Statement on Venezuela (OKDE, March 2014)

For the defeat of the rightwing reaction, the “uprising of the rich”

Down with the interventions of US and international imperialism

Defense and Deepening of the Bolivarian Revolution, for the victory of the working and popular masses

1. A developing coup d’ etat. The escalation and the rioting in Venezuela, during the last period, are completely controlled by the fierce local rightwing reaction, with the full support of the US (and international) imperialism. It is literally an “uprising of the rich”, a developing coup d’ etat, aiming at the overthrow of president Maduro, successor of the great radical leader Ougko Tsavez (who died of cancer a year ago).

Rioting is mainly provoked by rightwing thug gangs, as well as by a part of the university students coming from middle and bourgeois layers. In several neighborhoods, they have been setting up barricades at nights, burning logs, tires and garbage bins, while, at the same time, they have been destroying medical centers, public services, markets where goods are sold in low prices through price control, even power masts – which results in power cuts for hours in many areas. Of course, it is the government that is being blamed for “excess violence and suppression”, and for the problems caused by these gangs’ actions. The propaganda of the local and foreign Media has been running wild, presenting audiovisual material from other countries or other time periods as proof of the government suppression.

Making due allowances, these reactionary gangs/ forces are the equivalent of those (far right and fascists) that the USA and the EU have brought into power in the Kiev government, in Ukraine, or our own “Chrysi Avgi” (Golden Dawn) in Greece.

2. The course of the conflict. The death of Tsavez had caused an understandable concern and doubt whether Maduro would deal with the enormous difficulties of the current internal crisis and international juncture. In the presidential elections, in April 2013, Maduro achieved a marginal victory with only 1.5% above the rightwing candidate Enrike Kapriles. This encouraged capitalist to intensify pressure and sabotages against the government. Maduro appeared willing for major concessions, which included loosening the control of the capital flow, even changes in labor legislation in favor of the employers.

His concessions encouraged reaction and US imperialism, who counted on the creation of a rupture between the “Tsavists” and the masses and, for that reason, they rejected any concession. Economic sabotage was escalated to the maximum, mainly through the takeoff of prices and inflation in various ways (fabricated lack of goods due to their stockpiling, black market and racketeering with dollar exchange value, flight of dollars and capital abroad etc).

Maduro confronted the challenge with massive repossession of products and arresting speculators. Moreover, he did not confine himself in using the police and the state apparatus, but he also fostered a massive popular participation in the effort to suppress speculators (through Indepabis). Thus, he regained the trust of the workers and the poor, which was reflected in the local elections of December where the government candidates prevailed with a total difference of about 10%.

3. The developing coup d’ etat in Venezuela is one of the most typical examples of the intense aggressiveness that the Western imperialists, USA and EU, show all over the world. Along with Ukraine, there are many similar interventions in progress in many parts of the world (Turkey, Tailand, Africa, Syria, etc.), with the use of equivalent reactionary forces, so that completely controlled solutions and pro-imperialistic regimes will be imposed. This new “Crusade of the western world” -that is, of the allied imperialists, USA and EU- is a mortal danger and the primary danger for the labour movement, the struggles, riots and revolutions of the plebeian masses. A period of reintroduction of bloody military dictatorships (e.g. Egypt) is beginning. It brings enormous dangers of expansion of conflicts and wars (e.g. the conflict between China and Japan in the Pacific with the involution of Russia and the US) and threatens humanity with slaughter and devastation. It is, at the same time, accompanied with intensification of the economic war (flight of capital, devaluation of currencies, triggering of recessions etc.) against the “emerging” economies, important competitors of the USA and EU imperialists. The struggle to stop this dark course is a principal task for the labor movement and its organizations.

4. Maduro’s government has every right –as well as obligation, towards the labor and popular masses that support it–, to strike hard this developing coup d’ etat of the local reaction and the US imperialists. There should be no trust to the fabricated report news of the greek and international Media, which present whoever resists to the dark plans of imperialists as an “authoritarian despot”, while their own mouthpieces and creeps are presented as “the voice of truth” and “democrats”.

At the same time, the democratic liberties that the working people and the people in general, the trade-union and political organizations of the working class in Venezuela have conquered, must be protected as the apple of one’s eye. This is not a weakening of the struggle to defeat reaction and imperialism; it is, on the contrary, strengthening of this struggle.

5. The attack against Venezuela and the “Tsavist” regime has also got an enormous symbolic significance, as Tsavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, apart from their progressive policies in favor of the plebeian masses, have, basically, been the ones which reintroduced the discussion about Socialism in the 21st century (after the historic shock of the collapse of the stalinist regimes).

After its triumphant election in presidency, in 1998, Tsavez’s government (although it was not, of course, socialist) made its point in favor of the working people and the poor strata, from the first moment: nationalization of the oil industry and of other strategic sectors, distribution of the estates to the poor peasants, radical decrease of unemployment and poverty, constant reinforcement of public health and education, clash with the policies of the US imperialism. Tsavez’s Venezuela became the constant draw for every progressive government and movement in Latin America and beyond it. This policy led to a rapid rise of the class self-confidence of the proletariat in Venezuela, which moved on to attempts of workers’ control and self-management. Imperialism and the local bourgeoisie attempted to overthrow Tsavez through a coup d’ etat in 2002, which, however, was crashed by the immediate and massive counter-attack of the working class and the poor masses. People’s trust assured Tsavez two more comfortable election victories, in 2006 and 2012.

6. The best guarantee for the defeat of the developing coup of reaction and imperialism in Venezuela is the persistence and deepening of revolution, its turning into a socialist one. Crisis, inflation, unemployment, corruption, criminality and the sabotages of capitalists cannot be confronted by a simply “pro-popular’ policy, within the framework of capitalism. It can be confronted with drastic anti-capitalist measures, nationalization of the banks and the key sectors of economy under workers’ control, monopoly of the foreign trade, and control over the flow of capital. The suppression of speculators and the extreme rightwing/ fascist gangs cannot be achieved with the apparatuses of the bourgeois state, but through the creation of labor militia and the general arming of the proletariat. In this direction, the international labor movement should support the mass struggle against the coup and offer its aid in practice in order to build a mass revolutionary party in Venezuela, so that the conflict can end up with the victory of the working and popular masses, building up their own power.

Athens, 13.3.2014