|Tens of thousands are flooding the streets of Venezuelan cities throughout the nation in support of incumbent President Hugo Chavez. His campaign events have picked up momentum for the October 7 presidential elections, and Chavez is leading his opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, in the polls by over 20%, according to recent figures. Despite undergoing extensive treatment for cancer during the past year, Chavez is energized and campaigning in full force.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spent last weekend in the Western state of Zulia where he inaugurated a petrochemical plant, presided over the delivery of new subsidized homes, and urged his supporters to work towards electoral victory in October.
|Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez participating with his supporters, in a campaign rally for his re-election, in the Maracaibo city, Venezuela, on July 21, 2012.
On Saturday, the candidate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) headed a campaign rally in the city of Maracaibo where thousands of backers turned out to show their support of the nation’s Bolivarian Revolution led by the two term incumbent head of state.
“My heart is with you and your heroic people, my dear Zulia”, Chavez declared during the festive rally, which saw dancing, singing and musical performances from local acts.
The demonstration in Western Venezuela’s most populous and economically significant city was visited by a large youth contingent that expressed its support for the revolutionary principles and social programs that the government has enacted over the past 13 years.
“I came today to see my Comandante up close. The youth of Zulia are with him because he has included us in educational programs”, 18-year old Jose Nunez said at the rally.
During his speech, Chavez made a call to win the October 7 elections by a landslide and thereby preempt allegations from the nation’s right-wing regarding electoral fraud.
“If we win by two or three percent, these people have their violent plans”, Chavez said of possible destabilization attempts in the wake of a socialist victory.
According to a new poll released by the Venezuelan Institute of Data Analysis, Chavez maintains a lead of 20.3 points over his conservative challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski.
While in Zulia on Sunday, Chavez inaugurated the Petrochemical Complex Ana Maria Campos in Los Puertos de Altagracia and referred to the initiative as part of Venezuela’s move towards greatness.
“The historic destiny of Venezuela is greatness. We’re inaugurating this brand new plant... because the Bolivarian Revolution has arrived here and has recovered, after 200 years, our independence”, he said.
Chavez reported that the new industrial complex would have the capacity to save the nation $30 million in imports of butylene while producing some 900,000 tons of polyethylene plastic by 2017.
“In 2012, we will have produced 300,000 metric tons of polyethylene. In 1998, 200,000 tons were produced. In 2017, we’re going to pass 600,000 in route to producing 900,000 tons. This is a 200 percent growth in just 4 years”, Chavez said.
Plastic products such as bags, glasses, and electric fans were on display by the workers and managers of the plant on Sunday as Chavez and his Oil Minister, Rafael Ramirez, toured the facilities of the industrial complex.
The increased domestic production of plastic derived from the oil sector, according to Chavez, will also provide an important boost for national industries and assist the private sector in its continued economic growth.
A good part of the plastic production “is going towards the private sector and will be further developed in their industries and businesses for domestic consumption and the international market”, the Venezuelan head of state informed.
As such, industrial investments in public enterprises, Chavez noted, are benefiting all of Venezuelan society, including the country’s middle class.
The former lieutenant colonel made reference to previous Venezuelan governments which allowed the middle class “to sink” in the 1980s and 1990s as a consequence of the country’s neoliberal policies.
“Only the Bolivarian Revolution could save the true Venezuelan middle class from bankruptcy and disaster”, he said of the social and economic crises that plagued the nation in the decades leading to his first electoral victory in 1998.
Homes and Energy Infrastructure
During the broadcast on Sunday, Chavez oversaw, via satellite, the delivery of 94 new homes to residents of San Rafael Mojan in the municipality of Mora. The homes form part of the government’s expansive public program, Mission Housing Venezuela, which seeks to build 3 million new residences by 2019.
The Venezuelan President also participated via satellite in the inauguration of the thermoelectric plant Bajo Grande in the municipality of Tablazo. Electric Energy Minister, Hector Navarro, informed that the new facility has the capacity to generate 100 megawatts of power and that a further 400 megawatts will be incorporated as a result of new wind power initiatives.
Jesus Longo, Internal Director of the state oil company, PDVSA, referred to the energy measures as a way for the resource-rich state of Zulia to create its own power sources for the petroleum industry while providing for the needs of residents.
“The old PDVSA...never generated its own energy. Now, we’re building this plant which with free up large blocks of energy for the people”, Longo said of the facility which will supply more than 26,000 residents in the area with electricity.
The PDVSA manager underscored the fact that Venezuela’s largest public company is currently developing another 28 power-generating projects, 19 of which are designed to further the self-supply of energy for the oil industry.
President Chavez described the advances in local energy autonomy as an important part of his government’s strategy to ensure that localities are equipped with the tools necessary to satisfy the needs of business and of residents.
"These projects have as their goal to give the Western part of the country its own energy generation which is so necessary for life and economic-industrial development”, he said.
Source: MINCI. Translated by Correo del Orinoco