The new Bolivia continues to advance with Evo Morales

Source:  Granma
October 18, 2017

by: Joaquín Rivery Tur | rivery@granma.cu

Over a decade ago, when the government of Evo Morales took office in Bolivia, only 40,000 Bolivians received gas at home. Today, 3.5 million have access to the service where they  live.

evo morales oct 2017.jpgPresident Evo Morales has served the country for 11 years, despite fierce
opposition from the local oligarchy and the U.S. 

Over a decade ago, when the government of Evo Morales took office in Bolivia, only 40,000 Bolivians received gas at home. Today, 3.5 million have access to the service where they live.

The nationalization of the hydrocarbon industry in 2006 resulted in economic progress for Bolivia. It allowed the country to multiply national gas export revenues from two billion dollars in 2005, to 31.5 billion dollars in 2016.

The local oligarchy conspired with the U.S. embassy in the Andean nation to overthrow the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) led government, but failed.

The Bolivian government was forced to expel the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. ambassador, for their interference in the country’s internal affairs.

According to studies, especially those carried out by Canadian firm GLJ Consultants, its is estimated that in the next five years Bolivia’s proven natural gas reserves will increase to 17.45 trillion cubic feet, and production levels will be at a minimum of 73 million cubic meters per day.

Bolivia at the forefront of regional economic growth

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) places Bolivia at the forefront of regional economic growth in its latest report. In 2016, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was 4.3%, while the Ministry of Economy has forecast 4.7% growth for this year.

One of the most important projects underway in the country is the construction of the first polypropylene and propylene plant, to be established in the province of Gran Chaco, located in southern Bolivia, indicative of the industrialization and diversification of the national economy, alongside lithium industry projects.

The President of the state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), Guillermo Achá, explained that the polypropylene plant will create at least 1,000 direct jobs, and some 10,000 further positions related to the petrochemical complex – thus alleviating one of the country’s endemic problems: unemployment. The mega project has seen investment of over 500 million dollars.

The Plurinational State is also developing significant new energy generation projects, including the building of hydroelectric power plants in Carrizal, Cambarí, and Huacata; expansion of the Termoeléctrica del Sur power station; wind power generation in La Ventolera; solar power in the highlands; and projects for internal industrial development, and even for energy exports.

Nationalization vastly more beneficial than privatization

Meanwhile, YPFB statistics show that the nationalization of natural resources has generated $31.5 billion dollars over the past 10 years, far more than the $2.5 billion that was collected in the same period under privatization.

Undeniably, the population of this new Bolivia has seen their living standards greatly improved, with the construction of roads, schools, hospitals, and sports centers. Hundreds of thousands of Bolivians have recovered their sight thanks to Operation Miracle, the ophthalmologic rehabilitation program promoted by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

The local pro-U.S. oligarchy continues its plans to regain power, especially those in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the capital of the country’s largest constituent department, where plots to overthrow the government have been prepared with the participation of foreign mercenaries.

Separatist opposition movements have also tried unsuccessfully to separate the departments of Pando, Beni, Santa Cruz, and Tarija (known as the “half moon” due to their overall shape) from Bolivia.

It’s no secret that when Evo Morales assumed office on January 22, 2006, many did not believe he would be able to complete his presidential term, let alone do so as successfully. However, the first indigenous President of Bolivia is now the longest serving head of state of the country.

None of his predecessors in the position were able to secure an electoral victory for three consecutive terms, or maintain such high approval ratings among the Bolivian people. (With information from teleSUR)

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega at 80% Approval Rating: Poll

Source:  TeleSUR
October 19 2017

daniel ortega approval rating oct 2017Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. | Photo: EFE

 The ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front is ahead in polls for the upcoming municipal elections.

President Daniel Ortega has an almost 80 percent approval rating among Nicaraguans and his party is ahead in polls for the Nov. 5 elections that will elect mayors across the country, according to a recent survey.

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Some 77.5 percent say that President Ortega has led Nicaragua correctly, while 77.8 percent said the Sandinista National Liberation Front government gives them hope, according to a recent poll by Consultora M&R published Wednesday.

The poll also showed that 78.6 percent of the people believe the current government works for the benefit of the population.

The report added that 71.5 percent consider the government “democratic” and “that it complies with the laws” and 79.1 percent said that it brings “unity and reconciliation” to the Central American nation.

According to the poll, the ruling Sandinistas have a 57.5 percent approval, while the opposition parties received 6.3 percent. Another 36.2 percent declared themselves independent.

The poll also asked citizens to outline life priorities. Health received the number one spot, with 91 percent, followed by work with 76.8 percent, housing at 70.1 percent, and economic welfare with 60 percent.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 28 through Oct. 11 in 15 departments and two autonomous regions of Nicaragua, with a margin of error of 2.5 percent and 95 percent reliability.

Antigua and Barbuda: Terms and conditions of World Bank Reconstruction Loan not in the island’s best interest

Source:  TeleSUR
October 18 2017

antigua says world bank loan too strenuousAccording to Browne, at least US$100 million would be needed to rebuild
Barbuda after Hurricane slammed into the island last month. | Photo: Reuters

  • The loan approved by the World Bank is less than half of the amount petitioned by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Antigua and Barbuda is considering a request to renegotiate a US$40 million loan from the World Bank for reconstruction of hurricane-torn Barbuda.

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The loan approved by the international body with a term stretching 10 years and an interest rate of 3.5 to 4 percent is less than half of the amount petitioned by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

According to Browne, at least US$100 million would be needed to rebuild Barbuda after Hurricane Irma devastated the island last month.

“We have asked them to reconsider the terms and they said they will put it to the board and will get back to us,” Browne said during an interview with a local radio station, adding that he didn’t feel the loan’s terms and conditions were in the best interest of the island and is requesting that the interest rate be lowered to one percent.

“As far as we are concerned, the term is too short and we have asked them to reconsider and perhaps consider up to 20 years with a five-year moratorium,” Browne said

“If it were grants, we would push for some more, but we have to be careful in terms of how much we borrow, because … you have to have the capacity to repay,” he said.

Funds are being poured into a non-revenue-earning project

The prime minister said these alterations would be necessary as the funds are being poured into a non-revenue-earning project.

RELATED:  Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Says Barbuda Suffered ‘Heart Wrenching’ Devastation

“For example, in Barbuda, we will be putting the lines underground, we will be replacing all of the wooden posts with concrete posts and, technically speaking, they will not be creating any funds, any revenue, so again we have to make sure we do not overburden the Treasury, because at the end of the day we have to pay it back,” Browne said.

Following September’s natural disaster, Browne personally donated US$37,000 toward the Barbuda hurricane recovery effort, while Tourism and Energy Minister Asot Michael made a donation in the amount of US$200,000.

The prime minister also encouraged business owners and the international community to contribute to the rebuilding of Barbuda.

Registered as a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 185 mph and heavy rain, Irma destroyed over 90 percent of the island, according to Browne.

Around 1,800 Barbudans were evacuated from Barbuda after Hurricane Irma devastated the island.

Venezuela Swears In Newly-Elected Governors

Source:  TeleSUR
October 19 2017

venezuela swear in newly elected governors.jpgVenezuela’s ANC President Delcy Rodriguez is flanked by newly elected governors who are being sworn in by the ANC. | Photo: Twitter / @EstherYez

  • The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, won 18 of the 23 governorships.

Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly, ANC, President Delcy Rodriguez is presiding over a special session of the political body to swear in candidates who won Sunday’s gubernatorial election.

RELATED:   Venezuelan Regional Elections Observer: Process was Smooth

In direct reference to the U.S. “empire,” Rodriguez proclaimed that “aggression, sanctions and blockades that pretend to break the will of the people of Venezuela will fail.”

Rodriguez continued by saying that “today is a day of victory for the people,” adding that Sunday’s gubernatorial election “marks a new spirit” because “Venezuelans want to live in peace.”

Accompanied by Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council, CNE, she emphasized that the ANC, vigilant of the will of each citizen, participated in election audits to confirm the lack of foul play.

This transparent, public accountability measure has been established by the Organic Law of Electoral Processes. Article 4 of the law states that “the National Electoral Council, as the governing body and highest authority of the Electoral Power, shall exercise the direction, conduct, supervision and control of electoral processes.”

In that vein, Rodriguez reiterated Venezuela’s robust voting audits, mechanisms that have been hailed by the Council of Electoral Experts in Latin America, the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America and even former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

There is no room for fraud

“There is no room for fraud,” unlike claims made by opposition leader Gerardo Blyde, Rodriguez said, adding that even “parties on the right endorsed all audits.”

She went on to say that a “rebirth of Bolivarianism” transpired with Sunday’s election results.

“The president of the Bolivarian Republic, Nicolas Maduro, defeated the leaders of the empire with his leadership. This election represented a new chapter for the country, a renewed hope for the Venezuelan people.”

She concluded that the democratic victory sent an emphatic message to the international community.

The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, won 18 of 23 governorships.

Raul: Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity

Message from Army General Raúl Castro to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

raul y nicolas 4.jpg“I congratulate you on the results of the state elections. Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity.

Source:  Granma
October 17, 2017 08:10:30

by: Granma | internet@granma.cu

Havana

October 16, 2017

Comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Esteemed Nicolás:

I congratulate you on the results of the state elections. Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity .

The legacy of Chávez is alive. He and Fidel would be very proud of this victory.

You can always count on the support and solidarity of Cuba.

An embrace,

Raúl Castro Ruz

President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba

PSUV Wins Regional Elections, Assures Maduro’s Reelection

Source:  TeleSUR
October 17 2017

By: Dr. Jesus Silva R.

President Maduro Oct 2017.jpgVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a PSUV conference in Caracas. | Photo: PSUV

17 October 2017

by Dr. Jesus Silva R.

It’s time to launch diplomatic bridges to begin to reverse the proposed isolation of Venezuela.

With 18 governorships won in the elections of Oct. 15, 2017, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, becomes the favorite to win the presidential election in 2018. With Chavismo’s 18 regions and the support of the National Constituent Assembly, ANC, the political conditions are in place to virtually ensure the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.

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The debacle of the Venezuelan opposition started after they called for violent street protests that produced 150 dead and more than a thousand injured and wounded. They insisted on this strategy for four months and later abandoned it without apologizing to the Venezuelan people.

Then came the regional elections and the opposition signed up to participate in them after they had sworn never to leave the battle in the streets. So much incoherence, cynicism and irresponsibility was punished by hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters who were disillusioned with the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable, MUD, and did not vote for them.

The biggest challenge of the PSUV

Now that the electoral battle is over, the biggest challenge of the PSUV is the economic recovery of the country and restoring the supply of food and medicines. There should be a call for dialogue with business sectors which had joined the assault against the government through the sabotage of production and the voluntary reduction of activities with the aim of causing social unrest.

Now these entrepreneurs who have witnessed their political allies in the MUD soundly defeated at the ballot box, they have the opportunity to approach the government and through a sincere relationship, contribute to the recovery of the national economy.

Likewise, on the political front, the revolutionary leadership has the opportunity to re-legitimize party authorities as ruled in Article 67 of the Constitution by means of internal elections. The next phase would be to create more spaces for interaction with those members of the rank and file who do not have an organized militancy within the PSUV itself. Such members wish to participate in the political and social tasks of the revolutionary process currently in the hands of their leaders.

The people voted for peace

For the international community, the message is clear: the people voted for peace, do not want a foreign military invasion, nor violent street protests (guarimbas), nor financial blockades, nor terrorism. It’s time to launch diplomatic bridges to begin to reverse the proposed isolation of Venezuela.

Finally, we salute the democratic gesture of Maduro to immediately recognize the election results issued by the National Electoral Council, including those that were unfavorable for the PSUV, and to call the new opposition governors to work together with the central government for the good of the whole country.

Friends of Venezuela denounce the actions of the OAS Secretary General

Press Release
Friends of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

October 13 2017

WE DENOUNCE  LUIS  ALMAGRO’S LATEST  UNLAWFUL  INTERVENTION  IN  THE  AFFAIRS  OF  VENEZUELA

bolivarian republic of venezuela.jpgFriends of Venezuela denounce the actions of the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro, who, today — the 13th of October 2017 – in Washington DC in the United States of America (USA), purported to swear in the members of a so-called “parallel” Venezuelan Supreme Court, in gross violation of the principles of international law and sovereignty.
Almagro’s actions are nothing less than a gross and offensive attempt to frustrate the Venezuelan people’s peaceful and democratic process !
On the 30th of July 2017 we were all inspired by the Venezuelan people’s courage, when over 8 million people participated in the elections for a National Constituent Assembly, and thereby halted the campaign of orchestrated violence that sectors of the political Opposition forces in Venezuela had inflicted on the nation.
The peace-loving peoples of the world looked on at this spectacle, inspired by the Venezuelan people’s assertion that the only path forward is a democratic and constitutional one.
Today’s unlawful events in Washington, on the other hand, are an ugly and repugnant repudiation of the Venezuelan people’s openly expressed desire for peace and constitutionality, and reflect illicit interference by external forces in the sovereign processes of Venezuela.
While this takes place in Washington D.C., in Venezuela itself, members of the Government, the Opposition and other relevant entities campaign for gubernatorial elections that will take place this Sunday the 15th of October. Furthermore, after many efforts by the Government to establish dialogue, the Venezuelan political opposition has finally agreed to begin talks in a peaceful and lawful manner. In light of this background, one is forced to ask why– at this time of all times– is Almagro carrying out an activity that can only be described as an illegal and destructive intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela?
How can a multilateral organization like the OAS justify swearing in an illegitimate Supreme Court in the territory of a foreign country? This is a travesty beyond all comprehension, and the member states of the OAS would be well advised to take immediate steps to dismiss the organization’s unprincipled and errant Secretary General.
Today’s actions at the OAS disrupt Latin America and the Caribbean’s shared commitment to self-determination and to the sovereign equality of all states, and must be condemned by all right thinking and peace-loving people.
We encourage all Venezuelans to go out and vote in numbers in the gubernatorial elections scheduled for Sunday the 15th of October!
Indeed, we say to the Venezuelan people:- The world celebrates your determination to defend a democratic model that is participatory and protagonist. And we stand with you in safeguarding our region as a Zone for Peace, in keeping with the “Havana Declaration” approved by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Long live the Bolivarian Republic and the Bolivarian Revolution!

Friends of Venezuela