Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
H. E. Mr. Roy Chaderton Matos, Chairperson of the Delegation
29 September 2008
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ROY CHADERTON MATOS (Venezuela) recalled that, several years ago, the academic concept of the “end of history” had heralded the “religion of neoliberalism” –- with the market as God -- as the secret to lasting prosperity. But that academic pronouncement had actually turned into a curse. Indeed, how much poverty, violence, torture, wars, invasions, oppression and social injustice had been its name?
Venezuela supported not just the peace initiatives put forth by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but, also, his proposed concept of regulated capitalism, he said. The country was also open to the idea of holding a summit of the countries most affected by the current financial crisis. Indeed, as it witnessed the sorrow and anger of millions of brothers and sisters in the United States who had been swindled by the ruling class, Venezuela was sympathetic, having itself suffered under the untrammelled application by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of capitalist remedies. But today, while Venezuela practised extreme democracy and held an extreme commitment to social justice, the international community was determined to squash it. The instruments of that effort were the Fox Network, the neocolonialist group PRISA, the daily paper El Pais, the radical channel Globovision and many other lackeys of the international far right, among others.
Over the last decade, progressive democracy had burgeoned in Latin America and the Caribbean, he continued. But, although elections in the region were much freer and more transparent today than they had been in the 1970s and 1980s, they were often not welcomed by the larger community. Indeed, as people made a clear choice for leftist movements, that choice did not suit the far right, which, it seemed, did not love democracy as much as it claimed. That phenomenon was reminiscent of Henry Ford, who, in describing his success, had said that any customer could have a vehicle in his choice of colour, provided it was black.
Underlining the Secretary-General’s statement that the time for “deep change” had come, he called for less unconditional faith in the magic of the markets. Greed had led to the world’s food, fuel and financial crises, as the human right to food was being ignored. It was time to construct a new model of development. In Venezuela, the social programmes were free to reach all sectors of society, particularly the most vulnerable. Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals was visible. Health expenditures had risen and those suffering from HIV/AIDS received increased coverage. Infant mortality had dropped. Buoyed by that success, Venezuela was also making major contributions throughout the Southern Hemisphere to unite the abilities and strengths of the countries there, and encourage structural change.
On the global level, it was necessary to ask how many lives could be saved if the resources invested in war had gone to social programmes, he said. There was also a need to re-evaluate several international organizations and mechanisms, including those of the United Nations. Venezuela supported the enlargement of the Security Council, and the elimination of the anti-democratic veto. Vigilance was needed to ensure that the Human Rights Council continued to work transparently. Further, the world -– and particularly the United States -- should work together, so that by next year, the current financial calamity could be calmed, peace between nations could be safeguarded and each could stand together at the United Nations.