Malaysia: PSM supports Chavez in building socialism; inspires the people's movement worldwide

February 6, 2008 -- This morning, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) leaders met with Venezuela mbassador, Manuel Guzm'an and first secretary, Carlos J. Paez to express our continued support for the revolutionary efforts undertaken by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in his move to build ``socialism in the 21st century.

In a 10-point letter addressed to the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the PSM expressed its solidarity with the people of Venezuela and the revolutionary struggle which is now happening in Venezuela. The PSM is glad to see that the process of Bolivarian Revolution, which started following Chavez' election in 1998, has moved much closer towards socialism.

The revolutionary process has impressed and inspired the PSM very much and we are also excited to witness the rise of new popular power in Venezuela with the setting up of communal councils in barrios across the country. We view these communal councils as the embryos for an alternative form of government; the genuine people's government from below and a great step forward to socialism.

The PSM also recognises the efforts in dismantling the capitalist economy, such as nationalisation of key industries and land reform measures. We salute the internationalist spirit of the Venezuelan Revolution and Venezuela’s efforts in strengthening people-oriented regional integration through initiatives like ALBA. These initiatives have benefited the poor and marginalised of the region, and further boosted the revolutionary spirit of ordinary people internationally.

At the meeting, Manuel Guzm'an, the ambassador was very frank. He said PSM [members] should go to Venezuela to see the changes for themselves. He said seeing the changes directly is the best way because one might feel that he is paid to say good things about the revolution. When asked about the [constitutional] referendum defeat [late last year], Gusman said that, it is a small problem as the revolutionary government has the support of [of the people]. The PSM meanwhile applauded Chavez for upholding democracy by accepting the results with an open heart. Nevertheless, the process must continue and not slow down.

Guzm'an also said that Chavez is very determined to build socialism and has created a large pool of people who are clear about their rights and know the constitution. These are the people who are going to defend the revolution. He also said that it is not easy to dismantle capitalism but people must undergo a process of empowerment and must be able to defend the revolution themselves with their hearts and mind. Failing which, it can end up like Russia and China.

While the ambassador admits many shortcomings, he said the country is moving towards the right track under Chavez' leadership. Many questions were fielded on some of the negative publicity in the media and he answered those questions honestly. There was also equal exchanges on the situation in Malaysia and about the PSM. The PSM was represented at the meeting by PSM National Chairperson Dr. Nasir Hashim, Secretary General S.Arutchelvan, D.Sevan and JERIT Coordinator Y. Kohila. The PSM also expressed that it will always stand with the people of Venezuela in the struggle against imperialist and capitalist threats.