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Venezuela - Between Empire and Revolution

On Sunday, August 15th, a national referendum is scheduled to take place in Venezuela to decide whether democratically-elected president Hugo Chávez should remain in office. The outcome of this referendum, while significant, is only a fragment of a much larger and longer tale of class struggle in Venezuela, where 80% of the population lives in poverty and the richest 20% control the majority of country's natural and human-produced resources.

Chavez was first voted to office by an overwhelming majority after leading a coup attempt against the corrupt leader Carlos Andres Cardenas, who among other atrocities, brought the nation under the rule of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'austerity measures.' The popular movements of Venezuela view Chavez as a symbol of self-determination and hope, and the opposition's attempt to oust him as an attempt by the capitalist classes to reassert fascist rule over the country. This confrontation will not be decided solely by ballots, but by popular struggle in the streets and the countryside.

[ Venezuela Analysis [en] I Apporea.org [es] I UK-IMC [en] ]
On Sunday, August 15th, a national referendum is scheduled to take place in Venezuela to decide whether democratically-elected president Hugo Chávez should remain in office. The outcome of this referendum, while significant, is only a fragment of a much larger and longer tale of class struggle in Venezuela, where 80% of the population lives in poverty and the richest 20% control the majority of country's natural and human-produced resources.

Chavez was first voted to office by an overwhelming majority after leading a coup attempt against the corrupt leader Carlos Andres Cardenas, who among other atrocities, brought the nation under the rule of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'austerity measures.' The popular movements of Venezuela view Chavez as a symbol of self-determination and hope, and the opposition's attempt to oust him as an attempt by the capitalist classes to reassert fascist rule over the country. This confrontation will not be decided solely by ballots, but by popular struggle in the streets and the countryside.

Various popular revolutionary movements in Venezuela believe beyond doubt that Chávez is supported by the overwhelming majority of the Venezuelan population. Should the results of the referendum, official or otherwise, show a loss for Chávez, millions of Venezuelans will consider them fraudulent and immediately take to the streets--not waiting until the scheduled elections a month later. The intention of the popular movements who are preparing for an imminent uprising is not only to neutralize an opposition fraud, but to take the "Bolivarian revolution" to what they consider the next logical step: popular control of the means of production and communication through the exercise of direct democracy in assemblies.

Independent media activists currently working in and around Caracas have outlined three possible scenarios for a fraudulent outcome of the national referendum: (The question posed in the referendum is about overriding Chávez´s government—The Bolivarians vote for the “No? while the Opposition for the “Yes?)

1) Apparent victory of the "yes" through official channels.
2) A technical tie between the "Yes" and "No," which would lead to negotiations between competing beauracracies and, many believe, a halt to revolutionary processes.
3) A unilateral announcement of victory of the "yes" by the opposition controlled media before official results are given. Then, once the Electoral Council recognizes Chávez´ victory, an aggressive media campaign will point to the “chavista fraud? to try to take the middle class to the streets. They would immediately deploy a plan of unprecedented violence (suggested by the presence of Colombian paramilitary elements all over Venezuela, in addition to the recent theft of explosives and weapons) in order to create chaos and provoke massacres that could justify a coup d`Ètat or multinational “peacekeeping? forces in Venezuela.

There is a general consensus amongst the popular movements that no fraud will be accepted, even if legitimized by the “revolutionary? bureaucracies. If a fraud takes place, revolutionaries will immediately activate, autonomously, a radical offensive against the capitalist ruling class and invite President Chávez to command this process of insurgeny.

Contingency action plans are being prepared across all of Pachamerica (all the countries of the Western hemisphere) as well as Europe, by autonomous affinity groups and Bolivarian circles in dozens of cities. Revolutionary activists in Venezuela are urging international vigilance as the referendum nears, and actions in front of embassies, petrol stations and other appropriate targets in solidarity with the Bolivarian struggle as the situation develops.

Monday, August 16th has been declared an day of intercontinental solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution, and Global Day of Action, as decided upon by the Peoples Global Assembly, on October 12th.

For More Information:
Venezuela Analysis [en]
Apporea.org [es]
UK-IMC [en]

 
 


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IN VENEZUELA: VOTE NO AGAINST BUSH

IN VENEZUELA: VOTE NO AGAINST BUSH

By JORGE GUIDOBONO for the L.S.R. (The Revolutionary Socialist League of Argentina)

Initial translation by Earl Gilman, edited by Steve Argue


Imperialism and its friends carried out a classic military coup in April 2002. The next coup they have been attempting in the form of the bosses lockout to break down the economy and retake the levers of full control.

Now the same politics is being carried out with this plebiscite, supported by the monopoly
of information owned by Cisneros and the sleazy coup bunch, favored by lack of decision of
Chavez to cut off the head of the dragon and expropriate the means of communication that
support the coup.

Chavez has proposed the plebiscite in clear terms: Either one votes for Bush or Chavez. And this polarization is the similar or even greater than that expressed in February 1946 when it was "Braden or Peron."

The Revolutionary Socialist League (L.S.R.) is in solidarity with everything the worker and the poor have to do to crush with an avalanche of votes Bush and his native partners. In the immediate task in front of us, revolutionary socialists cannot be neutral faced by this challenge. On the contrary, we need to use all our effort to win it. This is necessary, the bourgeois Chavez leadership makes it difficult, as he impedes practical actions against Bush's partners.

The problem does not end of August 15th, even if Bush and the coup plotters are defeated at the ballot box.

In such case, though, we will have won one round in a battle that continues. This battle is not resolved with elections.

Ex-President Carlos Andres Perez, who was guilty for the murder of 1000 people killed during the "caracazo", is already aware of possible electoral defeat, has now announced that the Chavez regime will be overthrown with violence. They are not just words; it is a strategy he is announcing.

By definition a bourgeois politician is he who physically defeats the exploited, not just to overthrow Chavez in favor of Bush but to hand over one of the five most important reserves of petroleum in the world to imperialist profit while cutting off Cuba’s oil supply.

WE NEED TO BITE AND NOT LET GO

We are also facing a strategic problem. The battle will only be resolved by crushing economically, socially, politically and militarily Bush and his native partners. This struggle will spread out in the streets. and requires a Latin American and international strategy as a condition for victory by attacking this enemy in Latin America and throughout the world.

This means taking immediate practical steps. Among them, expropriating the monopolies (including the press) and organizing peoples armed militias, based on the Bolivarian circles and other organizations of the workers and people which has to impel a power which is parallel to the existing capitalist power. This includes the organization of the troops and officers who opposed the coup of April 2002. Also cutting out all those in the nationalized oil industry PDVSA, removing the management who support the coup, even if they are not the top ones, and establishing workers control over the process.

What has to be done is what Chavez has not done in all these years with the result that the struggle is on the terrain least favorable for workers and the people, that is, a plebiscite, supported by signatures that may have bee falsified. This without having advanced against the supporters of Bush.

This strategy is not easy to carry out, and besides, revolutionary socialists are a small minority in relation to Chavez, who is the bourgeois leader of great movement of exploited masses. That is why it is absolutely essential to have unity of action to confront Bush and his people, knowing that this gigantic task is way beyond Chavez and all his predecessors in the last half century in the region.

Revolutionary socialists should act together with Chavez and the Chavistas against the imperialists and their partners. But also we need to dispute the hegemony of this movement, utilizing every necessary tactic. We must flee from the disease of reactionary sectarianism as well as from the infantile illusion of trusting Chavez and the "patriotic" capitalists. It would be like playing Russian roulette with a gun that is completely loaded.

Venezuela not only is facing its destiny as a country and its exploited. Cuba also is facing its destiny and its supplies of petroleum. What is in play is a continental confrontation between revolution and counter-revolution that will have repercussions among the giants of the sub-continent.

Latin America, in our opinion, within the world context and because of its own history, is today the weakest link in the capitalist chain...as a region and not just the sum of countries. Within that context, Venezuela perhaps shows the tendency-not yet finalized-from which the next period will begin marching from.

JORGE GUIDOBONO for the L.S.R.
(translated by Earl Gilman, edited by Steve Argue)

Forwarded from Liberation News
groups.yahoo.com/group/Liberation_News/
 

Re: Venezuela - Between Empire and Revolution

Also see:

From Venezuela: The Revolution Has Won A Most Important Victory
santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/11003/index.php
 

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