From Socialist Voice, March 2010

International

Growth of socialist communes continues in Venezuela

There are now 184 socialist communes operating in Venezuela. President Hugo Chávez has continually emphasised the importance of these communal councils in assisting in the development of a process of production independent of the capitalist market.
     These socialist communes are neighbourhood-based social revolutionary organisations, set up to help solve local problems and to develop and implement local projects. They will be central to the construction of socialism in Venezuela.
     Morelbis Aguiar, a spokesperson for one of the communes, explained that the communes are “where we, the people, are the ones who decide what our community wants and what the improvements are that we want to work on in our area. It’s us who decide which street we need, where to locate the university or high school. We decide what we’re going to do with the financing and resources that the revolutionary government gives us.”
     These communes have been involved in 706 projects so far, costing more than $23 million. They have included such activities as creating communal gardens and farms in which to grow their own vegetables. They are born out of the need of the people to create new systems of distribution and consumption. All this is an attempt to give a real, workable alternative to the capitalist system.
     The National Assembly is now working on a “Law of Popular Power,” which would give greater power to these communes and help the communes grow. As Chávez put it, “while the communes keep growing, more ways of relating to each other and of producing as brothers, without exploiting each other, are unlocked.”
[JM]

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