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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Economist calls for Regime Change in Venezuela
From the World Socialist Web Site. The WSWS attacks the Economist's imperialistic viewpoint, while blasting Chavez as well.

Moreover, as a member of OPEC, Venezuela has sought to drive up oil prices to $30 per barrel in an effort to shore up its international reserves.

It is this oil policy reform, now entering its fourth year, that has the Economist up in arms. Chavez, whose main constituency is the urban and rural poor and the impoverished peasantry, has had to balance his appeasement of international capital with populist measures—by “shunting PDVSA income into government agriculture, housing and ‘social’ programmes, a transfer that may well violate Venezuela’s constitution,” bristles the Economist.

Yet, the most notable facets of the programs initiated by Chavez are the backward-looking, petty bourgeois economic conception that underlies them and the preponderance of the military in these operations.

The ex-colonel has enlarged the role of the armed forces to such a degree that they are now incorporated into every sector of the state. He has mobilised troops and the National Guard with added frequency.