Mérida, 12th November 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Chávez government officially launched a nation-wide debate in Venezuela about the II Socialist Plan of the Nation 2013 – 2019, whose first draft President Chávez had presented to the country earlier this year.
Through a range of public assemblies and other mechanisms, officials say the aim of the debating process is to stimulate public participation and to gather ideas and projects to develop Chavez’s proposals into a cohesive plan for national development.
“From this moment a constituent process has begun, unprecedented in our history,” declared finance and planning minister, Jorge Giordani, while speaking in an event held in the capital Caracas last Saturday to launch the initiative.
“It will have repercussions not only in the coming years, but in that it can be an example to those countries that are in crisis and see hope in this [revolutionary] process, to materialise their own,” he continued.
Hugo Chavez first presented the Socialist Plan in June when he registered his candidacy for re-election as president. On that platform, he was re-elected on 7 October with 55% of the vote.
The Plan sets out five historical objectives to be worked towards by Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution in the coming period. These include consolidating national sovereignty, the continued construction of “Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century”, and promoting a multipolar world order “to guarantee world peace”.
Jaqueline Farias, a leader of Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), explained to the press on Sunday that while the Venezuelan president had “presented the framework and general objectives” of the Socialist Plan, “now the specifics will come from popular power”.
She further argued that citizens should participate in the knowledge that “this is a plan that is going to be executed, not like those of the Fourth Republic (1958-1998), that were fat books that were handed to the National Assembly and then nothing happened”.
Mechanisms of Participation
The Chavez government’s initiative to encourage national debate about the Socialist Plan has five main channels of participation.
The first is through the establishment of “cities of debate” in each regional state, where permanent assemblies will be organised in prominent public places. These spaces will have daily discussions around a set and published program, with the participation of a variety of speakers including community leaders and government ministers.