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Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain,  March 18, 2013. 

Chief Justice Mr. Ivor Archie and Mrs. Archie, former President Professor George Maxwell Richards  and Dr. Jean Ramjohn Richards, the honourable Timothy Hamel-Smith, President of the Senate and Mrs. Hamel-Smith, the honourable Speaker of the house, Mr. Wade Mark and Mrs. Mark, honourable ministers of government and Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, members of the diplomatic corp, other members of parliament, heads of religions organisations, members of  the judiciary, members of the media, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, great children of Trinidad and Tobago, good day and good afternoon to you all.

I wish to express my gratitude to former President Richards for his services to the Republic, for his cooperation during the transition period, and particularly for his generous hosting of this ceremony.

I am humbled by the abundance of goodwill that I have received; but I am ever mindful that goodwill can be nebulous and can dissipate if expectations are not realised or not realised expeditiously.

I have listened quietly, but with some pause, to the well-intentioned national discussions on the role and responsibilities of the President of the Republic.

My dear citizens, it would be otiose on the occasion, to attempt to engage you in a discussion on Constitutional Law. I do want to emphasise, however, that I am not an Executive President. Under the Westminster form of governance, there are parameters within which I must operate. Powers you think I have, I do not. Powers you think I do not have, I do.

I may not have a magic wand, but the Office of the Presidency is not impotent. I do have constitutional clout. Inter alia Section 81 of the Constitution mandates the Prime Minister to keep the President fully informed of the general conduct of the Government and, at the President’s request, to submit information with respect to any matter relating thereto. It is a dialogue mechanism that will be invoked affirmatively for the good of the Republic. 

As a judge, I swore to uphold the Constitution and the Law and do right to all manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill will. This I have done unflinchingly. 

As President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago my remit is wider and greater, for I have sworn to preserve the Constitution and the Law and to devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. This I shall do without compromise or reservation, holding fast to the following fundamentals: integrity, transparency, inclusiveness, accountability and reverence to God Almighty.

Children, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Preamble to our Constitution includes two critical principles that continue to inform our existence as an independent nation. First, that there is a higher authority that we are all enjoined to acknowledge, and, second, that our humanity confers on us all certain rights and freedoms but, at the same time, imposes on us all corresponding responsibilities. The fact that we may hold these ideas to be inviolate, however, does not deny the need for Constitutional reform, the need to revisit the principles and precedents by which we are currently governed, to unravel the sense of disconnect that the average person has to issue of governance.

One principal mandate of my Presidency will be to infuse new life into the watchwords  - Discipline, Production, Tolerance. 

We have become a highly indisciplined society. Fulfilling the objective of the watchword, Discipline entails a wider  acceptance of personal responsibility for one’s actions, a willingness to be held accountable.

Let me make it clear that being responsible and accountable does not only apply to people in high places, to Ministers of Government and other elected officials. Our leaders are all those persons who command positions of influence in our society. Whatever their sphere of influence, it is the right and duty of you the citizenry to demand that, as leaders, they are responsible and accountable in the exercise of their functions. Yet, one cannot justly demand that those in authority be disciplined, responsible, accountable and not invoke the same standards of conduct in our daily lives.

Being responsible and accountable is a two-way street. It is a duty that our citizenship imposes on us all regardless of our social, ethnic or economic status.

Václav Havel, the Ninth and last President of Czechoslovakia and the First President of the Czech Republic, in his 1990 New Year’s Address to the Nation, pointed to his countrymen’s shared responsibility for their past and future in these words, and I quote:

"Let us not be mistaken: the best government in the world, the best parliament and the best president, cannot achieve much on their own. And it would be wrong to expect a general remedy from them alone. Freedom and democracy include participation and therefore responsibility from us all."

The second watchword, Production, is a call for us to re-examine our work ethic; to demand a fair day’s pay but, at the same time, to commit to giving a fair day’s work; to search out lawful opportunities to be less dependent on the State; to distinguish between service and servitude; and to ensure that in any and all areas of endeavour, the goods and services that we offer are second to none.

Finally, there is the third watchword, Tolerance.

Tolerance is properly defined according to Joshua Liebman as "the positive and cordial effort to understand anothers beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them." As such, it is allied to the practice of empathy, compassion and respect for others - all qualities that are needed if we hope to establish the more humane civil society that our small multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural population seems gifted to achieve by virtue of its proven creativity, wide-ranging and varied talents, and overarching intellectual energy.

As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary as a nation, we are faced with two opposing value systems, each striving to emerge as the dominant culture. The first speaks to a spirit of collaboration and community exemplified in the fellowship of religious institutions; in the unity and camaraderie of the steelband; in the supportive organisation of the conservative sou-sou; in the healing influence of the panchayat; in the socially-nurturing role enacted by many business and professional bodies, and in the benevolence of our richly varied world of NGOs and organisations of civil society.

In sharp contrast, and posing a growing threat to the first, is a value system based on rampant individualism - a value system characterised by a spirit of intimidation and lawlessness, one that finds expressing acts of violence, brutality and the exploitation of the disadvantaged and the voiceless. Regrettably, for many of us, tolerance has become synonymous with indifference; and these reckless, lawless, dysfunctional patterns of behaviour are treated as examples of Trini culture that we condemn in private but accept as par for the course.

My dear children, my fellow citizens, we cannot and must not be indifferent to the ravages of social injustice and marginalisation. As the United Nations document, "Social Justice in an Open World", published in 2006, bluntly reminds us: "Neglect of the pursuit of social justice in all its dimensions translates into de facto acceptance of a future marred by violence, repression and chaos."

Today our jails house a disproportionate percentage of young males from depressed communities and we need, as a society, to devise ways and means of addressing this dilemma. The family remains the bedrock, the bedrock of this solution. In his 1995 edition of the "Moral Compass", William Bennett reminded us of the role the family is called upon to play in the moral development of the young person and I quote:

"All children need bread and shelter. But a true home, of course, is more and that. Children also need love and order and because they are not born knowing the difference between right and wrong, home is a place where they can begin to develop a moral sense.

The observation of Aristotle, the philosopher, is pertinent, he stated that it is, and I quote: "It is the peculiarity of man, in comparison with the rest of the animal world, that he alone possesses a perception of good and evil, of the just and the unjust, and of other qualities, and it is the association in these things which makes a family."

In the criminal justice system there is so much pain and anguish. For too many years, young men from our depressed communities are being murdered. The man child is in crisis; and we cannot and must not trivialise the sanctity of human life by indifferently dismissing the deaths of these young persons as gang-related. We adopt the offensive philosophical position that they will eventually all be killed, not recognising that each man's death diminishes me and every murder is revenged, and revenge is a relay race that will never end unless there is genuine out of the box intervention.

We, as a nation, we, the Parliament of the people, must no longer engage in tired politics on this issue. Waffle abounds. What is needed is a truly collaborative effort among the stakeholders to address the crisis that is crime.

I say this because I know that with the appropriate support, these young men, these young persons are fully capable of acting in a responsible manner, fully capable of being accountable. Let me give you three examples.

First, there is the highly successful Bail Boys Project which was initiated in the San Fernando Court. The project, which involves family members, aims at preventing recidivism among young criminals between the ages of 15 and 25. It includes curfew restrictions, sessions in anger management and self-esteem by trained psychologists, re-education and literacy training as bail conditions. On completion of the programme, employment is made available through collaboration with various companies and institutions. It has reached the point that in the last four years we have a moved a criminal to being a first year student at the University of Trinidad and Tobago studying engineering.

Secondly, The Drug Treatment Court, instituted in San Fernando under the wise leadership of Chief Justice Archie, is another major form of restorative intervention that promises to benefit the society at large. Like the Bail Boys Project, it demonstrates the value of thinking outside the box. We cannot and must not only engage in this philosophy of containment.

My third example is drawn from the primary school - Rose Hill RC school in Laventille, which is part of the East Port of Spain Mentoring Project. Under the leadership of Father Clyde Harvey, a giant among us, mentors from the wider society outside of Laventille join with members of the community to help those most at risk to meet successfully the challenges that they encounter on a daily basis.

We can look to Rose Hill RC, to provide the quality of personal and communal leadership we so urgently need today by referencing, I repeat, by referencing the school motto:


In other words, the students of Rose Hill RC are constantly being reminded of something that we in the wider society are forgetting or are oblivious to: That as important as it is for us to acquire knowledge and the technical skills needed to compete successfully in a global economy, economic growth and material well-being are not the only criteria by which we are judged here or on the world stage.

Honour and integrity do matter!

My dear children, my fellow citizens, The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a crown sitting on the head of the Americas, but our sphere of influence has not been fully recognised or developed. Yet the unique role that this small republic can play was pointed out to us in no ambiguous manner by that towering world figure, Pope John Paul II, when he visited our shores in February 1985. In his papal exhortation to thousands of citizens in this very stadium he said:

I want to tell you of my admiration for your nation, whose people of different races, religions and traditions, live side by side. This mutual understanding of one another is spiritually enriching and fulfilling. In a world riddled with religious bigotry and fratricidal conflicts, you are a sign of hope."

I believe that as a nation we need to rediscover our destiny of creating hope for a world in turmoil.

The International Criminal Court established through the Nelson Mandela of the international criminal justice system, namely President Arthur Robinson SC, is a perfect example of us creating hope for the world at large for those who have suffered the ravages of impunity and we as a Republic can still do more

Pursuing this goal, however, would require us to make certain changes.

For many, many years the ship called the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has left its safe moorings of integrity, accountability, responsibility, transparency and inclusiveness. We are good at sound bites and labeling. We can be excellent wordsmiths. The cynics, they howl in the wilderness. But if we are to establish a better, more progressive, more humane society, real change must be invoked.

No one has ever suggested that change is easy. Indeed, even the most sought-after changes are generally attended by doubts and fears. And this is particularly true when the change envisioned threatens our sense of who we are as individuals or as members of a distinct group; when that change exposes strongly-held biases and prejudices as myths, myths that constrain our capacity for empathy, promoting instead narrow group loyalties, that serve only to deny us the magic of community, to steal from us the courage and the wisdom that are the principal building blocks of this small and complex nation we call Trinidad and Tobago.

I consider myself fortunate to have been raised by no less than five villages! Let me hasten to add, this was not because I was a difficult child but the circumstances that occasioned these frequent changes of residence did broaden my sense of community and expand the body of exemplars whose influence has been so crucial in determining the direction of life.

I thank my parents, Dennis and Barbara Carmona, my siblings, my wife Reema, my son Christian and my daughter Anura, my dear friends, teachers and mentors for all the support accorded me throughout my long and varied career; and I particularly want to recognise the debt of gratitude that I owe to Sobo, Palo Seco; Bennett Village, Los Bajos; Jacob Settlement, Santa Flora; Dally Village and Fyzabad. The love and encouragement that you so generously offered me along the way have played a large part in defining who I am today.

In closing, I would also like to thank all of you present here this afternoon. A special thanks to my brothers and sisters in the judiciary who have helped and assisted me on my journey to where I am today. As I embark on this new journey, I ask you for your continuing support and prayers that I may discharge my responsibilities with integrity and sensitivity, that my term in office may coincide with a growing sense of our shared humanity; and that, in all things, I may prove myself to be deserving of the rich honour that you have so graciously bestowed on me today.

Notwithstanding our dynamic diversity, notwithstanding that we are the result of two islands, we have each others back because we are one.

May God bless you all and may God bless our nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

I thank you very much.

A Note From The Gull

Thank you very much, President Anthony Carmona for these comforting and rallying words. I wish you well and I am daring to be very hopeful for my country. Tempus ostendet.

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!

El Comandante! Que en Paz Descanse.

El Comandante, Presidente Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías
(28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013)

Yo Te Saludo.

Subo, subo

Me voy a los cerros, alto, a llorar a solas, lejos, a ver si se apuna el dolor, subo, subo.
La quena muy triste toco, y me habla llorando de vos, a ver si se apuna el dolor, subo, subo, subo.
Los ranchos quedaron atras, las nubes muy cerca ya estan, a ver si se apuna el dolor, subo, subo, subo, subo...



Update: Friday 8th March, 2013

Uploaded by teleSUR tv  

Jefes de Estado llegan a Caracas para despedir a Hugo Chávez. 
[Our Prime Minister is shown arriving at position 1:08 on the video]



Hugo Chávez Frías passed away from the pain and struggle of this world on March 5, only to become a permanent part of a constellation of revolutionary heroes. This morning, on March 8, Chávez will be laid to rest in a manner that will leave him on permanent display for millions of his adoring followers in Venezuela, the oppressed and marginalized majority whose cause he so valiantly championed through 14 years of government and at least 17 elections and referenda. He will be preserved physically, and politically, having emerged not just as Venezuela’s most significant leader since Simón Bolívar, but as the recognizable face of a global anti-imperialist movement. Chávez has now become a firm part of the Latin American political canon. In death, he is being literally monumentalized, an institution in his own right.

While many of us do feel his passing as an immense and deep loss, and 14 years was simply not enough, there is much to celebrate, and much to build on and continue. Apart from the seemingly infinite video and film recordings, we will never again hear his booming voice or his laughter, hear him sing, see him pound his fists into the air, watch that mischievous look in his eye that accompanied his smile–those closest to him, and those who followed him closely, will feel this sort of absence especially and little can make up for it. On the other hand, one should not descend into tragedy and remain stuck in mourning. Hugo Chávez is now more than just a man, or a memory of a man, he is a movement. Without a doubt, Hugo Chávez has become the new Ché Guevara–expect to see him everywhere, for the rest of your own days.

Over the past few days, and relying primarily and purposely on Venezuelan media and secondly on non-mainstream media from elsewhere,* I have been tracing (here mostly, here too) the outpouring of international support that has accompanied the millions coming out yet in the Venezuelan streets yet again for Chávez. The latest news is that 53 international delegations will be participating in the funeral for Chávez, 32 of which are led by heads of government or state. Leaders and representatives of Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Uruguay, Equatorial Guinea, Argentina, Honduras, and Peru, have visited the Military Academy where Chávez has been temporarily placed. Also visiting Chávez’s casket in the chapel have been the Prime Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, and Curaçao. Due to arrive this morning for the funeral will be the following presidents: Chile, Sebastián Piñera; Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla; Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina; El Salvador, Mauricio Funes; Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina; Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto; Panama, Ricardo Martinelli; Suriname, Desiré Delano; Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko; Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Prince of Asturias on behalf of the King of Spain. Chinese media reported somewhat different numbers: “A total of 33 heads of state and 55 high-level international delegations from 54 countries and regions“–a figure that seems to grow by the minute, and which has been confirmed by Venezuelan media. A total of at least 15 governments around the world have declared official days of mourning in honour of  Chávez, most declaring at least three days of mourning, among them: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Iran, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and as far away as Belarus, Nigeria (with seven days of official mourning), and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (see more here).

Those interested in following the funeral, can do so starting from 11:30 am (EST), by seeing the live stream here.
Otherwise, there is a thorough and comprehensive collection of videos on this YouTube channel.

North American and western European mainstream media are worth ignoring almost entirely, unless one’s purpose is to do yet another catalogue of the abrasive and abusive brainwashing by amateur propagandists, something that passes itself off as “journalism” and which holds media consumers in utter contempt. Our media are no longer produced by adults, nor are their products intended for adults. The predictable narrative is that of the megalomaniac corporate media serving the 1% which has great reason to fear that the real message of Chávez’s life and accomplishments might escape their control. And it has escaped their control. Western media are not just quite dispensable, they invite dismissal altogether. Those who spend their time with such media will encounter the usual clumsy and irresponsible characterizations of Chávez as a “dictator” and “demagogue” or that Venezuelan society is “divided” (which society isn’t?), as if it were somehow divided into two equal parts. When what we have leading us are bland cardboard cutouts who play powerlessness (when it comes to spending on education, healthcare, social security, and employment creation), because they are mere stand-ins for the powerful corporate elites, surely someone with character, personality, passion and purpose must be a demagogue.

Fortunately, less reactionary opinions have been flowing in, presented below in no particular order, and with only a few selected.


Cristina Fernández: “I only want to remember him as he was alive. Because he is alive.

Raul Castro
: “Hugo Chávez died unbeaten, invincible and victorious.”

(Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America)
: “President Hugo Chávez was in life the beacon of light that inspired the emergence of ALBA-TCP, as an emancipatory project of the Latin American and Caribbean countries…[in the history of the Americas] no president had done so much in such a short time for the integration and unity of the peoples of our continent….UNASUR, CELAC, Petrocaribe and ALBA are the practical expressions of the integrationist fervor of Commander Hugo Chávez …who brought fervor and passion to the causes of integration and anti-imperialism, for the redemption of the poor and marginalized of the whole world. Today the world’s poor feel deeply for the physical passing of the leader who represented their voice and who will remain forever in their hearts, our dear Commander Hugo Chávez.”

UNASUR (Union of South American Nations): “The lasting mark made by President Chávez , head of the Bolivarian Revolution and key leader of the South American union, leaves a legacy and historical example of solidarity with fraternal peoples, that will last in the memory and hearts of Latin Americans, as a contribution to the path of our regional integration.”

Statements from across the government of Belize, including the opposition: “President Chávez was a true friend of Belize and over many years, the Belizean people enjoyed the fruits of friendship and cooperation that the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic offered Belize under the leadership of President Chávez. His public life was one of leadership and struggle for high ideals and principles, with the purpose of improving the lives of individual citizens and promoting a spirit of community among peoples and among nations. It is under his leadership that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was established in Caracas, Venezuela, in December of 2011.”

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary for ECLAC/CEPAL (Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean): “Mr. Chávez will take his rightful place in our hearts and minds among the great men and women who have left their mark on the history of our continent. I had the opportunity to witness his unfailing commitment to the dispossessed, the poorest and the most humble, which defined his political and private persona. He made equality his compass, and the proud sovereignty of his homeland was his constant guide. His emergence changed the face of the Americas for the better, because Mr. Chávez proved that when the will for constructive change is the expression of majority aspiration rather than just a personal enlightenment, it becomes an unstoppable force. He was a determined campaigner for Latin American brotherhood, and his vision and tenacity are at the root of the new road map for integration, as UNASUR to CELAC, and ALBA to PETROCARIBE owe their origins to Mr. Chávez.”

Hebe de Bonafini, president of the association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina): “Not only has a comrade departed, but one who is irreplaceable. He was one of these men who is rarely born, who is not repeated.”

General Workers’ Confederation of Argentina: “To the brave people of Venezuela, there is no obstacle that can divert the road. During these years of hard work building the Bolivarian revolution, under the key leadership of Commander Hugo Chávez Frías, popular consciousness and popular will have become consolidated offering an example and guide for all of our America….the workers of Argentina will not forget the beloved Commander, who will live forever in the hearts and struggles of dignified peoples.”

National Indigenous Peasant Movement of Argentina (MNCI): “Commander Hugo Chávez devoted his life, energy, love and passion to Latin American unity and integration, to win liberty and equality for our peoples, for bringing the dawn (ALBA) of socialism.”

Evo Morales: “a caring brother, a fellow revolutionary, a Latin American who fought for his country, for the great homeland, as Simon Bolivar did. He gave his whole life for the liberation of the Venezuelan people, the people of Latin America and all anti-imperialist fighters in the world.”
“Chávez died, but he will return in the millions, in the thousands of millions of Chavistas, not just in Venezuela, Bolivia, etc., but across the planet.”

Rigoberta Menchú (Nobel Peace Prize laureate): “He has not died. He has made a transcendental passage in the evolution of life….We have lost a great president, a great friend, and a great comrade of the most oppressed peoples of the continent.”

Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe: “They helped us after the (2012) floods. They sent over 600 tons of food just recently. They are helping us every day with Petrocaribe. We’re going there to pay tribute to their people and of course show solidarity with the Venezuelan people.”

Mahmoud Abbas: “This is a great loss for us. The Palestinian people will remain faithful to Chávez whose memory will remain engraved in our consciousness in recognition of his courageous support for our right to an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Vladimir Putin: “President Hugo Chávez lifted hundreds of thousands, millions, of people out of poverty. He was talented and courageous. He is added to the list of sons of Latin America as Simon Bolivar, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and, among the living, Fidel Castro. He became a symbol of the Latin American struggle for independence and freedom. The ideals were internationalist, but he was also proud of his indigenous origins. Speaking of international affairs, I can safely say that Chávez always tried to ensure the establishment of friendly relations with all countries of the world without exception. But he never did that at the cost of suppressing the interests of his beloved Venezuela, never did he try to be nice to all at the expense of his own people.”

Jimmy Carter: “President Hugo Chávez will be remembered for his bold defense of the autonomy and independence of Latin American governments, and for his formidable communication skills in making a personal connection with his supporters, both at home and in the abroad.”

Sean Penn: “Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela.”

Oliver Stone: “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place. Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chávez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned.”


Hugo Chávez remains undefeated, as expressed by Derrick O’Keefe, the president of the Canadian Peace Alliance. Imperialism could not defeat him. The U.S. failed in its efforts to overthrow him by way of its proxies. Chávez won election after election after referendum. Venezuela became the most democratic state in the modern history of the Americas. Unlike any of us in the North, Venezuelans were given the opportunity to participate in rewriting their own Constitution. Chávez could draw crowds that, in both absolute numbers, and especially in proportional terms, Obama could only dream of ever attracting. Chávez drew such crowds regularly at home, and often abroad too.
Among the numerous impressive social and economic achievements under Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution, scholars have gathered the following details:
To make a more objective assessment of the real progress achieved by the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela during the last 13 years it is essential to review some of the key available data on the social determinants of health and poverty: education, inequality, jobs and income, health care, food security and social support and services.

With regard to these social determinants of health indicators, Venezuela is now the country in the region with the lowest inequality level (measured by the Gini Coefficient) having reduced inequality by 54%, poverty by 44%. Poverty has been reduced from 70.8% (1996) to 21% (2010). And extreme poverty reduced from 40% (1996) to a very low level of 7.3% (2010). About 20 million people have benefited from anti-poverty programs, called “Misiones” (Up to now, 2.1 million elderly people have received old-age pensions – that is 66% of the population while only 387,000 received pensions before the current government).

Education is a key determinant of both health and poverty and the Bolivarian government has placed a particular emphasis on education allotting it more than 6% of GDP. UNESCO has recognized that illiteracy [has] been eliminated furthermore, Venezuela is the 3rd county in the region whose population reads the most. There is tuition free education from daycare to university; 72% of children attend public daycares and 85% of school age children attend school. There are thousands of new or refurbished schools, including 10 new universities. The country places 2nd in Latin America and 5th in the world with the greatest proportions of university students. In fact, 1 out of every 3 Venezuelans are enrolled in some educational program. It is also a great achievement that Venezuela is now tied with Finland as the 5th country with the happiest population in the world.

Before the Chavez government in 1998, 21% of the population was malnourished. Venezuela now has established a network of subsidized food distribution including grocery stores and supermarkets. While 90% of the food was imported in 1980, today this is less than 30%. Misión Agro-Venezuela has given out 454,238 credits to rural producers and 39,000 rural producers have received credit in 2012 alone. Five million Venezuelan receive free food, four million of them are children in schools and 6,000 food kitchens feed 900,000 people. The agrarian reform and policies to help agricultural producers have increased domestic food supply. The results of all these food security measures is that today malnourishment is only 5%, and child malnutrition which was 7.7% in 1990 today is at 2.9%. This is an impressive health achievement by any standards.

Some of the most important available data on health care and public health are as following:

*infant mortality dropped from 25 per 1000 (1990) to only 13/1000 (2010);

*An outstanding 96% of the population has now access to clean water (one of the goals of the revolution);

*In 1998, there were 18 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, currently there are 58, and the public health system has about 95,000 physicians;

*It took four decades for previous governments to build 5,081 clinics, but in just 13 years the Bolivarian government built 13,721 (a 169.6% increase);

*Barrio Adentro (i.e., primary care program with the help of more than 8,300 Cuban doctors) has approximately saved 1,4 million lives in 7,000 clinics and has given 500 million consultations;

*In 2011 alone, 67,000 Venezuelans received free high cost medicines for 139 pathologies conditions including cancer, hepatitis, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, and others; there are now 34 centres for addictions,

*In 6 years 19,840 homeless have been attended through a special program; and there are practically no children living on the streets.

*Venezuela now has the largest intensive care unit in the region.

*A network of public drugstores sell subsidized medicines in 127 stores with savings of 34-40%.

*51,000 people have been treated in Cuba for specialized eye treatment and the eye care program “Mision Milagro”; has restored sight to 1.5 million Venezuelans.
An example that clearly has earned the right to be hated by our ruling right wing parties (in Canada, the U.S., Europe), and which has earned the contempt of the children of Venezuelan oligarchs who call all of this “misery,” who call Chávez “the worst president ever” (even when compared to those that massacred thousands in the streets). This is the madness of the oppressors, that they can turn the world upside down, call thin fat, short tall, war peace, and actually demand that we believe them. They are finished. The anti-Bolivarian opposition in Venezuela can look forward to being buried and soundly defeated like never before in the elections that will be scheduled to take place in the next 30 days. Advance congratulations to President Nicolás Maduro. Long Live Hugo Chávez, Chávez Lives Forever.


* Sites I recommend are:
Hugo Chávez no murió, se multiplicó

Uploaded by teleSUR tv

Higher Ground [Song]

 Uploaded by PlayingForChange
By Stevie Wonder
Performed by Playing For Change

People keep on learning
Soldiers keep on warring
World keep on turning
'Cause it won't be too long...Oh no.

Powers keep on lying
While your people keep on dying
World keep on turning
'Cause it won't be too long.

I'm so darn glad He let me try it again
'Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I'm so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on trying 'til I reach the highest ground.

Teachers keep on teaching
Preachers keep on preaching
World keep on turning
'Cause it won't be too long...Oh no.

Lovers keep on loving
Believers keep on believing
Sleepers just stop sleeping
'Cause it won't be too long.

I'm so glad that He let me try it again
'Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I'm so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on trying 'til I reach the highest ground.

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!