February 4, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com/RNV) -- Upon the completion of nine years in office, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez presented what he considered to be some of the main economic achievements of his government. Among these were the lowering of inflation, of poverty, and of inequality, and the increase in school attendance and in access to drinking water, among other things.
Speaking from the Miraflores Presidential Palace, in the presence of his entire cabinet and numerous other government officials, Chavez presented a wide variety of slides with how key indicators of the country have evolved before and during his presidency.
In his opening remarks Chavez stated that nine years ago Venezuela was a "colony" that was "disguised as a democracy." "Everything was imposed from Washington," he added.
For school enrollment, Chavez showed that during the 1998/1999 school year, enrollment in primary education was at 40% of the the school age population, while in 2005/2006 it had risen to 60% of the school age population.
Secondary and professional education had also risen, from 27.3% in 98/99 to 41% in 05/06. Similarly, higher education enrollment increased from 21.8% in 1998 to 30.2% in 2006.
Infant mortality dropped significantly in this same period, from 21.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1998 to 13.9 deaths. According to Chavez this was thanks to a greatly expanded program of integral health plans and vaccinations.
Extreme poverty has dropped by 54%, from 20% of the population in 1998 to only 9.4% of the population in 2007, "and this must reach zero," added Chavez.
With regard to access to drinking water, the population's access increased from 80% in 1998 to 92% of the population in 2007.
Chavez concluded by saying that "We should be proud of ourselves" because Venezuela is on the path to be a country of equals, "a socialist society that seeks social justice."
For th complete slides of Chavez's presentation, click here: 9 Years in Office (PDF slide presentation)