VHeadline.com commentarist Carlos Herrera writes: Thursday evening 9:00 p.m. on Venezuelan National Radio (RNV) I learned that there are moves afoot to propose President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias as a leading candidate for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

For many people throughout the world whose information about Chavez is conditioned by mainstream news media, the immediate reaction to this news could be: ”How could a “firebrand” like Chavez ever be considered for such an internationally prestigious award?”

  • I can already imagine the radical opposition thinking this and cannot believe that such a thing could conceivably happen. The next stage will be gnashing of teeth and frothing at the mouth!

Readers will recall that, two years ago Chavez won the “Man of the Year Award” in an internet vote run by bbcmundo.com  against all comers … including George W. Bush.

The reaction in 2002 by opposition figures was to send thousands of

insulting and threatening e-mails to bbcmundo.com, accusing the BBC of rigging the outcome, and alleging …  without any evidence … that the Venezuelan government had “paid” for the results.

This was just a non-scientific poll in internet and not something as prestigious as the Nobel Peace Prize … so why is Chavez a candidate and likely winner of the Nobel Peace Prize?

Looking at the web page of the Nobel Prizes at www.nobelprize.org/peace the 2004 winner was Wangari Maathai of Kenya was awarded the prize “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”

If these three qualities are key to winning the Nobel Peace Prize then Chavez has all these in abundance and more … he must be the world’s leading democrat having been to the polls 9 times since 1998 … he promotes peace by asking for troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, so that these sovereign nations can exercise self-determination and define their own path in the future.

Sustainable and endogenous development is one of the corner stones of the Bolivarian revolution — thus alleviating poverty medium to long term.

Other accomplishments which have been pushed by Chavez’ personal leadership in Venezuela are the Social Missions, all grouped under the humanitarian banner of Mission Christ.

The primary ones are:

Mission Robinson — teaching more than 1.3 million people to read and write in the space of 16 months, a world record in this field

Mission Ribas — secondary education for just over 1 million people so far, who were denied this basic human right during the 4th Republic

Mission Barrio Adentro (Into the Nieghborhood) — to provide free primary health care for more than 10 million people up to now, and who did not have access to health care in the past – unless they paid for it

Mission Simoncito — care and education for pregnant mothers and their children from gestation to kindergarten, to ensure a healthy start to life

Bolivarian Schools — integral schooling including free health care and meals, with the objective of inculcating patriotic, humanitarian values in the upcoming generations

There may be other accomplishments I have omitted to mention, and am certain that opposition spokesmen will try to shoot down all these accomplishments in the usual manipulative format and with their well-known semantic bile. However, it does not matter what they think … but what the Nobel Foundation in Oslo considers to be true and of real value to human development and peace.

The reaction of the USA and and especially that of Condoleezza Rice will be interesting to observe. Let us hope that the Nobel Foundation with its 105-year history will have the courage and independence of thought to consider President Chavez for this world shattering accolade, without outside interference.

  • Chavez Frias has the qualities and the accomplishments, even though his style may have upset some influential international personalities in the past.

It would be very difficult to taint Chavez as a “dictator” if he does manage to win the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize … and the ultimate recognition of the inherent goodness in the Bolivarian Constitution, whose precepts President Chavez is carrying out with deep humanitarian convictions.

If you want to contribute the Bolivarian campaign for Chavez to win the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, you can do so by signing the petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/NobelCh/petition.html

See also: http://www.venezuelanobeldepaz.org.ve