Creation of communes and motor districts will consolidate socialism
Hugo Chávez Frías is determined to consolidate socialism over the next six years and to this end, he has plans to transform the territorial structure with the aim of creating spaces to develop the communal production model. His government program provides for more control by the State over strategic sectors
Hugo Chávez Frías' socialist model is based on the transformation of the territorial structure to create spaces like development motor districts and communes with the aim of establishing there socialist production chains.
The government's intention is for communes to be engaged in the production of goods and to assume competences of regional governors.
In 2007, the Head of State included these territorial adjustments in the constitutional reform and, the fact that this change was rejected in the referendum was not an obstacle to develop the model that later was put forward in the 2007-2013 Simón Bolívar Plan and in the people's power laws of 2010 (Government Federal Council, Communes, Communal Economic System, Public Planning).
While the communal regime already has a legal structure, it has moved forward progressively. As a consequence, the government's goal for the upcoming years is consolidating the things provided for in current laws.
According to the future government plan, in 2013-2019, the creation of the motor districts has to be fostered "with a view to giving a boost to a series of economic, social, scientific and technological projects, intended to attain the comprehensive development of the regions and the strengthening of the people's power so as to ease transition to socialism."
According to the laws, these spaces, which can be related to agriculture, energy, industry or tourism, are decreed by the President, who will appoint a single authority.
The program foresees 14 districts nationwide, the first of which was already created in July in the states of Barinas and Portuguesa for agricultural projects.
Communes will be located in districts. According to the program, in 2013-2019, the transfer processes of social property enterprises to communities have to be completed. The project deals with two forms of social property: indirect, which is exercised by the State on behalf of the community, and direct, which the State allocates to one or several communities.
A large part of the development of this system depends on the transfers of State resources. The plan already calls for the creation of 30,000 communal enterprises, as well as the promotion of 1,000 production linkage areas throughout the country.
Hugo Chávez Frías' plan assures that the operation of the Government Federal Council is guaranteed, as well as the political coordination ways and actions between territorial political entities and people's power organizations (communes).
However, competences of governor's and mayor's offices will be affected. In laws passed on past June, these entities are ordered to transfer health, education, housing, culture and sports services to communal enterprises.
Already in 2010, the allocation of resources to the different regions was affected in favor of communes.
While funds administered by the Federal Council through the Inter-territorial Compensation Fund are largely channeled toward governor's and mayor's offices, ways have been slowly created to orient more money toward new figures.
From VAT collection received by the Inter-Territorial Compensation Fund, 37% goes to governor's offices, when they received 42% before. This difference is earmarked for communal axes.
Financial adjustments to favor the people's power have increased and, this year, the Federal Council created the Housing Fund and the Zamorano Fund for Territorial Development with a view to dealing with the requirements of the socialist model. These funds will be managed by the motor districts.
Translated by Álix Hernández
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."