Sunday 7 October 2012

Victory in Venezuela

Hugo Chavez wins his fourth term as Venezuela president. Chavez has won after defeating right wing opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

Mr Chavez won 54% of the vote, the country's electoral council announced. Yet more proof that the majority of people of Venezuela support policies that are designed to reduce poverty and inequality.

When I was in South America this summer, an international report showed that Venezuela, Uruguay and Cuba had the most 'equal' economies in the region. The gap between the rich and poor has been heavily reduced by the social reforms of Chavez, and almost 8 million people have been lifted out of poverty by investments in healthcare, housing, job creation and education.

This socialist revolution has been fiercely attacked by the United States, not least by the short lived military coup backed by President Bush 10 years ago.

But the people have prevailed, and democracy has been resilient, despite US attempts to destroy the economy and portray Chavez as a dictator. Whilst there are still many issues to resolve, we should recognise this election as a sign of hope, not just for the people in Venezuela, but for an alternative model of development that brings greater equality to us all.

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