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  • Civilians and members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces parade during a military exercise in Caracas, Venezuela, August 26, 2017

    Civilians and members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces parade during a military exercise in Caracas, Venezuela, August 26, 2017 | Photo: Reuters

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The current offensive of the Trump administration can help us to accelerate the deconstruction of imperial domination.

The popular victory of our Comandante Chavez in December 1998 opened the way towards dismantling the hegemonic model so as to use the nation’s oil income for endogenous development, economic diversification and building an egalitarian society.

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Last Friday, in his address to the country in response to the unprecedented financial aggression against our homeland expressed in the Executive Order of President Donald Trump, comrade President Nicolas Maduro explained with the utmost clarity the unjustified nature of these sanctions and their impact. And he pointed out that, above and beyond its negative consequences, this latest imperial affront will allow us to advance in our national history to a stage liberated from imperial dominance.

Specifically, he called for the construction of a national post-U.S. leadership model. He asked me to develop and write about that proposal, so today I’m venturing to sketch out a general outline.

Since 1908, after the betrayal of the nationalist President Cipriano Castro by Gomez, the nascent U.S. imperial elite consolidated and expanded its hegemony over Venezuela. They used the criminal disposition of their new watchdog Juan Vicente Gomez, expressed in a single-export, import-dependent, socially exclusive model with a military doctrine that treated the People as an enemy. Either de facto or via elections, the political system represented the elites, with a foreign policy subordinate to imperial geopolitics and the cultural assimilation of a pseudo-yankee, racist mindset.

Generation after generation, waves of intellectuals, workers, soldiers, students and revolutionaries resisted this domination. The popular victory of Comandante Chavez in December 1998 began the process of dismantling that dominant model by promoting the use of the nation’s oil income for internal development, diversifying our economy and creating an equal society, rescuing the Bolivarian military doctrine of an army of the People rather than its enemy, the emergence of popular democratic protagonism, multipolar respect-based international relations and recognition of our cultural diversity as the basis of Venezuela’s national identity.

Now we have suffered the response to that of the Empire and its pawns, during 18 years of destabilization and aggression against our Motherland.

As President Maduro has suggested, and we agree, the current offensive of very serious aggression by the Trump administration can help us to accelerate the deconstruction, begun by our Comandante Chavez, of imperial domination so as to reinstate for good our full National Independence.

In that sense, I propose here to outline the bases of this new national and popular hegemony that will leave behind the dark period of subordination to the cultural, economic and military apparatus that rules the United States, while always recognizing the great positive contributions of the United States people to humanity. The balance in our favor of this new battle of wills between the Empire and ourselves, the people of Bolivar should be:

The highest level of economic autonomy in our history, based on national production, scientific and technological innovation and the definitive emergence of a mixed economy in which private property and socialist property in their various forms complement each other so as to satisfy our vital needs as a people.

The definitive and irreversible diversification of markets for our oil and its derivatives, never again to be dependent on a single purchaser.

The consolidation of a financial architecture and a plan for multipolar international trade acting via different routes and mechanisms.

Integrating into the Constitution an egalitarian model for the distribution of our national income which will allow us to eradicate poverty for ever, as a guarantee of political and social stability and the full exercise of every human right.

The flourishing of a democratic model of Popular Power to forge a liberating, equal, honest, hardworking society as the basis of a social, democratic national society based on the rule of law and justice.

The development and expansion in the heart of our National Bolivarian Armed Forces and our whole society of an anti-imperialist, anti-oligarchic, popular democratic military doctrine.

The reaffirmation of our national identity recognizing the beautiful history that is ours and the cultural diversity that allows us to be the wise, spiritual free society that we are.

Today, in order to consolidate the hegemony of our national sovereignty and liberty we have the political sovereignty, the industrial and technological base, the professional capacity, privileged international relations with emerging pole of development, millions of women and men organized politically and socially, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, the National Constituent Assembly and above all the consciousness that Chavez helped germinate in the majority of us.

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Compatriots, let us leave behind the chains that still bind us to a culture of denationalization, corruption, division and betrayal. The hour of our second Independence has arrived so that, with intelligence and courage, we will win against an Imperialism that will not make war on us. That will be our victory.

Our Comandante Chavez made very clear the objective of this battle  “To expand and consolidate the most precious thing of all, our National Independence, reconquered after 200 years”. We’ll all see each other in the civic-military exercise Bolivarian Sovereignty 2017. We are blessed as a people. God and our conscience will defend us.

Elías Jaua Milano is former Vice President of Venezuela, and was also head of the Presidential Commission for the Constituent Assembly.
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