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by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007 at 6:02 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut
Interview with Steve Ellner, professor of economic history at the Universidad de Oriente in Venezuela, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Hugo Chavez Deepens Venezuela's Social and Economic Transformation
Interview with Steve Ellner, professor of economic history at the Universidad de Oriente in Venezuela, conducted by Scott Harris
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was sworn into office on Jan. 10 after winning a landslide, re-election victory by more than 62 percent on Dec. 3. As he began his third term, Chavez announced the nationalization of the country's electricity and telecommunication industries and his intention to seek greater state control over energy projects. He also asked for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Central Bank's autonomy and increased power to legislate by presidential decree. In December, Chavez called for the merger of various political parties that have supported him to form a new United Socialist Party of Venezuela in order to "construct socialism from below."
In 2004, Chavez and Fidel Castro proposed the formation of a new Latin American economic bloc, called the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, as a counterweight to Washington's proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. Newly-elected Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega and Bolivian President Evo Morales signed onto the pact with Venezuela and Cuba in January, strengthening Hugo Chavez's influence around the hemisphere.
The Bush administration's support for, and likely involvement in a failed military coup against Chavez in 2002, escalated hostility between the two nations. After his declaration on nationalization, U.S. politicians and commentators have increased their condemnation of the popular Venezuelan leader, some comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Steve Ellner, professor of economic history at the Universidad de Oriente in Venezuela. He discusses Chavez' new policy pronouncements and his oil rich nation's role in influencing Latin American politics.
Steve Ellner is co-editor of the new book, "Venezuela: Hugo Chávez and the Decline of an "Exceptional Democracy," published by Rowman and Littlefield.
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories & interviews with activists & journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national & regional political, economic & social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics & to check out our text archive listing topics & guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET & Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April & October).
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©2007 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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