Chavez tells followers to give up extra possessions
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told his supporters to give away possessions they do not need such as an extra refrigerator because he only wants true socialists to be members of a new single party he is forming.
Whoever has a fridge they do not need, put it out in the village square. Whoever has a truck, a fan or a cooker they do not need, give something away. Let's not be selfish. I demand you do it," Chavez said at a milk producing cooperative, in remarks released on Monday.
Chavez, who calls capitalism an evil, said he would donate $250,000 (127,000 pounds) of his own money and added, "Let's see who follows the example."
The anti-U.S. president who calls Cuban leader Fidel Castro
his mentor denies he is turning the OPEC
nation of avid consumers into another communist state as his critics say.
But since coming to power in 1999, Chavez has proposed increasingly radical steps to drive Venezuela toward a socialist state and, after a landslide re-election late last year, he declared himself for the first time a communist.
Chavez, who rules by decree, has focused his political ambitions this year on forming a single party from the hodgepodge of affiliations that have traditionally supported him in what he says is his crusade against U.S. imperialism.
Officials say millions of followers have signed up to be members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela that Chavez plans to use as a platform to govern the country for decades.
"If I were to end up with only five people signing up out of those 5 million, I'd be happier," Chavez said on Sunday in remarks that were distributed on Monday by the government and published in the local media.
"I only want to be accompanied by true socialists," he said.
Chavez's critics complain his constant railing against U.S.-promoted consumerism contrasts with the behaviour of senior government officials who can be seen dining out at fancy restaurants or riding around in expensive cars.
Chavez tells followers to give up extra possessions - Yahoo! News