Planning the detail of the transition and revolution towards a socialist and more just society, from community and worker organisation, to consciousness building, to production and distribution systems, to combating state and judicial corruption and bureaucracy, to agriculture, mining, petroleum, infrastructure, and relationships with other countries, is no small task. The truth is, it has been a hard task writing this analysis. It has required a certain level of restraint to force myself to be selective and pick out only the most salient points of Chavez’s 39 page proposed plan for the 2013-2019 period of the Bolivarian revolution. All of the objectives and strategic points and sub points seemed important, and that in of itself reflects something wonderful, I think. For the millions of us heavily involved in this revolution, we are so drawn in that we care what the agricultural goals are, we’re concerned about methods for reforming the utterly rotten judicial system, we’re watching closely to see how food distribution progresses- even if we aren’t ourselves directly involved. We’re reading the plan (according to AVN 1 million copies have already been distributed) and realising just how much we have to do, because we feel like this is our responsibility too, not just the state’s (or Chavez’s). It’s our project.
This plan, like its predecessor, the First Socialist Plan 2007-2013, will be taken very seriously as a guide, or reference point for where we should be heading and what needs to be done. It will be quoted at meetings, it will be a permanent fixture on office desks, it will be browsed at night. And importantly, first it will be debated. Over the next six months, various fronts, councils, organisations, and movements, will discuss the plan and send in suggestions, as the Great Patriotic Pole- Women’s Council has already done. If Chavez wins the presidential elections, the final version of the plan should be passed by the National Assembly in January next year.
Of course, opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles has, as a requirement at the time of registering for the presidential elections, had to submit a plan as well, and I’ll briefly review his at the end of the article. However, to compare the two plans is like comparing a Lego town with a real city, or Mills n Boon “romance” novels to Eduardo Galeano, or origami tigers with the real animal … Capriles’ “plan” is in fact a pretentious collection of advertising slogans. Even a non Spanish speaker, taking a quick glimpse at the two (Chavez’s plan is available here and Capriles’ here) can see who seriously intends to win the October presidential elections, and who has lethargically hired a public relations team to put together a few of the standard election key words used in every single country by those vacant politicians who pretend to care about their electorate, such as “progress”, “quality” and “future” into a rather childish looking power point presentation.
Chavez’s plan, double the length in pages and with about forty times the content, is much more sophisticated and articulate in wording and structure, opens with an introduction and a chapter on the historical context framing the plan, whereas Capriles’ has no kind of introduction at all, and simply leaves out a lot of vital issues such as Venezuela’s relationship with other countries, with Latin America, and the United States. Nor does it mention in any way culture, agriculture, the environment, indigenous rights, racism, sexual diversity, or in fact, laughably, most aspects of the economy.
Hugo Chavez- Second Socialist Plan 2013-2019
Chavez’s proposal is a continuation of the program we’re on now, the National Project Simon Bolivar 2007-2013. Where the current plan set about defining basic concepts and general orientation, and was focused on ethics and morals, the new proposal looks to detail and deepen those concepts and take them out of ideology and experimentation and give them a firm, across the boar