Venezuelan Census 2011 counts 1,418,358 illiterate people
On October 28, 2005, Hugo Chávez declared Venezuela "Territory free from illiteracy"
On October 28, 2003, President Hugo Chávez announced that during the first phase of the social welfare program "Mission Robinson I," started in June 30 that year, 1,202,025 illiterate people were alphabetized.
Two years later, on October 28, 2005, at the Teresa Carreño Theater, Chávez declared Venezuela "Territory free from illiteracy." The same day, he stated that 1,482,543 people learnt to read and write thanks to the Cuban literacy program called "Yo sí puedo" ("Yes, I can").
In order to guarantee the learning process continuity, Mission Robinson II (primary education) and Mission Ribas (high school education) were created.
Six years after the announcement of the so-called "education miracle," however, Census 2011 data, issued by the official National Statistic Institute (INE), reveal that 4.9% of the Venezuelan population is illiterate. This means that 1,418,358 out of 28,946,101 citizens cannot write or read.
According to the researcher of the Venezuelan Education Memory (MEV), Luis Eduardo Jáuregui, this shocking data unveil two realities: "the educative miracle' was not true; even worse, the school system is a resounding failure. How can that number of illiterate people, especially between the ages of 10 and 24, be explained?"
In an attempt to justify the declaration of "Territory free from illiteracy," in October 2005, Omar Calzadilla, Mission Robinson president at that time, explained that, in accordance to the data disclosed by the United Nations, the total number of illiterate people was under 4% of the population.
However, six years after the trumpeted "education miracle," the number climbed to 4.9% of the population.
Translated by Karina Salas
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."