– Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the U.S. – http://venezuela-us.org –
Published on 06/12/2011 @ 3:22 pm In the section CURRENT NEWS,News
On February 2nd, 1999, President Chávez assumed office and addressed the Venezuelan people for the first time in his inaugural speech in Caracas.
“Today, February second, 1999, the time for the people of Venezuela has arrived! Today, February second, the time of the resurrection of Simón Bolívar’s land has arrived… Let’s celebrate the birth of the free Venezuela, the Bolivarian Venezuela that we have always dreamed of,” said the newly elected president.
Chávez inherited a country with a fiscal deficit of 7.4 percent and one of the lowest oil prices in the history of the republic: $7.70 per barrel. It was the time of the anti-OPEC thesis, the so-called Washington Consensus, and neocolonialist policies.
Chávez, First President of the Millennium
Once assuming office, President Chávez began to fight for his people. In July 30th, 2000, the results of popular election were re-legitimized through national elections known as Mega-Elections. President Chávez was re-elected with 3.758 million votes, or 59.76 percent, becoming the first head of state of the millennium and extending the presidential term to six years through the constitution.
The Mega-Elections became the concrete start of the foundation of the Fifth Republic, which promoted a pacific transformation of the state based on a revolutionary and democratic model.
As of that moment, a process of transition was initiated to leave behind the neoliberal model established in the country over the last 40 years (1958-1998) and open a path for a new revolutionary and socialist model based on the principles of solidarity, justice and equality.
Extreme Poverty Lowered by 7 Percent
Part of the legacy of prior governments was Venezuela’s high poverty rate: when President Chávez took office, about 55 percent of Venezuelans lived in poverty and 40 percent in extreme poverty. Annual inflation had reached over 100 percent during the 1990s.
After 13 years of arduous work, President Chávez has set an example for the region by reducing poverty by 24 percent, extreme poverty by 7 percent and inequality by 17.9 percent. Additionally, the country jumped 10 spots in the ranking of the UN Index of Human Development. Beyond the social achievements, the Bolivarian Revolution has empowered the Venezuelan people to be main actors in their country’s transformation.
Other notable achievements under the Venezuelan Revolution are the creation of new universities, economic growth and diversification, universal healthcare and food sovereignty, all of which paved the way for a greatly improved Human Development Index.
Venezuela, Sovereign in its Political Decisions
Furthermore, under the government of President Chávez, Venezuela has become a free nation in terms of its political decisions.
A concrete example is the creation in December 2011 of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which Venezuela helped form to give the region its own voice and boost unity among peoples.
The achievements of the Bolivarian Government certainly do not end here. Next year on October 7th, President Hugo Chávez will be a presidential candidate again, a reflection of his commitment to his homeland and people. The latest polls indicate that he may receive 60 percent of popular support.
Read news, documents, and fact sheets about the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution.
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