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Thread: The Causes and Consequences of Venezuelan Election

  1. #1

    The Causes and Consequences of Venezuelan Election

    7 December 2015 - 12:44 AM
    The Causes and Consequences of Venezuelan Election Results 0+
    On Dec. 6 Venezuela held its 20th election in 17 years and one of its most difficult yet. With the opposition upping the ante in terms of media attacks and sabotage and two-and-a-half years of economic difficulties, and since the passing of revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez, not to mention a recent right-wing victory in Argentina, the left and right around the world turned anxious eyes to Venezuela.

    Ultimately, the Bolivarian revolution (the “Perfect Alliance” of the governing PSUV and other supportive parties and organizations) lost at the polls with the opposition winning at least 99 seats, with 19 still to be decided. Eighty-seven is necessary for a simple majority. But what does this electoral loss mean, politically, and given the current context in Venezuela, what will the consequences of it be, going forward?

    Key Factors Leading to These Election Results

    1) As usual, this year the disinformation by the opposition media has been intense. The opposition's main campaigning was through local and international media and social media, with very little street campaigning.

    2) Many of those who do generally vote for the opposition do so because they want to vote against the government (and everything demonic and evil the private media has made it represent: "Castro-communism," where even droughts are the national government's fault) or for ambiguous "change" after 16 years of Chavismo, without being particularly concerned or aware of what that change is. Many of these people are of course upper-class people who resent the empowerment of the poor, but their ranks have been swollen by those frustrated by the last two years of serious difficulties.

    3) Other key factors bringing people to the opposition include encouragement by the right-wing victory in Argentina, with a Trump-like figure due to swear-in as president on Dec. 10, and younger generations in Venezuela who now don't remember what it was like in Venezuela before Chavez was elected in 1998 (18-year-old voters would have been 3-years-old at the time).

    4) But, while the opposition has attracted some of the less politically aware social sectors to its anti-Chavismo discourse, the government has also lost some ground from conscientious and solid revolutionaries, partly due to its lack of a solid response to the "economic war." Although it’s easier said than done to combat a rentier state, capitalist system, historical corruption, and opposition and big business economic sabotage, Maduro has only announced things like national commissions to deal with the situation. While people spend up to seven hours a week lining up for food, and while many of them understand that the government isn't directly responsible for the situation, the lack of a serious response and significant measures hasn't helped support for the government.

    5) Further, while the government clearly sides with the poor, for multiple reasons, including more right-wing attacks, it has becoming increasingly distanced from the organizing grassroots. "The government would have more of a sense of urgency (in solving problems) if it was closer to the people in the street," Rachael Boothroyd Rojas, community activist and Venezuelanalysis journalist told teleSUR. That distance is relative to other times in the Bolivarian revolution, not to other governments around the world, who don't come close. However, with the way the government communicates with the people — the way it gets information out and involves people in serious decision making — there has been a step back. This aspect of the Bolivarian Revolution is perhaps the most important, so the significance of it and its impact on people shouldn't be underestimated.

    Key Likely Consequences

    The consequences are serious, but do not necessarily mark the end. Despite its financial resources and support from international powers and elites, the opposition has not been strategic or intelligent and won't be strategic with this new power. Under Chavez and the revolution they lost privileges and a lot of their initial measures will be about getting revenge: probably things like kicking out the Cuban doctors, making fun of the poor classes that have “lost,” continuing to not collect garbage, and enjoying the praise from the international media. They won't fix the economic problems, that's not their aim, and after all, they (the business elites and wealthy people with access to dollars) benefit from the crazy exchange rates and huge profits gained from hoarding.

    Further, with this, and the right-wing win in Argentina, the talk of the left loosing Latin America will strengthen, with the media as usual broadcasting how they wish things were rather than any sort of complex analysis. Nevertheless, two such losses will no doubt cause some regional demotivation among progressives and have a significant impact on Latin American integration bodies.

    For PSUV politicians, there will hopefully be some reflection, and the government will now be in the difficult position of having to compromise with the opposition — with Maduro and his ministers still in power, but unable to allocate extra income (beyond the budget for 2016, passed Dec. 1) or modify laws or approve bilateral and multilateral treaties. After the referendum loss in 2007, Chavez moderated his discourse and policies for a while, and Maduro may be forced to do so even more. It’s hard to know if in these circumstances Maduro will turn to the grassroots for more support, or will distrust them even more after loosing some of their support, and if he will see the outcome as a need for reflection, or purely the consequence of opposition sabotage.

    For grassroots Chavistas, the majority of whom who have never been involved in the revolution for the sake of financial resources, they will continue organizing, promoting their progressive projects, their community organizations, but under more difficult circumstances. For the first time, they may not feel like the proud, governing majority in the country. On the other hand, an opposition with power is more the reason for strengthening organization. Having lost the luxury of taking victories for granted, the grassroots will likely become even more serious. With an emboldened opposition, they and their projects may also face verbal and physical attacks.

    For the wavering voters, in the long term, having the opposition in power could be a bit of a reminder and reality check as they see that things get worse for the majority of people.

    That the opposition has won its second out of 20 elections under Chavismo proves that all the U.S, European, opposition, and private media hype about how undemocratic Venezuela's electoral system is false. Of course, their reaction will be to claim that it was their "international pressure" that kept things in check.

    Overall though, this loss, while it is a big step back for the progressive cause, it isn't the end of the line. The global struggle for a world that puts people and planet first, for a democratically controlled economy and so on, is a long term one with many ups and downs, defeats and victories.

    This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
    "". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  2. #2
    Defeat Maduro
    December 7th, 12:48

    Chavistas in Venezuela suffered a sensitive defeat in the parliamentary elections the opposition conceded first time in 15 years.

    In Venezuela, the opposition bloc of democratic unity (BDE) wins last Sunday, December 6, the elections to the National Assembly (parliament). This is indicated by the first results of the voting, released by the National Electoral Council (NIS), reports Reuters. According to preliminary data, BDE gets 99 seats in parliament, and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, led by President Nicolas Maduro, - 46 seats. In some areas of Venezuela voices still counted.
    Political opponents Chavistas (followers of the late President Hugo Chavez) for the first time in 15 years get a majority in the highest legislative body of the South American country, where they will meet 167 deputies, reports Tass.
    In his address to the nation Maduro has already conceded defeat ruling party.
    The voters' lists were made ​​around 19.4 million people, the turnout was 74.25 percent. During the voting process was monitored by both local and foreign observers, including from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Selak). Present and the Russian delegation of observers. Information on any major violations were reported.
    New parliament will begin its work in January 2016 for a period of five years.

    Http:// - zinc

    PS. In general, confirmed fears 2x YoY 628.html on the subject that if the presidential election is still a shadow of Chavez late play for Maduro, in the future rely on the name of the Big Hugo had not Maduro out. Radical reforms 9883.html ultimately failed, and the economic situation both in objective and subjective reasons, continued to deteriorate - an increase in crime and the lack of large-scale success in the fight against poverty predpopredelili Falling popularity Chavistas. Plus, do not forget about the system pressure from the United States to change the regime finally uncomfortable at his side. And if Chavez because of their organizational and leadership talents succeeded in spite of all to keep the situation under control remains popular among the people to pursue an active foreign policy, Maduro course is only a pale shadow of his great predecessor.

    It is worth noting that this is the second victory of the pro-American forces in South America recently. Recently, "pro-American opposition candidate" won the presidential elections in Argentina, and now dealt a blow to the Chavistas, who continue to lose their monopoly on power. The main problem Chavistas is that to give the opposition a majority in parliament could be in trouble with the loyalty of the army, which is fraught with repetition of coup attempts to overthrow the regime Chavistas, who also can get support from abroad and rely on legal opposition Venezuela. On the other hand, while maintaining control over the army and controlling government, Chavistas are long enough to support the regime of dual power, as is now the responsibility for economic policy lies on the opposition won a majority in parliament to carry out calculations in 1-2 years early elections, which will be to appeal to the fact that the opposition can not significantly affect the dismal economic performance.

    For the Russian Federation, this situation is unpleasant fact that in case of defeat Chavistas and the coming to power of openly pro-American forces that threaten to cover a copper basin numerous projects and contracts a time of great Hugo. Americans persist in attempts to "restore order" in their own backyard, trying to stop the effects of the "left turn" in Latin America the second half of zero. The main problem of the Latin American left is the absence of the user such as the informal leader of the Castro or Chavez, who not only openly stated the need to confront US imperialism, but also act as a voice of the socialist changes on the continent. The local leaders of the left have a good (such as Bolivian President Evo Morales), but there are indisputable continental level opinion leaders like Castro and Chavez at the moment unfortunately not.

    A fairly detailed analysis of the reasons for the defeat Maduro and potential problems for the Russian Federation in this regard.

    Google Translator
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  3. #3
    Maduro: Here nothing stopped and nothing will stop, everything depends on me go ahead

    Posted on December 7, 2015 by Dayana Nunes

    From Miraflores Palace, President of the Republic, Nicolas Maduro addressed the nation on Sunday after the results of the 2015 parliamentary elections issued by the National Electoral Council (CNE).

    "We came with our morals, our ethics to recognize and accept the adverse results and tell Venezuela has won the Constitution and democracy. I called our people to make history, it is the revolution itself facing adversity of losing a battle, "he said.

    In this regard he added, "I want to tell our people that is heroic we have achieved 42 percent in these elections after what has been done to have our people with economic warfare, and you brothers and sisters, our vote loyalty, commitment to each of you, in all Venezuela, you have written a full page of love and loyalty. "

    The Head of State also recognized the work of the political machinery of the revolution from every region and every space to create political awareness in relation to the macabre strategies right through the economic war, "so we need to continue, raising awareness because here has won the economic war, circustancialmente for now (...) nothing stopped here and nothing will stop, everything depends on me will continue, missions, major missions. "

    New stage of the Bolivarian Revolution

    "There must come a new phase of the Bolivarian Revolution, we must rethink many aspects of the policy of the Revolution, called to recognize these results alone (...). I feel comfortable with my conscience because we have done all that needs to be done to protect the people and have been loyal and be loyal to the legacy of Commander Chavez, "said the National Chief.

    The President also called on people not to lose heart and return the spirits, "us not daunted us any adversity, here is our moral and morale of millions."
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  4. #4
    Venezuela decided
    After a long day, the people elected deputies to the National Assembly in a climate of tranquility and with the participation of national and international observers

    Author: International Drafting |
    December 7, 2015 1:12:14
    During the day a lot of voters were reported before exercising the voting was observed.
    During the day a lot of voters were reported before exercising the voting was observed. Photo: Kaloian
    CARACAS-More than 19 million eligible voters 496,296 by the National Electoral Council (CNE) went to the polls on December 6 in Venezuela to exercise their right to choose 167 deputies to the National Assembly (AN) for the period five years from 5 January 2016.

    Parliamentary elections in Venezuela were made under one of the safest in the world electoral systems, especially in Latin America, said the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Ecuador and current president of the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America (CEELA), Nicanor Moscoso.

    Interviewed by Telesur, Moscoso supported the statements of US President Jimmy Carter, who qualify the electoral system in this country as one of the most transparent and secure world.
    Moscoso reiterated that during his stay in the country "has been able to confirm that ( Venezuela) elections are the best and safest in Latin America. "

    CEELA president added that in this vote, the institution accompanied the main polling stations, where they found tranquility and great turnout. So he referred to more than 20 audits carried out by the CNE, with the participation of delegates, technicians, representatives of universities and political parties, among others, ensuring the reliability of the electoral arbitration.

    Next to CEELA were also delegations from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and former presidents Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, and Martin Torrijos of Panama.

    In general, 3900 was attended by national observers and 130 international observers, invited by both the CNE and by all political parties.

    Meanwhile, Defense Minister of Venezuela, Vladimir Padrino López said the election day on Sunday went smoothly, no major incidents around the country.

    On the elections in the municipalities in the border states of Tachira, Zulia, Apure and Amazonas where the Executive decreed state of emergency since last August, he added that developed normally.

    Godfather said that popular sovereignty was expressed freely and without any disadvantages in border areas, reported the Venezuelan news agency AVN.

    On 19 August, the President of the Republic, Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of the border with Colombia in Tachira state. Later, the measure was extended to other municipalities in the same entity and Zulia, Apure and Amazonas state Atures municipality to ensure peace and security in those border towns.

    Since early with a call to vote and to recognize the results in peace, Maduro said: "As always said our commander, from all scenarios, the Bolivarian Revolution will respect the election results emanating from the popular will, either way, of strict and impeccable manner. "

    Days ago, the Venezuelan president called on all parties to sign an agreement recognizing the results, however, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), which includes the main opposition parties Venezuelans refused.

    Despite this, the Venezuelan Defense Minister noted that "isolated incidents, incidents of electoral and criminal nature were presented. There have been cases, eg where the voters break the ballot. That disturbs the audit process at the end. "

    Incidentally, according to the television station Venezolana de Television in several polling stations in Maracay, Cagua and Turmero in Aragua state, opposition leaflets circulated in summoning civil disobedience.

    In this context, the president of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena, said that was revoked the credentials of electoral support that the CNE gave the presidents of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga; of Colombia, Andrés Pastrana and Uruguay, Luis Alberto Lacalle, all invited by the MUD.

    The three participated in a press conference in which they rejected the Venezuelan electoral system and referred to an alleged "intimidation campaign" waged by the Government against the people.

    The national observer member of the Non Governmental Organization Social Project, Carleslia Ascanio, rejected the interference of the presidents invited by the MUD.

    "Here is a town that has sovereignty against foreign interference. You're standing here domestic observers and we have seen that there has been a transparent and honest process, "he stated in a broadcast by Venezolana de Television.

    During the elections, the CNE decided to extend until 7:00 pm the closing of the polls, due to the large presence of voters in queues to vote.

    The CNE rector of Venezuela, Socorro Hernandez, said the massive turnout at the parliamentary consultation.
    Likewise, the Honduran former Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas, one of the international observers to monitor the elections, stressed the commitment to peace and the sovereign and popular response with the people who came to the polls.

    Rhodes highlighted the climate of tranquility that passed the contest, which contrasts with the information described as deceitful and evil spread by international media corporations to try to spread the matrix view that the process would have a peaceful welcome.
    In the same vein , Chilean Senator Alejandro Navarro, told AVN, said that the high popular participation is a reflection of the profound democratic will of the Venezuelan people and their confidence in the CNE. Navarro was invited by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to witness the development of the election. VOICES FROM VENEZUELA

    The Executive Vice President of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, in exercising their right to vote, said the Venezuelan electoral system as well as being simple and safe for the voter, has been recognized worldwide as one of the best systems, "all the fixings They have international certificate. "

    Chancellor of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez reiterated that Venezuelans voted one of the most transparent and secure voting systems in the world. He also thanked the support of the electoral mission of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which has helped the country to see the truth, "breaking the schemes of the international campaign."

    Meanwhile, the head of government of the Capital District, Juan Carlos Dugarte said in his statement to Venezolana de Television: "We follow the direction of democracy, but above all, follow the path of peace that drew us to the commander (Hugo ) Chavez. "

    Recalling that this process is the number 20 in 17 years, Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly, said that "Venezuela is the country world champion in elections" and recalled that next year the elections of governors will be added.

    During its presence in the South American and country invited by the CNE, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that democracy is the people's participation in voting.

    Similarly, the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya stressed that Venezuela "is a country of change", where fighting between the reactionary right and the emerging world have left.
    Although the opposition did not sign any of the agreements set by the CNE and the Electoral Mission of UNASUR, the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, Chavez reiterated that other forces respect the people's decision, which invited the Venezuelans to have an election in peace.

    Google Translator
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  5. #5
    Fidel recognizes courageous speech Nicolas Maduro
    Posted on Friday, December 11, 2015 7:30 a.m. | Written by Cuban Radio

    The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro acknowledged as brilliant and courageous speech by the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, on 6 December, only the verdict of the parliamentary elections in this South American country are met.

    That assessment appears in a message sent to the Bolivarian leader, and today publishes the full text of the Portal of the Cuban Radio .

    President Fidel message Nicolas Maduro

    Dear Nicholas:

    I join the unanimous opinion of those who have congratulated you on your brilliant and courageous speech on the night of December 6, hardly the verdict of the polls met.

    In world history, the highest level of political glory he could achieve a revolutionary fighter corresponded to the illustrious Venezuelan and American Liberator Simon Bolivar, whose name no longer belongs only to that sister nation, but to all the peoples of Latin America .

    Another Venezuelan officer pure lineage, Hugo Chavez, understood, admired and fought for his ideas until the last minute of his life. Since childhood, while attending primary school in the country where the poor heirs of Bolivar also had to work to help support the family, he developed the spirit in which the Liberator of America was forged.

    The millions of children and young people now attend the largest and most modern chain of public schools in the world are those of Venezuela. The same is true of its network of health care facilities and health care of a brave people, but impoverished by centuries of looting by Spanish colonialism and later by the big transnationals extracted from her womb, for over a hundred years, the best of the immense flow of oil with which nature endowed this country.

    The history should also make it clear that workers exist and are what make it possible to enjoy the most nutritious food, medicine, education, security, housing and solidarity in the world. They can also, if they wish, ask the oligarchy: you know all that?

    Cuban revolutionaries "a few miles from the United States, who always dreamed of seizing Cuba to make it a hybrid casino brothel, as a way of life for the children of José Martí" will never give up full independence and full respect dignity. I'm sure just peace for all peoples of the Earth and the right to convert into common property natural resources of the planet, as well as science and technology created by man for the benefit of all its inhabitants, you can preserve Life on Earth. If humanity continues its journey along the paths of exploitation and plunder continues its resources by the multinationals and the imperialist banks, representatives of States met in Paris, will draw the appropriate conclusions.

    Security does not exist today and for anyone. There are nine states with nuclear weapons, one of them, the United States launched two bombs that killed hundreds of thousands of people in just three days, and caused physical and psychological damage to millions of defenseless people.

    The PRC and Russia know much better than the United States the world's problems, because they had to endure the terrible wars imposed on them the blind selfishness of fascism. I have no doubt that by its historical tradition and its own revolutionary experience will make every effort to avoid war and to contribute to the peaceful development of Venezuela, Latin America, Asia and Africa.


    Fidel Castro Ruz December 10, 2015

    Google Translator
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  6. #6
    Venezuelan Communist Party leaders analyze election disasterPrintEmail to a Friend
    by: Eric A. Gordon
    December 21 2015

    CARACAS, Venezuela - In the wake of the disastrous National Assembly election of December 6th in this South American nation of 30 million people, our delegation from the North American-based Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle met with leaders of the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) for an assessment of the results. Alberto Lovera was a Communist militant murdered by government forces 50 years ago in 1965, a revered name in Venezuelan working-class history, whose name has been adopted by a national movement of community groups.

    Speaking with us were Oswaldo Ramos, national secretary of the party's ideological commission, Pedro Eusse, national secretary for the Venezuelan National Workers' Front, and Carlos Lazo, philosophy professor, director of the Instituto Bolívar-Marx, and former United Nations diplomat.

    Our chat took place on Dec. 10 at Canta Claro ("sing out clear"), the name given to the utilitarian PCV headquarters in a scruffy, working-class neighborhood of Caracas, the national capital. The name derives from the slogan "Vota Gallo Rojo" (Vote the red rooster), the pictorial symbol of a red fighting cock that became the symbol of the PCV in the 1940s, a time when a certain percentage of the voting population was illiterate and responded to powerful, identifiable icons on the ballot. The loud, unmistakable voice of the rooster was meant to say to Venezuelan voters, "Time to wake up!"

    Despite their best attempts at maintaining a degree of anticipatory optimism, the PCV did quietly recognize the potential for an adverse result in this decisive election. Much has been said about the economic war against the population waged by the private sector in order to deflate popular support of the Bolivarian Revolution instituted by former President Hugo Chávez. But an honest, sober analysis not only of the election itself but of the entire Bolivarian process, reveals dangerous fault lines that also contributed to the electoral defeat.

    The government, led by Chávez' party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), now headed by his successor, President Nicolás Maduro, can be criticized for its strategic mistakes in office, unacceptable levels of corruption that still plague this and many other Latin American countries, and mismanagement. Opportunism, sectarianism, elitism and authoritarianism were familiar problems the left tried to point out. The bottom line is that a society where 70-90 percent of production and distribution of basic goods and services still remained in private hands could hardly be said to be on an open road to socialism.

    The Bolivarian Revolution is certainly one of the most notable 20th and 21st century attempts at national liberation - even extending to continental liberation in its aspirations - but it cannot be consolidated under monopoly capital control, especially in an economy where one product, oil, reigns supreme. As is well known, the price of oil, which previously was able to fund the broad social betterment projects of the Bolivarian government, has fallen drastically, to less than half of its former value. To a degree which still invites rigorous study and exposure, this price drop may well have been manipulated by the U.S. (now essentially energy self-sufficient because of fracking) and by U.S. support of the Saudi economy, which continues inefficiently to glut the world market with oil pumped out at these low global prices.

    The PSUV itself operated almost entirely as an electoral bloc comprising numerous political parties, including the PCV. As a coalition of Bolivarian forces, its politics ranged from communist and socialist on the left to ranchers, peasants, civil servants, military, reformists and petty bourgeois in the center and even center-right, which had little real motivation for moving toward socialism. Thus, in a climate of low oil prices and declining consumer satisfaction, a chasm grew between the government and the people which could not be bridged in the last months of the National Assembly campaign.

    Class conflict sharpens

    Inevitably, then, we now see, with the opposition supermajority soon to take office on January 5th, a heightening of class confrontation. The executive, for now held by President Maduro, reflects left-wing interests, and Maduro has promised major shakeups among his ministers and a focused campaign of rectification, criticism and self-criticism. The legislative branch reflects the right wing, broad concession to U.S. demands for austerity and the cessation of Bolivarian advances.

    Bolivarian advances have been real, and many of them may be long-lasting. Different models of production have evolved, as well as new forms of social organization such as communes in the large housing projects. Workers have gained a new role, and there are new numbers in the organized labor movement, with rights guaranteed by the new Bolivarian law. Popular participation in the construction of the new vision for society has surged: Statistics on eradication of extreme poverty, the literacy campaign, the many new sites of university education for unprivileged sectors, the tremendous leaps forward in health care, and the million-plus new apartments for the previously homeless or poorly housed, are all subjects of unprecedented national pride. The country has achieved a level of economic and political sovereignty never imagined until now, and has served as a model and organizing force for the underdeveloped world.

    Under these new circumstances, the PCV does not speak of hopelessness. To the contrary, they feel, once Venezuelans see for themselves that the change they voted for has not produced they results they expected, the cachet of Bolivarianism may well rise again. It is also true that the opposition, now the legislative majority, is itself divided factionally, and may not all agree either on their leadership nor on the measures to be taken.

    Questioning whether it's entirely wise to subordinate the trade union movement to the government, the party envisions a National Front of the Working Class to carry the Bolivarian spirit forward. The party has an organizational presence in 23 out of 24 states in the country, and enjoys a respectable reputation, being, in fact, Venezuela's oldest continually operating political party, founded in 1931. More than 114,000 voters in the Dec. 6th election cast their ballots for the PCV list, and the new National Assembly has two PCV members in the PSUV coalition.

    In addition, those principled revolutionaries who became disillusioned by the reformism of the PSUV, may be drawn to the PCV and its fighting cock tradition.

    Venezuela is a highly desirable fruit for imperialists to get their hands on - all that oil, and the prospect of destroying the Bolivarian Revolution. They are perfectly capable of bringing the country to civil war if their demands are not soon realized. The dramatic class confrontation could lead in any direction, and the PCV is preparing for all possibilities.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  7. #7
    Venezuela proposes to ensure that economic potentials serve the peoples

    Caracas, 22 Dic. AVN.- Venezuela proposed Monday to the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) to ensure that the economic and financial potential of the nations that make up the regional bloc are at the service of the people and not transnational companies.

    Speaking at the 49th Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur, held in Asuncion, Paraguay, Foreign Minister of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez called on countries included in the Common Market of the South to think about which economic model they want to build within the Southern region.

    She also raised the need to strengthen and complement economies with the use of currencies of each country as well as boosting regional bodies such as the Bank of the South.

    She also deemed it necessary to start coordinating macroeconomic policies and social programs of the region.

    "It's about empowering the people. The political power in the hands of the people, who directly exercise that power (...) The complementarity of our economic, commercial, financial potentials at the service of our people, not transnational companies. Two models are present here," she explained.

    She said the debacle of oil prices, among other aspects of the national and international economy, should not be used as an excuse for resorting to neoliberal models that have hurt people.

    "We know what the outcome of neoliberalism was in our region: poverty and more poverty. They submitted the people to precarious social and economic conditions," said Rodriguez, who reiterated that Venezuela will continue to ensure basic human rights, as it has indeed in the last 17 years.

    "Let's talk about human rights, real and true human rights of our people. We are ready to enter into talks. We are here with sincerity and frankness willing to do it," added the Foreign Minister.

    On behalf of President Nicolas Maduro, she expressed his solidarity and support to the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, who is accused of having committed alleged tax irregularities.

    "I convey President Nicolas Maduro's affection to you and all your colleagues here," she said at the Mercosur meeting.

    The 49th Summit of Heads of State of the Mercosur countries began Monday morning in Asuncion, Paraguay.

    The host president of the event, Horacio Cartes, welcomed his counterparts from Brazil, Dilma Rousseff; Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez; Argentina's Mauricio Macri; Bolivia's Evo Morales (acceding country) and Chile's Michelle Bachelet, as an associate country of the block. Venezuela is represented by foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez.

    Amid the turbulence in international markets, the collapse of oil prices and the downward trend of growth in the region this year, the economic issue focuses the agenda of the summit.

    The meetings on the eve of this summit started last December 17 with the participation of social organizations, who discussed advances and challenges of public policies related to economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

    Mercosur was created in March 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay joined to form a block of regional integration to foster a common economic space.

    In 2012, Venezuela became a full member with the proposal to build a social Mercosur, with a development approach comprising the inclusion of peoples.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  8. #8
    Nicolas Maduro Saves Mustache as He Delivers the Millionth Home

    The Housing Program completed its goal of giving 1 million homes to Venezuelans. | Photo: AVN

    Published 30 December 2015

    Venezuela's "Great Housing Mission" has created one million homes since the housing mission was launched by former President Hugo Chavez in 2011.
    In a major milestone for Venezuela’s social housing mission, President Nicolas Maduro delivered the program’s one millionth home to a Venezuelan family on Wednesday saving his mustache from being shaved off.

    Last month, Maduro said he would shave his iconic mustache if the government failed to meet its goal of one million homes before 2016.

    Maduro promised in his television broadcast on Tuesday that “rain or shine,” the government would meet its goal of providing one million homes by the end of the year.

    The “Great Housing Mission” aims to tackle housing shortages in the South American country by providing safe and dignified homes to low-income people at a low cost or free of charge, depending on the new owners’ means.

    The one million homes have been created since the housing mission was launched by former President Hugo Chavez in 2011.

    The housing mission, one of the Venezuelan government's most popular social initiatives, expanded an emergency shelter program implemented in 2010 to help those who lost their homes in devastating floods. The program has prioritized providing low-cost housing to poor families.

    In 2011, Chavez said that the mission would be used to address the “social debt” left behind by former governments that failed to provide quality housing to all Venezuelans.

    Maduro has promised to continue to expand the mission with the goal of providing affordable housing to 40 percent of Venezuelan by the end of the decade.

    Videos at link.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  9. #9
    Chavez may be gone. His revolution isn’t
    Saturday 5th
    posted by Morning Star in Features
    Venezuela’s ambassador to Britain Rocio del Valle Maneiro Gonzalez talks to Morning Star editor Ben Chacko about the legacy of Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013

    HUGO CHAVEZ, who died three years ago today, is surely one of the outstanding statesmen of the century so far.

    Not only did his Bolivarian revolution inspire the “pink tide” that swept the whole of Latin America, his influence and his message spread far beyond that continent.

    But what is his legacy today? Venezuela’s ambassador to Britain Rocio del Valle Maneiro Gonzalez says to understand that we need to grasp what Chavez’s rise to power in 1998 meant.

    “Before Chavez we were stuck with a two-party system, Democratic Action and the Social Christians [Copei], and the political class has failed Venezuela,” Maneiro says.

    “When Chavez came to power 60 to 70 per cent of the population was in poverty, and of that 15 per cent were in extreme poverty — those people who have nothing, who eat food fit for dogs.

    “That’s why Chavez’s message came across so strong: it was the first time people started to hear about social debt.”

    What’s that?

    “He said the people who had ruled our country were in debt to the Venezuelan people. They had money from all over the world, because we are an oil exporter, but there was such misery, so many were illiterate.

    “That is why the Venezuelan revolution has won 19 out of 20 elections. Because of a message of social justice, of equality — and because of the facts, the ways the country has changed in education, in health, in housing.”

    And is current President Nicolas Maduro continuing that mission? “Maduro’s first priority is the social missions. The number of houses, the number of students, it’s like this” — she makes a soaring gesture with her hand.

    “It’s hard to describe. But when I was ambassador to China I was visiting home to see one of my sons and the building he lived in had a concierge. He was about 70 years old and he said to me: ‘Ambassador, I learned to read!’”

    But literacy and housing drives cost money. And reinvesting Venezuela’s oil wealth in its people was Chavez’s solution.

    “To take the money from the oil and sow it in social plans, so that it would grow,” Maneiro explains. “And in one area, one of these missions, we required help from outside.

    “That was health. And Cuba, where they have an excellent health system, they came to help us. They sent thousands of doctors, and they created a mission called Inside the Neighbourhood where the Cuban doctors set up practices in the barrios.

    “I remember Operation Miracle. Three million people across Latin America had problems with their eyes — not just cataracts, all sorts — and they operated. A Cuban programme helped by Venezuelan finances.”

    Cuba was not Venezuela’s only ally. For nine years Maneiro was ambassador to China.

    “I had the privilege of being in China just at the moment when you could see the power shifting internationally,” she smiles. “I went in 2004 and stayed until 2013.

    “And the relationship with Venezuela was very special. It matched perfectly with Chavez’s international policy.”

    Most people over here, I note, see that policy as primarily about challenging the power of the United States.

    “I wouldn’t define it like that. Chavez was in the first place an integrationist, his policy was for regional integration of Latin America. Over 17 years you can see the fruits of that — we have Alba, Celac, Unasur, all vehicles for the continent’s integration.

    “Of course Chavez wanted independence from the United States, always. He was a Venezuelan leader, if a very special and charismatic one.

    “We have a historical memory. If you read about Simon Bolivar, look what regional unity meant to him. And that involved challenging the US. ‘The United States has been out here through God’s will to sow misery and pain in Latin America in the name of freedom.’ Bolivar said that in the 1820s!

    “Chavez took this as a basis. The first thing was regional integration, and then globally he thought: We do not need one superpower. We have to go for multilateralism.”

    So he welcomed China’s growing power?

    “Of course. To balance power globally. He wanted a strong Europe, a strong China, a strong Latin America. Given those, why not a strong United States?

    “A multitude of powers. When I was in China what was happening there fitted that vision perfectly.”

    So Chavez backed China’s rise. Was China equally supportive of his revolution?

    “Yes. Very supportive. They created a system of bilateral co-operation, with a high-level joint committee working out shared priorities.

    “When I arrived in China in 2004 our trade volume was $700 million. When I left in 2013 it was $23 billion. It was very dynamic.”

    The growing trade ended longstanding US monopolies on many manufactured goods available in the Venezuelan market. “Critics said: ‘You are exchanging one dependence for another.’ But Chavez replied: ‘If you want to be independent, you need to diversify your dependencies first!’”

    As ambassador, Maneiro worked closely with Chavez and came to know him well.

    “He was a workaholic,” she recalls. “He would phone me at one, two in the morning, and say: ‘Did I wake you?’ But then we would talk for hours.

    “Chavez was absolutely, completely Venezuelan. We are very musical and he was like that. He didn’t have a good ear. I was always telling him: ‘Don’t sing!’

    “But he loved to sing and he tried to do it well. He sang some songs from the plains, because he was from that region, but out of tune.”

    Chavez’s love of music found national expression in El Sistema, the system of youth orchestras that were the brainchild of Jose Antonio Abreu as an escape from poverty for young people. On coming to power, Chavez embraced the system and invested in it; now countries as far away as Germany are imitating the model. Indeed, Venezuela under Chavez experienced a cultural renaissance, from music to cinema.

    “I think this is one of the most beautiful contributions of Venezuela to the world,” she says.

    Was his private persona different from his public image?

    “Everybody’s is different. But he was almost the same person.

    “I suppose when he was very angry, he never raised his voice. If he didn’t like something it got lower and lower — you had to lean in.

    “When he saw a problem, immediately it was like a dissection. ‘OK, what is this problem? Let me see. This is this, that is that, this is that ... right, OK, the solution is this’.”

    Venezuela has a had a rocky ride since Chavez’s death, but is the enthusiasm for this revolution still there?

    “We are facing problems, and the whole world knows that.

    “We had an election and for the first time, we didn’t win. It’s a challenge but the enthusiasm is still there.

    “Our people, they have memories, they know. They know what their lives were like before and what they are like now.

    “The people Chavez gave hope to, and told them: ‘Listen, you are a person, this is your constitution, you can vote and you have rights.’

    “These people, they are the revolution. Chavez planted the seed and it is up to us, the revolutionary government, to make it grow. If we fail, history will ask: Why?”

    It’s a message that might apply to today’s Labour Party. But Ambassador Maneiro smilingly declines to be drawn on British politics. What’s clear is that while Chavez is sorely missed, the revolution he began is far from over.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  10. #10
    Venezuela to create 400 thousand new jobs in 2016

    Caracas, 05 Abr. AVN.- Venezuela's Vice President for Planning and Knowledge, Ricardo Menendez said Monday that public and private sectors are expected to generate 406,000 new jobs throughout 2016.

    In a press conference held at the seat of the planning ministry in Caracas, he said that of that amount, 241,000 jobs will come from the Venezuelan economy, while 164,290 will be "additional jobs that will emerge from the Bolivarian Economic Agenda."

    He stressed that over the next few years it is estimated to create a combined total of 1.9 million jobs to meet the goal of 2.3 million proposed in the Plan of the Nation.

    He said that in the first three years of development of this government program, approximately 540,000 jobs were created, which exceeds the figure estimated by the national executive.

    "The original goal was to reach about 400,000 jobs in the first three years and however, we have managed to reach 540,000 jobs," he added.

    Menendez noted that the unemployment rate closed in January this year at 8.1%, while in February it fell to 7.3%. He added that "the second lowest value of the series of the last 20 years" occurred during these two months.

    He recalled that the employment and unemployment rates are seasonal values and have to be compared, for example, "every February with February of the previous year."

    Thus, he noted that formal employment rated 60.2% in February, while the informal employment, which refers to companies whose payroll does not exceed five employees, approached 40%.

    "When we talk about informality it does not necessarily mean that (people) are exempt from social protection nor they are figures of the informal economy. Of that 40% that we call it 'informal', it is about 18% that properly belongs to economy peddlers-type or properly conceived as informal," Menendez said.

    The planning minister indicated that there are about 2.5 million public employees and an average of 5.5 million work in private companies in Venezuela.

    Since 1999, more than 4,5 million new jobs were generated in the country, as part of the employment protection policies promoted by the Bolivarian Government.

    "Since the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution we have managed to halve the values of unemployment that existed in our country," he said.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  11. #11
    Venezuela's Political Killings: A Sign of the Repression to Come?


    A mayor gunned down in a drive by shooting just meters from his own doorstep. A legislator shot by paramilitaries in plain sight outside a bodega. A solidarity activist butchered in a home invasion. Two police run over by militants in a stolen bus. These are just the latest in a wave of killings in Venezuela. The motives behind most of these killings remain unclear, though it's hard to not be disturbed by what appears to be a growing wave of political violence gripping the country. In response, Venezuela's right-wing, the mass media and even most human rights groups are all following a well worn script that seeks to downplay these killings, or at least deflect attention away from the context behind the violence. For example, Human Rights Watch's latest report on Venezuela is basically just a call for Venezuela's supreme court to be stacked with supporters of the right-wing political coalition, the MUD. Another of their recent reports focused on claims imprisoned that right-wing political figure Leopoldo Lopez didn't receive a fair trial. Their third most recent report (at the time of writing) was another complaint about the Maduro administration's human rights record, including false claims that “security forces violently cracked down on largely peaceful protests” in 2014. As I saw myself at the time, those suppressed “largely peaceful protests” included gangs of armed right-wing militants throwing Molotovs at hospitals, sniping at civilians from rooftops and setting up barricades to hold neighbourhoods hostage. Then and now, Venezuela is increasingly becoming a dangerous place for leftists.

    Indeed, all the recent victims were either leftists, or police seeking to contain violent right-wing demonstrations. The latest victim was Marco Tulio Carrillo, the socialist mayor of a municipality in Trujillo state. Other victims include Haitian-Venezuelan solidarity activist Fritz Saint Louis, Tupamaro legislator Cesar Vera, and two police officers in Tachira state.

    These killings take on a new dimension when contextualised: the right-wing MUD is preparing to oust Maduro, and wrestle control of all branches of the state from the left.

    If they achieve this, the worst case scenario would be a return to the repression of the 20th Century, when leftists were all too often the targets of neoliberal regimes. Today's right-wing has repeatedly shown it not only has no interest in disavowing violence, but is willing to turn on the Venezuelan people for their own political gain. From the 2002 coup to the violence of 2014, there has always been a sector of the right-wing that has never been afraid to use terror against ordinary Venezuelans. If it takes complete power, perhaps the MUD will learn to speak out against violence such as the recent killings, or perhaps not. After all, much of the MUD is generally slow to condemn violence against leftists, if they do so at all. So if they take complete power, will the right reign in their excesses, or rule with terror?
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  12. #12
    APRIL 19TH - Global Day of Action in SOLIDARITY WITH VENEZUELA
    Saturday, April 9, 2016

    The democratic and left organizations, social movements and personalities, in the world, express our strong support and firm solidarity for the VENEZUELAN PEOPLE, the Government of the Constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros, the Communist Party of Venezuela, and the Committee of International Solidarity (COSI), member organization of the Executive Committee of the World Peace Council (WPC), victims of a new abominable and interventionist escalation by US imperialism which is the prelude to a declaration of war.

    The "Executive Order", renewed on March 3rd 2016 by President Barack Hussein Obama of the US, extends and expands the possible actions of the biggest aggressor State against sovereignty and self-determination of people and the political and social process in Venezuela, in which a "national emergency" against an alleged "unusual and extraordinary threat to national security and foreign policy of the US" is declared.

    This action represents an act of provocation and interference that violates international law, Human Rights and the peace of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the entire Latin American and Caribbean region.

    We denounce that such actions are aimed at destabilizing popular developments, especially in Venezuela, and the process of changes affecting the entire Latin America and the Caribbean region, in a attempt to reconstruct the imperialist hegemony and geostrategic control of the US.

    In a new international escalation of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie, dependent on the interests of imperialism and in concert with its allies of the international extreme right, three days after the action of Obama, one spanish and 26 latin american former presidents requested the application of a perverse mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS), to punish our nation where there wasn’t a breaking of the constitutional order.

    While our people yearn to build a sovereign and independent way of development, social justice and peace, the imperialism promotes coups, bloody military occupations and violates Human Rights.

    In 2015, together with the peoples of the region, Venezuela appointed Latin America and the Caribbean a Zone of Peace, rejecting the use of nuclear weapons and demanding the withdrawal of US military bases.

    Currently, 74 US military bases are surrounding Latin America and the Caribbean, and its weapons of mass destruction aimed at the processes of sovereignty and self determination of our peoples.

    Thirteen of these bases encircle Venezuela. Billions of dollars from drug and US capital are diverted to found organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which promote
    and organize the neofascist groups destabilizing the democratic and popular governments, like the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

    Even the Libertador Simon Bolivar warned, on 5 August, 1829, when he stated in a letter to the Minister Charge d'Affaires of Her Britannic Majesty in the United States, Patrick Campbell: "The United States seems destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of Freedom".

    While the Obama administration and its NATO allies favor deregulation of employment, layoffs and worsening of fundamental rights, bringing their citizens closer to the edge of misery and death, Venezuela, in response to the crisis of the world capitalist system, has achieved the claim of political, social and economic rights of workers, the working class and popular majorities historically excluded.

    Based on these recitals, the democratic and left organizations, social movements and personalities agree:

    - Express our full and active solidarity with the Venezuelan People, the Government of the Constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros, the Communist Party of Venezuela, and the Committee of Solidarity International (COSI), member organization of the Executive Committee of the World Peace Council (WPC), victims of a new and more dangerous aggression by the government of the United States.
    - Demanding the repeal of the new, infamous and interventionist decree signed by President Barack Hussein Obama against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
    - To join, as we did last year, the call and declare April 19th as "GLOBAL DAT OF ACTION IN SOLIDARITY WITH VENEZUELA".
    - Convene all social movements and organizations that bring together and represent the working class and working people, to demonstrate on the 1st of May their militant solidarity with Venezuela.
    - Promoting in all parliaments in the world motions and actions aimed at a forceful rejection of interventionist actions against Venezuela and its legitimate right to self-determination and sovereignty.
    - To denounce and reject the concerted terrorist action by a group of one spanish and 26 latin American former extreme right presidents, who demanded of the Organization of American States (OAS) the application of the impermissible Inter-American Charter against the will of the people of Venezuela.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  13. #13
    "We're Going To Do It, Fuck It" Maduro literally says about seizing factories and radicalizing the Revolution.

    Hot damn! Perhaps too little too late but sometimes upping the ante is the only viable option.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  14. #14
    Hot damn! Perhaps too little too late but sometimes upping the ante is the only viable option.
    Some times it's good to hear the words of a real working class leader. It is about damned time. "Fuck it! Let's do it!" I heard one uppity dipshit commentator say something like "Maduro is over his head, he's only a bus driver." I like listening to bus drivers some times...
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  15. #15
    190,000 Dead Venezuelans 'Support' Recall Referendum on Maduro
    Send to friend Printer-friendly version

    The head of the commission supervising the process leading up to a potential referendum to recall Venezulean President Nicolas Maduro, initiated by the right-wing opposition, said Monday that nearly 190,000 of the signatures submitted belong to the deceased.

    “They said they delivered 1.85 million of signatures. However, almost 190,000 of them were deceased people," said Jorge Rodriguez, who was appointed by Maduro and also heads the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

    Rodriguez alleged the Venezuelan opposition submitted fake signatures in pursuit of “a coup d'etat against President Nicolas Maduro.”

    Constitutional jurist Maria Alejandra Diaz said in an interview with teleSUR that it will now be “very difficult” if not “impossible” for the opposition to hold a recall referendum this year.

    The process leading up to a referendum will take at least 170 days, in her estimation, which means the third week of January 2017 is the earliest one could be held.

    Any registered voter, including the head of state, can file a complaint over irregularities uncovered during this process, she added, meaning a referendum could be pushed back even further.

    PUBLISHED ON MAY 17TH 2016 AT 1.21PM

    The Chicago Boys strike again?
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  16. #16

    Seven Arrested for Attacking Police in Violent Opposition Protests

    Caracas, May 19, 2016 ( – Seven individuals were arrested for allegedly attacking Venezuelan police during a violent opposition march in Caracas on Wednesday that left five officers injured.

    The march was part of nationwide mobilizations convoked by the right-wing opposition coalition, the MUD, protesting alleged stalling by the National Electoral Council (CNE). The CNE is in the process of validating the 1.85 million signatures collected by the coalition for a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro.

    The MUD called for supporters to march to the CNE headquarters in the heavily pro-government city center despite being refused a permit by the El Libertador municipality over concerns of violence.

    Unarmed police beaten by demonstrators

    Bolivarian National Police (PNB) personnel were dispatched to prevent demonstrators from marching along the principal Avenida Libertador where they were attacked by a group of men wielding sticks and rocks.

    “A group of people came to attack us. One of the citizens became violent and hit me. The shield protected me the first time, but the second time I fell,” recounts 22 year-old PNB officer Dubraska Alvarez, who suffered post-trauma capsulitis in her right elbow and multiple traumatisms.

    In a video that has circulated widely on social media, another officer can be seen falling to the ground after receiving a blow from a stick-wielding demonstrator and subsequently being beaten while prostrate by five men with sticks.

    Another police functionary, Genessis Llovera Mambie, suffered the dislocation of her right shoulder while officer Erick Escalante came away with post-trauma bursitis in his left shoulder and a knee lesion.

    Despite international media reports of police repression against protesters, PNB personnel were prohibited from carrying armaments and were only permitted to use tear gas if authorized by superiors.

    “Our only order was to prevent people from entering Avenida Libertador, and we didn’t even have any sort of arms…it was inevitable [that people entered] because we only had shields to protect ourselves physically,” added Alvarez, who declined to show her face to the camera for fear of reprisals.

    Seven men suspected of perpetrating the attacks were arrested in the heart of the wealthy eastern Caracas municipality of Chacao on Wednesday afternoon and were subsequently transported to the July 26th Penitentiary in Guarico state where they will await charges.

    According to authorities, one of the suspects, Jheremy Bastardo Lugo, is a repeat offender who was reportedly arrested during the 2014 anti-government protests that saw opposition supporters erect violent barricades across the country, leading to the death of 43 people, the majority of whom were state security personnel and passerby.

    Student residences vandalized

    In addition to the violent incident on Avenida Libertador, protesters are reported to have vandalized a government-constructed student residence in Plaza Venezuela, breaking windows and allegedly attempting to set the building on fire.

    “With sticks, stones, and gasoline, they were going to burn down the residence and the guards. I was attacked by hooded men armed with stones and bottles,” said student resident Angel Rodriguez.

    “For having a different political ideology, they broke the windows, my comrades were attacked,” another student told teleSUR.

    El Libertador Mayor Jorge Rodriguez denounced the day’s violent episodes and vowed to press charges against those responsible.

    “This is the reason why we didn’t give them a permit to march to the city center,” he stated, pointing to the broken windows of the student residence.

    Capriles blames “infiltrators”

    Former opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles publicly blamed the violence on “infiltrators”, calling the incidents a “set up” by the government.

    “We know the plan, but we are not going to stop protesting. We are not afraid, we will [protest] in the face of the infiltrators, because it is our duty to fulfill the Constitution,” he stated.

    However, Wednesday’s protest was not the only instance in which the Miranda state governor has condoned violent demonstrations.

    Last week, the former presidential candidate was also involved in his own confrontation with police, as he and his supporters attempted to physically break a police line in Miranda state.

    Following his narrow defeat in the 2013 elections, Capriles also refused to honor the internationally-recognized result, urging his supporters “vent their rage” in street protests that left seven people dead and saw numerous government health clinics and food markets burned.

    In the lead up to Wednesday's protests, Capriles issued a public statement to members of the Venezuelan armed forces, urging them to reject a state of exception expanded by President Maduro on Friday and oppose alleged attempts by the government to block the recall process.

    “Prepare the tanks and war planes…the hour of truth is coming to decide whether you are with the constitution or with Maduro,” he declared on Tuesday.

    Earlier this week, a special commission responsible for supervising the referendum process announced that 190,000 signatures collected by the opposition as part of the initial recall request belonged to deceased individuals.

    The statement has been sharply denounced by opposition leaders who accuse the CNE of intentionally dragging out the process in order to prevent the recall referendum from being held this year.

    Unless the referendum is held in 2016, a successful recall vote will not trigger new presidential elections, with the sitting vice-president instead taking over as president for the remainder of the term.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  17. #17
    Venezuela – A Last Warning


    The assault against the Bolivarian revolution has intensified in the recent days and weeks. Editorials and front pages in US and Spanish newspapers are screaming about hunger in Venezuela and demanding the removal of the “dictatorial regime”. Ongoing scarcity problems have led to instances of looting. The right-wing opposition is attempting to trigger a presidential recall referendum, but is also threatening violent action and appealing to foreign powers, including in some case for military intervention. What is really happening in Venezuela and how can these threats be faced?

    On Friday May 13th, Venezuelan president Maduro extended the “Economic Emergency Decree” which had given him special powers in January, and further decreed a 60-day State of Emergency which includes sweeping powers to deal with foreign military threats and to deal with problems of food production and distribution.

    As was to be expected, the world’s capitalist media joined in a chorus of denunciation, screaming about a “dictatorship”, while one of the main right-wing opposition leaders, Capriles Radonski made a public appeal to disobey the decree. The threats, however, are very real. It is worth giving a few examples. A month ago,an editorial in the Washington Post openly called for “political intervention” by Venezuela’s neighbours. At the weekend, former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, at a “Concordia Summit” in Miami, made an open call for the Venezuelan Armed Forces to carry out a coup or, failing that, for foreign military intervention against “the tyranny”.

    The Venezuelan right-wing opposition has made repeated appeals for the Organisation of American States to use its “Democratic Charter” to intervene against president Maduro. They feel emboldened by the successful removal of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and want to go down the same road as soon as possible, by any means necessary, legal or illegal. Influential Venezuelan right-wing journalist and blogger Francisco Toro (editor of the Caracas Chronicles) has just written an article openly discussing the pros and cons of a coup, which he says would be within the constitution and “The Opposite of a Crime”.

    Today, the Venezuelan government reported violation of the country’s airspace by US military aircraft.

    In an attempt to capitalise on the severe economic problems the country is facing, the reactionary opposition has been busy trying to create a situation of chaos and violence which would justify a coup or foreign intervention to expedite the removal of president Nicolás Maduro. There have been incidents of violence in Zulia and Tachira. There are constant, mostly false, rumours of looting and rioting.

    A very serious crisis

    I have been involved in the defence of the Bolivarian revolution for more than 13 years now, visited the country often and written about it on a regular basis. None of what I have just described is really new. Since the very beginning, when Chavez was elected in 1998, and particularly since the enabling laws in December 2001, the Venezuelan oligarchy and imperialism have been engaged in a constant campaign of harassment, violence, destabilisation, coups, lies and slanders, diplomatic pressure, economic sabotage, you name it, they have done it.

    This time, however, something is different. On all the previous occasions, the revolutionary will of the Bolivarian masses of workers, peasants and the poor, has defeated the counter-revolutionary attempts to put an end to the revolution. This was the case even against the coup in April 2002 and then the lockout and sabotage of the oil industry in December of the same year, before the revolution was able to grant any real improvements in living standards. Those came mainly after the government was able to get full control of the state-owned oil company in 2003.

    For ten years, the revolution was able to grant widespread reforms and massively improve the living standards of the masses. This was accompanied by a process of political radicalisation in which the late president Chávez and the revolutionary masses pushed each other forward. Socialism was declared as the aim of the Bolivarian revolution, there were wide ranging experiences of workers’ control, factories were occupied and expropriated, companies were re-nationalised. Millions became active at all levels in an attempt to take their future into their own hands. The motor force of the revolution and its main source of strength which allowed it to thwart all the attempts of the oligarchy and imperialism were the revolutionary masses, active, politically aware and engaged at all levels.

    Of course, this period was helped by high oil prices (which reached a peak of over $140 a barrel in 2008). The government could use a massive amount of money from oil revenues to fund social programs which benefited millions (in education, healthcare, food, housing, pensions, etc). The question of taking over the means of production was not immediately posed.

    Capitalism cannot be regulated

    Measures were taken which limited the normal functioning of the free market capitalist economy in order to defend the revolution against the sabotage of the ruling class. These included foreign exchange controls (to prevent the flight of capital) and price controls on basic food products (to defend the purchasing power of the poor).

    Soon, the capitalists found a way around this. Foreign exchange controls became a swindle and resulted in a massive transfer of hard currency from oil revenues directly into the pockets of unscrupulous capitalists. How did that happen? The government instituted a subsidised foreign exchange rate which was to be used to import basic products (food and medical supplies) as well as parts for industry.

    Instead, private capitalists applied for preferential dollars which they then syphoned into the black market (which developed as an inevitable side effect of currency controls) or to offshore bank accounts. Thus we witnessed the incredible situation where imports in volume decreased, while imports in value (in dollars) massively increased. Marxist economist Manuel Sutherland has worked out the figures for imports of pharmaceutical products:

    The red column represents pharmaceutical imports in millions of Kg, the blue column represents their value in millions of US$. Source:

    In 2003, Venezuela was importing pharmaceutical products at 1.96 US$ per Kg. By 2014 the price had reached 86.80 US$ per Kg. Imports had collapsed by 87% in volume, but increased nearly 6-fold in price! Similar figures can be produced for almost every sector of the economy in which private capitalists were receiving subsidised dollars to import goods.

    A similar situation developed with price controls. The private sector, which still has almost monopoly control of food processing and distribution of many basic items, refused to produce anything covered by price controls. Thus, in order to bypass regulated prices for rice, for instance, they started producing flavoured or coloured varieties, which were not regulated.

    This blocking of production on the part of the private capitalists forced the whole weight of producing and distributing basic food products onto the state. The state imported food from the world market, paid at world market prices with oil dollars, then sold it at heavily subsidised prices in state-run supermarket chains (PDVAL, MERCAL, Bicentenario).

    For a period, while oil prices were high, this situation worked, more or less. Once oil prices went into freefall and the economy entered into a deep recession, the whole edifice came down like a house of cards. In 2014 Venezuelan oil was still 88 US$ a barrel. In 2015 it halved to $44. In January 2016 it had reached its lowest level for over 10 years, at $24.

    Venezuelan money supply. Credit:

    In order to continue to pay for the social programs (including subsidised food products), the state started to print massive amounts of money which was not backed up by anything. Between 1999 and 2015, the M2 measure of money supply increased by over 15,000%!

    Inevitably, the combination of massive flight of capital, the associated development of a huge dollar black market, the massive expansion of the money supply at a time of economic recession (2014 -3.9; 2015 -5.7%) inevitably caused hyperinflation. In 2014 the annual inflation rate reached a record 68%, but in 2015 it was even higher at 180% according to the Venezuelan Central Bank. It has to be pointed out that inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages was even higher than the average.

    The black market exchange rate for the dollar jumped from 187 Bolivars per $ in January 2015 to over 1,000 Bolivars per dollar now (having reached a peak of 1,200 in February this year). This is the exchange rate at which most prices of products are now calculated.

    Another effect of this massive economic dislocation is the rapid depletion of foreign reserves:

    Foreign exchange reserves. Credit:

    From US$24bn at the beginning of 2015, they have collapsed down to US$12.7bn now, according to the official figures of the Venezuelan Central Bank.

    This dire situation has led to a sharp decrease in government imports of food and other basic products. Overall imports went down by 18.7% in 2015. This has created permanent scarcity of basic products in the state-owned supermarket chains selling them at regulated prices. In turn this has created a huge black market for these products. The root cause of the black market is scarcity, which is then aggravated by the existence of the black market itself. The massive difference created between the regulated prices (ever more scarce) and the black market, then acts as a huge magnet for products towards the latter. This is a comparison of the prices of some basic products as sold by bachaqueros (black marketeers) in the working class and poor neighborhood of Petare in Caracas in March:

    Credit: teleSUR

    The government has decreed increases in the minimum wage, several times, over the last two years, from around 10,000 Bs in November 2015 to 15,000 now (to which we have to add 18,000 Bs of the cesta ticket (food supplement). Still, if you have to purchase most of your weekly basket of products in the black market, this is not enough. Since state imports of food have sharply gone down, scarcity of regulated products has increased and people are forced to get a bigger share of their shopping basket on the free and black market.

    Scarcity has led to massive corruption at all levels, diverting products from the official state-run supply chain onto the black market. From the family that queues for hours and then re-sells some of what they’ve bought, to the state supermarket manager who diverts whole lorries full of products (in connivance with the national guard officers guarding the establishment), to criminal gangs who hire people to queue for hours and buy whatever subsidised products are available (threatening and paying off supermarket workers, national guards, supermarket managers, etc), to the nationwide director of the Bicentenario state supermarket chain who diverts ship-loads of products.

    To this we have to add a thousand and one different ways in which the private sector breaks the price regulation regime. Maize flour is permanently scarce, butareperas are always well stocked. Chickens are almost impossible to purchase at regulated prices, but roast chicken joints never lack them. Wheat flour can’t be bought at the official price, and bakeries use lack of flour as an argument not to produce the normal loaf of bread (the price of which is regulated), but then they are mysteriously able to produce any other variety of bread, cakes and biscuits, which we have to assume are made with flour. What’s behind this mystery? The fact that private wholesale producers do supply these establishments, but of course not at regulated prices.

    Any attempt to clamp down on this situation by using repressive measures against black marketeers, though necessary, is bound to fail. The root cause is not thebachaqueros big or small, but the actual inability of the government to fund the supply of the necessary amount of products to cover the whole demand combined with the unwillingness of the private sector to produce and sell products at the regulated prices fixed by the government.

    One of the main reasons for this unsustainable economic dislocation is therefore, the “natural” rebellion of the capitalist producers against any attempt to regulate the normal workings of the “free market”. This is the real meaning of the “economic war” that the Bolivarian government has denounced for many years. Yes, there is, undoubtedly, an element of deliberate economic sabotage aimed at hitting the working masses in order to undermine their support for the revolution. But at the same time it is easy to understand that from the point of view of the capitalists, if they can get a profit margin of 100%, 1000% or even higher in the black market, they will not sell, nor produce regulated products on which they can make only a very modest gain or sometimes a loss.

    What has failed in Venezuela is not “socialism” as the capitalist media likes to highlight in their propaganda campaign. It is precisely the opposite. What has clearly failed is the attempt to introduce regulations in order to make capitalism work, even if only partially, in the interest of working people. The conclusion is clear: capitalism cannot be regulated. The attempt has led to economic dislocation on a massive scale.

    The government’s response: appeals to the private sector

    The majority of Venezuelans are aware, to one degree or another, of the despicable role played by private companies, like Grupo Polar, in creating this situation of hoarding, racketeering, black market, speculation, etc. In my last visit to Venezuela I witnessed the following argument at a supermarket queue: “- Mujer A: “aquí tienen su patria bonita” - Mujer B: “a ver si creen que es el gobierno que produce la Harina PAN”” [Woman A, scornfully: “here’s your beautiful fatherland” (meaning: this is what chavismo has given you, queues) Woman B, sharply: “do you think it is the government that produces Harina PAN” (in fact it is Grupo Polar which has a monopoly control over the production of maize flour).] The problem is not that people do not realise that the private sector is sabotaging the economy. The problem is that they cannot see the government as being able or willing to take the necessary measures to solve this situation.

    To the problems of food scarcity and crime we have to add the severe drought affecting Venezuela as a by-product of El Niño which has meant problems in energy generation at the El Guiri hydroelectric dam. This has led to regular power outages in recent months. In April, the government decreed a 2-day working week in public institutions as a measure to reduce electricity consumption.

    Even on this question we have to factor in a deliberate campaign of sabotage of the country’s power grid. There have been, for a number of years now, regular bomb attacks against power generating plants, power stations and substations in different parts of the country. They usually coincide with election campaigns and moments of heightened political tension and they have the aim of provoking power outages in order to spread a feeling of collapse, chaos, instability…

    What has been the government’s response to these extreme problems? Since at least 2014 there was an open recognition of the failure of the previous model of regulation of capitalism and the use of oil revenues to fund social programs. You could say that the turning point was the exit of the former finance minister Giordani from the government in July 2014. Since then, the dominant line in the economic policy of the government has been one of making even more concessions to the capitalists in the hope of winning back their trust so that they can collaborate with the government in order to turn the situation around. This has been expressed in a whole series of concrete measures which have been taken: the partial liberalisation of foreign exchange, partial lifting of the subsidy on the price of fuel, the establishment of Special Economic Zones in order to attract foreign direct investment, as well as the repatriation of capital held abroad by Venezuelan capitalists, the opening up of the Arco Minero (111,000 Sq Km of land) for mining exploitation, etc.

    None of this has worked. The government holds regular talks with businessmen where concessions to their interests are agreed and appeals are made for them to invest. At the following round of talks, businesses demand even more concessions, but the economy remains in a state of deep crisis.

    To be fair, the government’s concessions to the private sector are from time to time accompanied by threats of expropriation. These threats are never followed by actions. Thus on Friday, May 13, when president Maduro extended the Economic Emergency and decreed emergency powers for 60 days, he specifically warned that “any factory that a capitalist paralyses, we will take it over and hand it to the communal power”. Less than 48 hours later, in an interview with Reuters, the vice-president in charge of the whole economic area of the government, Perez Abad, reassured international capital by “ruling out the take over of plants which are paralysed for lack of raw materials”. In the same interview he stressed Venezuela’s intention to continue to pay its foreign debt obligations, religiously, in full and on time. He added that this would mean a further reduction in imports for 2016.

    In fact, although Maduro’s warning was highlighted by the international media, in Venezuela people did not take much notice. He has made the same threat of expropriation, specifically aimed at Grupo Polar, on so many times, that it is like the man who cried wolf. Whenever workers in the recent period have taken over factories which had been paralyzed by the bosses, they have been met with either an endless string of bureaucratic obstacles or direct repression on the part of the Bolivarian police. In most of the cases, even though laws introduced by Chavez are on the side of the workers and allow for expropriations and workers’ control, in reality the majority of labour inspectors are in the pockets of the bosses. Instead of expediting expropriation, they keep giving the owners extensions in order to pay wages and restart production, which results in the demoralisation of the workers in struggle.

    Perez Abad is a chief representative of this policy of concessions to the capitalist class. He himself is a businessman and former president of one of the country’s employers’ federations. He became minister in charge of economic affairs of the government in February when he replaced Luis Salas, who was seen by the capitalists as a “radical”. Just before Maduro decreed an extension of economic emergency powers, Perez Abad had already announced a further increase in the prices of regulated products, after discussions with the capitalist affected.

    More recently, in an attempt to deal with the question of scarcity, the government attempted to promote the formation of Local Provisioning and Production Committees. The idea is that the organised communities themselves will deal directly with the distribution of subsidised food products to the families. This is a step in the right direction, which could strengthen the role of rank and file organisations. However, the measure has only had a partial impact, so far. Also, it only deals with the question of final distribution, but not with the more important question of production and processing, which is where the crux of the problem lies.

    Impact on consciousness

    I said before that something is different this time. What has changed from previous attempts of the counter-revolution to defeat the Bolivarian movement? The constant stress and strain of having to queue for hours to get basic products, the uncertainty created by scarcity and hyperinflation, the fact that this situation has been going on for over a year now and instead of getting better is getting worse, the realisation that while the masses are suffering there are those who call themselves “Bolivarian” in positions of power who are benefitting massively from corruption, the weariness brought on by having to battle against the bureaucracy within your own movement, etc., all of this has had an impact on the consciousness of an important layer of the masses who previously supported the revolution. This is the key reason for the defeat in the December 6 National Assembly elections which were won by the right-wing opposition for the first time in 18 years. At that time, the Bolivarian revolution lost about 2 million votes, allowing the opposition to win an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly.

    That defeat created a situation of institutional deadlock. The right-wing dominated National Assembly has attempted to pass some reactionary laws (a scandalous Amnesty Law, the privatisation of housing), but these have been blocked either by the president or by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, initiatives taken by the President are ruled out of order by the Assembly.

    Currently, the opposition is attempting to trigger a presidential recall referendum (a democratic guarantee introduced by the Bolivarian revolution under Hugo Chávez). They need to get a certain number of signatures to trigger the process, and then, in an Electoral Council-supervised process, get 20% of the electoral census to sign for it (3.9 million). Then a referendum would be called in which the opposition would have to get more votes than Maduro received when he was elected in order to force his removal. If he is removed within this year, 2016, then the right-wing president of the National Assembly takes over until new presidential elections are held. But Maduro will attempt by all means to delay any recall referendum until 2017, because if he is removed at that time, the vice-president takes over for the remainder of his term (until 2019). This also shows how the leadership of the Bolivarian movement seems to view the struggle from a purely legal-institutional point of view.

    The oligarchy also feel emboldened by the electoral defeats in Argentina, Bolivia and the removal of Dilma in Brazil. Their side “is winning” and now they want to “overthrow the regime” in Venezuela. They cannot wait to go through the whole process of a recall referendum, and even less until the end of Maduro’s term.

    The situation has reached its limits from the point of view of the patience of the masses. A week ago a comrade from Catia, a revolutionary stronghold in Caracas, described the situation thus: “Up until a few weeks ago you had to queue for 4, 6, 8 hours, but you could do your shopping for two or three weeks. Now there’s nothing. On Monday, me and my mum queued and could only get rice and pasta. The rest you have to get it in the black market at bachaquero prices. Wages are not enough to get by. The national guard is now outside the local supermarket with assault rifles manning the queues and they pushed it back a few hundred meters to dissuade people from looting.” There have already been small scale incidents of looting in Aragua and Guarenas.

    In these conditions, there is the danger that any appeals made to the masses to mobilise against the threat of counter-revolution could fall on deaf ears. The masses have shown over and over again their willingness to struggle and push the revolution forward. But they are not at all convinced that their leaders know where to go, nor how to get there.

    A military coup?

    The combination of an institutional stalemate, a deep economic crisis, and a situation of violence in the streets which the opposition wishes to create, could also push a section of the army to intervene “in order to restore law and order”. Over the last few weeks there have been constant rumours of a coup in the making. On Tuesday, May 17, reactionary opposition leader Capriles, called on the army to rebel against the president “in order to uphold the constitution”. Capriles, of course, is no stranger to coups, having played a role in the short-lived reactionary coup of April 2002. The top command of the army has repeatedly stated publicly its loyalty to Bolivarianism. But everything has its limits.

    This is a very dangerous juncture for the Bolivarian revolution. A military intervention, whatever form it would take, would be the prelude for a “transition” towards the oligarchy retaking control of state power. A section of the Bolivarian leaders, some of the corrupt, bureaucratic and reformist elements at the top, are already preparing to jump ship and would be quite ready to participate in some sort of transitional government of “national unity”, as long as they are guaranteed some sort of immunity.

    At the same time as a layer of the masses is tired and worn out, there is also a layer of the advanced activists who are very angry and have been radicalised as a result of the election defeat in December. There was a movement from the bottom demanding the radicalisation of the revolution.

    If the Bolivarian leadership were to take firm and decisive action to address the problem of scarcity, this would rekindle a wave of revolutionary enthusiasm. Such measures would be: a monopoly of foreign trade; expropriation of the food production and distribution chain under the democratic control of the workers, communities and small peasant producers; a default on the foreign debt; expropriation of the banks and big businesses; a national democratic plan of production to satisfy the needs of the majority. This program, if implemented, would immediately provoke an even bigger clash with the Venezuelan oligarchy and its imperialist masters, but at least it would have the benefit of solidifying and extending support for it amongst the masses which would see their problems finally addressed in a serious way.

    Let us be under no illusion. If the right wing were to achieve its aims of regaining full control of state power (by whatever means), Venezuela would not go back to “normal” capitalist democracy. No. The program of the ruling class in a country riddled by a massive economic and social crisis would be one of war on the working people. They would go on the offensive against all the social gains of the revolution. But they would also be faced with fierce resistance on the part of the masses and therefore they would attempt to crush the movement by force. Under those conditions a new Caracazo uprising would be on the cards.

    Toby Valderrama and Antonio Aponte put it very sharply in a recent article: “The government must understand that economic war, foreign invasion, attacks by foreign spokespersons, be they [OAS secretary general] Almagro, be they [former Colombian president] Uribe, they all have the same name: capitalism! And they can only be fought with one weapon: socialism. It is not possible to fight them with capitalism, because that does not convince anyone and you cannot achieve victory. These are times of decisiveness, either you are revolutionary or you are capitalist, the ability of social-democracy of making fiery speeches and then acting as a firefighter to put them down is coming to an end.”

    This is correct. As we have explained, the attempt to regulate capitalism has failed. There are only two ways out: either to go back to “normal” capitalism (that is, to make the workers pay the price for the crisis), or to go forward to socialism (that is to make the capitalists pay).

    It it not too late. The hour is one of extreme danger. This can only be overcome by extreme measures and firmness. Enough with vacillations. Carry out the revolution to the end!

    bolding added

    1st rate analysis
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  18. #18
    30 May 2016 - 10:10 AM

    Venezuela: Pro-Govt Supporters Being Killed in Record Numbers
    Venezuelan authorities are conducting an internal investigation into the assassination of retired Army Major General Felix Velasquez, which is the latest case in a surge of killings targeting pro-government public officials and activists.

    A man holds a poster of Henrique Capriles in protest of Maduro

    In recent months, Western mainstream media outlets have remained silent regarding the violence waged against government supporters, left-wing activists and public servants, which many believe is an attempt to undermine the future of the Chavista movement in the country.

    High Profile Assassinations

    May 2016: Retired Venezuelan Army Major General Felix Velasquez was shot dead while driving his car in Caracas. Venezuelan police are investigating the crime to clarify the true motives of the assassination. So far, two suspects have been detained. According to Interior Minister Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez, the two suspects are policemen from the opposition-held Caracas borough of Chacao.

    March 2016: Marco Tulio Carrillo was “shot repeatedly” outside his home in Trujillo. Carrillo was the mayor of the La Ceiba municipality, and a member of President Nicolas Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Two suspects have been arrested to due their involvement with the murder.

    March 2016: Socialist legislator Cesar Vera was shot in Tachira state. Vera was a member of the Great Patriotic Pole, a political coalition of parties aligned with the PSUV. A member of a Colombian paramilitary group was arrested in connection to the murder.

    March 2016: Two Venezuelan police personnel were killed after a protest in a Tachira university turned deadly.

    March 2016: Haitian-Venezuelan political leader and solidarity activist Fritz Saint Louis, 54, was shot dead in his home by masked gunman on Saturday evening.

    January 2016: The well-respected journalist and prominent Chavista Ricardo Duran was murdered outside his home in Caracas. One suspect was arrested in connection to his murder.

    March 2015: Local council member Dimas Gomez Chirinos, 47, was shot dead alongside his 20-year-old son, Eli David Gomez in the western state of Falcon, Venezuela. Gomez was also a member of the ruling PSUV. Three suspects were arrested in connection to the brutal killing.

    May 2014: Rafael Celestino Albino Arteaga, 44, Vargas state chief of the Venezuelan Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), was shot dead by an unidentified male assailant in a shopping mall in the western city of Maracay.

    April 2014: Major Otaiza, a friend and ally of the late president Hugo Chavez, was shot dead outside the capital, Caracas. Otaiza was named direction of national intelligence early in Hugo Chavez's presidency. Following his death, Venezuelan Police arrested seven people in connection with the murder of the former public official.

    February 2014: The high-profile killing of Robert Serra (27), a legislator of the PSUV, and the National Assembly's (AN) youngest parliamentarian, was found dead in his Caracas home. In December 2013, Otaiza was elected as a local counselor for the PSUV in the Libertadores area. An investigation revealed that Serra’s assassination was planned by paramilitary leader in Colombia, Padilla Mendoza.

    February - June 2014: Violent opposition protests, known as the Guarimbas, formed part of the widespread violence, which left 43 dead, over 870 injured and about 2,500 arrested. However, around half of the deaths were deemed to have been directly caused by opposition violence.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  19. #19
    Solidarity with the working class and popular strata of Venezuela
    Message of the International Relations Section of the CC of KKE to the Communist Party of Venezuela.

    In a message to the Communist Party of Venezuela (3/6/2016), the International Relations Section of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece mentions the following:

    “To the Communist Party of Venezuela.

    Central Committee, Caracas, Venezuela.

    Dear comrades,

    We express our internationalist solidarity with the working class and the popular strata of your country, who are facing the consequences of the capitalist economic crisis as well as the increasing aggressiveness of imperialism and the reactionary forces.
    The KKE denounces every attempted interference in the domestic issues of Venezuela, such as the one which is manifesting itself within the framework of the Organisation of American States, as well as the military provocations by the US and their allies, the open targeting by the US, NATO and the EU, alliances in which our country participates and fulfils a negative role for the people.

    The parties of capital which in Greece and in other countries seek to take advantage of Venezuela's problems are exposed. They are trying to cancel out from the peoples' memory that during the decades of the '60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, their sister parties were in government and condemned the working class, the popular strata of your country to extreme poverty, the natural resources became a source of immense profits for capital and the interventions of the US were a characteristic element of the developments.

    This is the reality which provoked people's rage and led to the governmental change of 1998 with the election of Chavez, cultivating to the people hopes for a change in the situation.

    The developments in Venezuela vindicate the positions of the communists who argue that what is responsible for the crisis that Venezuela is experiencing is the capitalist mode of production.

    In this case, in the case of Venezuela, there has been confirmation of the rule which is applicable to all countries and stresses that as long as power and the economy are in the hands of the monopolies, any social achievements of the people are not secured.

    Capitalism cannot be dealt with by various minor improvements and reforms, but by the organization and intensification of the struggle for the protection of the working class and people’s interests, in confrontation with the bourgeois class and its power, with a total revolutionary overthrow in all sectors of society.

    The KKE expresses its support for the struggle of the PCV (Partido Comunista de Venezuela), for the strengthening of the class struggle so that the people will not pay the cost of the crisis, for the strengthening of the labour movement in the fight for the defense and expansion of the peoples' rights, for socialism.”

    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  20. #20
    Over 400 Arrested in Cumana Lootings, Authorities Finger Opposition

    Caracas, June 16, 2016 ( – Venezuelan authorities arrested over 400 during widespread looting in the eastern coastal city of Cumana on Tuesday.

    Police and National Guard personnel were mobilized throughout the city amid civil unrest that saw lootings in as many as 100 private businesses, including restaurants, liquor stores, bakeries, and supermarkets, according to the local chamber of commerce.

    State security personnel affiliated with the Maduro government’s anti-crime operation, OLP, were deployed to Cumana this Thursday, leading to the arrest of three in the early hours of the morning.

    Educational activities were suspended for the remainder of the week and a 72-hour ban on motorcycles was declared.

    Local media have reported a total of two dead, although the circumstances remain unclear.

    The governor of Sucre state, Luis Acuña, has indicated that the deaths “were not related to the lootings”, attributing them to gang violence.

    Acuña claimed that the riots were instigated by right-wing groups in order to delegitimize the Maduro government’s local food distribution committees, known as CLAPs.

    “No one should have any doubt that what happened in Sucre was planned and is an attack against the CLAPs,” he stated.

    The claim was echoed by senior government spokespersons, including Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSUV) Vice-President Diosdado Cabello, who accused right-wing political parties of organizing the lootings.

    While anti-government agitators have been active in food queues across the country, Venezuela’s rising unrest reflects the country’s deepening economic crisis triggered by the collapse of global crude prices, the source 96 percent of Venezuela’s export earnings.

    Amid shrinking international reserves, the government has been forced to cut imports, leading to acute scarcities in essential goods, including bread, cornflour, as well as crucial medicines.

    During the early months of this year, Venezuelans relied on large Christmas bonuses to cushion themselves from spiraling inflation, but since April, their purchasing power has crumbled, spawning mounting unrest.

    While the Maduro government has tried to alleviate the impact of the crisis with the CLAPs and other state distribution networks, the measures have fallen short in covering the Venezuelan population’s total demand.

    Tuesday’s disturbances in Cumana coincided with fresh looting in Los Troncales de Boyaca, in Anzoategui state, leading to the arrest of 8 people.

    Anzoategui Governor Nelson Moreno, for his part, accused National Assembly President Ramos Allup of provoking the incident, pledging that he would take the opposition leader to court for “creating hate in the population”.

    Also on Tuesday, a 17 year-old youth was killed during an altercation with police in Merida state that saw protesters hurl rocks at the mayor’s office and attempt to burn down the local PSUV headquarters over a food distribution dispute.

    Jean Paul Omaña, 17, was shot in the head and died hours later.

    The public prosecutor’s office announced that it has assigned two attorneys to investigate the case.

    In recent weeks, scores of state security personnel have been indicted for their alleged role in protest deaths with two police officers arrested just last week alone.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

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