Maduro Reaffirms Commitment to Fight Against Colonialism and Neoliberalism

January 26, 2016

Last week Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro spoke out to reaffirm the commitment to fight the imperialist program of neo-liberal economics. The government will not back down on its promises to re-nationalize key industries, including oil. Marduro emphasized that, "We are obliged to build a productive model that allows us to generate wealth and simultaneously maintain and deepen the gains of the people."

In recent years, Venezuela has re-nationalized several key industries which, at one time, had been owned by the Venezuelan state but were subsequently privatized as a result of the neo-liberal economic policies of various governments.

The nationalization of vital economic sectors is the sovereign right of Venezuela and part of the government's program of strengthening its economic and political sovereignty. This Venezuelan right is staunchly opposed by the Democrats and Republicans who control the U.S. congress and executive branch.

Venezuelan industries in which the re-nationalization process is already underway include: oil and gas, electricity, telecommunications, steel, cement, glass, mineral and mining, agriculture and food distribution, and textiles.

Some developments include:

– removal of U.S. multinational Wilpro Energy Services as majority shareholder in PIGAP II natural gas plant

– expropriation of Venezuela's largest producer of fertilizer from U.S. multinational Koch and Italian multinational Eni

– removal of France's Lafarge, Mexico's Cemex, and Switzerland's Holcim Ltd. as majority shareholders in 3 Venezuelan cement companies

– expropriation of 2 Venezuelan glass bottle factories formerly run by U.S. multinational Owens-Illinois

– state ownership of a majority of shares in any Venezuelan gold mining carried out jointly with private companies

– cancellation of oil "operating agreements" which contracted out production to foreign oil companies