Hugo Chávez Presente!

BY:Jarvis Tyner| March 12, 2013
Hugo Chávez Presente!
This article is based on a report to the March 10 2013 National Committee Meeting of the Communist Party

At this meeting of the our National Committee, the highest body of our party between National Conventions, we want to take a moment to mourn and pay tribute to the courageous leader of the Venezuelan people Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

Comrade Chávez, was the democratically elected President of his country for 14 years. And despite the efforts of a well financed right-wing opposition who organized a coup with the full backing of the Bush Administration and the powerful oil interests, Chávez was restored to power when the people took to the streets a million strong and returned their democratically elected President to power. They saved their nation and opened the door to real progressive/socialist reforms.

The Bolivarian Revolution under Chávez’s leadership chooses what they defined as their path to Socialist development. He kept his promise to his people to use the country’s enormous oil wealth to improve their lives and strengthen democracy. He promised to improve the lives of the poor and racially oppressed. Eighty percent of pre-Chávez Venezuela was living in poverty.

Under Chávez’s program, overall poverty was reduced by half and extreme poverty reduced by 70%

Millions of Venezuelans had access to health care and education for the first time. What he did to improve the lives of the large impoverished Afro Venezuelan population, which was his racial heritage, was historic. His administration built housing for the poor. They opened up education to all. College enrolment doubled with many going to school tuition free. Those eligible for public pensions tripled. This was Hugo Chávez

Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Venezuela for the memorial services and was a friend of Chávez, described him as a “Poor people’s Hero.” After Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, Venezuela-owned oil company CITGO sent oil to help the people of New Orleans. The Government of Venezuela offered to send 1,000 generators. Jackson pointed out “Venezuela actually got to New Orleans before Bush did.” He praised Chávez for using the nations wealth from the “bottom up not the top down.”

And as we know the Venezuelan path to socialism was not confined to Venezuela.

The country sent millions of gallons of subsidized oil to Cuba in exchanged for 1,000s of health care workers who served the poor. Venezuelan subsidized oil was sent all over South America to help improve the lives and stabilized the economies of countries striving for real democracy and development.

And over 1.7 million Americans have received CITGO heating oil at reduced prices under a similar program for U.S. residents.

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks from Queens, NY who helped bring the CITGO program to our country in fact introduced ex-Congressman Joe Kennedy to Chávez. Meeks also attended the recent Chávez memorial and he said, Chávez was a controversial figure but he was “a man who wanted to help the poor.”

The heating oil program is currently helping 300,000 U.S. households yearly in 25 States and DC

This year 252 American Indian tribal communities and 245 homeless shelters in the U.S. will receive fuel assistance.

A number of housing projects in NY are benefiting from the Chávez socialist discount.

Our party issued a statement upon hearing the news of Chávez’s untimely death. It needs to be circulated. Included in that statement was the fact that on

On March 1, Venezuela and its allies signed twenty seven agreements with African countries, meeting at the Africa-South America Summit, aimed at ending the centuries old looting of African resources by the colonial powers and their successors.”

This is the Bolivarian Revolution and the legacy of Hugo Chávez.

There is a very good article at the People’s World website on Venezuela that should be read and shared.

The Young Communist League also issued a statement that stated in part,

We are together with you in mourning the physical loss of an extraordinary human being.  As a man who dedicated his life to social justice and equality, he will be remembered alongside great revolutionaries Che Guevara, Jose Martí, Salvador Allende, Farabundo Martí, and Simon Bolivar.”

The opposition is circling the wagons to defeat this great development in Venezuela and the Republicans here are pushing for interference in their coming elections.

We need maximum pressure to stop the Obama administration from acting against democracy in Venezuela. That would be a huge mistake for them.

I left the following message in the condolence book at the Venezuelan Consulate in New York City:

On behalf of the Communist Party USA, we extend our most heart felt condolences to the people of Venezuela on the death of comrade President Hugo Chavez.

He holds an honored place in history for illuminating a new light of freedom and socialism in our hemisphere.”

Hugo Chávez Presente!

PHOTO: elsanto_wa under Creative Commons BY-SA



    Jarvis Tyner is executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA and a long-time member of the party's national board.. He was a founding member of the Black Radical Congress and served on its national coordinating committee for five years.

    Tyner was born in the Mill Creek community of West Philadelphia in 1941 and graduated from West Philadelphia High School. He joined the Communist Party USA at the age of 20. After several years working in various industrial jobs in the Philadelphia area, where he was a member of the Amalgamated Lithographers and the Teamsters union, he moved to New York in 1967 to become the national chair of the DuBois Clubs of America, and later founding chair of the Young Workers Liberation League. He was the Communist Party USA candidate for vice president of the U.S. in 1972 and 1976, running with party leader Gus Hall.

    As a leader of the CPUSA Tyner has been an active public spokesperson against racism, imperialism and war. He has written numerous articles and pamphlets and appears on the media, campuses and in other public venues advocating for peace, equality and the socialist alternative. He currently resides in the Inwood section of Manhattan, N.Y., is married and the father of four adult children and one grandchild.


Related Articles

For democracy. For equality. For socialism. For a sustainable future and a world that puts people before profits. Join the Communist Party USA today.

Join Now

We are a political party of the working class, for the working class, with no corporate sponsors or billionaire backers. Join the generations of workers whose generosity and solidarity sustains the fight for justice.

Donate Now

CPUSA Mailbag

If you have any questions related to CPUSA, you can ask our experts
  • QHow does the CPUSA feel about the current American foreign...
  • AThanks for a great question, Conlan.  CPUSA stands for peace and international solidarity, and has a long history of involvement...
Read More
Ask a question
See all Answer