Related: "Poll: Approval of Venezuelan President Increases"
by Tamara Pearson
October 20th 2008
This year the proportion of the budget for social spending was 45%, or BsF. 64.7 billion (US$ 30 billion).
He compared this budget with the amount of money the United States designates for defense.
Also on Friday, to mark the International Day of Struggle against Poverty, the Venezuelan government delivered BsF 509 million ($US 237 million) to "popular power," which means the communal councils and their various community projects.
So far this year BsF 3.2 billion ($US 1.49 billion) have been granted to 8,800 projects. The most recent amount delivered will finance 1,547 social projects that cover some of the basic needs of the communities.
Chavez showed that in 2006 BsF 3.2 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) were also assigned to the communal banks and organized communities and in 2007 BsF 2.1 billion (US$ 976 million) were provided.
He also encouraged the communal councils to organize themselves to propel the communes and in this way advance the revolution from the bases.
The communes were a new form of regional organization proposed last year as part of the constitutional reforms. They were to be the basic unit of the socialist state, made up of multiple communal councils (which are community decision bodies of about 400 members), cooperatives, and with socialist structured exchange.