MERCOSUR

The "integration" that Chávez promotes and his double talk

July 24, 2006

If [Argentinean President] Kirchner sought to appear next to
[Brazilian President] Lula [at the MERCOSUR Summit] as an expression
of "progressive possibilities" . . . Chávez spoke differently
depending on who he might be talking to. While in the ceremony
together with Fidel Castro in the Ciudad Universitaria in Córdoba
[Argentina], he [Chávez] said again, quoting Rosa Luxemburg, that the
alternative was "socialism or barbarism," in his intervention during
the Presidents’ meeting he chose as models to follow the ideas
of . . . Celso Furtado and Raúl Prebisch, and the Argentinean
economist Aldo Ferrer. These three are among the main referents of
CEPAL (the Economic Commission for Latin America, founded from an
initiative of the UN in 1948). With some variations, the arguments of
these authors are the source of various ideas of "propponents of
bourgeois development" . . . . From the original ideas of Prebisch,
the "CEPAL-ianos" supported the fallacy that the Latin American
bourgeoisies are capable of overcoming the backwardness and
dependency of our countries, a claim repeatedly refuted by the facts.

As we see, the "integration" proposed by "the Bolivarian" [Chávez]
has nothing in common with the socialism of any century; rather, in
this "integration," the capitalist bases of the social order that,
with the exception of Cuba, is in force in the various countries of
Latin America, remain intact. In his years in power, Chávez, despite
rhetoric about the "Bolivarian revolution," has made no progress in
laying a hand on the sources of the economic power of the Venezuelan
oligarchy, not even of those who obviously organized the imperialist
coup of April, 2002, or the subsequent "lock out" by the employers,
both defeated thanks to active intervention by the mass movement.
That is why, although extremely high income from oil profits has
permitted policies of social assistance to the most impoverished
sectors, improving their health and educational conditions, levels of
poverty [in Venezuela] remain very high and the percentage of the
national income going to workers has not greatly improved.