Manuel Rosales: Master lines on his program of government

By Romulo Ortíz

18.08.06 | With the promise to pay a minimum wage monthly stipend to all unemployed Venezuelans until the state is able to provide jobs for everyone, and to supply the “impoverished middle class” with direct subsidies, Zulia state governor Manuel Rosales announced on Wednesday that he will assume the responsibility to run for the presidency as the unity candidate representing the oppositionist movement after Julio Borges and all other pre-candidates declined in his favor

On his speech, he described a preliminary version of what would become his government program should he be elected president of Venezuela on December 3rd.

One of the main promises was the payment of a minimum wage monthly stipend to all unemployed Venezuelans; he also announced the creation of a financial mechanism that would provide an additional source of income to the middle and lower class segments.

He explained that this measure would guarantee that every Venezuelan family would receive between Bs. 600,000 and Bs. 1,000,000 per month depending on the price of oil. “With this measure we aim to add a social dimension to our proposal, by distributing the oil wealth this way, we will enable Venezuelans to leverage their own development”

Regarding the social programs set in motion by the current government, Rosales reiterated that they won’t be eliminated but improved so they become “truly efficient”. He also issued his opinion on the reforms the president wishes to implement on education: “The current model is obsolete and cannot be saved”. The governor guaranteed that all high school graduates will be accepted by both private and public universities.

About the housing deficit, he declared his inconformity with the bureaucratic procedures currently in place; he characterized them as “parapetos that make families move from one place to another in the search of decent living conditions. We will exchange cardboard barracks for decent houses”. He also announced the creation of a mechanism that will allow families to directly contract the services of the people and firms they wish to put in charge of the construction of their houses. He also informed that he will negotiate with the private sector to build massive housing developments.

The private property will be respected

Manuel Rosales reiterated that private property is fundamental in the development of a country. “I promise to pay for whatever structures have been built in any land with no known owners; we will then proceed to distribute it among the peasants”.

“Every family must have its own property. We will give them residence permits, because the private property must be respected”.

Economy based on alliances

At the economic front, he proposed to create alliances between the middle class, working class and private firms, to participate in joint ventures where their investments are guaranteed.

Public safety

Regarding public safety, the Zulia state governor emphasized that the only way to defeat crime is through the autonomous and synergic integration of all the branches of government. “We will integrate all the branches of government; we will not allow crime and the Colombian guerrilla and paramilitary groups to continue their reign of terror.”

On the military subject he promised to restitute the members of the Armed Forces to their rightful place: “we will restitute them to the place they have always had, we won’t disrespect them as the current government does”.

Regarding our foreign policy, Rosales indicated that his policy will be to integrate Venezuela and not to “break diplomatic ties with other countries as Chávez does”.

At the same time, the candidate criticized the arms race developed by Chávez as he stated that he will turn tanks into hospitals and he will provide our youth with schools and universities instead of machine guns.

At the end of his speech, Manuel Rosales reiterated that he will take his candidacy “until the end”. “We will be here on December 3rd, we won’t go anywhere”, however he did not clarify whether he will withdraw his candidacy if minimum electoral conditions aren’t given.

Julio Borges read the prologue at the act where he launched his candidacy; all the other pre-candidates were in also attendance and Manuel Rosales thanked them for their effort, hard work and support.

None of the attendees issued any statements because there will be a press conference next Thursday where the candidate will answer some questions.

The governor of Zulia released an official statement indicating that he will register his candidacy before the electoral board authorities next Friday.

Zulia state governor

Manuel Rosales, one of only two oppositionist governors among the 24 federated states, will have to temporarily steo down from his post as state governor of Zulia during the presidential campaign.

A 52-year-old ex-school teacher, Rosales was favored by a decision made by the board of elections last Tuesday that allows him to compete without resigning to his post, within the next few days he will have to decide who will assume the interim governorship in his absence.

It was known out-of-the-record that Nelson Carrasquero, his secretary of government for 6 years may succeed Rosales.

Pablo Pérez, ex candidate to mayor of the city of Maracaibo for the Un Nuevo Tiempo party is also mentioned as a possible substitute. A decision will need to be made before Rosales registers his candidacy before the electoral board authorities.

Source: El Carabobeño

Source Manuel Rosales: a democratic option for Venezuela