Thursday, February 24, 2005

Arms and paper for the people?

I blogged recently about Venezuela's decision to buy 100,000 AK 47s from Russia, a move that drew the ire of the United States government, which claimed that Venezuela's regular and reserve army have a combined total of less than 60,000 troops. Now has an article which gives us a clue about the possible uses of the guns - you can read it here.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government has announced the form that workers' control, or worker-government control, of the recently-expropriated Venepal paper factory will take. The expropriation of Venepal, which has been renamed Invepal, involved not just the plant in the town of Moron but 5,600 hectares of land in 4 states.

Hugo Chavez relates the reorganisation of Venepal/Invepal to his new strategy of 'endogenous development', which describes as:

"Economic and social development prioritizing the collective benefits of industry and productionand focuses on local specificities in development planning.

According togovernment literature, endogenous development is based on “cooperative and humanistic” logic, as opposed to the capitalistic individualism of the global economy...

Invepal is to act as a “pole” of endogenous development in Venezuela’sNorth-East, a long-time manufacturing center. The government is alsolooking into building a plastic parts factory to produce for the automobileindustry, as part of a joint-venture with Iranian companies, and soap andfertilizer factories to supply the domestic economy.The government is simultaneously working on a plan to bring all basicindustry into the state-run endogenous development model.

The mining and processing center in the country’s South-Eastern state of Bolívar looks tobecome a similar “pole” of co-managed state run enterprises. According topreliminary reports, Basic Industry Minister Victor Alvarez plans to beginwith the Aluminum processing plant Alcasa, much as the North-Eastern pole is being launched with Invepal."

Read the whole article here.


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