In Britain the consequences of the global recession is being used as a political excuse for the government to drive through savage cuts to our public services and privatise as much as possible.
It argues that such pain "is 100 per cent necessary" and similar arguments are heard worldwide from those who wish to attack the living standards of the poorest. No public services are safe from this vicious agenda - including our NHS.
Since coming to power, the government has told the NHS to make £20 billion "efficiency savings."
In truth these are simply cuts and the NHS will experience a real-terms spending drop over the next three years.
At the same time the Health and Social Care Bill will create a profiteering market free-for-all, destroying our comprehensive, universal NHS.
But the actions of many governments in Latin America, including Venezuela, show that a different choice can be made.
Rather than punishing the poorest they have chosen the path of investing in people and public services, including through building public health-care provision.
In Venezuela this is despite the fact the economy has faced recession for two years, primarily as a result of falling oil prices.
Millions there now have free access to a doctor and wider health care for the first time.
Since it was established in 2003 the free national health-care programme Barrio Adentro has provided over 400 million free consultations.
The effect has been dramatic, just as it was in Britain with the creation of the NHS in 1945.
Estimates are that it has saved almost 300,000 lives.
Life expectancy has increased from 72.4 years in 2000 to 73.9 today and the infant mortality rate has dropped by a third.
These achievements has required a huge amount of investment, with the creation of more than 6,000 clinics, over 3,000 dentist rooms, 507 diagnostic centres, 124 operating rooms and 28 high-technology medical centres.
This includes building Latin America's Children's Heart Hospital which has carried out 4,800 surgical interventions to children coming from Latin America and Africa since it opened in 2007 - children who otherwise may never have received treatment.
Alongside the amazing achievement of creating a national health service, the food and nutritional intake of Venezuelans has vastly improved, meaning the most important human right - the right to life - is more than just a right written on paper.
In recent years state-subsidised food networks and stores across the country have been developed and agricultural production has surged by 44 per cent.
This has dramatically improved the quantity and cost of food.
The combination of these production efforts, with the subsidised food measures and initiatives such as free school and nursery meals, have meant that the average yearly calorie intake has increased by nearly 1,000 kilocalories over the past 12 years.
The effects of this government support for people's right to food can be clearly seen.
Children have grown taller, as well as having longer life expectancy.
This remarkable difference is attributed to the huge increases in access to clean water, food and health care that have taken place, and are an example of how progressive political will and choices can make a real difference to people's lives.
These facts exemplify the broader results of Venezuela's agenda of defending the majority and not punishing the poorest.
And there are plenty of other examples.
Poverty fell during both years of recession, and the government has protected - and in some areas even expanded - social spending.
This has also seen inequality reduced, with the latest Gini index figures giving Venezuela an index of 0.39, down from 0.49 in 1998.
We can take inspiration from these Venezuelan advances as we fight against these cuts and privatisation to our public services.
However, as many Morning Star readers know, this progress has not gone unnoticed or unopposed by those tied to neoliberalism.
Now, as we approach key presidential elections in 2012, Venezuela's government is still under constant attack from the former ruling elite who previously ran the country into the ground, and their allies on the hard right in the US.
So it is crucial that we continue to spread the truth about the enormous social gains in Venezuela.
All who support free health care and social progress should attend our event on April 16 to find out more about how we can offer support.
Jennie Bremner was an observer to the recent National Assembly elections and is a speaker in the health session at Venezuela Solidarity Campaign's Defending the Majority, Not Punishing the Poorest Conference, supported by the Morning Star, the TUC and many others, on Saturday April 16 at Conway Hall in London. For more information visit www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk
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