10 years of achievements
For 10 years, the Bolivarian government has been breaking paradigms, defeating resistances, exceeding forecasts, facing empires, revolutionizing consciences, defeating foreign and domestic conspiracies, and especially defending, as the motor and fuel of the revolutionary process, the deep conviction that human beings are the center and raison d'être of society.
The Bolivarian Revolution’s most representative achievements can be quantitatively evaluated through missions (social programs), infrastructure projects, and technological advancements, to name just a few areas. A qualitative analysis leads to three important conclusions: the Bolivarian Revolution has improved the quality of life of most Venezuelans, has significantly reduced social inequalities, and Venezuela has made important strides in its struggle to become a truly developed country.
To see the achievements of the revolution in images press here
1. REDUCTION OF POVERTY
During the Bolivarian Administration of President Hugo Chávez, the extreme poverty rate significantly fell from 42 percent in 1998 to 9.5%. As a result, Venezuela achieved in this UN Millennium Goal with time to spare. General poverty also fell significantly, from 50.5% in 1998 to 33.4% in 2008.
Venezuela’s Human Development Index (HDI) increased from 0.69 (medium development) in 1998 to 0.84 (high development) in 2008. Currently, Venezuela ranks 67th out of 179 countries according to the 2008 United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report.
Venezuela’s Gini coefficient fell to 0.4099, the lowest in the country’s history and in Latin America. In 1998 it was 0.4865.
2. ACCESS TO EDUCATION
In 2005, Venezuela achieved a UNESCO-established goal to be declared an illiteracy-free territory, which requires that 96% of adults know how to read and write. Furthermore, we are still working and have achieved a 99.6% literacy rate for the population over the age of 15.
Currently, Venezuela allocates 7% of GDP for education, while in 1998 just 3.9% of GDP went to education. Without including socialist missions, enrollment is now 7.5 million students in public and private schools, while there were only 6.2 million in 1998.
The socialist missions, created as an imitative to help the population excluded from the formal educative system, have the following statistics:
Misión Robinson II: 437,171 graduates, including 81,000 indigenous students.
Misión Ribas: 510,585 graduates with high school degrees.
Misión Sucre: 571,917 Venezuelans are enrolled 24 higher education career programs in 334 different municipalities. 30,000 students have graduated from seven programs: education, environmental management, social management of local development, journalism, management, computer science, and agro-food production.
3. ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE
Venezuela invests 4.2% of its GDP in health care and it continues deepening strategies to guarantee Venezuelans free access to health care with the creation of social missions Barrio Adentro I-II-III and IV. Up to 2009, Barrio Adentro has made the following achievements:
24,884,567 Venezuelans, that is to say 88.9% of the population, have benefited from this mission.
630,491 lives have been saved thanks to this mission.
Barrio Adentro has opened: 6,531 popular health centers, 479 Diagnostic Health Centers (CDI), 543 Rehabilitations Halls (SRI), 26 High Technology Centers, 13 popular clinics, 459 popular optician centers and 3,019 centers offering dental care.
The Bolivarian government’s public health policies reduced the infant mortality rate (children under 5 years) to 13.7%. In 1990, this figure was 25.8%.
4. SOCIAL SECURITY
Unemployment has been reduced by 50% during the Chávez Administration; it fell from 12% to 6.1% by early 2009. Employment in the formal sector of the economy has been increasing, while there has been a reduction in the informal sector.
In May 2007, the Venezuelan minimum wage became the highest in Latin America (US $372). In addition, workers receive a monthly bonus for food amounting to over $139. Also, pensions have been increased to the minimum wage.
5. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Venezuelan economy has experienced 20 consecutive quarters of growth. 2004 stands out, with an historical growth of 18.3%. In 2008, the rate of growth was 4.9%. Our economy has grown by 526.98% if we compared it to the Venezuelan economy in 1998.
Venezuela has the fourth biggest economy in Latin America, following Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
6. FOOD SOVEREIGNTY
In order to guarantee the country’s food security and sovereignty, the Bolivarian government created Mission Alimentación (Food), whose aim is to offer basic foodstuffs at low prices directly to the Venezuelan population. This initiative included the creation of a network of warehouses and stores (Mercal, Pedeval, CASA, Fundaproal, silos, etc.).
In 1998, Venezuela produced 16,272,000 tons of vegetables. By 2008, Venezuela managed to produce 20,174,000 tons of food. This represents a 24% increase.
7. PUBLIC DEBT
The public debt dropped from 73.5% of the GDP in 1998 to 14.4% in 2008, placing the national deficit as one of the lowest in the world.
In 1998, a debt of $3 billion was paid off to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and to the World Bank (WB).
8. INTERNATIONAL RESERVES
By early 1999, international reserves were at $14.3 billion. In January 2009, they amounted to $41.9 billion.
9. TECHNOLOGICAL SOVEREIGNTY
Before the Bolivarian government, there was practically no investment in science and technology. Today, 2.69% of Venezuela’s GDP is aimed at science and technology.
With the creation of Infocentros (information centers) and the National Technological Literacy Plan, the population’s access to information technology increased.
On October 29, 2008, Venezuela launched the Simón Bolívar Satellite from the Sichuan Satellite Center in the People’s Republic of China. It is now in operation under Venezuelan control. Satellite services, including tele-eduction and telemedicine programs, will be offered to thousands of communities all around the country and beyond our borders to other Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The strengthening of Venezuela’s technological sovereignty also includes the nationalization of the National Telephone Company (CANTV), Venezuela’s principal telephone company.
10. ELIMINATION OF GENDER INEQUALITY
Gender equality is another achievement of Venezuelan society. Women make up 60% of people who participate in community councils. 4 out of the 5 Branches of government are headed by women. Women’s representation in the National Assembly increased from 10% to 16.5%.
Ministry of People’s Power for Communication and Information, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / February 2, 2009