VENEZUELA: More trees, less Hollywood and Microsoft
Venezuela has launched a new social mission aiming to reverse deforestation, according to a June 4 Venezuelan Presidential Press Office statement.
Mission Tree aims to plant 100 million trees within five years.
Launching the mission, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that capitalism was responsible for the destruction of many flora and fauna species and that socialism would help to change this trend by making human needs — rather than private profit — the priority.
In an interview published by the ministry of communication on June 4, Miguel Rodriguez, vice-minister of environmental conservation, explained the importance of the mission, arguing that Venezuela “cannot become a developed nation while we exploit our forest irrationally.
If we do not protect them, we will not have any water, oxygen or life in the future.”
Rodriguez explained that the mission would be integrated with agricultural production plans, because it is not possible to ask peasants to be environmentally friendly while they are struggling to eat.
He said the government wants peasants to form themselves into “conservation councils” to collectively plan out community and government projects. …
The Bolivarian News Agency reported on June 7 that the government was set to begin nationwide courses in open-source software.
Venezuela has switched to open-source software — which can be studied, improved upon or freely distributed by anyone — in order not to be dependent on corporations such as Microsoft.
More than 400,000 people will participate in the free program, which is part of Mission Science.
Source: Green Left Weekly, June 21 2006.
Oil and the US military in Latin America: here.
Simon Bolivar: here.
Google’s bias for bigness: here.