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ENGLISH EDITION/The artillery of ideas INTERNATIONAL Friday, June 6, 2014 | Nº 203 | Caracas | www.correodelorinoco.gob.

President Maduro warmly congratulated the new President in El Salvador, Salvador
Sanchez Ceren, as he formally assumed the presidency this past Sunday. Sanchez
Ceren took over from Mauricio Funes, who also comes from the FMLN party, and
who oversaw profound changes in El Salvador since 2009, including close relations
with Venezuela. The day following the inauguration, the formal entry of El Salvador
as a full member of Petro-Caribe was approved at the 13th Meeting of the Ministerial
Council of the body, held for the first time in San Salvador. Pg. 2
highlights Bolivarian
during OAS General
On Wednesday, during the
44th General Assembly of the
Organization of American
States (OAS), Venezuela’s For-
eign Minister Elias Jaua high-
lighted his country’s achieve-
ments since the beginning of
the Bolivarian Revolution in
1999, when President Hugo
Chavez came into office
“In 1999, when Commander
Hugo Chavez first assumed
the Presidency of the Republic,
of so-called Saudi Venezuela,
called by that name because
of its vast oil income, it was the
country with the highest so-
cial inequality in Latin Amer-
ica and the Caribbean”, Jaua
said in Asuncion, Paraguay,
where the General Assembly
is being held.
The Foreign Minister ex-
plained that through the
implementation of social pro-
grams and after 15 years of
Bolivarian and socialist revo-
lution, Venezuela now has the
most equality in the region
and is second highest in pur-
chasing power according to
World Bank figures.
He indicated that the democ-
ratization of oil incomes, which
during prior administrations
remained in the hands of the
Venezuelan elite, contributed
to an improvement in the well-
being of the people and is lead-
ing to development and the
elimination of poverty.
Venezuela has reduced pov-
erty from 26% to 6% by 2012,
thereby meeting the United
Nation’s millennium develop-
ment goal.
The country has also man-
aged to reduce hunger, from
21% to 2.5% in 2012, which led
the Food and Agriculture Or-
ganization (FAO) of the UN to
recognize Venezuela for being
among a group of 15 nations
that have made exception
progress in reducing the prev-
alence of malnourishment.
Venezuela named
leading member
of ILO
Venezuela was elected as a titu-
lar member of the governing body
of the International Labor Orga-
nization, according to announce-
ment made by Venezuela’s Perma-
nent Mission to the UN in Geneva,
The announcement was made
by Vice Minister for Labor Elio
Colmenares, who led Venezuela’s
delegation in the 103rd Interna-
tional Labor Conference which
took place in Geneva.
Colmenares emphasized that
this election reiterates the recogni-
tion the Bolivarian government has
received for its important achieve-
ments in labor.
“Venezuelan laws and our govern-
ment’s actions are oriented towards
a historic dignifying of workers, fol-
lowing the humanist example of Hugo
Chavez that is continued by President
Nicolas Maduro, who is a living ex-
ample of what the working class has
achieved in our country”, he said.
The Governing Body is made up
of 28 member governments (14
titular and 14 deputies), 14 employ-
ers’ representatives and 14 work-
ers’ representatives.
Promoting culture
in Venezuela
The Venezuelan
government is
launching a strategy
to promote cultural
expression and
education, as well
as finding ways to
make some cultural
activities community
run and economically
self-sustainable. The
strategy is spearheaded
by the new “Mission
Culture”, which
supports the cultural
development and
expression of the
Venezuelan population.
In line with recent
reforms, which have
fused social programs
with similar aims and
target populations, the
new Mission Culture
is an amalgamation
of several already
existing programs. Pg. 3
Widening social
A series of reforms to
social programs will
improve outreach and
performance. Pg.2
& climate
change Pag. 4
El Salvador’s new leader enters accords
with Venezuela and Latin American left
The artillery of ideas
2 Impact | Friday, June 6, 2014
T/ Ewan Robertson
enezuelan President Nico-
las Maduro has announced
a series of reforms to the sys-
tem of state-run social pro-
grams, known as “missions”,
in order to improve their reach
and performance.
Key initiatives include unify-
ing the missions’ administra-
tion, merging programs with
similar aims and beneficiaries,
and passing a law to ingrain the
mission system into the nation’s
legal framework.
Maduro said the reforms
would be carried out this com-
ing month to unify the missions
into an integrated national wel-
fare system.
“I’m going to declare June
the month of the National
System of Missions and Great
Missions. The whole month
is going to be dedicated to
launching, re-launching and
widening the spectrum of ben-
efits for the Venezuelan people
through the missions”, he said
last week on his radio program
Contact with Maduro.
The first missions were
launched by former president
Hugo Chavez in 2003 as pro-
grams funded by oil income
and aimed at directly address-
ing the various social needs of
the population. They sought to
guarantee free medical atten-
tion, widen access to free edu-
cation, and eliminate hunger
and illiteracy.
Later programs have been
added to the system, such as
public housing construction,
social welfare payments, em-
ployment and cultural pro-
grams, anti-crime strategies,
and an animal welfare scheme.
A total of thirty seven missions
are currently in operation.
Critics have either labeled
the missions as “populist”
and designed to buy the politi-
cal support of the poor, or as
ill-thought out “largesse” in
public spending. Supporters
meanwhile point out that both
government supporters and op-
ponents benefit from the mis-
sions, and that the programs
have improved the quality of
life of the nation’s majority.
Nevertheless the missions’
popularity has meant that the
conservative opposition now
rarely dare to criticize the pro-
grams publicly. Further, the
missions have been hailed as
one factor behind the reduc-
tion in household poverty,
which fell from 55% in 2003 to
27% currently. The country
has also been praised by vari-
ous United Nations organiza-
tions for achieving several of
the Millennium Development
Goals early.
President Maduro announced
last week that the missions will
now be overseen by a unified
Administration and Direction
System in order to reduce bu-
reaucracy and corruption. The
system will also help families
find out what missions they are
eligible to benefit from.
The missions themselves
will be grouped into seven
areas for sub-administration:
education, public health, la-
bour, social security, food, ba-
sic services, and housing and
security. Each area will be
overseen by a specific govern-
ment ministry.
As part of this change, mis-
sions with similar aims and
Venezuela announces reforms
to “widen” social programs
beneficiaries will be merged,
also with the aim of increas-
ing efficiency. For example, all
programs focused on child and
family wellbeing will be fused
into a new program called
Homes of the Nation.
The Venezuelan President
argued that the mission system
was at the heart of the coun-
try’s development model. As
such, in addition to “ending
poverty and misery”, he said
that overall aims of the mission
system were “the construction
and generation of a new social-
ist model”, “to convert Venezu-
elan into a productive economic
power”, and “to contribute to
peace and life”.
“The missions and great mis-
sions acquire the character of
building a socialist society…I
convoke all mission members
to go from simple beneficiaries
to protagonists in the construc-
tion of socialism”, Maduro ex-
horted to listeners.
T/ Paul Dobson
resident Maduro warmly
congratulated the new
President in El Salvador,
Salvador Sanchez Ceren, as he
formally assumed the presiden-
cy this past Sunday.
“A warm hug and all our com-
mitment to support you”, said
Maduro in reference to what he
described as a “historic moment”.
“Here in Venezuela you have a
people and a revolution which
are brothers of the Salvadorian
people”, he went on to state.
Maduro highlighted the left
wing origins of the ex-guerilla
leader, who he described as be-
ing the “commander of one of
the best organized groups in
Central America” when “the
generation of the 80’s took up
arms” against the fierce, US-
backed, dictatorships which
savaged their countries.
However, Maduro was quick
to underline that the Farabun-
do Martí Front for National
Liberation (FMLN) which led
the guerilla war in the 80’s
and has won the past two elec-
tions (2009 and 2014) now pro-
motes change in the country
through peaceful means. “The
left in the continent continues
its road towards victory in
peace, which is what we want:
Latin America as a territory
of peace”.
Maduro congratulates new leftist President in
El Salvador, welcomes entry into regional blocs
Sanchez Ceren took over from
Mauricio Funes, who also comes
from the FMLN party, and who
oversaw profound changes in El
Salvador since 2009, including
close relations with Venezuela.
The new President was previ-
ously Vice-President, Minister
for Education, and a legislator
for 8 years, comes from a fam-
ily of craftsmen, and used the
pseudo name ‘Leonel Gonzalez’
during the revolutionary gue-
rilla wars. He won the second
round of the election in March
with 51.32% of the votes with a
turnout of 61%.
The day following the han-
dover of power to the new Sal-
vadorian President, the formal
entry of El Salvador as a full
member of Petro-Caribe was
approved at the 13th Meeting of
the Ministerial Council of the
body, held for the first time in
San Salvador. El Salvador was
previously an observer to the
Caribbean oil-based alliance.
Sanchez Ceren explained
that, “we wish to join Petro-
Caribe not by chance, but as
part of a well-articulated strat-
egy and vision of the govern-
ment of change to be able to
count on a secure energy sup-
ply for the country, but also one
with a deep social component”.
President Maduro welcomed
his counterpart into the bloc.
Petro-Caribe, which was
founded in 2005 by Hugo
Chavez, allows for a fair, so-
cially minded distribution of
the rich oil resources in the
region, principally in Venezu-
ela, to its (now) 19 members.
Trade is often with extended
and beneficial credit terms, and
frequently allows payment in
services or other goods rather
than money, benefitting both
parts. It is stipulated within
the terms of Petro-Caribe that
the monetary savings which
nations make from the low cost
energy supplies must be invest-
ed in social and developmental
projects, such as building hos-
pitals and schools.
The Salvadorian Foreign
Minister, Hugo Martinez, ex-
plained that as a full member of
Petro-Caribe, his country “can
have a preferential treatment,
sometimes through prices, but
other times through medium
and long term credits, which
will permit El Salvador to spend
at least 40% of what it deals in
petroleum in social programs”.
Furthermore, he explained that
El Salvador is a county that
“doesn’t possess oil resources,
so this allows us to supply the
country with energy under the
principals of cooperation, soli-
darity and fair trade”.
“This is a project for the peo-
ple, it is a project for integra-
tion, for complementation, for
efficiency, for productivity, this
is a project for cooperation”,
explained the President of Pet-
ro-Caribe, Bernardo Alvarez,
speaking from San Salvador.
“Petro-Caribe is an indisput-
able reality, which has its base
and origin in social inclusion,
and which parts from the ne-
cessity of guaranteeing access
to energy, but which also com-
bines access to energy with fi-
nancing development”.
Alvarez went on to highlight
that since its formation in 2005,
the member states of Petro-
Caribe have benefitted from
more than $15 billion of oil con-
tracts, of which $5 billion have
been used for social projects.
Furthermore, since 2008 dur-
ing the economic crisis of capi-
talism, the GDP of Petro Caribe
states has grown by 25%, the
per capita income has risen by
$387, and the human develop-
ment index has risen from 0.60
to nearly 0.70, showing that
while capitalist economies are
struggling, economies based on
solidarity and social progress
are prospering.
The artillery of ideas
Friday, June 6, 2014 | Culture 3
T/ Paul Dobson
P/ Agencies
s part of its celebrations
for the International Day
of Non-smoking, the Venezu-
elan government announced
further plans to stimulate a
reduction of the already di-
minished levels of smokers
and tobacco addition in the
country. Venezuela current-
ly has one of the lowest levels
of smokers, tobacco related
illnesses, some of the stron-
gest laws regulating the in-
dustry, and some of the best
attention for tobacco-related
illnesses in the continent.
Venezuela is part of the
5% of the worlds’ nations
which have legal bans on
smoking in public places,
bought in in 2011. They also
have a full ban on cigarette
advertising, and cigarette
packages are obliged to
Venezuela 100% free from smoking
carry health warnings from
the Ministry of Health, poli-
cies bought in in 2004 and
2005 under the government of
Hugo Chavez.
This past May 31st, the gov-
ernment unveiled new, up-
dated health warnings, which
must be printed in larger size
on cigarette packages, as well
as mentioning that they are
currently evaluating increas-
ing the already high taxes on
tobacco, following the World
Health Organization’s call on
governments to increase taxes
on cigarettes this year, a prov-
en method to reduce consump-
tion levels.
Rose Melkon, a legal advi-
sor to the Health Ministry,
explained that “we are doing
well on this… we already have
a very high tax of 70%, which
makes our cigarettes very ex-
pensive. Many sellers have
stopped selling because they
are so expensive”. Nonetheless,
Health Minster Francisco Ar-
mada promised to revise and
further increase tobacco taxes
this year as part of the fight for
a healthier society.
Natasha Herrera, from the
Pan-American Health Orga-
nization, explained that “Ven-
ezuela comes from a history
of strong tobacco control mea-
sures”. She highlighted that the
country has seen a reduction in
smokers since such measures,
from 39% of the population to
just 17% currently. Similarly,
the per capita consumption of
cigarettes has gone down from
2,000 per capita per year to 900.
Cardiologist Eduardo Brice-
ño backed up this information:
“We have been pioneers in the
region and the world, imple-
menting strategies against this
illness… there is still work to
do, but we can say that we have
started well”.
The National Antidrug Of-
fice held hundreds of public
educational activities across
the country this week, as part
of the National Anti-tobacco
Program which aims to make
Venezuela a 100% tobacco-free
country. Health Minister Ar-
mada explained, “we have had
thousands of people incorporat-
T/ Ewan Robertson
P/ Agencies
he Venezuelan govern-
ment is to launch a strat-
egy to promote cultural
expression and education, as
well as finding ways to make
some cultural activities com-
munity run and economically
The strategy is being spear-
headed by the new “Mission
New strategy to promote culture
launched in Venezuela
ing themselves into the cam-
paign across the country”.
Similarly, Herrera ex-
plained that the currently in
fashion ‘e-cigarettes’ are still
not authorized in Venezuela,
as their “efficiency nor thera-
peutic affects in the treatment
to stop smoking have still not
been demonstrated”.
Culture”, a social program
which supports the cultural
development and expression
of the Venezuelan population.
In line with recent reforms,
which have fused social pro-
grams with similar aims and
target populations, the new
Mission Culture is an amal-
gamation of several already
existing programs.
Fidel Barbarito, the culture
minister, explained on Monday
that a key aim of Mission Cul-
ture would be to integrate com-
munities into cultural activity
via collaboration with commu-
nity councils.
This will involve integrat-
ing more artists and cultural
figures into the program and
creating “culture commit-
tees” with representatives
from community councils and
Mission Culture. Courses,
workshops and forums will
then be held in educational,
community and work centers
to support the spread of cul-
tural activities and strength-
en cultural education.
“We first need to incentiv-
ize organization, activate and
strengthen the culture com-
mittees…to generate reflection
from within our communities
on the history of our culture,
of decolonization”, Barbarito
said on Alba Ciudad radio.
The culture minister went
on to say that as part of the
new Mission Culture, his
ministry would pursue three
strategic policies to foment
greater cultural activity and
The first of these will focus
on teaching training to en-
able artists to transfer their
knowledge to schools and com-
munities. “[Teacher training]
will be strengthened to share
experiences and knowledge in
schools, focusing on liberating
arts [such as] theatre, painting,
dance and circus”, explained
The second policy is to fur-
ther integrate artistic activity
with community organizations.
The third is to invest in commu-
nity socio-productive projects
that support artistic activity.
The culture minister referred
to these as “socio-economic cul-
tural enclaves” and explained
what kind of projects his minis-
try has in mind.
“The cultural community
cannot remain outside of
this [societal] transforma-
tion, and this community has
great potential. We give as an
example the experience of a
group of artisanal weavers
who buy wool from a suppli-
er. Well, they could present a
socio-productive project [to
Mission Culture] and with
this investment buy sheep, to
then produce the raw mate-
rial themselves and generate
a productive activity related
to food”, he said.
The minister added, “We’ve
already begun to approve fi-
nancing and the handing over
of resources. With these, so-
cial production companies
(EPS) focused on the cultur-
al sector will be organized,
which will have the opportu-
nity of incorporating them-
selves into the new productive
economic model”.
Mission Culture was origi-
nally launched in 2004 by for-
mer Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez. Its main objective is to
“consolidate national identity
framed within the process of
decentralization, democratiza-
tion, and spreading of Venezu-
elan culture”.
Other projects related to the
mission have included pro-
moting reading through book
festivals and subsidized book-
stores, as well as increasing
opportunities for new Ven-
ezuelan authors to get pub-
lished. The government has
also played an important role
in the revival of Venezuelan
cinema, through founding a
new studio Villa del Cine and
providing greater funding for
cinematic projects.
A p0b||cat|oo oI the F0odac|oo 0orreo de| 0r|ooco º Editor-in-Chief £va 6o||oger º Graphic Design Pablo Valduciel L. - Aimara Aguilera- Audra Ramones
Friday, June 6, 2014 | Nº 203| Caracas |
T/ Caleb Maupin
he problem of global climate
change is distressing almost
everyone. While a small mi-
nority may deny its existence, or
question reports on its causes
among the scientific community,
it is universally recognized as a
serious cause for concern.
The super-hurricanes over
the last decade are closely
linked to rising temperatures
of sea water, and this is just
a small taste of what may lie
ahead. Something must be
done, the question is what?
The responses of governments
around the world to the envi-
ronmental crisis, and its cata-
strophic weather events, have
varied. Various treaties have
been signed. Various interna-
tional conferences have been
convened to discuss the issue. A
great deal of research has been
conducted, and many different
plans for changing the relation-
ship of humans to the ecosystem
have been proposed.
The Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela has just announced
its plan to fight climate
change. Claudia Salerno, Vice
Minister for North America
at the Venezuelan Mission to
the United Nations, explained
her country’s proposals fight
climate change at a special
meeting with the press May
30. She summed up the plan
saying: “Venezuela’s contri-
bution is to change the system,
not the climate”.
As Salerno laid out the details
of the plan, it became clear that
the Venezuelan government is
aware of what so many environ-
mentalists in the United States
cannot bring themselves to say.
The failure of governments
around the world to address the
unfolding ecological crisis is
caused by one thing: profits. The
changes that desperately must
be made to human civilization
to stop the climate crisis all cut
into the ability of billionaires to
make money. They require that
restrictions and regulations be
implemented. “Our economies
are damaging the environment”,
Salerno declared.
Salerno pointed out what Vene-
zuela has done. She talked of how
the Bolivarian constitution pro-
tects the environment. Though
Venezuela produces a great deal
of oil, 70 percent of the coun-
try’s energy is hydroelec-
tric. Venezuela invests
$500 million per year
into alternative energy.
Already, the Bolivarian
government has replaced
155 million inefficient
light bulbs with newly de-
veloped eco-friendly ones.
A program to replace oth-
er household appliances
with more eco-friendly
ones is in the works.
A total of 58 mil-
lion hectares of for-
est in Venezuela are
protected, and a mass
program of refores-
tation is being carried out.
The Venezuelan government
has created a massive public
transit system, and is the in
process of expanding it. Plans
specifically include connect-
ing the countryside with the
cities, and breaking down the
division between the rural
and urban parts of the coun-
try. Public transportation is
much cleaner, much more ef-
ficient, and much better for
the global environment.
Salerno explained that the
effort to fight climate change
must be “beyond the govern-
ment”. A mass movement
of public awareness must
be created. The Venezuelan
plan to fight climate change,
as articulated by Salerno, in-
cludes expanding participa-
tory democracy, and involv-
ing everyday Venezuelans in
actively changing the econ-
omy and the culture. They
include providing more free
education, because “When
you educate people, they pol-
lute less”.
The Bolivarian Republic
of Venezuela is the product
of massive struggles. Hugo
Chavez began the process af-
ter being democratically elect-
ed, but almost immediately he
faced an attempted coup by
“opposition” forces aligned
with the United States. After
a mass uprising of everyday
Venezuelans, and rank-and-
file soldiers, the coup was
pushed back and Chavez re-
turned to power. Chavez built
a mass movement of trade
unions, community as-
semblies and others
who backed his presi-
dency and supported
his policies. With a new
constitution, Venezuela
is now seizing the prop-
erty of foreign capitalists,
and promoting worker co-
operatives. Chavez succes-
sor, Nicolas Maduro seeks
to continue the “Bolivarian
Process” begun by Chavez
and the mass popular move-
ment behind him. Their goal
is the creation of a socialist
society, and the debate goes on
each day about how to reach
this end.
Venezuela, capitalism & climate change
The wealthy capitalists in
Venezuela, and their allies in
the United States and Britain,
are seeking to overturn the Ven-
ezuelan government. US me-
dia demonizes Maduro and the
United Socialist Party, calling
them “dictators” despite their
record of legitimately winning
elections by large margins. The
Venezuelan “opposition” has
grown increasingly violent,
burning buildings and rioting,
all while being supported by the
United States.
Venezuelan officials have
stressed that these massive ef-
forts are “not enough”. They
want to be part of a global con-
versation about creating a long-
term plan to combat the climate
crisis, and to ensure safety and
security for future generations.
Salerno called for a “revolution
within the UN” to allow pro-
grams to be implemented on
an international level. Venezu-
ela hopes that a legally binding
agreement can be established
to fight climate change, and all
states can be obligated to take
certain measures.
If the economy continues to
be structured as it currently
is, under the command of a
small group of western bank-
ers on Wall Street, in London,
and in Berlin and Frankfurt,
things will not change. Ven-
ezuela, moving toward social-
ism with its “Bolivarian Pro-
cess” is leading the world in
fighting climate change. It has
taken great measures within
its own borders, and it hoping
to pull other countries along
the road of ecological security.
It should be no surprise that
such sweeping measures to-
ward building a better future
for the planet by restructur-
ing the economy, come from a
country that has broken out of
Wall Street’s control.
As China leads the world in
green technology, and Cuba is
being praised for its urban gar-
dens and energy efficiency, why
should anyone continue to think
that Wall Street has the answer
to the climate crisis? Commer-
cials about “beyond petroleum”
and marketing gimmicks about
“organic” and “ecofriendly”
products will not save us.
Salerno described the pro-
cess in Venezuela as “chang-
ing things from the bottom
up”. Such changes are only
possible with the overturning
of the current economic set
up, where billionaires lead us
toward war, poverty and cli-
mate disaster.