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The Socialist International assembled in Buenos Aires denounced Chavez´s Venezuela as a “democradura”, democratic dictatorship.

35000 militians (Chavez new paramilitary force) paraded yesterday in Caracas armed with russian AK 47.

On 9-10 April, the Socialist International SI Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina,. The socialist summit brought together representatives of SI member parties from the region and beyond to discuss an agenda covering some of the principal areas of concern.  These discussions included the political situation in Venezuela, current humanitarian challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean; the role of the state, governments and public policies in the region to stimulate the economy, how to combat poverty and to reduce inequality; how to advance the social democratic policies of jobs, health, education and social security in the region; and strengthening democratic institutions and deepening citizen participation.

The meeting was hosted by the SI member parties in Argentina, the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista, PS) and the Radical Civic Union (Unión Cívica Radical, UCR), and chaired by Martín Torrijos (PRD, Panama), Chair of the Committee.

One of the interesting topics during the sessions were the report on the current situation in Venezuela.

Last January 20th  a mission of the Socialist International visited Caracas, and the results of that fact finding mission were  exposed last weekend at a plenary meeting of the international association of socialist political parties in Buenos Aires.

The document of the IS  is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, because the had a dialogue with  a wide variety of Venezuelan life: political, religious, journalists, businessmen, trade unionists and representatives of various civil society organizations. Those who developed active  in center-left parties, identified with different modulations of democratic socialism.

Readed from Argentina, the picture painted by these socialist travelers could not be more sobering. The first peculiarity of the visit is that these political leaders did not get received by anyone of Chavez’s ruling party.  There was no representative of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela or legislator or staff member who plays in that game  that wanted to meet or talk with the socialist delegation.  One of the concerns expressed by the socialists are the possibility that the Chavez government, assuming the defeat in the legislative elections next September, will modify the rules of the electoral game , altering, for example, the districts at the expense of the opposition.

In Venezuela there is also fear for the reaction of Chavez’s  government if they loose the congressional elections and suddenly they are a minority in the National Assembly.  To date, Chavez used the overwhelming majority he had in the Legislature to expropriate media and businesses, creating a huge bureaucracy, subordinate social organizations like the trade unions, to design new provinces and municipalities and, of course, to change almost all judicial and administrative rules. Nobody can predict what Chavez will do if they lose the legislative instrument.

In the IS Report , the Socialists who visited Caracas recorded the more frequent expressions used by their partners like living ´ insecurity and impunity, “” terror and corruption, “” routine authoritarian “,” criminalization of protest. ”    Opponents of Chavez reported that the regime tolerates freedom only in small areas of public life.”

The socialists also reported that the freedom of the press in Venezuela is controlled. The newspapers are always threatened by the depletion of stocks of paper, since the government took over the distribution of that input.

The perception of severe deformation led to the Socialists who visited Venezuela to define the system prevailing there as a “democradura” (“democratic dictatorship”). That is, a government apparently democratic but in reality  an authocracy.

The members of the mission of the Socialist International to Venezuela were: Luis Ayala,  Secretary Gral of the Socialist international, Peggy Cabral  of the Dominican Revolutionary Party Dominican Republic; Renée Fregosi of the Socialist Party of France, Paulina Lampsa of the Greek Socialist Pan-helenic Movement, Greece; Emilio Menéndez del Valle of the Socialist Party PSOE Spain; and  Jesús Rodríguez  of the Radical Party UCR of Argentina.

The Socialist International is the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties. It currently brings together 170 political parties and organisations from all continents. READ MORE HERE

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