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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Dec 31, 2022 2:46 pm

Venezuela: Non-Existent Figure of Interim Government Eliminated

The former opposition deputy proclaimed himself "interim president" of the country, a non-existent figure in the Venezuelan Constitution, in January 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 December 2022 (9 hours 9 minutes ago)

The decision was approved with 72 votes in favor, 29 against and eight abstentions.

Sectors of the Venezuelan opposition agreed this Friday to eliminate the figure of the so-called "Interim Government," which is not established in the Constitution of the Republic, headed by former deputy Juan Guaidó.

The National Assembly, elected in 2015, no longer in force, but which held the non-existent figure of "interim president," had a meeting with members of the opposition in which they approved the proposal with 72 votes in favor, 29 against and eight abstentions.

Through his account on the social network Twitter, he indicated that the project, a proposal submitted by factions of parties such as Primero Justicia, Acción Democrática, Un Nuevo Tiempo and Movimiento por Venezuela, was introduced to a vote.

This decision takes place within the framework of the dialogues that the Government of President Nicolás Maduro has promoted and held with the opposition of the country, reaffirming that this is the only way to advance in the recovery of the country.

The former opposition deputy Guaidó proclaimed himself "interim president" of the country, a non-existent figure in the Venezuelan Constitution, in January 2019 and was supported mainly by the Government of the United States and its allies.

In addition, Venezuelan Government authorities have denounced on several occasions acts of corruption in which Guaidó and other opponents, such as fugitives from justice Leopoldo López, have been involved in appropriating State resources. ... -0017.html

Venezuelan Economy Grew Over 17% Until September 2022

Venezuelan farm worker showing pasture and forage crops, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @VTVcanal8

Published 30 December 2022

Over the first eight months of the year, the real annual growth rates were 27.09 percent in the oil sector and 14.5 percent in non-oil activities.

On Friday, the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) published a report showing that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 17.73 percent between January and September 2021. This percentage is measured at constant prices and with respect to the same period of 2021.

In a more disaggregated way, the Venezuelan economy grew 17.45 percent in the first quarter, 23.30 percent in the second quarter, and 13.22 percent in the third quarter.

In the January-September period, the Venezuelan oil sector had a growth of 27.09 percent. This result is the consequence of a significant increase in oil value added, which began in the Q3 2021 thanks to the recovery of production capacity through public and mixed companies.

Regarding non-oil sector, the Venezuelan GDP experienced a growth of 14.5 percent in the first eight months of the year. The economic activities with the highest growth rates were transportation and storage (54.4 percent), manufacturing (39.6 percent), trade (25.3 percent), and government services (12 percent).

The tweet reads, "Productive Venezuela's first business conference with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Buying what is made in Venezuela is investing in the future of Venezuelans."

In that same period, the gross value added (GVA) generated by construction activities experienced a 35.5 percent increase, a result that was driven by the 149 percent increase registered in Q2 2022.

"This significant recovery resulted from the increase experienced in works demanded by the public sector (155.7 percent) and the private sector (49.8 percent)," the BCV explained, adding that the construction of non-residential works was essential for the expansion of the sector.

In 2023, the BCV will publish figures on the performance of the Venezuelan economy from January to December. Meanwhile, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) estimates that the Venezuelan GDP will increase by no less than 10 percent in 2022. ... -0010.html


President Maduro Delivers House Number 4.4 Million, Approves Public Housing Plan for 2023
DECEMBER 31, 2022

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in a ceremony delivering house number 4.4 million. Photo: Twitter/@ViceVenezuela.

On Thursday, December 29, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, handed over the house number 4.4 million of the Venezuela Great Housing Mission (GMVV) in the Antonio Ricaurte residential complex in Aragua state.

“Venezuela is the only place in the world where on December 29 a president is handing over house number 4.4 million, and this is a miracle of the Bolivarian Revolution,” he said.

The ceremony took place in Aragua state, which was heavily affected by torrential rains in October that caused the tragedies of Las Tejerías and Maracay (El Castaño).

“Now another phase is coming, which is the demolition and removal of those structures and houses that are in the ravine,” President Maduro said during the meeting he had with the new home-owners and the members of his cabinet who were in the locality inaugurating a Simoncito (preschool) with capacity for 120 children, a communal module, a healthcare office, and a police post.

500,000 new homes to be constructed in 2023
During the ceremony, President Maduro approved the 2023 Annual Housing and Habitat Plan, which will have five lines of action.

The president stated that the first line of action will be “perfect planning and monitoring,” and the second line will be the productivity and sustainability of the National Habitat and Housing System.

The third line of action will promote the comprehensive transformation of the housing system, while the fourth line will focus on the participation of the people.

The fifth line of action for 2023 will be the comprehensive protection of the Venezuelan family.

Regarding the goal of 500,000 new homes in 2023, the president highlighted that 97% of the materials to be used for the construction of the houses will be of national production. He announced that currently 176,622 homes are under construction, and the construction of 321,368 homes is scheduled to start soon.

(Últimas Noticias) by Jesús Inojosa ... -for-2023/

Ya think mebbe Los Angeles, and the US in general could get a clue regarding the homelessness crisis....Naw, that's communism.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Jan 14, 2023 4:44 pm

How Sanctions Contributed to Venezuela’s Economic Collapse
JANUARY 13, 2023

A demonstrator holds a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: “Trump unblock Venezuela” in Caracas, August 7, 2019. Photo: AP.

By Francisco Rodríguez – Jan 10, 2023

During the past decade, Venezuela lived through the largest economic contraction documented in the history of the Western Hemisphere. The implosion took place at the same time as the U.S. government barred oil purchases, froze government bank accounts, prohibited the country from issuing new debt, and seized tankers bound for Venezuela. One would think it should be self-evident that any account of Venezuela’s economic contraction would place economic sanctions in a central role.

However, sanctions play a surprisingly limited role in most mainstream accounts of the Venezuelan crisis. A recent Council on Foreign Relations background piece on Venezuela mentioned sanctions only in passing and instead attributed the country’s economic collapse to “decades of poor governance” and the “perils of becoming a petrostate.” Likewise, Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols deflected questions about the impact of Venezuela sanctions asserting that “the responsibility for the humanitarian situation in Venezuela falls squarely on the shoulders of the late Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro.”

Part of this is to be expected. When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was pressed in the 1990s about the humanitarian effect of UN sanctions in Iraq, she responded by showing photos of palaces built by Saddam Hussein. When Florida Senator Marco Rubio was presented with arguments about the effects of the U.S. embargo on Cuba, he replied that the only blockade on Cuba was the one imposed by the Cuban regime. Sanctions are used in the midst of political conflicts, so it is normal that debates around their use get rapidly politicized. Many opponents of Maduro see sanctions as the only instrument through which they can pressure the regime and fear that discussions of their negative consequences play into Maduro’s hands.

Yet if what we want is to understand how the international community can help Venezuelans, we also need to know the real effects of sanctions. Understanding how and when to use sanctions requires a balanced and objective debate about their impacts that is focused on the evidence and not clouded by political biases.

What the Data Says

For the past one hundred years, Venezuela’s economy has been highly dependent on oil, which accounts for more than 90 percent of exports and more than half of fiscal revenue. When oil revenues rise— regardless of whether it happens as a result of increased production or prices—the economy expands. When they tank, so does GDP.

It is thus not surprising that Venezuela’s economic collapse coincides almost perfectly with a massive decline in oil revenues. After rising for more than a decade, oil revenues fell by 93 percent between 2012 and 2020. During this same period, per capita income declined by 72 percent. The trigger of the contraction was that Venezuela was left without foreign currency to pay for the imports that fuel its economy. Similar import and growth collapses occurred in Iraq, Libya, Iran, and other oil exporters when they faced sanctions limiting their capacity to sell oil internationally.

Vice President Rodríguez: 927 Sanctions Imposed on Venezuela Since 2014

Between 2012 and 2016, most of the decline in oil revenues was caused by falling oil prices. The price of a basket of Venezuelan oil peaked at USD $103 in 2012, and then plummeted to $36 by 2016. Up until that moment, Venezuela’s recession looked like several of its other prior historical crises, driven by a decline in its foreign currency earnings caused by changes in world oil market conditions. Obviously, Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro bear a great deal of responsibility for this recession, as their overspending and mismanagement left the country unprepared to deal with the negative terms of trade shock.

However, the story from 2017 on, is different. During the following two years, oil prices rose. Normally, those years should have seen economic recovery as the country had access to increased oil revenues. In fact, when the recovery in oil markets began, many analysts projected positive growth for Venezuela. That growth did not materialize because oil production declined—a decline that evidence shows sanctions played an important role in.

It is instructive to look at the data more closely. While some may tell you that the decline of the Venezuelan oil industry began long before sanctions, the data tells a different story. Venezuela’s oil output was stable in the 2008-15 period. It then declined moderately in 2016, when oil prices collapsed. Many other oil exporters saw similar declines at the time. Yet when oil prices began recovering in 2017, output stabilized in other oil producers—but not in Venezuela. That was the year that the first sanctions hit.

Venezuela’s Oil Production, 2008-2020

Source: OPEC.

There are three clear inflection points in the oil production series: when the United States first imposed financial sanctions, when it imposed oil sanctions, when it placed sanctions on foreign partners that helped sell Venezuelan oil. All of them are associated with strong declines in Venezuelan oil production. Patterns such as this, where separate instances of policy interventions are associated with clear observable effects, are quite rare in time-series data. When they occur, they are the statistical equivalent of a smoking gun.

There are other ways to analyze Venezuela’s oil production data that also show that sanctions had significant negative effects on the Venezuelan oil industry. In a paper published last year in the Latin American Economic Review on joint oil ventures in the Orinoco Basin, I found that it was the firms that had access to international financing prior to sanctions that suffered the most. This confirms that cutting the oil industry off from international finance hurt its capacity and helped drive the contraction in oil production.

An argument often repeated by those who discount the effect of sanctions is that Venezuela’s crisis preceded the imposition of sanctions. They argue that if the economy was in recession well before 2017, surely the sanctions cannot be the cause of the crisis. Logically, this is a very sloppy argument. It starts from the premise that an economic crisis has just one cause, so since the crisis began before sanctions, they cannot be the cause. However, social and economic phenomena have many causes. There is no reason why sanctions, mismanagement, corruption, and declining oil prices cannot all have contributed to the crisis. What the evidence tells us is that Venezuela’s economic collapse is really the combination of two crises—prior to 2016, it was driven by falling oil prices, but after 2017, sanctions impeded the economy from recovering by reaping the benefits of higher oil prices.

Beyond sanctions
Sanctions were only one of the measures deployed by the United States as part of its strategy to oust Maduro. Another key action was the decision to recognize the interim government led by Juan Guaidó and transfer to it control over Venezuela’s offshore assets. Doing so blocked Venezuela from accessing its U.S. refineries, obtaining financing from multilateral organizations, or even using most of its international reserves.

These measures had significant effects that go well beyond their impact on the Venezuelan government. For instance, Venezuela saw a 65 percent decline in the number of correspondent banks that were willing to process international transactions and a 99 percent decline in the value of those transactions between 2011 and 2019. This meant that Venezuela’s private sector was less able to engage in international trade or payments. Despite claims that they targeted the Maduro regime, the sanctions had indiscriminate effects on the country.

The End of a Strategy
On December 30, Venezuela’s National Assembly decided to put an end to Guaidó’s interim presidency. The decision marks the final chapter of a strategy that sought to generate political change in Venezuela by relying on the support of the international community.

Its failure is unsurprising. The U.S. went into Venezuela with the same hubris with which it typically enters other foreign policy minefields. Despite overwhelming evidence that electoral boycotts do little more than hand off power to authoritarian regimes, it encouraged the Venezuelan opposition to sit out elections. Predictably, opposition politicians became more adept at lobbying Washington than in doing the hard work of mobilizing voters to oppose Maduro. Multiple corruption scandals also fed into a growing disenchantment with the opposition.

Much like the rest of the region, Venezuela is incredibly polarized. The pursuit of maximum-pressure sanctions strategies deepened this polarization, convincing many Venezuelans that the U.S.-backed opposition was just as insensitive as Maduro to the plight of ordinary people. By refusing to engage with moderate centrist forces and throwing their support behind hardliners more interested in wresting power from Maduro than addressing Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, the United States helped convince many Venezuelans that a change in government would not bring true democracy.

A new strategy is sorely needed if we want to help Venezuelans’ fight for democracy and human rights. This strategy should prioritize domestic mobilization, building of strong alliances with civil society, and confronting Maduro at the ballot box. The approach should be genuinely homegrown and reflect the true plurality of Venezuelan voices that oppose Maduro. Damaging the Venezuelan economy should not be part of it.

(Popular Resistance) ... -collapse/


Venezuela: Rentier Capitalism and the Project for Change (Part 1)
JANUARY 11, 2023

A person holds up a portrait of the late Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's president from 1999 to until his death in 2013, at a March 2019 demonstration. Photo: Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press.

By Carlos Dürich – Jan 9, 2023

The Bolivarian process went through various phases in its almost three decades of existence. Part one of a historical analysis of the evolution of the dynamics of the class struggle in Chavista Venezuela.

“To historically articulate that past does not mean to know it ‘as it truly was.’ It means taking possession of a memory as it flashes at the moment of danger.”

Walter Benjamin, Thesis VI, Theses on the philosophy of history.

The emergence of rentier capitalism
Every revolutionary movement, paraphrasing Marx, has to draw tactics and strategies for struggle from a historical scenario that is bequeathed to it. Only from understanding that legacy, which is nothing other than its historical present, can it become both a referent and a driving force for the changes that occur in the entrails of the society that welcomes it.

At the end of the 20th century, Venezuela was undergoing the most profound social and political crisis in its recent history. The so-called puntofijismo was sinking under accusations of nepotism and corruption, and along with it, representative democracy was strongly questioned and publicly delegitimized. However, this schism was a symptom of a much larger problem, one that, to this day, despite the endless warnings received, we still do not fully understand. It was the exhaustion of a historical way of doing economic things, in short, the collapse of rent-seeking capitalism.

Political economy of collapse
For political economy, what is fundamental when analyzing a given social-historical formation is to unravel the web of social relations that generate the production of surplus resources. That is, the social division of labor. It is also imperative to analyze the subsequent distribution of this surplus in society through a particular property regime and, with the latter, determine the forms of reproduction or accumulation, showing the logic of economic growth in said social-historical formation.

Historically, Venezuela has combined an intense concentration of ownership of the means of production, specifically land and manufacturing, with a very low level of income for the majority with little capacity to save. This model promotes a profound inequality in the distribution of socially produced wealth. Further generating a deficient and constrained internal demand. In this way, Venezuela became a country of miserable masses and very rich minorities.

The dynamics of rentier capitalism reflected this logic. Although formally, the state appeared as the great owner of international oil income (income at source), it was the transnational and national bourgeoisie (income at destination) who really ended up appropriating the greater part of it. This was possible through 3 major distribution mechanisms: first, under the mechanism of the circulation of imports in the domestic market and the consequent effects on the price level, prefiguring import and distribution monopolies; secondly, by imposing the capture of increasing volumes of income through the indirect management of the exchange rates of the international currency; and finally, demanding less and less tax burden and more and more protectionism for their industries.

Consequently, the drop in real wages for workers, the increase in the price of consumer goods and low investment rates in the private sector led to the exhaustion of the rentier accumulation model.

This internal collapse of the model of production and reproduction of capital–both simple and expanded–configured and continues to configure the objective conditions of the Venezuelan economic and social crisis, upsetting to different degrees the different social classes configured under the concrete Venezuelan social-historical model.

To paraphrase Lenin, only a crisis of the entire nation where the lower strata of society can no longer bear to live under the old model of reproduction and where its elites can no longer shape the domination they exercised over them makes a revolution possible. Faced with such a level of confusion, only the organized vanguards are capable of configuring emancipatory projects. That is, as long as they have the necessary firmness and audacity to respond to such a historic emergency.

This historical emergency forced the need for new national development models. At first, the fractions of the ruling classes strongly connected to the world market installed the neoliberal model, a project sponsored and promoted by the global hegemonic north. A model that ended up being circumstantially imposed in Venezuela during the 1990s. Neoliberalism was therefore presented as an alternative to this exhaustion. An anti-popular and elitist alternative. But an alternative in the end.

It is now time to clarify the popular alternative raised by the Bolivarian movement, which, as we have already said, inherited the responsibility of proposing an alternative to both neoliberalism and rentier capitalism.

The birth of the Bolivarian movement
The first part of this article was dedicated to outlining the economic and social dynamics that gave life and spirit to the birth of the Bolivarian movement. Again, paraphrasing Marx, the Bolivarian movement had to face circumstances that had been bequeathed to it and, from there, face the elaboration of tactics, procedures, methods and strategies aimed at the seizure of power and the total transformation of the nation and society.

The Bolivarian movement, both in its civil and military wings, was born from what Margarita López Maya and Luis Lander have defined as a society with adjustment fatigue. A society that, due to repeated failed attempts to solve a limiting situation, loses confidence in the ability of a certain project to overcome the crisis that afflicts it.

The Bolivarian movement emerged as a sample and result of this irresolute configuration, pushing and outlining a new project defined through the broader integration of the popular base, with the ambition of building a new consensus around an alternative to neoliberalism. This, in turn, responds to the longing of the great majorities to be the subject and object of their history.

This project arises with the goal of confronting the already known structural conditions of ownership concentration, supply rigidity, low remuneration and consumption strangulation, in addition to the problems generated by the neoliberal adjustment policies of the 1980s and a large part of the 1990s.

For example, when looking at employment in 1998, more than 48% of the country’s economically active force was in the informal sector of the economy, and 11% were unemployed. Contrast this with the richest 5% appropriating more than 53% of total wealth annually and the poorest 5% barely enjoying 0.6% of national wealth, with more than 4.5 million households living in poverty and 27% living in extreme poverty.

Economic thought of the Bolivarian process assessment and perspective
Before beginning the assessment, it is necessary to make some clarifications. An economic evaluation should not only obey the econometric indices referring to macroeconomics and microeconomics. As leftist analysts and specifically as Marxists, it is important to verify the impact that the new methods or forms of social reproduction have on the different classes and if these measures grant the political initiative to one class or another.

Ultimately, data such as the gross domestic product, the Gini coefficient, inflation or investment rates, volatility of the credit system, the qualification of the money supply, or the unemployment or employment rate tell us little about the volatility of the class struggle. What they really report is the health of the liberal bourgeois system, the property regime, and the level of exploitation of wage labor.

This does not mean that the indicators are unnecessary for evaluating the economic policies of a revolutionary process. Rather, these must be seen within the social totality: understood under the aspirations for change and transformation of the society that gives rise to these indicators.

It is precisely economic thinking as a whole that should qualify the scope and achievements that specific indicators point to. Otherwise, economic reading and reflection becomes a technocratic exercise of functional values for big capital, far removed from the real needs of the people. In short, an economy can show “stable and promising” indicators for its growth, but that does not mean that growth alone will make the necessary structural changes that the economy deserves. Far from it, to be successful, the great social majorities must see these healthy and promising precepts reproduced in their daily lives.

From the Bolivarian Alternative Agenda to the struggle for government
In 1996, the first economic-political program developed by the Bolivarian movement was the Agenda Alternativa Bolivariana (AAB). It was presented as a fundamental break with neoliberalism, the internationalization of capital, the measures of the Washington Consensus, and IMF adjustment plans.

Its premises can be summarized as follows: understanding the economic and the political as integral elements of a totalizing and holistic reality where “macroeconomic policies are subordinated to macrosocial policies, being consequences of these and not causes.” Understanding that “the best social policy is the one that satisfies the needs of the population” in the most dignified way and allows for the consolidation of an independent and sovereign future for the entire Venezuelan people.

To achieve this, the agenda established two issues to be resolved: poverty and denationalization. In the case of poverty, the objective was to democratize the economy by opening up the property regime of the productive apparatus. For this, an endogenous work model is established–from within–with sights to strengthen national power, that is, strengthening the internal market as opposed to the globalizing model of extractive exports.

To combat denationalization, the agenda establishes the design of a state that owns, promotes, and regulates economic activity. It places special emphasis on revising the policy of internationalization of the oil industry. This process prioritizes the reduction of prices in the production of a barrel of oil, the expansion of its fiscal contribution and the reformulation of its investment projects.

To prevent the burden of the fiscal deficit from falling on the most vulnerable sectors of society, the refinancing of external debt services was established as a strategy, allowing the nation’s resources to be saved and directing them to existing social emergencies. The latter was combined with an expansive macroeconomic policy in productive investment.

As can be seen, the Bolivarian movement developed a programmatic economic strategy aimed at combating and reversing the neoliberal process carried out in Venezuela since the 1980s, whose most adverse mechanism had been the denationalization of the productive apparatus.

At the same time, by placing particular emphasis on the democratization of the economy, it revealed a potential willingness to problematize the high concentration of ownership within the Venezuelan productive apparatus, although without questioning the private property installed in it. In this sense, although the AAB is not a revolutionary program in the traditional sense of the term, it does represent a qualitative leap with respect to the previous understanding of the Venezuelan social-economic problem.

This first economic program became a government tactic when included in the document “Hugo Chávez’s proposal to transform Venezuela: A democratic revolution of 1999”, where part of what is established in the AAB is developed in greater depth.

Two elements of that document are worth highlighting. The first is the link between the economic transformation and the constituent process, reinforcing the idea of the social pact as a way of settling the economic conflict. The second is the idea of a humanist, self-managed and competitive economy. This was underlined as the fundamental sponsor for the process of change.

All this with the aim of “developing an economic model that allows for the global production of wealth and the justice of its enjoyment.” Putting special emphasis on the organization of the productive forces and the participation of the people in social wealth, but not in the ownership of the means of production. Therefore, reinforcing the reformist aspirations of this first period of the Bolivarian process.

The constitution and the new economic framework
The constituent process of 1999 was intended to satisfy the aspirations of the large social sectors of the country that had remained mobilized around the people’s agenda. Their agenda can be summarized by the anti-neoliberal aspirations raised in the protests of the 1990s, which would end up being part of the constitutional debate. Their demands revolved around the protection of wages, the protection of human rights, the formalization of economic rights, and guarantees of access to health and education for lower-income sectors.

Also in dispute within these constituent debates was the business sectors’ agenda, which expected greater recognition from the state while seeking better instruments to improve their income and profit levels. However, businesspeople were divided on the new legal framework. Within the non-monopolistic sectors, there was a consensus regarding the need to establish a protectionist system against the processes of globalization, together with a mechanism that would allow economic, budgetary and financial balances by the state to strengthen the development of the business sector. On the other hand, the monopolistic sectors demanded less regulation and greater openness but with a government rescue mechanism that would protect national and international investments, with a special interest in the privatization of key sectors of the oil industry.

Maduro: Venezuela Produces 94% of Its Own Food in 2022 After Importing 80% for Over 100 Years

The ideological framework of the constituent consensus in economic matters was conceived, therefore, as Keynesianism that is closer to the left or right depending on its point of enunciation (popular or business)–even on some occasions overlapping one over the other.

Consequently, to analyze the constitution itself and its possibilities, it must be clear that its wording obeys a relationship of force between classes within and under the objective conditions that meant the exhaustion of the economic and political model of accumulation since the 1980s. This first effort by the Bolivarian process to create a new framework for political action was formulated under the need to organize a new structure for political action and participation. Thus, rescuing the figure of the liberal bourgeois state but linking in its heart the popular classes as referents of political action. The Bolivarian process then set out to design a series of levers that would allow these sectors to exert pressure and force actions within the national political structure.

A look inside the constitution
The economic framework present in the constitution can be understood by analyzing Title VI, referring to the socioeconomic system that governs the economic conduct of the nation. Understanding economic conduct as a complementary system between private initiative and the state, under the principle of free competition and legal certainty (Art 229), with a protectionist state that would use its commercial monopoly to defend public and private companies against foreign competition (Art 301).

Fiscal balance would be the center and foundation of macroeconomic management (Art 311). Based on the principle of promoting and defending economic stability, avoiding its vulnerability at all costs and ensuring the stability of the currency and prices, thereby ensuring social welfare. (Article 320).

The defense of private property is also ratified, leaving the provisions of the 1961 constitution (Art 99 and Art 101) practically intact, although valuing its vigor based on social interest (Art 115). This assessment allows a field of possibility to stress this defense of private property.

In this constitution, speculation, hoarding, usury and cartelization are established as illegal (Art 114), forcing the state to play an active role against these scourges, marking a quantitative difference with the provisions of the 1961 constitution, where the state acted as a passive regulator of these activities (Art 96).

Likewise, latifundismo is considered contrary to the social interest, as decreed in the 1961 constitution (Art 105). However, the new jurisprudence complements what was previously established. On the one hand, it guarantees the right of peasants and agricultural producers to own land. And on the other hand, it establishes the responsibility of the state to create financing funds to promote the competitiveness and productivity of the agricultural sector (Art 307).

The difference established in both constitutions regarding the minimum wage should be highlighted. While the previous ordinance simply establishes the responsibility of the state in creating the means conducive to obtaining a fair salary (Art 87), the new legal order established the right to a sufficient salary for the worker that allows them to live with dignity and cover basic material, social and intellectual needs for themself and their family (Art 91). The state is obliged by force of law to carry out the execution of said right.

Work is also defined as a social right, as opposed to the previous exclusively commercial notion. The state is obliged to establish firm guarantees regarding the progressivity of labor rights and benefits (Art 88).

Complementing these measures, the Magna Carta establishes a framework of state responsibility regarding the right to the quantity and quality of consumption (Art 117), another mechanism that did not exist in the previous constitution.

All of the above, workers’, peasants’ and consumers’ rights must be nuanced and understood based on the principle of progressive rights (Art 19). This regulation is transversal to the entire constitution, endowing it with nodules of permanent inter-class tensions.

The new constitution and the fifth republic arose from the need to reconstitute the political structures that had been deeply eroded by the neoliberal period. This process summoned the popular sectors, which were traditionally isolated, and the whole of the petty bourgeoisie, bankrupt after the financial and commercial deregulation of the 1990s. Along with this bloc, an alliance with the big nationalist bourgeoisie was considered possible, using the state as a regulatory apparatus for a strengthened and diversified emerging economy.

The main aspiration was to regularize an economy deeply affected by the neoliberal process. For this, inter-class agreements were formulated. The rights of workers would serve as a tool to fuel the struggles against the excessive exploitation by the boss but within the framework of formal recognition and protection of private property and a leading role of the private sector within the national economy.

As a result of temporary alliances with the traditional sectors of Venezuelan politics, the constituent process consolidated itself into a state that guaranteed social stability and, at the same time, protected the benefit of the business sectors. This formally and ideologically aligned it with the objectives of the so-called “third way,” a state with aspirations of high social-democratic and reformist content.

Complying with these principles, fiscal balance and monetary order became the state’s main financial task. Likewise, a wide range of social rights came to be governed under its guarantee, generating a contradiction with the fiscal aspirations of the most conservative sectors of the economic orthodoxy of the moment.

From this early stage, it became evidently clear that one factor would cross the interior of the Bolivarian revolution and undermine its aspirations for economic change. For having been a revolution developed within and from the regime of the bourgeois liberal state, a tendency to subsume the political struggle within the framework of formal law was fostered.

The popular camp would take some time to recognize the new political tableau that would emerge after the new constitution. In some cases, due to naivety, and in others, due to mistaken analysis, it was thought that the revolution would be framed within a democratic revolution and that this alone would be enough to change the unequal economic reality that persisted in the country.

Again paraphrasing Marx, what time would show was that: the conquests of the popular sectors in institutional politics opened the ground for their emancipation through revolutionary struggle. But, emancipation itself was not settled only with institutional conquest.

The open confrontations in the following years would be the ones that would invigorate and sharpen the contradictions of the social-political framework. This forced the conservative democratic revolution to dialectically convert itself into a revolutionary democracy devoted to economic equality.

The two exposed inconsistencies, both the technically economic ones surrounding the fiscal order and the strictly institutional ones, stridently manifested their tension only two years after the Bolivarian revolution came to power during the political crisis that would last from late 2001 to mid-2004. These tensions would give rise to a new periodization in the Bolivarian process that we will analyze in the next installment.

(Alai El Día)

Translation: Orinoco Tribune ... ge-part-1/


Jan 13, 2023 , 2:01 p.m.


The storm of accusations continues after the cessation of the fake government headed by the former anti-Chavista deputy Juan Guaidó. In a virtual press conference offered on January 12 to the Association of the Foreign Press in Venezuela (Apex), Leopoldo López fired accusations against opposition sectors accusing them of blackmail, adding that there are leaders who have ties to the Venezuelan government chaired by Nicolás Maduro . In his statements, the national coordinator of the Voluntad Popular (VP) party accused Tomás Guanipa, of Primero Justicia (PJ), of having "a direct relationship with the ruling party."

According to López, the leader of the PJ, Julio Borges, was the official who maintained the largest payroll of the interim government and sabotaged "the administration of President Guaidó."

He affirmed that Borges spoke with foreign ministers and parliamentarians from other countries, belittling the figure he claimed to represent. In this regard, he pointed out the error of the so-called Transition Statute, saying that it led to "political control, then blackmail and finally treason."

The fugitive from Venezuelan justice and former official of the "interim" insulted the Negotiation and Dialogue Table that the Venezuelan government maintains with anti-Chavismo under the guarantee of the Mexican government, among others. Although he said that Freddy Guevara (VP) will continue within the opposition delegation and recognized the work of Gerardo Blyde as head of the Unitary Platform delegation, he referred to the delegates Tomás Guanipa (PJ): "From one day to the next, Guanipa He ceased to be a recognized ambassador in Colombia, he appears in Venezuela and is authorized to participate in elections and asking that the sanctions against (Raúl) Gorrín be lifted. Maduro has a ground cable with one of the members of the commission."

Blyde came up against López's statements:

" On behalf of the Unitary Platform (PU) negotiating delegation, I must express that all the decisions regarding the negotiation process have been made by consensus, after extensive and in-depth internal discussions and in permanent consultation with party leaders that make up the PU".

López pointed directly to Manuel Rosales (Un Nuevo Tiempo, UNT) and Henrique Capriles Radonski (PJ) of wanting to slow down the completion of the primary election of the anti-Chavista unitary candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections and of "being a direct cable" with Maduro . He assured that both want the opposition candidacy to be selected by consensus and not by vote.

Another figure from the Venezuelan opposition who joined the flood of statements was Diego Arria. The former official of the CAP government in the 1970s stated on January 11 that he felt "with a heavy heart" in the face of the recent political movements of the opposition in his country, in which the "interim" of Juan Guaidó ended . and the functioning of the 2015 parliament was extended for another year under a new Board of Directors .

Via Instagram , Arria asserted that for him "a large part of the hopes" of his vision for Venezuela collapsed after the "interim" of Juan Guaidó ended and the parliament elected in 2015 was extended for another year. He considered that " what there was was a distribution of the resources available from the national treasury abroad to accommodate fellow party members, activists," among others. He also lamented that the fake government had become "a means of livelihood for some, a means of enrichment" for others.

There was a clear signal from Arria against Guaidó indicating that he is running as a presidential candidate and that for this he would have been using "the resources that he had at his hand for the interim."

He also rejected the fact that no farewell letter from Guaidó to former President Donald Trump has been made public, whom he pointed out as the main promoter of regime change, despite the fact that the American "forced him to finally be sworn in" as interim president in 2019.

Possibly, in response to what Arria said, López said that "it is completely false that the Interim Government served to accommodate someone (...) was there a problem? Of course there were (...) we have to be fair and balance opinions and don't generalize."

Among the accusations made by the opposition characters there are accusations of corruption, nepotism, secret conspiracies and others not so much. It is not possible to speak of a debacle in the unity of anti-Chavismo because everything indicates that it does not exist. What does provide interesting data is the confirmation that the skein of interests around the "interim" continues to be quite complex.

López spoke about what happened on April 30, 2019, when an attempt was made to carry out a coup in which he himself and Guaidó were the most visible faces. In this regard, he pointed out that it was a coordinated strategy between Julio Borges and the then president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Maikel Moreno. He affirmed that "Julio Borges worked on a sentence of the TSJ with Raúl Gorrín, Maikel Moreno and his right hand", taking into account that it was an infiltration operation and undermining of the dismissal operations by Venezuelan officials.

As on other occasions, the same spokesmen for anti-Chavismo will end up revealing some sections of their conspiratorial feat through accusations and disqualifications in which they always conclude that the worst diligence is the one that is done. It is clear that, with allies like this, the Venezuelan right does not need opponents to dismantle it. ... ios-del-g4

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 27, 2023 3:14 pm

Why is Venezuela’s Gold Still Frozen in the Bank of England?

Protest against the retention of Venezuelan gold, London, U.K., 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @venanalysis

Published 27 January 2023 (3 hours 14 minutes ago)

A new investigation published by Declassified UK highlights the arbitrary retention of Venezuelan gold at the Bank of England.

On Friday, Declassified UK published an investigation by John McEvoy presenting details of the reasons and circumstances surrounding the retention of assets belonging to the Venezuelan State in the United Kingdom. This journalistic investigation is presented below.

In late December, Venezuela’s leading opposition parties voted to oust Juan Guaidó as “interim president” and dissolve his parallel government. This was clearly not the ending the UK government had in mind.

Four years ago, the British government made the bold decision to recognise Guaidó as Venezuelan president, and proceeded to facilitate his legal battle to seize roughly $2bn of gold held in the Bank of England.

Indeed, the UK government insisted at every turn that it recognised Guaidó – and not Nicolás Maduro – as Venezuelan president. In turn, Guaidó’s lawyers argued that he was authorised to represent and control the assets of the Central Bank of Venezuela held in London.

Throughout this time, Guaidó paid his UK legal costs by drawing on millions of dollars of his country’s assets originally seized by the US government. In other words, Guaidó tried to seize Venezuelan state assets with looted Venezuelan state assets.

Meanwhile, it seems certain that the Foreign Office also used a significant amount of public funds to sustain its backing of Guaidó. Now that Guaidó has been ousted, the legal argument for transferring the gold to the Venezuelan opposition has effectively disintegrated. Despite this, the gold remains frozen in the Bank of England, with no clear resolution in sight.

Whatever happens next, this case sets a precedent which could have far-reaching consequences: the UK’s coup weapons now include asset stripping a foreign state, and transferring those assets to political actors engaged in regime change. This will surely serve as a warning to any state which plans to store its gold in the Bank of England

Recognising Guaidó
The recognition of Guaidó was a key prerequisite for the Bank of England’s refusal to release Venezuela’s gold. Guaidó had never run for presidential office.

Yet on 23 January 2019, he swore himself in as Venezuelan “interim president”, using Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution to declare that Maduro had abandoned his post and thereby left an “absolute vacuum of power”. This vacuum, claimed Guaidó, would have to be filled by the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly – a post occupied by Guaidó.

Without the support of the US government, Guaidó’s legal gymnastics would probably not have gotten him very far. However, the Donald Trump administration moved quickly to recognise Guaidó, and began pressuring the so-called “international community” to follow suit.

The day after Guaidó’s self-swearing in, then UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt visited Washington and met key members of the Trump administration including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

The political crisis in Venezuela was high on the agenda. Before meeting with Pompeo, Hunt told the press that “the United Kingdom believes Juan Guaido is the right person to take Venezuela forward. We are supporting the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina to make that happen”. This was a strong statement – but not yet recognition.

Documents obtained by Declassified show that Hunt was privately thanked by Pompeo and Bolton for this. However, Britain’s contribution to toppling Maduro would go further.

‘Delighted’ to freeze Venezuela’s gold
The Foreign Office is refusing to say whether its officials or ministers have had discussions with counterparts in the United States on the Venezuelan gold stored in the Bank of England since 2019.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, it also claimed that “the release of information relating to this case could harm our relations with the United States of America and Venezuela”.

Yet according to Bolton, Hunt was “delighted” to help with Washington’s destabilisation campaign in Venezuela, “for example freezing Venezuelan gold deposits in the Bank of England”.

The Bank’s directors, however, were uneasy about the legal implications of freezing a foreign state’s assets. The Bank of England had already refused to release Venezuela’s gold in 2018, citing doubts over the legitimacy of Maduro’s government, though they were on shaky legal ground.

The Foreign Office worked to ease their nerves. On 25 January 2019, Alan Duncan, the minister of state for Europe and the Americas, wrote in his diary that he held a phone call with Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, about Venezuela’s gold. He wrote:

“Hunt was ‘delighted’ to help with Washington’s destabilisation campaign in Venezuela”

“I tell Carney that I fully appreciate that, although it’s a decision for the Bank, he needs a measure of political air cover from us. I tell him I will write him the most robust letter I can get through the FCO lawyers, and it will outline the growing doubts over Maduro’s legitimacy and explain that many countries no longer consider him to be the country’s President”.

In other words, the Bank of England required a robust legal rationale for keeping Venezuela’s gold frozen, and the Foreign Office was happy to provide it with one.

One week later, on 4 February, Hunt went one step further by issuing an official statement recognising Guaidó “as the constitutional interim President of Venezuela, until credible presidential elections can be held”.

With this, the UK government had committed to the Washington-backed coup effort. Hunt apparently declared: “Venezuela is in their back yard, and it’s probably the only foreign adventure they might just pursue”.

When the Foreign Office was asked in parliament this month whether it received legal advice in recognising Guaidó as president, it replied “We do not comment on when legal advice has been received”.

The legal battle
The UK’s recognition of Guaidó triggered a protracted legal battle over the gold. In May 2020, the Maduro government sued the Bank of England over its refusal to release the gold. The issue then moved to the courts, centring on whether the UK government recognised Guaidó, and if the Bank of England could therefore act on instructions from his “ad-hoc board” of the Central Bank of Venezuela.

Throughout this time, the UK government consistently supported Guaidó’s case by emphasising its recognition of him.

In 2020, for instance, the Foreign Office provided a written certificate to the courts to confirm that the UK still “recognises Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim President of Venezuela”.

In 2021, the Foreign Office even acquired the services of Sir James Eadie QC and Jason Pobjoy (of Blackstone Chambers) and Sir Michael Wood and Belinda McRae (of Twenty Essex) – some of the country’s top lawyers – to present its case on recognition of Guaidó at the Supreme Court.

It thus looks certain that the UK government has spent a significant amount of public funds on this case. This casts obvious doubts on the UK government’s claim that this is merely a matter for the Bank of England or the courts: the UK has invested both political and seemingly financial capital into this case, with the explicit intention of overthrowing the Maduro government.

Declassified asked the Government Legal Department how much was spent in legal costs on this case. A spokesperson for the Department said: “We will not comment further due to ongoing legal proceedings”.

With each hearing, Guaidó and his representatives also incurred substantial costs. Recently published accounts suggest that Guaidó’s team spent over $8.5m on legal fees – roughly £7m.

Remarkably, Guaidó’s UK legal fees were paid with money which was originally appropriated from the Venezuelan state in the US.

Guaidó gone

Guaidó and his representatives never managed to get their hands on the gold. In the most recent hearing, in October 2022, judge Justice Cockerill granted the Maduro board permission to appeal, declaring that the issues at stake were “effectively unprecedented”, and that “the consequences of the decision have the potential to affect all the citizens of Venezuela”.

Indeed, the freezing of Venezuela’s gold has served as a form of collective punishment. In 2021, United Nations special rapporteur on sanctions, Alena Douhan, urged the UK “and corresponding banks to unfreeze assets of the Venezuela Central Bank to purchase medicine, vaccines, food, medical and other equipment, spare parts and other essential goods to guarantee humanitarian needs of the people of Venezuela”.

With the issue still in the courts, Venezuela’s main opposition parties voted in December 2022 to remove Guaidó as “interim president” and dissolve his parallel government.

The UK government announced that it would “respect the result of this vote”, adding that: “The UK continues not to accept the legitimacy of the administration put in place by Nicolás Maduro”.

The legal basis for freezing Venezuela’s gold and transferring it to the Venezuelan opposition has therefore largely crumbled. Further hearings are expected later this year.

Whether the gold will remain frozen until Venezuela holds elections which are to the satisfaction of the UK government, or the courts will find that the case for freezing the gold has now collapsed, remains unclear.

The issue would be immediately resolved if the UK normalised relations with the Maduro government – though this would entail an embarrassing climb-down and would have to be worked out alongside Washington.

What’s clear is that the sanctions regime against Venezuela has failed to remove Maduro, but has harmed ordinary Venezuelans. ... -0003.html



‘News from Nowhere’ – building communal life in Venezuela
By Chris Gilbert, Cira Pascual Marquina (Posted Jan 25, 2023)

Originally published: on January 24, 2023 (more by |

Don’t you know
They’re talking about a revolution?
It sounds like a whisper.

—Tracy Chapman

In the world at large, the fact that a group of ordinary people comes together in some remote part of Venezuela to democratically determine their production and their way of living in a commune could seem to be completely unimportant. In the eyes of most who shape public opinion, this would be a quintessential nonevent. To be sure, it is never news. Nevertheless, if there were such a thing as a revolutionary news agency, the formation of such a commune and its advances would be the stuff of front-page articles, with banner headlines such as EXTRA! A NEW COMMUNE IS FORMED! or COMMUNARDS TAKE THE NEXT STEP!

What makes communes and their advances so important? To explain their significance, one has to appeal to something that is not immediately visible: social relations and especially relations of production. In our society today, because it is a capitalist one, a set of abstract economic categories governs the economy and society. Proof of that can be seen in the earnestness with which people consult the business section of a newspaper, encountering there highly abstract numbers and statistics that cause them to act and feel differently, even entering depression or euphoria. Similarly, no one would think twice about snatching a 100-dollar bill, which is in the end just a piece of paper, from a filthy puddle. Then there is the labor process: untold numbers of people dedicate hours to making stuff, including terrible bombs or harmful advertising, that they have no interest in but do so because “it’s a job” and they get a salary for it.

At the center of this abstract, even mysterious capitalist system and the puzzling behaviors it induces–imagine explaining to an extraterrestrial why a rich person gets depressed on seeing the Dow Jones plunge!–is value production. In our society, we make most things not for their usefulness but because they can be sold, and sold with profit. In Marxism, this phenomenon is known as the dominance of exchange-value over use-value. Its effects are literally earth-changing. The character of what is produced is no longer important as long as it generates profit, while the quantities produced are never enough, since profits must always be increased. The result is both immense human suffering and mounting environmental disaster. In the capital system, most human beings are transformed into mere generators of economic value, while non-value generating care and domestic work is underrecognized, and the natural environment is converted into a mere resource to be endlessly exploited.

It is precisely for these reasons that, when people come together and decide to work and relate to each other, not based on economic value and profits, but in the name of satisfying their real needs–that is, for the sake of life and not capital–as is happening currently in Venezuela, then it is an occurrence of world-historical importance. There may be no headline and it may sound like a mere whisper but, to appeal to the terms of Tracy Chapman’s song, it is a revolutionary whisper. That is because a commune’s shift to producing for real needs and use-values, not for an anonymous market, and with democratic control of its own production, spells the beginning of a profound transformation that could completely change the world, allowing for both unprecedented human flourishing and planetary survival.

Emergence of the Communal Project
Commune-building began in Venezuela as part of the extended process of national liberation and social emancipation known as the Bolivarian Process. That process began officially in 1999, when a political outsider called Hugo Chávez took power through elections with a project whose guiding principles were “participative and protagonistic democracy.” The Bolivarian Process’s search for social emancipation through massified forms of democratic participation led to a series of ongoing, highly-creative experiments with models of popular organization, including community councils and cooperatives.

As the Bolivarian Process unfolded over time, it declared itself to be anti-imperialist in 2004 and socialist in 2006. In 2009, after self-critical reflection on the vicissitudes and limitations of the political process so far, the project’s strategy was adjusted to be socialism based on the commune as its basic cell. One year after Chávez made a declaration to this effect, a set of revolutionary laws were put in place that gave a legal framework for communal construction, but by then people had already begun to build communes in a few places, such as El Panal Commune in Caracas 1 and El Maizal Commune in Lara 2 state. In a short time, the country was full of hopeful, fledgling communal projects.

As laid out both in Chávez’s discourses and the new laws, the communes were to be built by joining community councils, essentially grassroots forms of local government, under the umbrella figure of the commune. The communes had the additional feature that, unlike community councils, they would also be economic entities, holding means of production under collective, community control. It was as both economic and political entities, with grassroots democratic control of production, that Chávez conceived the communes as the basic cells of socialism: they were the sites where, as he said, “socialism was to be born” (see Aló Presidente No. 1.3

Importantly, Venezuelan communes were not intended to be scattered, isolated, and wholly autonomous projects, but to form part of a comprehensive societal transition to socialism in which, through the communes’ progressive extension throughout the country, Venezuelan society would be transformed and even the state would eventually disappear. For this reason, Chávez went so far as to say that an isolated commune is actually “counter-revolutionary.” Each commune was a foothold for a new socialist logic that aimed to hegemonize the whole society.

Theory and Popular Tradition
The commune, as it is being developed in Venezuela, has important theoretical precedents, a key one being the epoch-making thought of Karl Marx, who called for a post-capitalist society based on “freely associated” production, and celebrated both the Paris Commune and the Russian peasant communes (obshchina or mir in Russian) as forms conducive to socialism. Another key influence on the Venezuelan communal project is the Hungarian Marxist philosopher István Mészáros,4 who juxtaposed the communal system and its democratic metabolism with capital’s hierarchical system. Mészáros, who was close to Chávez, carried out an extended reflection on the shortcomings of twentieth century socialism for its failure to overcome what he called the anti-democratic logic or metabolism of capital and replace it with the grassroots control of production that exists in communes.

However, communes in Venezuela do not come simply from a world of pure ideas and theory, nor should they be seen as descending from above. Many people will remember that Marx said that theory can change the world when it becomes a material force that grips the masses. That claim, made in 1843, is undoubtedly correct. However, Marx should have added that theory usually grips the masses because it connects with ideas, projects, and dreams they have developed themselves. This is what generally happens in revolutions, and it is certainly the case for the communal idea in Venezuela. That is because communes have a long history in the Venezuelan territory. On the one hand, the many Indigenous peoples–Arawaks, Caribs, and others–that inhabited this part of the “north of South America” were usually organized in classless, self-governed communities. On the other hand, as enslaved Africans rebelled and escaped they formed what Venezuelans call cumbes, egalitarian maroon communities, that were spread throughout the territory. These had their own governments, and they were frequently able to resist the advance of Spanish settler colonists.

This legacy of community organization is not part of some remote past in the country. It survives in some relatively autonomous Indigenous communities, but also in widespread material practices of solidarity and mutual aid that persist in both urban and rural contexts. To take just two examples, in Venezuela’s cities and towns people sometimes carry out cayapa s, which are barn-raising-like collective labor processes, and they organize neighborhood sancochos or shared soup meals. Both traditions point to the survival of communitarian practices even in modern, mainstream Venezuelan culture. Along with this comes a strong commitment to values of solidarity, mutuality, and egalitarianism in the Venezuelan working class. All of this means that when the Bolivarian Process shifted toward the commune–a shift that became official in 2009–it encountered a fertile ground. The communal project was seized on by the masses. It was an idea they recognized as continuous not only with their aims of social emancipation and independence, but it also coincided with a long-standing collective imaginary regarding the means for achieving those goals.

Life and Work in the Communes
The strength of this synthesis is borne out by the vibrancy with which communal construction is being carried out in the country today. Despite the importance of the legal framework and the official discourse from the government, Venezuelan communes are all about self-emancipation, about people being protagonists. This means, on the one hand, that successful communes will be quite varied in their make-up, reflecting creative solutions to the diverse problems and challenges of a given region of the country or specific community. On the other hand, it means that they usually represent an essentially proactive initiative taken from below, even if that grassroots impulse receives legitimation and sometimes material support from the state.

For example, in El Maizal Commune, a group of people, some of them former farmhands, jumpstarted their commune by occupying a farm where corn was grown and cattle raised, then set it to work producing food for themselves and their community. In the Che Guevara Commune 5 in the foothills of the Andes, a long-standing coffee cooperative, built years earlier through the hard work of seasoned cadres who are mostly from Colombia, opted to formally become a commune after Chávez’s 2009 declaration. In El Panal Commune in Caracas, a highly combative revolutionary organization spurred the formation of a bakery, textile workshop, and later developed urban tilapia and pig farming projects under communal property relations. In Cinco Fortalezas Commune in Cumanacoa,6 a group of revolutionary women whose families had been day-laborers, led the project to seize a sugarcane hacienda and then struggled to obtain the means for sugar processing.

A commune’s main means of production–whether agricultural, industrial, or service-based–are under democratic control of the communards. This grassroots control is expressed most fully in the commune’s monthly assemblies, along with regular committee meetings to address everything from production to cultural activities and finances. Because there are no bosses and the work is self-organized in these communes, it is usually more pleasurable and always more meaningful than work when it is carried out under the antidemocratic domination of capital. Typically, people move among different tasks, thereby breaking down the routine and the technical division of labor that the capital system imposes. Along the way, they learn about the entire production process. A commune’s products may be consumed inside the community or they may be sold outside to generate a surplus, part of which goes back to production and part to social projects, such as women’s centers, free canteens, schools, care for the old and unwell, medical and funeral expenses, and so on.

Challenges and Solutions
Not everything is rosy in the country’s communes. Internal conflicts often emerge, as do contradictions with government officials and with neighbors who are not part of the project. Likewise, in a Venezuela that is under a cruel U.S. blockade, most communes are drastically short of resources. There are also problematic holdovers from the old society such as residues of personal interest, hierarchy, and machismo.

Still, the fact that people in the communes are working in non-alienated conditions, producing for themselves and their communities and not for an anonymous market, while participating in a movement directed toward building a better, sustainable, and just post-capitalist world, makes all the difference. The communes are viable starting points. They are small and imperfect, but they are solid in the sense that the new democratic social metabolism they embody–even if for now just in a microcosm–is capable of extending beyond the isolated commune to the whole society, while it opens a window on a better future that centers life in its rich manifestations and not capital accumulation.

To address the many challenges they face, communes in Venezuela pursue a number of strategies. These include political education and mística; coordination among communes; and a dialectical relation with state power. We will discuss each of these briefly in turn.

1. Political education and mística. The communes are inevitably prey to the centrifugal, conflictive nature of the capitalist society which they inherit and of course persists in Venezuelan society at large. However, education in revolutionary theory–knowing where one is going and where one comes from–when combined with internal democracy, can help to maintain the collaborative nature of the project, and help overcome many of the problems related to the transition to socialism. It is partly for this reason that many communes have developed educational initiatives: El Maizal has the Yordanis Rodríguez School, El Panal has the Pluriversidad Patria Grande, and Che Guevara commune regularly organizes political education workshops.

For its part, mística refers to cultural, even spiritual activities that serve to create community cohesion. These can include songs, rituals, and special spaces, or more broadly works of art such as murals and sculptures. This helps to develop a symbolic register that is especially important in as much as the communes are works in progress that are always imperfect. The symbolic register is a way of signaling that activities that may outwardly resemble those existing in the non-communal world are imbued with a new intentionality or new direction. Examples of mística in this broad sense are the mandala space in Cinco Fortalezas commune, the bust of Chávez under the saman tree in El Maizal commune, and the murals of revolutionary figures at the Che Guevara commune.

2. Coordination and unity. Venezuela’s functioning communes are scattered throughout the territory. This isolation makes them weaker in the face of the state and the overall capitalist economy that persists in the country. That, in turn, causes the communes to make many concessions to commodity production, and to be more easily infected by capitalist values and hierarchies. For this reason, numerous attempts have been introduced to link the communes, with a view both to sharing their products outside the capitalist market and incrementing their political power.

Some of these coordinating initiatives have emanated from the state, such as the Ministry of Commune’s project of forming Blocs of Communes in 2014 and its current effort to organize “communal economic circuits.” However, the most promising and ambitious of the endeavors to link and empower communes in the country is the Communard Union.7 This is a self-organized undertaking, officially launched in early 2022, that describes itself as “a unifying and integrating instrument.” The Communard Union has attempted to develop networks of exchange among communes and has organized workshops on leadership, communication, and feminism. Its aims are far-reaching and include building a federation of communes and replacing the current state with a “communal state.”

3. Relation with the state. Popular power in Venezuela, of which the communes are the latest and most powerful expression, has generally pursued a dialectical relation with state power during the more than two decades of the Bolivarian Process. This marks a significant difference from more radically autonomous movements such as contemporary Zapatismo in Mexico that refuses participation in state politics. The efflorescence of popular power that has occurred during the course of the Bolivarian Process–arguably, emerging on a scale never before seen in Latin American history–speaks clearly for the merits of its dialectical approach to state power.

However, the current Venezuelan state, even if partly transformed, is not completely so. That means that the communes in Venezuela find themselves in an ongoing push and pull with state power. From the state, they seek not only legal protection and legitimation, but also resources and financing. This overall situation is a source of what is sometimes called, not without a significant dose of euphemism, “creative tensions.” The state rarely transfers significant political power or resources without struggle, which means that the communes find themselves, in turn, wooing, demanding, and sometimes shaming the state into delivering over a portion of its oil rents and other incomes for the project of socialist accumulation.

The Future of the Communes
Latin America is known all around the world for its revolutionary figures and movements. The Haitian, Mexican, Cuban, and Nicaraguan revolutions along with the Colombian insurgency have made the continent recognized worldwide for its history of heroically taking up arms against the most powerful of imperialist enemies–and sometimes even winning! This anti-imperialist, socially emancipatory current of struggle has continued in the wave of progressive processes that took shape in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Latin America’s revolutionary movements are often symbolized by their almost larger-than-life figures: Tupac Amaru II, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Emiliano Zapata, César Augusto Sandino, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chávez. However, a lesser known but even more important side of Latin American revolutionary processes has always been the construction of popular power–grassroots organization and empowerment–that buoyed up each one of these historic processes. That is to say, for every heroic and visible leader there were thousands, if not millions, of people who formed revolutionary committees, cordones industriales, ayllus, palenques, caracoles, and asambleas barriales–among the many expressions of popular power that were essential grassroots motors of these revolutions.

Now the communards in Venezuela are writing a new chapter in this ongoing effort of self-emancipation combined with anti-imperialist struggle. Their slogan “Commune or Nothing!” are words that one hears in the mouths of commune-builders all around the country. If that slogan is in clear continuity with Latin America’s tradition of popular power, it is also an expression of the crossroads facing humanity for which the communal path to socialism offers a cogent solution. That is because what the slogan expresses is that capital and commune are opposites, two completely contrary metabolisms. The one offers a chance to put people and nature at the center, while the other represents their subordination to a destructive mechanism of expanding value production that could soon make life on the planet impossible. In the face of the abyss that the nothing of capital holds before us, a large and growing movement has opted to build a sustainable, socialist future based on the commune. They invite you to do likewise!

This text forms part of the Progressive International’s Building the Future, a research collection on contemporary socialist construction.

1.↩ Cira Pascual Marquina and Chris Gilbert, El Panal Commune (Part I): Communal Production in a Country Under Siege, Venezuelanalysis
2.↩ Chris Gilbert, Red Current, Pink Tide: A Visit to El Maizal Commune in Venezuela, Monthly Review
3.↩ Ricardo Vaz, The Revolutionary Aló Presidente Teórico #1, Venezuelanalysis
4.↩ Chris Gilbert, Mészáros and Chávez: The Philosopher and the Llanero, Monthly Review
5.↩ Chris Gilbert, A Commune Called ‘Che’: A Socialist Holdout in the Venezuelan Andes, Monthly Review
6.↩ Cira Pascual Marquina and Chris Gilbert, Rebellious Sugarcane Growers: Voices from Cinco Fortalezas Commune (Part I), Venezuelanalysis
7.↩ Chris Gilbert, A Milestone: Venezuela’s Communard Union Stages Its Foundational Congress, Venezuelanalysis
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 30, 2023 2:39 pm

26 Jan 2023 , 3:54 pm .

"At various times, President Trump, John Bolton, and I have suggested the military option for Venezuela," Pompeo published in his November 2022 book (Photo: Bloomberg)

Whoever was Donald Trump's Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, published a book in November 2022, entitled Never Give An Inch (in Spanish, I never gave an inch ) with which he told about the different issues and experiences that surrounded his management as maximum diplomatic representative of the republican administration.

Of course, he did not stop commenting on the maximum pressure strategy against Venezuela. These are his confessions, which confirm the low (and sometimes high) intensity war to attempt regime change and a coup against the government of President Nicolás Maduro (bold fonts are ours) (chapter 15, "Know Your Limits "):

"Our campaigns against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have focused on military deterrence and economic and diplomatic pressure.


"We recovered the essence of President Trump's Monroe Doctrine regarding Venezuela, a former democratic ally of the United States.


"In the Trump administration, we could not tolerate a nation just 1,400 miles from Florida rolling out the welcome mat for Russia, China, Iran, Cuba and the cartels in a 21st century violation of the Monroe Doctrine. We came to the conclusion that if not addressed, the Venezuela issue would fester, with dire security consequences for the American people and our hemisphere.In the spring of 2018, with new elections in Venezuela about to take place, we believed we had an opportunity to help the Venezuelan people to recover their country from a dictator Supporting the opposition and exerting economic pressureabout Maduro, we hoped to right the Venezuelan ship and force their way out. We hoped to make life so miserable for the regime that Maduro and his thugs would have to come to terms with the opposition. If Maduro wanted to live in a Swiss castle for the rest of his life, we were willing to let him, as long as Venezuela could return to a normal trajectory. At various times, President Trump, John Bolton, and I have suggested the military option for Venezuela. None of us wanted to publicly take a major lobbyist off the table.

Replace "exerting economic pressure on Maduro" with "economically suffocating Venezuela and its entire population," and you have a more truthful account of US strategy.

On the other hand, Pompeo confirms that the threats of a military attack by former President Donald Trump were not a mere bluff but a real possibility, agreed between senior White House officials. ... -venezuela

Google Translator


Opposition Lawyer Sujú Falsely Accuses Maduro of ‘Abandoning Indigenous Venezuelans’
JANUARY 28, 2023

Young members of the indigenous Yanomami tribe in the state of Roraima, Brazil. Photo: Reuters/Adriano Machado.

On Thursday, January 26, human rights lawyer Tamara Sujú published a tweet launching a new disinformation campaign rife with photos and other embellishments depicting the malnutrition and alleged abandonment of indigenous groups in Venezuela.

Tamara Sujú, who served as “ambassador” to the Czech Republic on the payroll of Juan Guaidó and his “interim government” is now attempting to hold the legitimate government of Nicolás Maduro responsible for the crisis of the Yanomami ethnic group.

Sujú accused President Maduro on social media of exploiting indigenous territory for profit and claimed that he purposely destroyed the land to extract minerals and gold. According to Sujú, the Maduro government then neglected and abandoned the indigenous people living on those lands, who have been dying of malnutrition.

Media manipulation

One crucial detail is that while the situation is absolutely real, it is not occurring in Venezuela but in Brazil, caused by the gross mishandling of indigenous cultures and territories during the Bolsonaro era.

An article published in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia on January 26 confirms this, including the very same photographs that Suju used in her accusations against President Maduro.

Humanitarian aid and acknowledgement of the situation
The current government of Brazil, led by Luiz Inacio “Lula” Da Silva, is addressing this grave and tragic situation to which the indigenous people of Brazil have been subjected.

Likewise, in Venezuela, and to the dismay of some, only revolutionary governments and policies have given proper consideration to our ancestral peoples. In an unprecedented motion, the revolutionary government established a ministry dedicated solely to the affairs of indigenous people, entrusting them with political power both inside and outside their communities never before seen in the history of the country. Under the Maduro government, all ethnic groups are respected as human beings, as they always have been, and are honored as Venezuelan compatriots.

As a consequence, the new misinformation campaign that this sector of the Venezuelan opposition insists on spreading, now with Tamara Sujú as their figurehead, will ultimately fail.

(RedRadioVE) by Victoria Torres ... nezuelans/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Tue Feb 07, 2023 2:15 pm

20 Jan 2023 , 5:23 pm .

In Washington there is a discussion of method and format regarding the strategy on Venezuela, and not a paradigm shift in relations (Photo: CrisisGroup)

The days of teacher protests these weeks take place in a climate where, along with the inflationary pressure of the beginning of this 2023, they seem to be linked to a type of mobilization that has been gradually expressing itself, at the national level, with unions and other actors " visible" of "civil society", against the background of the advances and tensions around the government-opposition dialogue process in Mexico.

In the midst of this, the definitive collapse of the "Guaidó project", the reckoning of Voluntad Popular with the G3 and the loss of initiative of the opposition in general, seem to force a correction of the approach to Venezuela. This time, the attempted amendment does not come from the traditional decision-making circles of the White House or the State Department, but rather from well-engaged intellectual apparatuses in Washington's corridors of power such as the influential Wilson Center.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, commonly referred to as the Wilson Center, published in December 2022 its report " Venezuela in 2023 and Beyond: Charting a Different Course ."

Product carried out by the Working Group for Venezuela within the Program for Latin America, the report is signed by the American academic Abraham F. Loewenthal as a result, according to him, of "virtual group discussions, interviews with the group as a whole or individual members carried out carried out with Venezuelan actors and experts, a number of previous papers , and the extensive exchange of perspectives between us" (pp.3-4), referring to the list of names accompanying the document.

Co-signed by 19 signatories (including its author), the report consists of 28 pages and 17 sections outlining what, strictly speaking, is the vision of the Washington DC-based think tank on establishing a strategy and path of actions to follow for the resolution of the "Venezuelan conflict".

The Wilson Center is funded by the US Congress and is an integral member of the complex educational system and network of government study centers named in honor of former US President Woodrow Wilson.

This think-tank also receives extensive funding from Fortune 500 corporations. Its list of donors is made up of individuals (the godmother of the R2P doctrine, Anne Marie Slaughter), institutions of the Executive Branch (the State Department), embassies (such as that of Qatar), to business empires such as Amazon, Chevron, PepsiCo, Northop Grumman, ExxonMobil or JP Morgan Chase, according to their 2021 sponsorship registry .

The data itself already tells us conclusively what is the scheme of interests around the alleged "resolution" of the "Venezuelan conflict." But something could give the entity even more political value and operational weight. In the absence of a delineated or specific policy in official terms of the United States with respect to Venezuela, this document seems to come closer, more than anything else, to that: an official document on the possible steps actually conceived and existing by Washington with respect to Venezuela.

Another element to highlight, which establishes another signifier in relation to the language around the report itself and what it says itself, is the type of main author. Abraham Loewenthal is a political-academic animal deeply embedded in the think tank -academic establishment and political-corporations system .

His profuse resume includes practically all the "weight" universities within the system (Harvard, Oxford, Brown, Princeton), as well as the network of think tanks and think tanks (CFR, Brookings Institution, Inter-American Dialogue). . He is also a member of the Research Council of the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy, the NED. He specializes, among other fields, in globalization, governance, Latin America and, with particular emphasis, in transitions from authoritarian governments to democracy .

In this way, as the main speaker (but not the only one), the political language and its signal system is clearly established. And, indirectly, the document can achieve a rank of official status that other working papers would hardly do.

Bonus fact: Antony Blinken is also a member of the Wilson Center.
The essential premise of the work is that there is no other way to get out of the "dead end" of the Venezuelan question other than through a negotiation process, one through which agreements are made that affect "the interests of both the government Venezuelan and the democratic opposition" (p.4), noting that these are not magic formulas that will resolve the "deep resentments among Venezuelans" or that guarantee an immediate economic recovery (p.5).

On the other hand, the working paper indicates that the new objective of the opposition is no longer to seek accelerated regime change, but rather, under the supervision of the United States, it presents itself as an opposition that seeks to address and resolve "humanitarian emergencies," the human rights, "reconstruction of the economy" and, especially, an aspired framework of governability and consensus towards elections (presidential, regional and municipal, in 2024 and 2025) that are "fair" and "internationally monitored", as as the Wilson document states. The think tank refers exclusively to the Unitary Platform as "the opposition."

To that extent, Loewenthal et al assert that any escalation of "coercive measures" is not only not justified, but rather "would intensify hostilities" (p. 11). Likewise, from the United States, they point out the need to create bipartisan support that definitely moves away from maximum pressure to, instead, "encourage negotiations, build coexistence, protect human rights, facilitate effective democratic governance, and promote economic recovery." (p.15).

Already at this point, if we also add the definitive implosion of the "Guaidó strategy", the United States seems to formalize, in terms of forms, the end of the operational logic that marked the years of direct confrontation of the Trump administration.

It can be affirmed that it is an indirect recognition of a succession of failures that force the recognition of the Bolivarian Government, and President Nicolás Maduro, as undeniable actors and impossible to avoid. However, up to here the more or less friendly premises or "humanization" of the adversary could be identified. But despite the mitigations, it can be detected that the semantic field of the regime change logic remains.

It can be clearly seen in two elements: the first is the characterization of "the crisis" and the government, and secondly, the final objective of the negotiations.

In the first element, it is a stagnation whose sole responsibility has been the Chavista governments, where the role of a "robust civil society" that participates in the process at different levels and the supervision of the "international community" is urgent in order to "reinstitutionalize" (p.6) the disorder of a government and an "entrenched" power group (p.11), which still to this day, according to the report, closes media outlets, commits environmental crimes, violates human rights, etc. .

In the second, the working paper fails to completely hide that the fundamental objective is a "political transition" (p.5) with a "transfer of power" (p.2), and "reconstruction" (p.14 ) political and national, then in the search to overcome a "traumatic period that has done a lot of damage to Venezuela, destabilized the region and damaged millions of compatriots" (p.20), according to the usual canons of the catechism liberal, codified in the ideological framework of the Democratic Party.

Thus, in the first, the report not only recommends, but also sees fit that as long as the process of dialogue and negotiation continues, the "sanctions" are not lifted from the main political actors of Chavismo and that, if progress is not made, they can be quickly "reinstituted" ( snap back ) at the time of any intransigence, but not before recommending through the international actors around the dialogue an apparent relaxation as an "incentive".

In both cases, already at this point, it can be affirmed that the report abandons what could be "new" to reproduce the usual commonplaces, since what is apparently strategic once again becomes simply a series of open pressure tactical resources.

Anyone more or less familiar with conflict resolution methods understands that an essential premise is that no one "wins", and this is decidedly not the case: at least as an aspiration there is a clear desire for one of the parties to be victorious. .

It is, then, a discussion of method and format, and not a paradigm shift in relationships.

Beneath the apparent humanitarian concerns and societal well-being, the central political objective, regime change, operates, manifestly using its central lever: elections. For this, it will be necessary to counterpoint part of the content with other elements visible and verbalized from other instances.


The change in approach and form in the United States-Venezuela relationship and, within that, the elements of form that have effectively been modified, could be said to precede the Wilson Center report to a certain extent, which, despite being more eloquent, descriptive, and intellectually Finished as it may be, it cannot be assumed as the alpha and omega of the "plan" of the supervised opposition.

The notion of the elections, first of all, the presidential ones of 2024 and, at least in principle, the regional ones of 2025 as the turning point and the overton window to, now, achieve regime change can also be seen in other places . of enunciation in matters of opinion and also in policies of institutions of the United States system with greater continuity or not subject to contingencies, which could affect the executive branch at times.

On September 15, 2022, Marcela Escobari, USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, offered testimony to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Venezuelan "case."

After establishing the same usual picture about the "Venezuelan crisis" where migration, "authoritarianism", little freedom of the press, corruption, ineptitude and repression stands out without surprise, the official closes with the way in which USAID will bet on the "democratic transition" in Venezuela.

It is worth saying that the portrait (and the sources) of both Escobari and the Wilson report are essentially the same, with the same level of data to establish the discourse and justify the actions to be taken. However, it is not the only thing in which they agree, apart from the fact that Escobari's intemperate and apocalyptic style marks a considerable distance from Loewenthal's in the document reviewed up to here.

In this sense, Escobari affirms that there are three areas from which USAID seeks to operate towards the "democratic transition" in Venezuela, also having as its center the electoral days of 2024 and 2025. Following the same and exact path, where the improvement of electoral conditions is a governing principle, USAID makes it clear, first, that it will support the opposition.

According to Escobari, the "subnational" (sic) elections, that is, the regional ones of 2021, demonstrated that according to this logic it is possible to use the vote resource despite not being free, according to her, to demonstrate that objectives can be achieved by electoral means.

He also amusingly claims that the opposition won a landslide victory with the January 2022 elections in Barinas, but that is just an ornament.

What does matter about his statement is certifying that for the United States and the Biden administration, the double electoral defeat in Barinas is the definitive and clear demonstration of the model to follow. This, in terms of opinion, has been more or less a constant that can be found, for example, at the level of opinion from the US brokerage media.

This is the central point, which must be complemented with the other two that also establishes bridges with the Wilson document. Support for "independent media" and "democratic civil society" as the way to keep branding and denounce the government, and, in the same direction, the same with "human rights defenders who document the repression."

The Wilson Center, for its part, recommends, varying the approach somewhat, the importance that in principle the government and the Unitary Platform "design and agree on the processes that document systematic violations of human rights, the suppression of democratic liberties and grotesque corruption", something that, as they recommend, should be done in consultation "with both Venezuelan and international activists and human rights defenders", as well as the victims, laying the groundwork for an alleged reparatory justice (p.17).

For USAID, which since 2018, the year in which the floodgates were opened through the UN to different modalities of "humanitarian aid" as a mechanism primarily for political decompression, by September 2022 had announced having allocated 367 million dollars in "additional humanitarian assistance." In the same sense, the NED declares, according to its last rendering of accounts (2021, in February they will publish the one of 2022) to have publicly allocated under its standards the bulky figure of 4 million 324 thousand 293 dollars, since it is an increase of approximately one million dollars from the previous year .

What could establish the question of to what extent, in reality, these presumed dividends are actually being destined to assist people in extreme precariousness, in poverty or despair (which has a lot to do with the also well-known picture of economic depression product of the "sanctions") and how much, in reality, is being allocated to the "strengthening" of that "democratic civil society", "human rights defenders" or "independent media".

And here we come, at this moment of comparative analysis, to what is perhaps one of the essential premises of the Wilson document, which we will quote in extenso :

"Part of this effort [to build conditions to negotiate and move towards the 'transition'] should be in public diplomacy: not to open confidential conversations to the public eye, but to provide periodic reports that build trust in the negotiators [of the Unitary Platform and the Bolivarian Government] and its work. The democratic opposition should not lose sight of the probable usefulness of organizing street demonstrations, not to overthrow the government, but to increase the leverage of the opposition. Combining pressure and concessions, in different ways in different times, it is sometimes a valuable strategy for negotiations" (p.19).

This affirmation, naturally, forces us to contrast the events more or less by accumulation that have been manifesting from the unions and other instances of organization by sector of Venezuelan society in recent days, offering a depth of field to said movements and actions.

Actions that, yes, are based on concrete and tangible elements of reality, such as the value of the salary and consequently the economic difficulties, in an international framework where many possible steps have been announced in terms of progress from the dialogue, among them the release of a significant number of sequestered funds that should be allocated, in a coordinated manner, to alleviate difficulties in education, health and service infrastructure.

Already at this point, the preliminary conclusion can be established that it is not the humanitarian situation that mobilizes all this, but political calculations based on a tactical logic of smart power that combines real concessions with pressure mechanisms within the framework of the pre-existing context. electoral, at a time when the conventional partisan instances are frankly in crisis and reorganization, incapable of directly building an agenda and a political climate.

The creation of a non-organic political climate demands a period of maturation, and the dispersion due to internal disputes and other current implosion factors does not seem to facilitate unity of command, the construction of agreements or the harmonization in the execution of an agenda. specific, as it was possible to carve, for example, throughout 2016 with the first half of 2017 with a climax that reached the insurrectionary.

The situation analyzes of some opposition firms themselves admit in broader terms a general climate of demobilization, something that according to the political scientist Ricardo Sucre Heredia, for example, permeates the entire national scene, even if it is expressed in different ways and Chavismo demonstrates other more mobilized or mobilizing elements.

Sucre Heredia is based on the latest opinion studies by Delphos and Datanálisis carried out at the end of last year. With all the biases to consider in this kind of study, however, he admits to passages like these, taken from his latest report on January 16 :

"Another result is that the willingness to protest against the government and for public services dropped. In the first, from 41% to 21% between July and November 2022, and in the second, it went from 55% to 37% respectively, which "It would explain why the protests over the services went off the news. They don't make much noise anymore. In general, people don't want to go out and protest."

In the light of this sample, both from the analysis and from what is presented in it based on the Delphos study, the question can be raised as to where the drivers of heating the street are in recent days.

Since the middle of last year, with the reactions and protests of the "Onapre instructions", there has been evidence of a unionization of the conflicts. Structures that, for the most part, have historically been controlled by parties or elements of the opposition, today, at least in theory, outside the partisan structures of the dispersed opposition.

The year 2014 began with a scenario that resonates in this particular aspect: the parties, in general terms, in frank withdrawal after the electoral defeat of the municipal elections at the end of 2013, but that by the railing well-known anti-political actors, along with structures prepared and trained for the occasion, such as the "student movement", managed to establish the recognized agenda of violence and conflict.

Regardless of the fact that the discourse itself around the "what to do" of the opposition and of the United States at this moment in general lines focuses on the negotiations for the electoral appointment, the union demonstrations (today teachers), at least in principle and in their organizational nucleus, they seem to have a degree of organization and method that goes beyond the framework of spontaneous actions.

In some regions of the country, where they seemed to have a greater mobilizing effect, these action programs were programmed for actions throughout the week, in several municipalities, with different degrees of intensity and scope, and in search of the constitution of conflict committees, on this occasion "in all educational institutions", seeking to accumulate strength and channel discontent with broader-based perspectives.

At these three levels studied, that of the think tank , that of the US state body and that which is reflected in an incipient and still somewhat disintegrated way in the street, they seem to be sketching between the doctrinal floor and direct action, the political floor or for gearing mechanisms of pressure, or, perhaps, with non-manifest objectives and purposes, but not ruled out in terms of conflict, all, the three analyzed, with the "higher" purpose of change of government and, more broadly, of regime historical and sociopolitical.

"No route is risk-free within such conflicting circumstances. Even so, the risks of fully exploring a path towards democratic governance, respectful coexistence and the economic recovery of Venezuela should be taken by all relevant actors, after so many years of polarization, repression and deprivation. The time for a total effort to negotiate solutions to the multiple crises in Venezuela is now. That is our central message" (p.23), concludes the Wilson Center document. ... -venezuela

Feb 1, 2023 , 2:20 p.m.

The trade union displaces the opposition political parties (Photo: Tairy Gamboa / Crónica Uno)

The union mobilizations that began with force this year try to present them with a single background and context: the precariousness of life and the tragic depreciation of the value of wages in international currency. But, is it impossible to assume that behind this process there are other elements that could suggest the idea of ​​a new conflict agenda that is being structured, in a framework where, after several years, the opposition political parties reached their historical lowest point? ?

Here, perhaps, some points that illuminate other deliberately obscured areas of the current political moment.

The panorama of the opposition parties is an unhappy neurotic desert. And this truth is not certified from the pseudo-official expiration of the "interim"; It already came from before and that vacuum was and is confirmed by all political observers: the government, the United States, its satellites, the population in general and especially the parties themselves, thus the latter operate with the usual dishonesty.

The fetish of regime change by violent means, extra(or para)political as the only way, the "pressure and break" with foreign support, the half-hearted acknowledgment of both defeat and the existence of its formal antagonists (the government), has placed them in the harsh situation today, where not even for the primaries they find a stable viability in the pursuit of objectives.

As a result of wear and tear, failure and self-humiliation, the inability of the opposition establishment to grasp the political moment and adapt to its new coordinates is daily patented. The relative stabilization, mainly political and, for a period, economic, further accentuated this operational and emotional drift.

However, neither in politics nor in war are the gaps lasting, and since the middle of last year the focus has been shifting.

For some opposition analysts who are less tormented by the maximalist paths of express overthrow, "we must address 'the problems of the people' to achieve freedom, not the other way around, in the specific situation of Venezuela." These realistic positions affirm and permeate a layer of professional political opinion that reaffirms and demands gradual, alternating actions, but with the desire that the parties themselves be the ones to channel the situation.

At the center of this criticism and this proposal, it is pointed out that the hegemonic parties (now under the G3 + Voluntad Popular fracture) were not able, since 2013, to structure a "political fabric" that is organically threaded to the problems of society outside the parties and, therefore, is unable to redirect the "energy" of the socioeconomic malaise of the moment.

Since mid-2022, a turning point can be identified where another sphere of "organized" society began to exceed the very framework that, from 2013 to 2021, more or less, was the monopoly of the G4 as almost exclusive representation of the opposition. policy.

The reaction and response to the Onapre instructions and what affected benefits and other elements used to being reflected in collective contracts, especially of the public administration, and within it, in the teachers' union, made that together with the demonstrations legitimate protests against the precariousness of benefits that the instructions brought, these organized instances, presumably non-partisan: unions and unions, would also express themselves with a greater organizational presence.

This was not a flash in the open sky either (as will be seen later), but from that moment on and to date, political attention and mobility has effectively been shifting towards these instances, in itself pointing to the parties (and the economic circles that traditionally accompany them) as part of the problem, part of the elite in the current economic framework, with the duality of currencies and the elements of inequality inherent in the circulation and access of the dollar.

As an aggravating circumstance, the fracture of the unstable balance of the band in which the dollar was against the bolivar accentuates and certifies both the true and unquestionable evils that afflict the country and the ability to use them as an instrument of "struggle" and organization.

"Doing politics with the rules of the authoritarian system to beat it, in two dishes, rather than approving an instance that is not supported in Venezuelan political history," says the analyst quoted above.

Another dissonance further defines the vectors of the conflict, while it is embedded in another situation of concrete inequality that has also been accumulating over time: the division between Caracas and the rest of the country, where the precariousness of life and the elements that accentuate everything else are expressed with greater forcefulness and drama.

First it was the "rebellion of the regions", a reflection within the partisanship that threatened a rupture between the leaderships of Caracas and the regions in the framework of the 2021 elections (with their results), and now the breeding ground of critical mass and force in a centripetal movement, from the periphery to the center, from the outside to the inside, if Caracas is considered as the latter. And this is offered by the material conditions, and the stridency with which they express themselves with greater force outside the capital.

However, it is from the beginning of this year that the "political face" that leads the agenda assumes the definitive contours of the conflict agenda. It is already ceasing to be a plan in search of a political subject. Said "subject" is a trade union and unionized expression, as "vanguard expression" of "civil society" has assumed that role.

Teachers, labor unions of various kinds, public employees (organized or not) plus retirees and pensioners are that manifestation. Some traditional political leaders and the Communist Party do not overcome their habitual condition of vulgar appendage.

There is no more pressing problem in the country than the value of the salary (in bolivars) and the consequent crisis of purchasing power. As well as tracking the main causes of this being the case, perfectly traceable in the economic shocks resulting from the siege of the country during years of disruption, the enormous decrease in income, the national proscription of the "international" financial system (American-European) , etc.

But it is also true that the central elements of economic recovery and access to goods resulting from the dual currency have also accentuated the inequality gap with respect to the possibilities of living for those who depend exclusively on the violated bolivar.

To this, perhaps, should be added the discursive aphasia inherent in the access capacity of "premium Venezuela" while its various ostentations are manifested, at outrageous levels, on social networks. The dark side of the "Venezuela has been fixed" meme.

"Today the 24 states of the country are mobilized and we are giving a clear message to Nicolás Maduro: the workers demand salaries and pensions indexed to the cost of the basic basket. We are not going to accept those agreements between Fedecámaras and the Government , which violates our right to have a dignified wage. We are going to continue announcing the mobilizations".

These statements (where the emphasis is ours) were issued by Ana Rosario Contreras, president of the College of Nurses of Caracas on January 23, somehow encapsulating the central line of the discourse that has unfolded throughout the mobilizations of the month of January.

In this, the line of contact of the conflict is clearly delimited: the new "them and us" is an alleged "pact" between "the tops" of the public and private sectors, the speaker from exclusion and the abandonment. He places these "political subjects" on the scene and the scenography.

But this declarative sample is taken in essence by those who point it out, but in any case that wants to look for the ways of enunciating the discourse of the moment, they will find, in terms of demands, with exactly the same guidelines: salary and "death" pensions, basket basic, dignified life and adjusted to the Constitution (article 91), indexation and, of course, the resignation of the President.

But by adding an edge that hasn't been commented on, we can give it a greater depth of field and situate it not exclusively as a protest movement and find the mood of the conflict agenda itself.

Beginning with the most basic, in the light of this and other discourses, the deliberate and concrete omission of foreign causes of economic hardship (a decade of war and sanctions) are already beginning to situate, politically, that same place of enunciation that is wanted. to make it seem as if they were alien to the political and against a supposed politicization, emphasizing clearly "social" elements.

Needless to say, the impact this has had in the medium and long wave of our recent history in critical sectors for the nation, fundamentally supported by public spending, such as health and education, where any report with devastating indicators can be established. mendaciously omitting a large number of really existing causes but not mentioned.

"January ends with Venezuela on fire on all four sides after protests for better wages," reads a headline in La Patilla on January 30. Said note, signed by the "correspondent" of the portal, makes a national review of said mobilizations, collecting statements and descriptions of situations throughout the entire national geography, of course without qualifying the true degrees of intensity (variable when verified) in the whole country. The important thing is to establish the narrative: "Venezuela on all four sides."

Any agenda of conflict and demands is inescapably based on truthful, concrete and specific elements of discontent (the value of the salary and the dollarized bodegónica inequality), but, in the same way, it is no less true that on this basis it is embedded and straddled. political methods of action and organization. There are plenty of precedents, both in Venezuela and in the world.

And at any point in this scenario, it is not difficult to imagine that all the central elements for which the demonstrations are initially justified go, as is customary, to a very second level, if not to proper oblivion.

This one, from everything reviewed, does not seem to be very different. National mobilizations sustained over time, with accumulation of force and regional coordination in terms of modes and tactics of action (communications; creation of "conflict committees"; collection, registration and documentation of the problem by specialized organizations).

Something of this magnitude requires a level of training, coordination (operational and logistics) and, also, very important, budget. Marches based exclusively on the desperation of demands are one thing, and maintaining street actions for a month, at the national level, with prospects of escalating ( heading towards a national strike ) and with a considerable degree of media exposure setting the tone for protests, is quite another. story. On the organic expressions that function as a base, there is also a degree of artificiality that is not yet entirely evident.

Like any operation of this nature, the integrity of the pact of verisimilitude and the narrative resources are essential to preserve cohesion, both at the operational and symbolic/discursive levels.

At this point and under this signal system there are several operational advantages.

1) The Bolivarian Revolution has never had a successful policy at the level of unions and colleges (public and/or private), 2) the forcefulness of the claim (salary and precariousness) goes faster than macro explanations (Venezuela it is still sanctioned and at war) and, 3) since 2018, under the pretext of "humanitarian aid" mediated by the UN, a huge amount of financial resources have entered, not auditable, which have hardly been allocated to the alleged aid. This opening of floodgates finances astroturfing that today has matured and is starting up.

This scenario also presents novel elements. In the first place, the center of the claim (at least until now) places the State at a lower speed between the explanation of the crisis, how it is lived and why it is denounced.

Secondly, it has been said, it involves political actors that until now, either operated in the background or were relegated to decoration and set design, leaving the conventions of the formally political in the background, but "without becoming a call to 'Remove Maduro' immediately. And once the specific labor objectives are achieved, the reminder may be motivation for other mobilizations," as another virginal and aseptic opposition observer wrote in the middle of last year.

Lastly, it operates on a new aestheticization that now jumps completely from the party patiquín to an apparently grassroots leadership (taking Guaidó, on the same plane of the phenotypic, as the intermediate point between one and the other), trying to do the same effort of novelty that covers up or conceals what is strictly political.

The most complete and successful synthesis of this picture is, by far, the teacher and union leader Elsa Castillo. She is charismatic, intelligent, a face of the people and (being retired) with the ability to mobilize. However, Mrs. Castillo also represents the limits of the construct: she comes from the union branch of Voluntad Popular and does not deny the possibility of herself being presidential, of the opposition launching a " broody hen " as a candidate against Nicolás Maduro.

"I can sympathize with whoever I want. I am an adult, I am of legal age. I have not denied anyone when I had political militancy, and at this moment I do not have it. I would say it, period, because whoever He has a political militancy, he has a conviction, " Castillo told journalist Vanessa Davies.

Seen in this way, in a certain sense, it is difficult to avoid the historical resonances that this mobilization and representation scheme harbors with the Polish Solidarity union in the 1980s, itself an apparently innovative and "autonomous" movement but with a powerful economic and direction of the United States and the transatlantic West.

On the one hand, USAID clearly says that since 2018 it has begun to finance and give money to NGOs that could channel the different "humanitarian aid" throughout the Venezuelan geography in different programs. Only, according to their own figures, in food, health, hygiene, "economic recovery and market systems" and protection, 293 million 900 thousand dollars have been disbursed up to 2022 , and here what is explicitly stated is hardly reviewed, of a figure that reaches 500 billion in global terms.

On another front, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says without any shame that in 2019 (one year after the floodgates opened) a billion dollars was allocated in alleged "humanitarian aid" (p.366 of his horrific memoirs).

On the other hand, the NED, in 2021, put almost 5 million dollars into the country. It remains to be seen, when they publish the numbers for 2022 in the second week of February, how far the figure reached last year, but disaggregating some of the 2021 items, we could get closer to an idea of ​​how much has been "invested", precisely, in training and "formation" in the action fronts that today dominate the public arena.

Of the 47 fronts or foci to which financing was allocated, highlighting only four of them, it is possible to have a notion of the scope and priorities where the NED is focused.

The highest number of the disaggregated, coming from the International Center for Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the four central components of the NED, consists of 353 thousand 38 dollars with the purpose of "developing an enabling environment for democracy", producing activities that "build consensus" that offer "spaces for democratic dialogue at local and regional levels". It is worth saying that this is also to activate "popular support for democracy and develop leadership in the private sector and civil society."

The CIPE is also, let's say, the business and privatization arm of the NED, with special emphasis on union activity.

Second in terms of investment volume ($300,000) is the item "promote democratic values ​​of citizenship through community initiatives," sponsored by the International Republican Institute (IRI), another of the central arms of the NED. Here, IRI partners seek to support "community resilience," by teaching "community members skills to implement" initiatives that promote "values ​​that strengthen economic freedom, social cohesion, and independent decision-making…ultimately contributing to to the preservation and recovery of democratic spaces in the country, which are essential in any democratic transition".

Another sufficiently descriptive item, even if it is not among the three highest amounts, is the "reinforcement of regional networks of citizens", which with 143 thousand dollars (in 2021) intends to "strengthen and mobilize a national network of citizens in support for democratic change in Venezuela. Citizens will engage in national and regional activities to promote a peaceful and constitutional resolution to the crisis in Venezuela. Through on-site assessments and training workshops, regional citizen platforms will be articulated and strengthened."

A fourth item to review would be the $160,000 that year was allocated to "strengthen and empower a network of women leaders" in eight states (which he does not specify) in low-income communities to train other women in "democratic values." , support them in the leadership network and monitor the human rights situation.

These four points, in the absence of space to analyze the remaining 43, already give us news of the type of action scheme (quite common, by the way) that the NED proposed in 2021 and that it probably escalated in 2022.

Seen this way, when some things seek to dazzle and shock more than necessary, in an environment where the lack of resources is precisely denounced, it is enough to see where the money is going, especially if it is accompanied by the surname "humanitarian".

Faced with a sequence of weighty political and economic events that involve political dialogue in Mexico, the release of funds to address urgent emergencies precisely in sectors such as health, education and services, against the backdrop of the pilot execution of the agreement With Chevron and Venezuela and with the presidential election calendar in just one year, the progressive heating of the street with seemingly forceful arguments, everything seems to be clearer.

Every time when these pressure tactics were explicitly recommended in what up to now represents the road map thought in Venezuela within this macro context.

It's a plan. It's a schedule. It has its actors. And it's running. ... -conflicto

Google Translator


Goicoechea Confesses Total Money Kidnapped by Washington Via Local Puppets
FEBRUARY 3, 2023

Far-right Venezuelan politician Yon Goicoechea. Photo: RedRadioVE.

This Thursday, February 2, during an interview conducted by Carla Angola in Miami, far-right politician Yon Goicoechea revealed that there is $40 billion being consciously withheld by the opposition, in a new edition of the corruption confessions by the far-right sector of the Venezuelan opposition.

This money was referred to in relation with what the United States keeps blocked with the unilateral coercive measures that continue to affect all the Venezuelan people. Unlike most opposition parties and their representatives, Goicoechea noted that eliminating the so-called interim government was a mistake because it violates access to money stolen by Juan Guaidó and his accomplices.

“I understand that today this is the situation,” he said. “In Venezuela—which is one of the poorest, most miserable, impoverished, ruined and humiliated countries in the region and on planet Earth—there are tens of millions of dollars at stake, which is the only money Venezuelans have, so that, in a moment of democracy, we can restart and reboot the country’s economy,” he added impudently, failing to mention the role he and the far-right sector he represents played in accruing the economic crisis that Venezuela suffered between 2015 and 2019.

Goicoechea further added that, politically, the elimination of the interim government favors Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and legally forces them to seek and argue for new ways to “protect assets,” meaning, in reality, forcing the opposition to find new ways to put that money in their hands to enrich themselves.

Guaidó admitted spending $150 million of public funds
The Venezuelan leader Juan Guaidó recently said that his fictional “interim government,” eliminated by decision of the opposition itself, managed a budget of about $150 million of public money in four years, frozen by the White House and placed in its hands.

“All that was used in public funds is more or less the budget of a municipality in the capital for one year,” Guaidó said in a press conference, without providing any details in how the money was spent.

Guaidó proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January 2019 with the support of then-US President Donald Trump, who led a failed offensive to overthrow President Maduro, using sanctions, threats of intervention in the territory, and even assassination attempts.

Since then, the US and its allies have put millions of dollars of illegally seized money from Venezuela in the hands of Guaidó.

(RedRadioVE) by Dubraska Esteves, with Orinoco Tribune content ... l-puppets/
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Tue Feb 28, 2023 2:23 pm


The Cayapo

The 4F summons us from its rebellion, but now not to stir up power with weapons but to study, experiment and build from thought (Photo: El Cayapo)

Feb 27, 2023 , 3:33 p.m.

We were born in the 80s / poverty our heritage / carrying materials we acquired resistance / between beliefs and customs marginalized from books / houses on the edge of the hill, skilled in balance / a carton of juice, in the guacal ta la madera / pa podé jugá ball at the landing on the stairs / cops and robbers, we divided into bands / raising active parrots on the platform.

We were born in the 80s / with Levis, among the lazy / with the chirri, with the browning / with the sauce and the sebagos / the drinks of polar and Carthusian anise / marginalized, ignored, far from luxuries / between pushes and pulls to fill the cupboard / our parents raised us stretching the fortnight / dozens of problems that add up to thousands / blood in the alleys, victims of the hostiles.

We were born in the 80s / decade of decadence / with thieves politicians mounted in the presidency / and violence stimulated by leisure / with wealth, but poor / without companies or businesses / but partners in the illegal market that is on the corner / the straw in radio direction tipped by the neighbor / the routine, the thugs / the pastors in converts / we all live together in our unusual universe.

We were born in the 80s/ with parties and shootings/ led by Lusinchi, Blanca Ibáñez, by Herrera/ waiting for the one who announces more delays/ and in La Peste the memories of the famous Caracazo/ we took the first steps when the people on that day/ decided that the protest was simply the way / witnesses of that rebellion that mobilized the class / fed up with so much agony that makes the body tired.

We saw the nineties arrive with the country almost in a coma/ with scholarship shoes we headed for the attempt/ in the popular areas the dream was to leave abroad/ as the bankers did in the middle of the financial crisis/ the oil opening plus the IMF/ the rubbish in novels, the contest for miss/ the destiny of the country, prisoner of the economy/ after a gray panorama without enjoying the royalties.

Police killing the neighborhood at the same time as the stone/ divided the neighborhood more and brought more snakes/ bankruptcy due to foreign currency flight/ in the pockets of the rich pesetero millionaires/ liars sold us a false democracy/ tortured, repressed, They generated bureaucracy / the misfortune of the poor appear in the events / we were left to speak like prisoners and we put the neighborhood in jail.

Carlos Andrés unharmed supporting corruption / with riots in high schools without desks in schools / mothers wore soles without alleviating their pain / transferred to another prison because they knocked down Los Flores / the colors of the country were losing their shine / poor against poor acting the triggers/ separating us was easy, like violent neighborhoods/ they liquidated the State in their buying and selling game.

Those were the 90s of Caldera and the pardon/ and the kakis to the pelabola making him carry the bundle/ as uneducated they raised us crowded like rats/ they educated the class as cheap labor/ with ungrateful promises of which we were captives/ against a justice Blind we fight to be alive.

What I narrate are reasons that left the sequel / of the revolution in Venezuela.

El Cayapo 01 We were born in the 80s

Since the powerful decided to count the days and nights and take advantage of this species, we can well say: we were born at the beginning of time, in the fields of poverty, serving the whims of the owners, always wanting to go to paradise celestial or earthly, wanting to scare away the hunger of all time accumulated in the brain, imitating the owners, ambitioning to be like them, without realizing that to be an owner, today, eight hundred thousand ball balls are required to sustain the freedom of each powerful, And we're not talking about María Corina's tin collector, but about the true powerful owners of the planet.

We wanted to post this rap poem by Andy Franco Brito, from the Area 23 group, because it lays bare and announces the reasons for the war, the blockade, the "sanctions" that the world's owners currently maintain against this country, and we remember it because people seem to forget where we come from, who we are, why we are in this war, why we dared to accompany Chávez. Because the bourgeoisie is not going to forgive us for rebellion, but also because as a people we need to build up the historical memory of the events that occurred in order to understand that, after the tiger is dead, we cannot be afraid of leather, and even if we have to As we soak up the stench and discomfort of this time, we must know that we were the ones who decided on these rashes, and scabies with pleasure does not itch, and if it itches it does not mortify.

So, let's be chavistas, squalid, ninís, or whatever position it may be, out of cowardice, hunger or ignorance, if we turn back because we are afraid to continue, because we fall in love with the propaganda of the owners, or because a magical act will take us out supposedly from the quagmire, we are very fallen from the bush, because the real truth is that we will all take the lump if we decide not to continue or believe in old dirty promises.

This time is not for belief, it is for looking at reality face to face. We repeat: the bourgeoisie will never forgive us for having followed Chávez in his ideas, so it is better to tie up your pants and panties and go ahead with the construction of the idea that will make us definitely be a country and abandon the mine forever, with everything and everything. capitalism, because the real reason for our tragedy is not the government, Maduro or Chávez, or socialism that does not exist, but that we are a looted mine for five hundred years and Chávez called us to disappear the mine and build a country where all let's be belonging And it is for this reason that the owners are super horny with us, not with Chávez or Maduro.


In accordance with the plans of the large corporations that own the world, since 1973, with the first government of Carlos Andrés Pérez, a maneuver of gigantic proportions began in Venezuela. The intention was to lead us to a civil war that would keep us in chaos, controlled by transnational corporations, whose objective was and continues to be the plunder of all the resources that the territory contains at the lowest cost and bring people to the greatest slavery possible. To do this, politics was discredited, first that of the left and all its variants, and then that of the right with everything that loomed on the horizon and smacked of politics.

Then the discrediting of the state began. Already polluted in the collective imagination, the partisan arms and their possible reproduction, from the disinformation media, the owners took it upon themselves to promote the chaotic situation into which the State had supposedly turned Venezuela and its institutions. Meanwhile, they were stealing all existing assets and resources while maneuvering to take over state-run public enterprises. By the 1980s and 1990s, the Venezuelan currency was not worth a cent, let alone a loach, white-collar crime was the order of the day, bankers were doing their thing with their banks and companies, stealing until they couldn't. All the tricks that have been and have been put into practice in Venezuela, from stealing benefits from workers,

This is why the owners of the transnationals drew up the plan for the supposed insurrection of the people on February 27 and 28, 1989, because in the midst of this confusion the last blow was given to the State and the fundamental pillars of the imaginary were destroyed. collective existence of the homeland, the State, with its presidency, the army and the people. During those days the people were discredited, they were turned by all the information media into criminals, looters, dog stealers, murderers, maulas. They turned the army into heartless murderers, despots, and all the unimaginable nicknames that can come up in the news and media programs in the hands of the owners.

The same thing happened with the majesty of the Presidency of the Republic, who is declared choro for stealing the pyrrhic sum of two hundred and sixty million dollars; a man who had enriched himself in his long political career by stealing at will without anyone bothering him, later being replaced by a gray intellectual who ends up giving a pardon to a second-rate narco.

So far, things seemed to be going smoothly, but the imponderable happens: these plans are frustrated because on February 4, 1992, a true military insurrection occurs without the control of the United States embassy and events unfold that have yet to be studied. but that, ultimately, put an end to the macro plans of the big transnationals to take over what is now the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

These are the immediate antecedents of why Chávez and why Maduro. The owners had us screwed and we decided another course, and now, what? Are we going to be afraid of leather? No one forced us to make that decision. Let's move on even if the path is not roses; She has her curves.

Actually, in Venezuela, the only important event that has occurred in five hundred years and more, outside of all the logic of the bourgeoisie's plans, is February 4, 1992. Although it is associated with February 27 and 28, 1989 , it is not a consequence because the MBR-200 already existed before, which had a leader, with a program, a way of seeing the territory, life, a doctrine to be used. Therefore, it is the only substantial event that occurs in Venezuela, after what we call the silent invasion carried out a hundred years earlier by the gringos in order to steal oil.

The 4F is truly independent from the guidelines of the owners of capital, but it also has distinctive features: none of its members belong to the old business, political, military, academic, artistic affiliations existing in the country. For the most part, the rebels and subversives are the children of peasants, fishermen and workers, therefore, they do not obey the powerful elites. This leader with a thought outside of traditional logic, who is not a nationalist at all costs but who thinks that we must establish ourselves as a country from the roots, does not believe in the hackneyed thesis that what it is about is doing .

Because Chávez says that the gringos encourage us to do, to do, but at the same time he asks himself "what to do", and then he answers that before doing we have to think, and in his speeches he permanently invites us to think, to move in those waters of ideas, that absolutely everything must be changed. "We did not come here to change something so that the same thing would continue to work, we came to radically change this and it will last for as long as it lasts." This man who does not stick to pamphlets ("I don't understand how they call a barracks, or a factory, a socialist, and they already believe that it is by name. No, it must be in fact") is the same leader who gave us he stirred up with the "for now", the one who told us, subverting the order, "I swear before this dying woman",

Of course that behavior, that attitude, that determination, that stubbornness to found a country, which moved us so much, would bring consequences, because the 4F is not a simple take off yourself to put me on, no. It is a seismic tremor in all fields of doing, it made us see that the left was nothing more than an old drawer full of pamphlets, slogans and empty clichés, that no one fell in love with except their own fans and their little leaders who already They were used to agreeing with the owners, but he was also the great revealer of the business, political, academic, trade union, and artistic elites, who had only been intermediaries between the transnational thieves and the existing resources in the territory, including the people, who each one of the guilds or individuals only wanted and still wants the country for themselves.

Since then, Venezuela the calm one, the jalabola, the imitator, the one of amen to everything that the gringos and Europeans said, became the rebel, the unloved, the pariah, the container of all evils, the lack of respect, the chavista, the communist. And the poor people, that is to say us, the scruffy, slavery and uneducated Indians, paw on the ground, thieves and crafty who without anyone's permission robbed the State and took away the freedom of the owners; We were accustomed to magically believing in these mines, and they told us that all the evils were the fault of the governments and the bad presidents and the politicians who accompanied them, regardless of whether they were from the right or the left, and they told us that the action of looting of corporations were beneficial to us, that everything foreign was better than ours, and this is why today we do not understand what really happens. Once again we avoid thinking, as Chávez told us, and we prefer to believe those who have always screwed us.

Unfortunately, overcoming the force of habit and establishing ourselves as another culture will cost us pain, because it is not easy to break free, break the bonds of slavery and start planting a country to which we gladly belong, avoiding as a body the vicissitudes that the world presents us with. wonderful fact of being alive, of being. But let's calm down and make an effort to think. Any serious person, not interested in their own ambitions, can think that a mine can become a country overnight, that the problems generated by so much robbery, crime, looting, carried out for more than five hundred years; that hunger, misery, environmental, moral, physical, ethical destruction, the lack of plans, of knowledge, can be resolved with a decree, a law or a speech; by winning an election with changing a president every five years or blaming the presidents for bad governments; with a demagogic president giving us bread and circuses, without thinking, as Chávez said. That this will take our lives, that substituting one mode of production for another and creating another culture is not a task for a few generations, but rather requires the collective assistance of many.

Although 1989 was a trigger for the 4F, this is the twister of brains that summons us to subversive creation. It is no coincidence that since then we have witnessed the great chaos of the owners and their true intentions. Despite the fact that Chavismo has been winning legitimate elections, the opposition has not stopped claiming fraud without presenting a single piece of evidence, the Bolivarian government has been applying laws and developing actions based on the new Constitution. However, the opposition shouts that the government is illegitimate, and based on that assumption but really defending its interests, has carried out two coups, a national strike and another oil strike, has promoted assassinations, created guarimbas, with the consequent deaths, injuries, destruction of material goods. It has colluded with foreign powers by putting itself at their service, it has requested invasions, blockades, "sanctions" against the population and the State. It has been lent so that foreign powers can seize the country's wealth and subject workers to low wages, all in the name of their freedom, democracy, civilization, progress, which with this government feel limited, because they understand that they are the owners always have been. And how is it possible that now there is an attempt to undermine the rights of an elite that has always ruled in this mine-territory full of slaves. all in the name of their freedom, democracy, civilization, progress, which with this government they feel limited, because they understand that they are the owners, they always have been. And how is it possible that now there is an attempt to undermine the rights of an elite that has always ruled in this mine-territory full of slaves. all in the name of their freedom, democracy, civilization, progress, which with this government they feel limited, because they understand that they are the owners, they always have been. And how is it possible that now there is an attempt to undermine the rights of an elite that has always ruled in this mine-territory full of slaves.

The 4F is a thorn in the throat of the owners, because when Chávez came to power he realizes that they are trying to deceive him with the tale of the bituminous belt. Chávez says that it is not a bituminous belt and PDVSA is not going to be privatized here, we are not going to sell it to anyone. Oil and PDVSA, water and other resources belong to the Venezuelans. It is when the owners of the corporations set off their alarms and say that this is not crazy, this is a guy who is thinking, and that is where the whole chain of events that are generated until reaching 12 and 13 begins to unleash. April 2002, which still does not stop, events continue to occur and we do not know when they will stop.

But let's say, the jump that the 4F produced must be studied, what it produced in us. If it wasn't for the 4F, we wouldn't be here talking about this time and its creations with the characteristics that it has proposed. These are results and within historical memory we have to say so, we have to take this analysis for the future for granted and dedicate ourselves to thinking, experimenting and building the other possibility, holding the 4F rebellion as a guide, as Chávez said. The other thing is to start sewing the pieces of capitalist culture with rotten threads and remain eternally in that dynamic, sewing, bursting and complaining, while we repeat pamphlets and slogans, until only threadbare flags and faded banners are left in the square held up by old people without strength ,

To patch up capitalist culture with the rotten threads of capitalism is to repeat yourself endlessly, always in disgrace. What happened with humanism already happened; to give it continuity is to submit ourselves as a species to meaningless masochism, it is to wallow in illness, wallow in the mud of death without any meaning, because nothing will happen that is not the same. Civilization has already happened, progress, economic growth, prosperity, economic, artistic, academic, technological, democratic, dictatorial, fascist, nazi, communist, anarchist, socialist, utopian development. All its variants in all corners of the planet have become obsolete, and we can see this in current events throughout Europe.

Again we return to fascism, Nazism, exacerbated hatred. All this promoted by the disinformation media, those sewers through which the owners of capitalism ooze their stench with which they bathe us, and some feel safe with those goons that they turn into irrefutable truths: "Allah and the ayatollahs come to exterminate us ", "Russia invades Ukraine", "The Chinese will flood us spitting all together", "Maduro is a murderous dictator", "Diosdado owns the Eiffel Tower", or any other lie necessary to hide the truth of his actions in defense of their interests, because the reality is that the murderers, drug producers and those who exercise dictatorship on the planet are the capitalists who own these industries, banks and governments at their services.

What they sell us today as art is bad taste, repetition, where they viciously promote the stupidity and smug idiocy of being, maintaining ourselves as beings only to produce wealth and consume drugs, fodder and objects. Capitalism today is recycled, the patron investing in creation no longer exists. The arts are in frank decline, they only serve to decorate walls, fill libraries with Harry Potter books or self-help. Capitalist culture no longer thinks, it only defends itself with coarseness, murdering and lying shamelessly. The intellectual, regardless of which side he is on, only has his head stuck in his plate of food and polishing his ego every day in a pool of mediocrity in which he feels comfortable rendering a great service to the culture of death. .

While capitalism is in its state of rearrangement as a result of its need to expand infinitely with finite resources that force it to have to control existing life in order to sustain itself over time, it is forced to destroy its own constructions such as the State- nation, international organizations and above all the rules that were born with the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and that were strengthened while capitalism needed the States to be able to invade territories and plunder them based on the greatest accumulation of wealth that could have been possible. imagine.

Currently capitalism in its imperial phase does not need these rules and the organizations that apply them; We are talking about the nation-states and all the scaffolding of international organizations that rendered capital a great service when it came to justifying its invasions and carrying out its looting. But today, these institutions are a ballast that prevent their expansion, which is why this system and its culture are in a depressing state. The belief that now his time has come, that he is already dead, that from now on a beautiful bud will blossom over his corpse is false. Nothing could be further from reality because if capitalism and other systems that preceded it have shown anything, it is that no cultural formation that creates ways, uses and customs dies a natural death. It can deteriorate, be a mess,

Worldwide, States are facing an economic and political crisis that plunges society into a deep abyss, because as capitalism is trying to resolve its situation, thousands of companies go bankrupt, or are sold piecemeal, capital is strengthened speculative finance, unemployment rises above its traditional reserve armies, which impoverishes the workforce to levels of deterioration and indigence, with no ability to buy or rent homes, with increased costs of food, clothing , footwear, public services, with inflation and in some cases with stagflation and excessive recession in many countries. Only the energy industries for war, arms, information and entertainment, and speculative financial capital are developed.

Meanwhile, capitalism in its imperial phase hastens the destruction of nation-states in those territories where the ruling elites are docile and have always lent themselves to being rats that settle for the crumbs. To show the button of Latin America, where the rancid oligarchies that manage the mines called countries always fold to the most looting policies of capitalism in their territories.

Destroy the ways, uses and customs that even the same human capitalist liberalism had created from the Westphalian agreements, such as the family, the State, international organizations, the legal-political scaffolding, education, information, the rules of war and peace, the national or cultural civilizational units in each region, is one of the tasks that the most advanced of the capitalist human model has outlined. And when we say more advanced, we are not judging better or worse, good or bad, it is simply what they propose in the name of their ownership and they are achieving it by imposing infinite divisions with the famous unions of all kinds, whether they are feminist, black women , Indian, poor, or poor black, African, Afro-descendant, European-descendant or North or South Indian, or infinitely diverse sexes, boys-girls, old men-old women, older adults, minors, intermediates, younger ones, religions and other drugs for all tastes. All of them absolutely free consumers and slaves of the system, without passing through the brain the simple idea of ​​who we are, why we do what we do, or what we have the brain for. We already said it once: the poor are people who die with the body deteriorated by work and calamities, but the brain goes from package to the urn or the crematorium. or what we have the brain for. We already said it once: the poor are people who die with the body deteriorated by work and calamities, but the brain goes from package to the urn or the crematorium. or what we have the brain for. We already said it once: the poor are people who die with the body deteriorated by work and calamities, but the brain goes from package to the urn or the crematorium.

Everything was consummated in capitalism as a mode of production; the only counterpart to liberalism was communism. But the communists did not set out to replace capitalism but to use it to solve the problem of the poor in the belief that more planning and organization was needed to distribute the wealth and that we all live happily ever after, without realizing that the problem was the system. as a replica of the war.

The appearance of the 4F and its leadership warns us once again that, overcoming the miseries, the peoples have the opportunity to abolish slavery and make other decisions, but this no longer depends on the leadership of the 4F, on their will, on their sacrifice, of your dedication, that we cannot ask for more, since during these 31 years they have avoided civil war, which is enough to be thankful for. In addition, they are directing the defense, entrenched in the government, preventing imperialist capital from taking our territory and returning us to the tragedy that we have lived through for five hundred years.

Let's not blame anyone for the responsibilities that concern us. It is not true that we have rights or have had them, it is not true that in the capitalist system we deserve something, it is not true that we are born free and equal in the eyes of God or capital. We earn the wages that we earn with our strength, and yet, when the capitalists feel like it, they lower them or simply increase the prices of products to unseat us, or screw us with the dollar, and when they see that they are going We're out of business right away, we're thrown out, and that's it.

We must be clear that with capitalism we have no way to win like before, now and never. We do not believe in the pregnant birds of progress, democracy, freedom, economic growth, because all of this is for them; to us always the crumbs that we earn by giving them the best of our lives, regardless of which government exists.

4F: deep thorn in the throat of the owners, let's not allow ocumo or cassava to take it out. The 4F summons us from its rebellion, but now not to stir up power with weapons but to study, experiment and build from thought. Let the owners gasp in their death rattles, while we come back to life, out of the moorings of imperial capitalism, wanting perpetuity. In our favor, let's keep in mind that systems pass; the species remains. Let's talk about the new concept of existence in these territories. Enough of the wise: his wisdom is useless to build what is different. ... los-duenos

Google Translator


Delcy Rodríguez: There Will Be No Neoliberal Restoration in Venezuela (+Caracazo)
FEBRUARY 27, 2023

People in the street of Caracas during the Caracazo uprising in 1989. Photo: Frasso.

During the commemoration of 34 years since “El Caracazo,” Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said that there will be no neoliberal restoration in Venezuela.

She said this in reference to the neoliberal measures taken by the Venezuelan governments during the Fourth Republic, before the Bolivarian Revolution, and the recent baseless accusations of President Nicolás Maduro being neoliberal.

“There will be no neoliberal restoration in Venezuela,” said Vice President Rodríguez. “There will be a victorious resistance of our people.”

During the ceremony held at the San Carlos Barracks, Rodríguez pointed out that the people are facing a new stage of imperialist onslaught. However, she stressed that Venezuelans have reached a high level of awareness and resistance.

“In this victorious resistance of our people, there is the rebellious spirit, the anti-imperialist spirit of February 27,” Rodríguez stated. “A story that translates into what has been the vindication of our historical roots of our father, Simón Bolívar.”

Rodríguez added that there are significant differences from what happened during the Fourth Republic. She said that in the 24 years since the Bolivarian Revolution, the people have conquered important demands through “the social protection system inherited from Commander Hugo Chávez.”

“The people today are accompanied by a revolution,” Rodríguez said. “There is President Nicolás Maduro, not a lackey, not a servile, but one of you in Miraflores Palace.”

She stressed that Venezuela has been a target for US imperialism because it represents the project of Simón Bolívar and Hugo Chávez.

“Venezuela has always been the target of empires, of their perverse, criminal plans to seize not only its great material wealth but also to defeat the historical project that means a rebellious people, an anti-imperialist people,” Vice President Rodríguez stated.

In Venezuela, the United States ruled

Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela Diosdado Cabello also participated in the ceremony. He said that the United States governed Venezuela during the Fourth Republic.

“Year ’89, a neoliberal [IMF] package. Some immoral people want to compare the situations. At that time, it is not only that the government in power had the support of the United States — no — the United States ruled here,” said Cabello.

He also pointed out that in the Caracazo, many of the dead bear the signature of Carlos Andrés Pérez, whom Cabello labeled as a “confessed murderer.”

“There was no OAS, UN, International Criminal Court. There was none of that,” Cabello added. “On the contrary, George Walker Bush came here and congratulated them.”

(RedRadioVE) by Yucsealis Rincón ... -caracazo/
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Thu Mar 02, 2023 3:07 pm

Those Who Die for Life – like Hugo Chávez – Cannot Be Called Dead: The Ninth Newsletter (2023)

MARCH 2, 2023


Simón Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples

Hugo Chávez emerged in the history of Venezuela, the Global South, and the international revolutionary movement when the thesis that ideological disputes throughout the world had ended was most entrenched. History had reached its end, as Francis Fukuyama decreed, and the only path forward for the progress of humanity was the one paved by US-imposed unilateralism. Far from being over, however, history had an important task for the Venezuelan people, who rose up against neoliberalism in 1989 and who continue to build a project of twenty first-century socialism today.

Reflecting on the importance of the leader in a revolutionary process, historian E.H. Carr pointed out that Lenin won the support of the Bolshevik Party not through rhetoric, but through his ability to persuade and present arguments clearly and to have a ‘unique mastery of the situation’1.He also highlighted Lenin’s clarity of vision, pointing to his ability to internalise the interests of the working class and trust its potential to take power. It could be said that Hugo Chávez’s role in the Bolivarian Revolution was precisely that: he used his ability to interpret the needs and aspirations of the Venezuelan masses and trusted their creative powers.

Chávez led a social process that not only vindicates its own anti-colonialist tradition by renewing the ideas of Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) – the struggle for independence, the struggle for the unity of the Latin American nation, and the struggle for social justice – but also rescues the people’s historic struggles of the twentieth century against U.S. imperialism. Based on its Monroe Doctrine, the United States intended to make Nuestra América2 – ‘Our America’ – part of its domain. Under the guidance of Hugo Chávez, the popular Latin American process defies the neoliberal avalanche by:

Calling for the recovery of sovereignty over the nation’s resources and decisions;
Promoting regional unity and integration to jointly confront the challenges of history;
Putting into motion a pedagogical process to counter the manufactured consent of the mainstream media and to democratise communications;
Putting into a place a democracy where people have direct participation and are leading agents of their own transformation; and
Consolidating the popular character of the armed forces within the revolution to guarantee the project’s comprehensive defence through civil-military unity.
Chávez strengthened the Venezuelan revolutionary project, whose roots lie, above all else, in the Bolivarian premise of independence; the Robinsonian concept of the ‘originality’ of America, that is, the need to find formulas of our own – not imported or imposed ones – to govern our society; and the egalitarian principle of popular democracy, embodied by Ezequiel Zamora’s slogan, ‘Free Lands and Men! Terror to the Oligarchy!’. Having rebuilt the path to defend national interests and the struggle against neoliberalism, Chávez took the course of ‘twenty-first-century socialism’, bringing together elements of the current Venezuelan and Latin American reality and elements of the historical struggles of the working class in the twentieth century to build a process that is feminist, ecological, and led by the working class, with a sense of spirituality rooted in ancestral traditions and liberation theology.

In practice, Chávez undertook a political process that recovered and brought new meaning to its own identity and seized its ample resources to demonstrate that it is possible to build another society where the basic aspects of human life are not commodified. Healthcare, food, housing, and access to technology, to sports, and even to culture, within the framework of the social missions that Chávez created, gave a new meaning to Venezuelan social life and a new hope to the popular forces. This allowed for the creation of communes as the horizon of a concrete and achievable utopia at the local level and of a pluripolar world where cooperation and complementarity, rooted in a respect for diversity, could organise international relations and promote what Bolívar called the ‘balance of the universe’.

Chávez became a strategic target for the forces of imperialism and international finance capital. Under the Bill Clinton administration, the US government tried to co-opt him. Once they understood the strength of his convictions and his leadership, the George W. Bush administration attempted to overthrow him through a classic coup d’état that failed to materialise because the Venezuelan people came to his rescue, putting everything on the line. An Obama administration that sought to whitewash the bloody War on Terror opted for more covert destabilisation mechanisms, trusting that his physical disappearance would mark the end of his leadership.

However, part of Chávez’s legacy was to leave the Bolivarian Revolution with a collective leadership that, under Nicolás Maduro and the revolutionary and popular forces of Venezuela, has, for over a decade, resisted the strongest aggression that the country has been subjected to both economically and socially in its entire history. The maximum pressure strategy implemented by former US President Donald Trump, aimed precisely at destroying all the social welfare gains that the revolution had built, collided with the resilience and revolutionary conviction of the Venezuelan people, who remain inspired by the leadership of Hugo Chávez.

The Left faces enormous challenges on a global level. When the Berlin Wall collapsed, faith in the transformative capacity of the people also collapsed in many organisations and structures. Chávez’s strategic legacy was to have understood that crisis; to have trusted in the transformative capacity of the people; to have undertaken direct communication with them, from his program ¡Aló, Presidente! to his Twitter account; and to have woven together, through his thought, his actions, and his words, principles, empathy, solidarity, and courage in the face of the great challenge of saving humanity and the only planet we have. Hugo Chávez showed that history is made by people taking power and overcoming dogmatism, sectarianism, and pessimism.

The Origins of Hugo Chávez’s Strategic Thought
Hugo Chávez was born in Sabaneta, Barinas state, in the heart of the Venezuelan plains. The son of two primary school teachers, Chávez was a soldier who shook the continent, promoting the transformation of Venezuela from the bottom up and building a Bolivarian Revolution and ideological structure that continue to march forward a decade after his death in 2013.

Chávez’s Entry into the Army and the Emergence of the MBR-200
In order to understand Chávez’s strategic thought, we must first understand his roots and those who shaped his worldview. At the age of twenty-eight, already a soldier in the national army, Chávez and a group of his comrades formed the Bolivarian Revolutionary Army 2000, named after the new millennium that was approaching and the possibilities it held to break the cycles of poverty. A year later in 1983, the group was renamed to the Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200, also known by the Spanish acronym MBR-200.1 The number 200 referred to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Simón Bolívar (1783–1830), known as ‘the liberator’ for his role leading the region to independence and seeking to unify the South American continent into a single, integrated nation. Inspired by his legacy, the MBR-200 aimed to reform the army and start on the path towards building a new republic in Venezuela.

From the outset, in the words of Chávez, the movement sought to bring about ‘a revolution, a political, social, economic, and cultural transformation inspired by Bolívar’s approach’.2The movement grew until it had consolidated its ideological basis through the Ezequiel-Bolívar-Rodríguez (EBR) System. This system is outlined in detail in The Blue Book (2013), which brings together the main historical, ideological, and political theses of the process that was now underway:

Thus, my fellow compatriots, there is only one powerful project that is truly suitable, that truly corresponds, to the socio-historical nature of the Venezuelan being, who cries out once again for space to be sown in the national soul and lead its march towards the twenty-first century: it is the project of Simón Rodríguez, the master; Simón Bolívar, the leader; and Ezequiel Zamora, the general of the sovereign people.3

These three fundamental ideological axes of the Bolivarian project, he explains, are like the ‘three roots’ of a single tree.

Simón Rodríguez and the ‘Robinsonian Root’
Born in Caracas, Simón Rodríguez (1769–1854) was an educator, a philosopher, and Bolívar’s tutor. He accompanied Bolívar during the historic Oath of Monte Sacro4 and was fundamental in shaping Bolívar’s thought. Rodríguez, also known by his pseudonym Samuel Robinson, was more than just a teacher: departing from the rote learning and pedagogical limits that were predominant among tutors of traditional methods at the time, he instilled in his students an urgency to create original thought.

Rodríguez’s main concern was the creation of the Latin American republics. For this, the creation of the new citizen was fundamental, and education played a central role in this process. With this in mind, Rodríguez developed a method that centred work as a pedagogical tool and approach based on the notion of equality as a core principle in this new society. Each person’s experience played a formative role in this pedagogical process and in the creation of new knowledge that would lie at the foundation of the new republics.

Rodríguez developed a vision of education as a human right that must be guaranteed in the future republics. Here, education would play the role of moulding citizens who were not only ready to create new republics, but also to do so in a new way, freed from the European precepts that would only reproduce the logic of colonialism. In Rodríguez’s view, the pedagogical process had to be imminently creative and original, as his maxim makes clear: ‘either we invent, or we make mistakes’.5

Simón Bolívar and the ‘Bolivarian Root’
The hero and liberator Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) led the continent’s most extensive emancipation project from the Spanish crown. It is therefore no surprise that the Bolivarian project lies at the heart of Chávez’s thought and of Venezuela’s revolution. In particular, Bolívar’s vision for independence and continental unity to break free from the Spanish Empire shaped Chávez’s approach. Freedom and equality remained key principles, inherited from, but extending well beyond, the Haitian Revolution’s fight to abolish slavery. The main goal of the struggle led by Bolívar, which remains central to the Venezuelan project, was the transformation of the anti-colonial struggle for independence into a revolutionary process that included democratic changes that would transform the material and concrete conditions of the masses and that would allow for the construction of independent states of free women and men.

Ezequiel Zamora and the ‘Zamoran Root’
The Zamoran ideology, anathema to the Venezuelan oligarchy, shook the social structure of the nineteenth century, identifying the root of the fundamental social conflict in Venezuela and exposing the inequality and exclusion that the vast majority of the population suffered. Ezequiel Zamora, born in 1817 in Cúa, in today’s Miranda state, was a leader in numerous peasant actions, such as the insurrection of 1846, when he coined the historic slogan ‘Free Lands and Free Men’ and was appointed ‘general of the sovereign people’.6

He fought against the oligarchy in the Federal War (1859–1863) for the right of the peasantry to an equitable distribution of land and demanded the general distribution of wealth, without which there could be no real emancipation of the people or social equality. In the words of President Nicolás Maduro, ‘Chávez brings the general of the sovereign people to the present in order to give continuity to the social struggle, the battle for equality, and the fight for a genuinely and truly equal country’.7

From the MBR-200 to the Movement of the Fifth Republic and the Refounding of Venezuela
On 4 February 1992, with the MBR-200 and the ‘tree with three roots’ informing how he carried out his duty to the country, Chávez planned an attempted coup that would pave the way for a new phase in Venezuela’s political history. Though the coup was unsuccessful, after being released from prison Chávez redoubled his commitment to transform Venezuela. To that end, in 1997, he led the creation of the Movement of the Fifth Republic (MVR), a coalition of left-wing parties that would act as an electoral vehicle to get him to the presidential office in Miraflores Palace.

Ever faithful to the principles of the EBR System, Chávez’s priority always remained the transformation of his homeland. Venezuela had always had a constitution that guaranteed inequality and exclusion and that had caused the crisis of representation that characterised the country in the 1980s and 90s, a crisis that peaked with the Caracazo of February 1989.8 From the outset, Chávez proposed a national constitutional assembly as a way to refound the country. As soon as he was sworn in as president in April 2002, he convened the assembly, and, once it had been approved in a consultative referendum, began a year of debates in factories, universities, neighbourhood spaces, with peasants, and in popular assemblies, among other spaces of popular democracy.

Chávez’s Strategic Thought (1992–2013)
By looking at the three roots of the EBR system, we can see that Chávez’s strategic thought reveals a dialectical, complex movement that recognises and builds on the concrete reality of the Venezuelan people. It represents neither a recipe nor a set of dry academic reflections, but rather something alive and entirely revolutionary that aims to move forward step by step and overcome practical difficulties. Chávez’s thought can be understood along three axes: political, socioeconomic, and regional strategies.

Political Strategy: A New Republic Can Only Be the Product of a New Type of Democracy
The neoliberal model in Venezuela led to a profound crisis of representation whereby the people, burdened with increasing levels of poverty and inequality, were not represented by the democratic structures in place. Chávez identified this crisis as a motor that would drive forward the process to create a new constitution. As Rodríguez had pointed out, and as Bolívar and Zamora put into practice, there was an urgent need to create something new, sovereign, independent, and popular.

The debate about the constitution and the charter that were to give birth to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela proposed a radical transformation of the way democracy was understood. No longer would Venezuela’s democracy be merely representative: it would now be popular and participatory. In this model, it is the people – latent, living leaders – who are the true and original constituent power. Within this framework, the institutional structures and the government must always be democratic, participatory, and decentralised.

Following the Zamoran and Robinsonian visions, the constitution proposed a new type of relationship between what had until then been the dominant and the dominated sectors of society, as well as a new type of state and society no longer based on the subordination and exploitation of the majority. In this new conception of the state – which would later be proposed as a ‘communal state’ – the state’s institutions walk alongside the organised population. This principle is integral to the new democratic proposal: there are no institutions without the people, and it is the people who are the true protagonists in the process to build a new democracy.

The role of the state institutions is then to facilitate, open channels, and take the necessary steps to guarantee the development of processes that improve people’s lives. The role of the primary constituent – the people, as a collective body – is not merely to stand by and applaud or else criticise the actions of an élite, but instead to design and make collective decisions about the use of their own capacities and their own destiny, a destiny that is original, as Rodríguez called for, sovereign, as Bolívar called for, and popular as Zamora called for. Many years later, Chávez would baptise this a socialist process.

With the development of the new constitution and the creation of the Bolivarian Republic in 1999, the principles of the EBR system began to take shape in a series of concrete initiatives that emanated from the democratic processes in the popular sectors. These sectors now found themselves dealing with structures and possibilities that were inherent to their new relationship with state institutions. An example of how this system works is the ‘missions’ set up between the state and the organised sectors of society in working-class neighbourhoods to respond to the needs of residents. Some of the best-known are Mission Robinson, whose goal is to eliminate illiteracy at the national level, and Mission Barrio Adentro (‘Mission into the Neighbourhood’), with doctors from international brigade teams (many of them from Cuba) helping put in place the preventive model of medicine that is now promoted by Venezuelan health professionals.

Another step in this transformation was the Organic Law of Communal Councils (2006, amended in 2009), which proposed a state that differed starkly from the bourgeois state and would establish a series of administrative structures (communal councils, communal city councils, and councils of workers, students, peasants, and women) that could ‘directly exercise the management of public policies and projects aimed at responding to communities’ needs and aspirations’ in order to build a ‘society of equity and social justice’.9

Socioeconomic Strategy: from Radical Humanism to Communal Socialism
Through both his thought and his actions, Chávez – acutely aware of the need for social change in the country since his years in military school – created a programme of social, economic, political, and cultural changes. The very formation of the MBR-200 movement brought about a vision of social justice alongside the expansion of rights that responded to the needs of the people, which the reigning neoliberal ideology had no means to address. Chávez’s contribution to economic and social development strategy can be understood in four stages: the anti-neoliberal stage, the radical nationalist stage, the stage of twenty-first century socialism, and, finally, the stage of communal socialism.

The first stage (anti-neoliberalism) coincides with Chávez’s systematic reflections during the years when he began his postgraduate studies in political science. As Chávez acknowledged in a dialogue with Ignacio Ramonet, his need for further education came from his already developed understanding of the neoliberal policies being implemented in Venezuela by Carlos Andrés Pérez, who was the president from 1979 to 1979 and then again from 1989 to 1993. The plan known as the Great Turnaround (El Gran Viraje), implemented by Pérez in 1989, expressed for Chávez ‘what world hegemonic capitalism and the International Monetary Fund had imposed through a severe structural adjustment plan that ended up provoking popular protest and the explosion of the Caracazo’.10

In this context, Chávez held a series of discussions about the transition from neoliberalism, the planning that would be necessary, possible development models for the country, and the strategy of civil-military unity that would allow his programme to be implemented. To a large extent, these elements were included in the Simón Bolívar National Project of 1992, which would only later be implemented. It included, among other elements, reducing the cost of living; creating productive employment through housing construction, reforestation, environmental sanitation, agriculture, and so on; achieving self-sufficiency in food production; and integrating the solidarity economy through a network of cooperatives within a scheme of new economic forms.

The subsequent development of Chávez’s strategic economic and social planning (especially during his years in Yare Prison following the attempted coup in on 4 February 1992) would continue to advance these proposals, preparing for a transition that was both necessary and possible based on the concrete conditions in Venezuela. This first stage of Chávez’s strategy regarding the economic-social programme flatly rejected neoliberalism and, in doing so, was inextricably tied to the working-class rebels of the Caracazo, embodying its thought and action, its strategy and reading of the concrete historical process.

After Chávez’s years in prison, with his growing popularity as both a figurehead and a leader, he began to develop the second stage of his strategic thought in the economic-social field: the stage of radical nationalism. Unlike under bourgeois nationalism, the development of the radical nationalist stage was part and parcel of Chávez’s goal to build alliances between the countries of the South, particularly in Latin America, to successfully transition to an anti-neoliberal model. This period of thought and strategic action was influenced by Chávez’s meeting with Fidel Castro in Havana in 1994, as well as by the development of an increasingly interwoven fabric of working-class organisation in Venezuela, where his importance as leader was growing rapidly.

From those intense days in Havana to his first days in office, Chávez expanded, in increasing detail, on an economic and social agenda of a radical nationalist nature that would become the basis for the next stage of the radicalisation of his strategic thought. On 22 July 1996, Chávez released the Bolivarian Alternative Agenda, which set out the full gamut of his strategic thought, as Serrano Mancilla pointed out, and would become the basis for his 1998 electoral platform.11

The Bolivarian Alternative Agenda connected the previous (anti-neoliberal) stage with the new (radical nationalist) stage. ‘How could anyone think that solving the fiscal deficit could be more urgent than ending the hunger of millions of human beings? Faced with the neoliberal offensive, a weapon for the total counteroffensive is emerging here and now’, Chávez wrote.12The agenda addresses not only the exit from the neoliberal project, but also the construction of an alternative ‘through a humanistic, comprehensive, holistic, and ecological approach’.13 Furthermore, it emphasises the need to draw on constituent power in order to rebuild national power in all its facets. The historical necessity for Chávez and the popular movement sprung from the fact that the government of Rafael Caldera (1994–1999) had advanced the general line of the Washington Consensus and its ten commandments, even going above and beyond its earlier promises to so. The most evident results of this continuation of neoliberalism were the growth of poverty and inequality as well as the foreign ownership and denationalisation of the economy. In response, the radical nationalist programme laid out in the Bolivarian Alternative Agenda aimed to build, as the sociologist Luis Wainer wrote, ‘a new common sense for the new epoch based on the strengthening of the state in communion with permanent popular mobilisation, while seeking to develop a narrative that could account for the sharpening of social conflicts under neoliberalism’.14

In more concrete terms, the development of the agenda, which differed starkly from the proposal promoted by the Global North, is based on a series of key points that would be furthered radicalised in later years:

A strong, democratised state that regulates market power.
State ownership and control of oil production.
Humanistic and self-managed economic development based on five sectors: strategic industries under state-owned ownership, essential consumer goods under mixed ownership, banking and finance under mixed ownership, and large-scale industries essentially under private ownership.
Education, culture, science, and technology as part of an autonomous and independent programme, in line with the ideas of Simón Rodríguez.
A renegotiation of external debt, allowing higher levels of national sovereignty to be achieved.
Macrosocial balances that allow for the comprehensive human development of Venezuela’s population.
A proposal for productive development with a shift towards greater economic democratisation.15
This programme is fundamentally opposed to neoliberalism as well as the tepid options that had been proposed a few years earlier as part of the so-called ‘Third Way’. Here, we see the pillars of a new moment that would be developed from 2005–2006 and then clearly laid out in both the national social and economic development programme Plan for the Homeland (Plan de la Patria, 2007–2013) and in communal socialism. The period following Chávez’s electoral triumph in 1998 was characterised by the formation of a ‘state of missions’ as well as other economic and social policies implemented by the Bolivarian government. Driven by his great desire to address the people’s most pressing needs, Chávez developed the proposal for social missions, taking into account the bureaucratic limitations inherited from the pre-revolutionary state. In 2004, the National System of Missions began to address problems of poverty, extreme poverty, illiteracy, health, culture, training, and housing, among others. This comprehensive, participatory, and solidary response was able to put great stress on the centralised and bureaucratic structure of the bourgeois state. In Chávez’s words, the missions are:

fundamental components of the new social state, the new social state of law and of justice, whereby all those who had been excluded are now included alongside everyone else. They are studying, training, organising, and working with a new culture and a new conscience because the missions are creating a new reality in the cultural, psychological, ideological, and philosophical order, even as they are creating a new concrete and practical social, economic, and educational reality.16

It is precisely such reflections on the missions and the strategic development plan’s ability to meet the needs of the people that, following the unsuccessful recall referendum that attempted to remove Chávez from power on 15 August 2004, led him to continue to advance the radical transformation not only of Venezuela but of Latin America as a whole.17At the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in 2005, Chávez stated clearly that the alternative to the imperial project of neoliberalism is twenty-first century socialism, managing once again to overcome the limits of postmodern views and propose a concept that unified the strategy to build an uncharted path towards a just and egalitarian society.

Among the core components of Chávez’s proposal for twenty-first century socialism, which went much further than anything else being proposed at the time, is the popular and solidarity economy. As Chávez said:

Here we have started experiments such as promoting cooperatives and associations, collective property, popular banking, and internal development nuclei, etc. This is all about leaving behind the logic of the perverse functioning of capitalism. Experiments in such matters as self-management and co-management, cooperative and collective ownership, etc., are all valid. We are launching a trial of social production companies and community production units.18

Finally, the most radical stage, the stage of communal socialism, deepens the elements of the twenty-first century socialist strategy into a long-term socialist development programme laid out in the Plan for the Homeland. Each and every one of the factors that inform comprehensive human development are included in this plan. The plan identifies five strategic objectives:

‘Defend, expand, and consolidate our most precious asset, now recaptured after 200 years: national independence’.
‘Continue building twenty-first century Bolivarian socialism in Venezuela as an alternative to the destructive and savage system of capitalism, and thereby ensure the “greatest amount of social security, the greatest amount of political stability, and the greatest amount of happiness” for our people’.
‘Transform Venezuela into a socially, economically, and politically powerful country within the great rising power of Latin America and the Caribbean, which will guarantee the formation of a zone of peace in the region’.
‘Contribute to the development of a new international geopolitics in which a multicentric and pluripolar world takes shape and allows universal equilibrium to be achieved, thereby guaranteeing planetary peace’.
‘Preserve life on the planet and save the human species’.19

These five points lie at the heart of the strategic political legacy of Hugo Chávez. In particular, the communes – a proposal for a new territorial, economic, political, and military organisation – are of the utmost importance as a key milestone of the socialist radicalisation that Chávez constructed through his thought and actions. The transformation of the bourgeois state from below using that state’s own structures constituted a novel and far-reaching commitment to thinking about emancipatory projects on a national scale.

Regional Strategy: Patria Grande and the Integration of Governments and Peoples through Twenty-First Century Socialism

For us, the coming century is the century of hope. It is our century. It is the century of the resurrection of the Bolivarian dream, of the dream of Martí, of the dream of Latin America.

– Hugo Chávez, speech delivered at the University of Havana, 14 December 1994.20

Hugo Chávez’s foreign policy was clear from the beginning of his administration, though, in truth, this perspective had been present at least since Bolivarian project emerged on an international scale in the late twentieth century.

On 14 December 1994, at the cusp of the neoliberal decade – before the effects of the adjustment policies had begun to show signs of exhaustion on the continent – Fidel Castro welcomed Chávez at the University of Havana. In this meeting, the analyses underpinning the diagnoses and ideas that would later become state policies were already present. For this reason, over the years, it has come be known as a key moment in the region’s history.

The meeting would prove to be fundamental in cementing the relationship between the two countries. As Chávez recounted:

Last night, when I received the immense and very pleasant surprise of being met at José Martí International Airport by Fidel himself, I told him: ‘I don’t deserve this honour. I aspire to deserve it one day in the months and years to come’. I say the same to all of you, my dear Cuban-Latin American compatriots: one day we hope to come to Cuba in a position to extend our arms and in a position to work together in a Latin American revolutionary project, imbued, as we have been, for centuries, with the idea of a Hispano-American, Latin American and Caribbean continent, integrated as the single nation that we are.21

Three days earlier, the first Summit of the Americas had just ended in Miami, with the historical objective to consolidate and extend US dominance through the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Only one nation in the region was absent from the summit: Cuba, which had been expelled from the Organisation of American States in 1962, accused of not respecting Western liberal democracy (of course, Cuba also did not respect the US-backed military dictatorships in power in Latin America at the time). While the tour organised to recolonise the continent was beginning in Miami, Fidel and Chávez were meeting in Havana in what was almost a mirror image. Perhaps only they could imagine what lay ahead.

This political moment was marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of the United States as the sole superpower after its victory in the Cold War and the ideological offensive against socialism. As Fidel said:

there was no doubt that for a personality like Hugo Chávez, accepting our invitation was an act of courage, because today there aren’t many brave people in this world who dare to accept an invitation to come to Cuba. There are many who used to come to Cuba and are now doing pirouettes to make them forget that they were once friends of the Cuban Revolution, or even to forget that they were once people of the Left.

We saw the mere fact of his accepting our invitation as an act of great courage.

[T]he head of a Bolivarian revolutionary movement – or revolutionary Bolivarian movement, which is the same thing, here the order of the factors multiplies the product – visiting us here, in the Great Hall of the University of Havana, talking about his patriotic, national, and international projects [to build] Latin American and Caribbean unity. And at what a time! At a time when, perhaps more than ever, the ideas of Bolívar and Martí are needed. At a time when, as never before in this world of unipolar hegemonism, our peoples are threatened with being devoured, totally devoured, by the empire. At a time when they want to tear apart the principle of independence and popular sovereignty, in the name of that great democracy that is North American democracy, where barely thirty-something percent of the people vote.22
It is worth reviewing Fidel’s analysis of the historical significance of that meeting with Chávez, especially as it relates, in strategic terms, to the first Summit of the Americas, which was almost simultaneously taking place in the US four years before Hugo Chávez came to power and in the midst of what at least appeared at the time to be one of the moments of greatest weakness on the continent. As Fidel said:

Symbolically, Chávez’s arrival in Cuba on 13 [December 1994] coincided with the famous Miami summit that had just taken place. Nobody planned it that way, but, by chance, 90 miles from Miami, a meeting was taking place between the people of Cuba and the Bolivarian revolutionary movement of Venezuela and Latin America.

It is impossible to talk about Bolívar without thinking of an entire continent, without thinking of all of Latin America and all of the Caribbean, of which we and other Spanish-, French-, and English-speaking countries are all part.

There was going to be a summit of ideas – of Bolivarian ideas and of Martí’s ideas. And it is hard not to wonder what Martí and Bolívar would have had to say, what they would have thought, if they had been able to witness the Miami summit. If they had heard the words of the president of the United States, cited by Hugo Chávez, trying to present that summit as the realisation of Bolívar’s dreams – which [the president] could just as easily have said was also the realisation of Martí’s dreams – what would Martí and Bolívar have thought of that type of ‘partnership for prosperity’ – I think that is what the thing is called now – that are they proposing? So, we see another great symbolic coincidence – that between that summit and the ideas of that summit, and the ideas of Bolívar and the ideas of Martí.23

In his reply, during a period of crisis for socialism, during Cuba’s Special Period, Chávez agreed with Fidel’s optimistic outlook, stating that:

Without a doubt, we are in an era of awakenings, of resurrections of peoples, of strength and of hope. Without a doubt, President, this wave that you are announcing or that you announced and continue to announce in that interview that I referred to earlier, ‘A Grain of Corn’, can be felt throughout Latin America.24

Then, Chávez laid out the central elements of his historic programme, which he would pursue with dedication over the next eighteen heady, creative years rebuilding the nation:

In the first place, we are committed to raising an ideological flag that is relevant and conducive to our Venezuelan land, to our Latin American land: the Bolivarian flag.

But in this ideological work of reviewing history and the ideas that were born in Venezuela and on this continent 200 years ago, … in immersing ourselves in history as we look for our roots, we have designed and put the idea of drawing inspiration from a tree with three roots in the sphere of national and international public opinion. [One of these roots is the root] that Simón Bolívar called for, for Latin American unity to be able to build a developed nation as a counterweight to the pretensions of the North, which was already preparing to sink its claws into our Latin American land.25

These words powerfully summarise the essence of the internationalist and Americanist policies promoted by the Bolivarian Revolution. On that night in 1994, Chávez was already speaking of Latin American and Caribbean unity and integration as a condition of liberation. In Chávez’s words:

the passion that moves me tonight is a long-term strategic project in which Cubans have and would have a lot to contribute, a lot to discuss with us. It is a project, a sovereign economic model, with a 20 to 40-year horizon. We do not want to continue being a colonial economy, a complementary economic model.

Venezuela has immense energy resources, for example. No Caribbean or Latin American country should have to import fuel from Europe. Why should it? If Venezuela, with its immense energy resources, is part of Latin America…

A project in which it is not risky to think, from the political point of view, of an association of Latin American states. Why not think about that, which was the original dream of our liberators? Why remain fragmented? In the political arena, this project is neither ours nor original; it is 200 years old, at least.

For us, the coming century is the century of hope. It is our century. It is the century of the resurrection of the Bolivarian dream, of the dream of Martí, of the dream of Latin America.

Dear friends, you have honoured me by sitting down tonight to listen to the ideas of a soldier, of a Latin American devoted completely and forever to the cause of the revolution of this America of ours.26

This early meeting between the two leaders is directly linked to political initiatives that gave shape to a decade of growing sovereignty in foreign policy for Latin America and the Caribbean. Among them is the formation of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in December 2004. Ten years later, also in Havana, the ALBA27of the people began to take shape in opposition to the FTAA, that object of North American desire that also launched ten years ago. ALBA would later be renamed the ALBA-TCP (the Peoples’ Trade Treaty) with the gradual incorporation of other countries: Bolivia (2006), Nicaragua (2007), Dominica (2008), briefly Honduras (2008, until the 2009 coup), Antigua and Barbuda (2009), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2009), Ecuador (2009, withdrew in 2018), Saint Lucia (2013), Saint Kitts and Nevis (2014), and Grenada (2014).

A few months later, in June 2005, PetroCaribe (an initiative that provides discounted oil to Caribbean nations) was launched, becoming the most substantial energy integration mechanism among states in the Caribbean. Almost two decades after its launch, eighteen countries in the region remain part of this agreement. This initiative is fundamental for emancipation. As Mario Sanoja and Iraida Vargas put it in their monumental work on the Bolivarian Revolution, ‘The creation of a South American-Caribbean system of energy integration is decisive to definitively defeat the imperial hegemony of the US oligarchy’.28

During the fourth Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina in November 2005, just a few months after the launch of Petrocaribe, the ALBA bloc, in strategic coordination with the emerging progressive bloc in South America and then Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Néstor Kirchner, was able to defeat the FTAA, marking a failure of historic proportions for US diplomacy on the continent.

Chávez thought of ALBA and Petrocaribe as ‘instruments for the unification of our peoples’.29 In the same vein, it is important to mention ALBA-TCP’s recounting of its historical roots:

The roots of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) lie in the Jamaica Charter of 1815, when Simón Bolívar established the doctrine of unity and sovereignty of the countries that had achieved independence from colonial power.

The alliance is based on the thought of Bolívar, Martí, San Martín, Sucre, O’Higgins, Pétion, Morazán, Sandino, Garvey, Túpac Katari, Julián Apaza, Bartolina Sisa, and many other heroes whose struggle has served as a political and ethical model for the new consciousness and emancipatory force of our homelands. The alliance vindicates the ideas of these heroes who favoured the strategic consolidation of the unity of our peoples and governments, the preservation of our historical, social, and economic interests, through joint, autonomous, democratic action, our Latin American identity, and our common interest.30

This eminently political space promoted practical linkages in the fields of economy, education, health, and culture, becoming the strategic platform from which it would attempt to build even higher levels of unity.

With the same desire for unity and integration, Chávez promoted, together with his strategic allies, two equally relevant institutions: the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), founded in 2008, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), founded in 2010. This latter was the first entity in history to bring together the 33 states of Latin America and the Caribbean – in other words, all of America except the United States and Canada. For this reason, it is strategically important and the natural antagonist of the Organisation of American States, which has been led by the United States since its foundation just after the end of the Second World War.

During this journey, Chávez became aware of the importance of the ideological, cultural, and communications battle. Therefore, in 2005, he founded the multi-state channel teleSUR, a television station that set out to present the news from the point of view of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The development of a policy of unity and integration of Latin America was the cornerstone of the Bolivarian State, a premise enshrined in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that is approved by popular vote in 1999. This has not been to the detriment of, but rather in support of an active international policy towards the rest of the world and was also driven by, as Article 152 of the Constitution states:

the principles of independence, equality between states, self-determination and non-intervention in their internal affairs, peaceful resolution of international conflicts, cooperation, respect for human rights, and solidarity among peoples in the struggle for their emancipation and the well-being of the humanity.31

Chávez intervened in all international arenas to promote the establishment of a fairer international order and, to this end, repeatedly called for the reorganisation of the United Nations system. As Chávez put it:

Peoples of the world, the future of a peaceful multipolar world lies with us bringing together the majority of the peoples on the planet to defend ourselves from the new colonialism and achieve a universal equilibrium that neutralises imperialism and arrogance.32

Chávez’s voice warned against the consequences of capitalism for the future of the world. ‘If the climate were one of the biggest capitalist banks, the rich governments would have already saved it’, he said at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) held in Copenhagen after identifying himself with the slogans of the environmental movement, declaring: ‘Don’t change the climate, change the system! And, in doing so, we will begin to save the planet’.33

Chávez was an implacable defender of peace, not ‘the peace of cemeteries, in the ironic words of Kant’, he said, ‘but peace based on the most zealous respect for international law’.34 To do this, he clearly identified what he called ‘the greatest threat that hangs over our planet’ at the UN General Assembly in September 2006:

The hegemonic claims of North American imperialism put the very survival of the human species at risk. We continue to warn about this danger and call on the people of the United States and the world to put a stop to this threat, which is like the sword of Damocles itself35

Chávez’s imprint was also written into collective political programmes, which essentially aimed at ‘the diversification of political, economic, and cultural relations for the creation of new power blocs’, with the aim of achieving ‘the breakdown of the hegemony of the North American empire’, as the 2007–2013 Plan for the Homeland notes.36Internationalism was also expressed in the key documents of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, including its Declaration of Principles:

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) must frame its internationalist praxis so as to contribute to the union of all peoples fighting to establish emancipatory and liberatory projects in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the other continents of the world in the search to provide the greatest possible degree of sovereignty, independence, self-determination, well-being, and happiness for their citizens.

The Bolivarian Revolution, given its anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist character, will create mechanisms to consolidate alliances with similar political and social movements worldwide, with the aim of achieving a new pluripolar international order.37

In Chávez’s way of thinking, the global vision is not separate from the national project. That is why, as the party states, ‘the fundamental purpose of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is the construction of Bolivarian Socialism, the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist struggle, and the consolidation of Bolivarian, participatory, and people’s democracy through the recognition and strengthening of popular power’.38

This linkage of domestic to foreign policy, founded on democratic participation, runs through all of Chávez’s work and is one of his fundamental legacies, a strategic guide for revolutionaries to come.

Strategic Thought Ten Years After Chávez’s Death: A Renewed Strategy for a New Regional Moment
More than ten years have passed since Chávez’s last public speech, when he called on the people of Venezuela and the Patria Grande, his great homeland, to continue the great feat of independence: ‘In the face of new difficulties, of whatever size they may be, the response of all patriots, revolutionaries, those of us who can feel the country in their guts, as Augusto Mijares would say, is unity, struggle, battle, and victory’.39

The death of Hugo Chávez in 2013 coincided with the increased aggression of the imperial offensive across the continent. As the United States is immersed in a global confrontation with weighty rivals such as China and, to a lesser extent, Russia and hit by a succession of failures in its strategy of intervention, its foreign policy has become oriented towards recovering the ground lost in the first decade of the twenty-first century, when Chávez’s drive, along with that of the peoples of America, made hitherto seemingly impossible dreams come true.

In that context, Venezuela became the object of an intense hybrid war within the framework of a new Condor Plan (a CIA-backed plan to install right-wing governments in Latin America), no longer with the sole aid of force.40 Without disavowing hard power, the imperial strategy began to focus on developing a combination of tactics centred on soft power. Especially in the 2015–2020 period, this siege was relatively successful and managed to land blows to the Bolivarian Revolution and paralyse its initiatives for unity and continental integration. But it has failed to defeat Chávez’s dream.

With advances and setbacks, ten years after Chávez’s death on 5 March 2013, the struggles of Latin America and the Caribbean are still very much alive. Dreams of economic independence, political sovereignty, and social justice prevail. No future is written in advance, and everything depends on the activity and creativity of the people. To this end, the peoples of this region and the world have a tradition of key tenets, which encapsulate a possible history and perspective of the future. Part of that fundamental legacy – this strategic direction – is the work of Chávez.

(Notes at link.) ... his-death/
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Mar 04, 2023 3:22 pm

President Maduro: ‘The War in Ukraine Is Part of the Labor Pains of a World That Will Emerge,’ a Geopolitical and Historical Analysis
FEBRUARY 28, 2023

Journalist Ignacio Ramonet (right) and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (left) during an interview last December. Photo: Últimas Noticias.

By Arnold August – Feb 27, 2023

As many heads of state and prime ministers ponder the war in Ukraine, I call attention to one head of state, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. In a January 1, 2023 interview with Franco-Spanish journalist and author Ignacio Ramonet, President Maduro said, “The war in Ukraine is part of the labor pains of a world that will emerge.” Here is his full commentary on the international situation.

“The world is undoubtedly in a very difficult situation, we are experiencing the pains of giving birth to a different world. We have always advocated the construction of a pluripolar, multicentric world, with different poles of development, power, centers that accompany all regions of the world. The old world of the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th centuries, of colonialism, then of the neo-colonialism of the 20th century, must be abandoned for good. No one can believe that from two or three metropolises, one can govern the world, one can subdue the peoples. There are already very strong regions, such as Asia, the Pacific, Africa itself, Latin America and the Caribbean, we are blocks of countries that are becoming poles of world power. Do we have to give up our rights to peace, to development, to scientific and technological progress, to our own cultural models, to our own political models? Do we have to give them up? No. Should we take for granted the unipolar domination of a metropolis that claims to dictate to the world? No. It is the time of a new world, of new geopolitics that redistributes power in the world. The war in Ukraine is part of the labor pains of a world that will emerge. “

Readers will have noticed above the following insight from Maduro: “We have always advocated the construction of a pluripolar, multicentric world, with different poles of development, power, centers that accompany all regions of the world.” He also rhetorically asked, “Should we take for granted the unipolar domination of a metropolis that claims to dictate to the world? No.”

Older brother President Xi Jinping and older brother President Vladimir Putin
Furthermore, on January 13, in the annual report for the year 2022 before the National Assembly, President Maduro commented on the international situation, saying in part that the situation “invites the world for the construction of new poles of power of that community of Common Destiny that our older brother President Xi Jinping speaks of Mankind as a community of common destiny. Or of that multipolar, multicentric world that our older brother President Vladimir Putin speaks of. For that world to arrive, a Latin American and Caribbean bloc is necessary that is cohesive, united, advanced.”


For the entire section on this theme, watch this 1 min. 46 sec. YouTube video with English subtitles. Credit: Nicolás Maduro YouTube @NicolasMaduroM


Labor pains

What can one make of Maduro’s assertion that “the War in Ukraine is part of the labor pains of a world that will emerge,” coupled with his very positive assessment of Chinese President President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin? Is it a call for “peace” in the abstract? No. Can it be interpreted as an unconditional encouragement of the Russian Special Military Operation without taking into account valid peace initiatives for a political resolution of the conflict? No. In my view, it is above all a call for reflection in these dangerous times for all peoples and governments, regardless of their current options on the Ukraine conflict.

No other head of state in the world, unless someone corrects me, has packed so much progressive depth on the crisis into just sixteen words. My own reflection, although I am not fully aware of Maduro’s intentions regarding “labor pains,” or in the same interview, “the pains of giving birth to a different world,” is this: what is happening in Ukraine is disastrous; however, the horrors of war were provoked by NATO and, in this second year, this provocative Western project has not yet receded. Thus, until there is a peaceful solution, or “the right to peace” that Maduro also calls for in the January 1 interview quoted above, that takes into account the legitimate security concerns of Russia and the Russian-speaking republics and Crimea, the labor pains cannot be stopped.

However, this outcome will lead to the realization of the “right to peace.” Moreover, in Maduro’s words, the new “pluripolar, multicentric world, with different poles of development [against] unipolar domination of a metropolis” will emerge.

Proof that Maduro and others are right

Do these two statements by Maduro still stand the test of time? Illustrating just three of the many examples allows readers to assess both Maduro’s apprehension of U.S. hegemony and to expect the inevitable excruciating, but desired, birth of a new pluripolar world of which Latin America is a part.

Against the backdrop of the January 2023 Maduro statement, in December 2022 statements, firstly former German leader Merkel admitted that the Minsk agreements were intended to buy time for the Ukrainians to prepare for conflict with Russia, and Putin. Then, former French President François Hollande confirmed Merkel’s remark, the “Minsk agreements let Kiev build up military muscle.” Even though these revelations should have changed the international game plan by naming NATO as the sole culprit of the war, they did not make NATO budge one iota toward peace. Thus, the painful reality of war has been further implanted in the NATO-Ukraine-Russia geopolitical landscape.

Since Maduro’s two statements of January 2023 cited above, the German Foreign Minister has admitted that Europe and thus NATO is at war with Russia.


In addition, General Laura J. Richardson, Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, is proving Venezuela and other countries in the region –indeed almost the entire Global South – right. Here are some excerpts from her January 21, 2023 statement, in which she does not hide U.S. imperial ambitions, but flaunts them as if it were as natural as American apple pie for the U.S. to claim Latin American and the Caribbean as its own.

“If I talk to my number two adversary in the region, Russia, I mean I’ve got, of course the countries, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua with Russia relationships… 60% of the world’s lithium is in the Lithium Triangle, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile…”


Then Seymour Hersh exposed “How America took out the Nord Stream pipeline.”

War and peace and the Bolivarian factor

When the Maduro government, like Hugo Chávez before him, claims Bolivarianism as their political guide, they are true to their word. For example, Simón Bolívar in a letter to one of his generals, Francisco de Paula Santander, during the break in the war against Spain, wrote:

“Peace will be my port, my glory, my reward, my hope, my joy and everything that is precious to me in this world… If we want peace, we must prepare for war.’

Also, at a time when there is so much talk in the last year about the prisoners of war in Ukraine with the false narrative always directly slanted against Russia, how many people know that “the first international treaty on the regularization of war and the treatment of prisoners and the civilian population” was signed by Simón Bolívar and the Spanish colonialist Pablo Morillo? Where is the “jungle” and where is the “garden”? After days of mounting international backlash, Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, apologized for his controversial remarks in which he described Europe as an idyllic “garden” of prosperity and the rest of the world as mostly a “jungle.” He apologized, but it remains the vision steeped in the old, decaying European colonialism. They should instead look to the “jungle,” Venezuela, and its tradition, as opposed to the evil “garden” that is Europe.

After another provocation against Venezuela, Commander Hugo Chávez titled his November 16, 2009 article “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

Before concluding, let me anticipate a criticism of this article by some who might accuse me of not addressing the threat of nuclear weapons. First of all, it is not the main issue. Furthermore, and more importantly, the “threat of a nuclear war” is currently being used as a weapon by those who try to shame us into denouncing “Russian invasion” or accepting other narratives that are also unacceptable to progressive people.

In conclusion, Maduro’s Bolivarian thesis on war and peace shows, and will continue to show, which forces are on the right side of history and which are not. The main purpose of this article is to promote discussion from the Venezuelan perspective. This thesis, “The war in Ukraine is part of the labor pains of a world that will emerge,” is a cause for serious reflection, regardless of one’s views. The stakes are too high to refuse discussion and concerted action. ... -analysis/


3 Mar 2023 , 5:20 pm .

Funding approved by the US Congress for NGOs in Venezuela grows exponentially year after year (Photo: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images)

The Congressional Research Service of the United States (CRS, its acronym in English) published its traditional report at the beginning of the year on the request of the Joe Biden administration for the allocation of the budget for foreign assistance for Latin America and the Caribbean corresponding to fiscal year 2023, whose figure is around more than 2 thousand 400 million dollars, being the largest financing that has been assigned to the region in more than a decade.

Each year the US Congress budgets a certain amount of dollars, according to the criteria of the government in power, which in the speech is justified by "providing aid", but really the only objective is to gain influence in the policies of foreign governments so that support the priorities and interests of the United States. This is confirmed by Matthew Rooney of the George W. Bush Institute: "By providing these funds, the United States puts pressure on these countries to prioritize US objectives for the region."

To whom do they deliver these funds? The CRS notes that most of those allocated resources are sent to so-called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) rather than to foreign governments. Also, Rooney clarifies that the resources are not delivered to the State or the government of the receiving country, but rather an outsourcing scheme of the political operation is created: "The United States hires third parties such as NGOs or educational institutions to provide goods and services to the citizens of the country".

In this way, the NGOs seek to instrumentalize the US agenda to local communities or sectors where the government agencies of that country cannot officially reach directly, so material, technical and even axiological assistance is worked from a key social base with an ultimate goal. that pays taxes to the interests of the United States.

In the CRS report, it reveals the distribution of the funds both to each country and to the sector where the financing will be provided, be it issues related to migration, drug trafficking, security, democracy or military assistance. For Venezuela, the CRS indicates that the request for this year was for 55 million dollars to support, broadly speaking, "democratic actors and other civil society organizations." Even, in 2013 and onwards, they underline that common denominator around support for "democracy":

" The United States has traditionally provided only small amounts of assistance due to the country's oil wealth and relatively high per capita income level. Assistance has focused on democracy programs to NGOs (…) the FY 2013 request is for 3 million dollars in support for democracy, implemented by USAID (…) at the same time, some congressmen on the committee opposed cuts in democracy funding for Venezuela, since they maintain that they are vital to help defenders of democracy".

Likewise, in 2021 they openly pointed out that it is not to strengthen democracy, but that the assigned amount of 33 million dollars is to support "the democratic transition in Venezuela (...) and it is one of the few countries in the region for which the The Administration requested further assistance, the Administration's request is because it was assumed that there would be progress toward restoring democracy by fiscal year 2021."

This is not surprising because US administrations for more than two decades have invested in "democracy" that serves their own interests. However, it is striking that the figure has been increasing since the last six years, thus highlighting three features:

1.The big jump. In 2017, attendance was around 7 million dollars, which, when compared to the current year, the allocation to "democracy" increased to 55 million dollars.
2.Rising trend. Since 2017, the curve has remained in crescendo behavior . In that year, the administration of Donald Trump imposed Executive Order 13808 against PDVSA, generating from there the intensification of the sanction scheme against Venezuela.
3.Investment. From 2011 to the present year, the total accumulated financing that the United States has reported and provided to third parties to strengthen the "democratic" sector of Venezuela registers more than 250 million dollars.


History of monetary allocations from the United States to NGOs in Venezuela (Photo: Misión Verdad)
It should be noted that in 2017, Venezuela began to appear as an important part of the budget allocation considerations, since when it comes to the Latin American and Caribbean region, they indicate how they distribute the largest amounts of financing to prioritized destinations in US foreign policy. . In this year's report they state it like this:

Colombia. 462.9 million dollars for anti-narcotics programs, peace and security agreement.
Mexico. 141.6 million dollars to strengthen the rule of law.
Caribbean basin. $63.5 million.
Venezuela. $55 million for democracy and human rights activities.

It is clear that each year the amount allocated from the US budget for "democratic" projects in Venezuela increases. In 2019, the budget requested to strengthen democracy was 22.5 million dollars; by 2022, the amount to be invested doubled that figure, reaching about 48 million dollars.

The first front of this political circuit is led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which in its manual for assistance to political parties , in the section "Support for the national interests of the United States" , explain that such assistance is encouraged so that, within the framework of governance, political parties can support the national security of the United States and promote the objectives of its foreign policy.

In addition to this, they state that the purpose of implementing this assistance to political parties or democratic actors is so that they can reflect "the interests" of all social groups, being a discursive pantomime because those financed political sectors must cover up the interests of the United States and to pretend that they care about the well-being of some community, sector or locality in order to achieve legitimacy promoted "from the bases", when it really is about the imposition of the US agenda, precisely because they prepare people interested in cooperating with them.So it's important to identify and separate the organizations that solve people's real problems from the organizations that advance America's domestic agenda under the guise of "democratizing society."

Although USAID is the emanating center of this soft power, in the recent CRS report it is reported that 38 million dollars would now be allocated to another support arm in assistance to the region, the Inter-American Foundation (IAF, its acronym in English). , for its assistance programs among those that include as a plan "to integrate Venezuelans into the host communities."

In this way, the United States interferes directly in the internal affairs of the country, especially those related to "democracy" issues. NGOs are just a screen behind which completely different structures operate.

The CRS reports present a snapshot but not a complete picture of the financing of what they call "foreign aid" from the United States to Venezuela (and the Latin Caribbean region), illustrating in general that some NGOs serve as an instrument of Washington's foreign policy. In this case, the increased money capital year after year confirms that the meddling plan for "democratic transition" takes precedence over US interests. ... -venezuela

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Fri Mar 10, 2023 3:20 pm

Venezuela Won’t Go Back to México Talks Unless All Sanctions Lifted
MARCH 10, 2023

Venezuelan woman holding a banner that reads "#No+Bloqueó" (#No+Blockade) during a public Anti-Imperialism Day event in Plaza Bolívar in Caracas, condemning the eighth anniversary of the signing of the US Executive Order declaring Venezuela an "Unusual and Extraordinary Threat" to US security. Thursday, March 9, 2023. Photo: Fausto Torrealba/Últimas Noticias.

This Thursday, March 9, the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly (AN), Jorge Rodríguez, announced that “Venezuela is not going to sign any agreement with that sector of the Venezuelan opposition until we are 100% free of sanctions, until the 765 unilateral coercive measures signed by Donald Trump and Barack Hussein Obama are lifted,” in reference to the México Talks with the far-right Venezuelan opposition.

The announcement was part of a statement by Rodríguez at an Anti-Imperialism Day event, held in Plaza Bolívar in Caracas on March 9, marking the eighth anniversary of the signing of the US Executive Order that declared Venezuela an “Unusual and Extraordinary Threat” to US security; an excuse that imperialism has used in its multiform aggression against the Caribbean country.

“They wanted to erase the Bolivarian revolution from the face of the earth,” Rodríguez added, “but on the contrary: they made us stronger, they made us more dignified, they made us love our independence, our socialism, even more.”

Imperialist plans failed

The PSUV deputy warned that although North American imperialism presents two faces, “what it did with Venezuela was a true plan orchestrated by all the power factors of North American society, designed to put an end to the Bolivarian revolution.”

He highlighted the cruelty in the development of this plan, especially regarding their consideration that the illness of Commander Chávez was an opportunity.

President Maduro Rules Out Resuming Mexico Talks (+Washington Not Keeping Its Word)

Rodríguez explained that the plan started with the victory of the opposition in the National Assembly in 2015, and by Obama’s decree, it later surrounded all aspects of Venezuelan life. As proof that everything is part of this same action, Rodríguez noted that all 765 sanctions signed by Donald Trump indicate in their first paragraph that they are based on the executive order signed by Obama in 2015.

The PSUV deputy stated that this siege has been “a multiform aggression, a true war,” recalling that the US has organized multiple destabilizing actions in the country, such as the electricity blackout sabotage in 2019, and various assassination attempts on President Maduro.

Despite this, he noted, their overthrow plan was defeated by the people of Venezuela, by the Venezuelan Armed Forces, and by President Nicolás Maduro.

Sanctions have allowed theft from Venezuela

Jorge Rodríguez pointed out that the unilateral coercive measures of these sanctions have allowed for the theft of billions of dollars. He mentioned $4 billion in CITGO profits, $2 billion in gold held at the Bank of England, and $7 billion in reserves held at US and European banks, among others.

Rodríguez also noted that due to the blockade of the oil industry, Venezuela didn’t produce four billion barrels of oil, which meant Venezuela failed to receive $232 billion. And, he added, since the sanctions were imposed, the country has stopped receiving more than $630 billion.

Rodríguez explained that this happened because, for the first time in the history of Venezuela, for every $100 of oil, $98 were invested straight into the people.

US Treasury’s OFAC Imposes New Sanctions Against Venezuela

He pointed out that all these sanctions go against international standards and conventions on trade and economy, and that they have the sole purpose of annihilating the Bolivarian revolution in its search for sovereignty, freedom, and the right to manage Venezuela’s resources.

Breach of agreements
Rodríguez noted his participation in the different dialogue processes with the Venezuelan oppositions. He recounted that, while the planet was plunged into uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Maduro invited the representatives of the far-right to postpone the tirade and face together the fight for the health of the Venezuelan people.

However, they refused, and instead used the pandemic as a mechanism to persist in the aggression; they stole shipments of face masks, and they refused to allow a fraction of the sequestered resources to be used to purchase medical supplies and vaccines.

The PSUV deputy also referred to the signing of the social agreement with the opposition sectors in November 2022 in order to recover $3 billion from those frozen assets, which was not fulfilled, since the response of the Biden administration was to send a letter to the UN saying that they did not guarantee the safety of those funds.

Rodríguez pointed out the lack of credibility of the opposition, and its inability to comply with the agreements and promises given within the framework of the México Talks. ... -tramojos/

Venezuela’s Peasant Movement Demands Justice for Assassination of Carlos Bolívar (+Los Tramojos)
MARCH 4, 2023

The late Venezuelan peasant leader Carlos Bolívar, holding a machete under a banner identifying the peasant movement he led. Photo: Twitter/TatuyTV.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 2, Carlos Bolívar, a member of the Peasant Platform in Guárico state, was assassinated. Since 2018, he had been fighting to rescue Los Tramojos, a plot of land disputed with a landowner. The Platform for Peasant Struggle and the National Peasant Movement reported in a statement that Bolívar was assassinated while beginning his work in Puerto Carrizalero-Camaguán, Guárico.

“Bolívar was a historic leader in the struggle to rescue the Los Tramojos ranch, an emblematic case of the Admirable Peasant March, national leader of the Platform for Peasant Struggle and the National Peasant Movement. He was also a spokesperson for the Ezequiel Zamora Commune of the El Jabillal 1 sector in Arismendi,” the Platform for Peasant Struggle and the National Peasant Movement wrote in their statement.

On August 1, 2018, after traveling over 400 kilometers on foot, a group of peasants arrived in Caracas to present proposals to the national government on agricultural matters and demand solutions to problems in the countryside. Carlos Bolívar was among the leaders of this mobilization.

The peasant movements requested that the Venezuelan government investigate this crime and demanded justice. “We call on the popular, peasant and communal movement to mobilize to demand truth and justice for the hundreds of victims of hired killings in the countryside.”

There will be justice

After learning of the murder, Guárico state Governor José Manuel Vásquez lamented the loss of the peasant leader. Vásquez has been criticized by many peasant organizations for his connections to the landowner who might be behind the assassination.

Meanwhile, Vásquez said the attack was perpetrated by “some unscrupulous people that we will search for under the stones if necessary.” He wrote on social media that “there will be justice!”


Carlos Bolívar’s assassination has been condemned by several authorities. The president of the National Land Institute (INTI), David Hernández, wrote on social media, “I raise my voice and join the grassroots movement’s mourning for the murder of Carlos Bolívar, peasant leader of the historic rescue of Los Tramojos. Carlos, recently elected as spokesman for the National Land Commission, is and will be an example in the struggle. Justice for Bolívar!”

Venezuelan Minister for Communes and Social Movements Jorge Arreaza also repudiated the crime.

“A deep pain invades us. Carlos Bolívar was always a leader who protected the most humble, the landless, the good. A partner in fair fights. A man forged in revolution. The peasant people will continue to fight and honor Carlos’ dedication. Honor and Glory!” Arreaza wrote on social media.

National Assembly deputy and member of the tenants’ movement, Rigel Sergent, also highlighted the struggles of Carlos Bolívar. “The peasant movement reports that Carlos Bolívar, a member of the Peasant March, was assassinated today by hitmen… Bolívar led the recovery of the Los Tramojos ranch,” Sergent wrote.

Grassroots multimedia project TatuyTv also wrote, “Sad and outrageous news that the peasant leader Carlos Bolívar has been assassinated by hitmen in Camaguán (Guárico state). Bolívar led the emblematic struggle to rescue Los Tramojos ranch. Landowner violence is still alive and unpunished.”


In conversations with Diario VEA, Ramón Soto, spokesman for the Ezequiel Zamora Peasant Council of Los Tramojos, reported that Carlos Bolívar had received threats in 2018 from private individuals who claim ownership of Los Tramojos. Soto made it clear that these lands are owned by the state and that the men and women who work the land have kept it productive.

According to Soto, the name of a landowner emerged the same year. During an inspection carried out by INTI, Carlos Bolívar was threatened with death by that person in front of agrarian defender Norma Sierra. The landowner “warned him that he was going to bury him alive, that he was going to kill him. In plain sight… the landowner approached the comrade and publicly made a threat: ‘I’m going to kill you.’”

Soto explained that Bolívar sustained six bullet wounds to the abdomen and chest from a high-calibre weapon such as a rifle. Officials from the Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigation Corps (CICPC) removed Bolívar’s body before noon. Soto also reported that peasant organizations will go to the National Assembly and the headquarters of the Public Ministry to demand justice early next week.

He said that they are currently providing full support to Carlos Bolívar’s family.

What happened in Los Tramojos?

In 2019, Orinoco Tribune reported that Los Tramojos are productive public lands in the Municipality of Esteros de Camaguán, Guárico state. In 2010, Commander Hugo Chávez granted Los Tramojos to the Ezequiel Zamora Peasant Council, who were dedicated to raising cattle and cultivating the land.

According to Andrés Eleazar Ochoa, a member of the peasant organization, in 2016, their eviction from Los Tramojos by order of the agrarian judge María Margarita Salazar. Later, under the management of José Ávila, INTI handed Los Tramojos over to the lawyer and landowner José Elias Chirimelli. Chirimelli then executed the eviction with the support of the agrarian court, the Camaguán mayor’s office, then under the management of now-Governor of Guárico Jose Vásquez, and Guárico state security forces.” This dispute was described in a 2019 AlbaTV report translated by Orinoco Tribune.

Soto, a member of the Peasant Movement, recalled that in 2017 more than 40 families, comprising approximately 250 people, who lived in Los Tramojos were arbitrarily evicted from the land. The peasants were keeping these lands productive.

“After the respective investigations, in 2011, the Los Tramojos ranch was handed over to the peasants,” Soto stated. “These are lands that belong to the state. Six years later, the alleged owner, José Elías Chirimeli Hurtado, appeared with documentation forged with the help of some agrarian judges and carried out the eviction measure.”

In April 2022, through a Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) ruling, the protection measure requested by the individual claiming ownership of the land was denied, demonstrating the legitimate entitlement to the land allotted to the peasants.

With this ruling, Venezuela’s justice system settled a conflict that dates back to 2017, when approximately 50 peasants granted Los Tramojos in 2010 by Commander Hugo Chávez were forcibly evicted from the land. This eviction began a struggle not to lose their seven years’ worth of productive work, as stated by INTI on its website.

“From its sphere of action, the National Land Institute (INTI) has accompanied this peasant demand in an attempt to guarantee the rights of all parties and reach a consensus regarding the distribution of the property’s 4,800 hectares after the annulment of the private property; respecting the work of peasants who, after this ruling, will once again have their space for food production,” INTI’s website added. ... -tramojos/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Mar 18, 2023 2:34 pm

Venezuela-US Relations: When ‘Maximum Pressure’ Fails
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on MARCH 17, 2023
Carlos Ron


President Maduro has shown two firm convictions. The first is that he will not cede the nation’s sovereignty to the pressure of illegal sanctions. But he has also indicated that dialogue and diplomacy is the way; that Venezuela is willing and ready to re-establish relations as long as they are based on mutual respect and an equal footing, writes Valdai Club expert Carlos Ron.

The strategy of “maximum pressure” imposed by Donald Trump on Venezuela has failed to achieve its goal of changing the Venezuelan government and pulling the country back into Washington’s sphere of influence. The resilience of the Venezuelan people led by President Nicolas Maduro has not only survived the attacks by the Trump Administration, it has resulted in adjustments to Washington’s strategy and has proved that resistance, creativity, and commitment to dialogue can pay off.

On January 23, 2019, the government of the United States quickly recognize a little-known deputy of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela, undermining the constitutional mandate obtained since May of 2018 by President Nicolas Maduro. Immediately afterwards, Venezuela broke diplomatic relations with the United States. The combination of strong unilateral coercive measures (or sanctions, are they are wrongly mislabelled), the recognition of a parallel government structure, and the support for overt acts of aggression that later ensued were aimed at ultimately providing the conditions for President Maduro to step down or be removed by force, opening the way for US-friendly actors that had otherwise failed to amass sufficient popular support in Presidential elections. However, none of these efforts or aggressions were enough to achieve the desired goal.

Within a short period of about three years, Venezuela saw its main sources of income blocked by illegal US sanctions: access to international financing was closed, while oil and gold trading was prohibited. An assassination attempt with drones in 2018 against President Maduro barely missed him and most government high officials. In 2019, after Guaido’s self-proclamation and the attempt in February to storm the border under the pretext of bringing humanitarian aid, cyber-attacks led to a massive, nation-wide blackout, and were followed by a coup attempt that according to John Bolton’s frustrations, failed when the Venezuelan Chief Justice and Defence Minister failed to adhere to the plan. During 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, the US Attorney General put a bounty on President Maduro’s head, as well as on the heads of other Venezuelan officials. Meanwhile, Venezuela was kept from tapping the COVAX fund with its own resources blocked in US and European accounts, while two former US Green Berets attempted a clumsy invasion of Venezuela with Colombia-trained mercenaries. Key Trump officials have wanted to give their own account of the critical decisions made during their tenure at the White House. Pentagon Chief Mark Esper has confessed to how a military intervention was discussed in the Oval Office. More recently, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed how $1 billion of US taxpayer money, was committed to supporting such actions as well as financing the extremist opposition.

The impact of these 924 illegal coercive measures and the aggressions against Venezuela, according to economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot, could be calculated at around 40,000 casualties in 2018 alone. In comparison to the national income of 2014, the country had lost no less than 70% of its revenue. The damage could be felt in access to food and medicine, but also in public services such as water and electricity that under the illegal sanctions had no access to spare parts or maintenance. Overall, the strategy set out to create a situation of national despair that would lead to a change of government. The vast majority of Venezuelans resisted, but some, lured by the narrative of alleged commitment to support for anti-Maduro postures, ended up finding their way across the border into the United States seeking better economic opportunities. The increase in Venezuelan migration to the United States in intrinsically linked to the illegal sanctions policy.

Venezuela employed creative resistance. Social programmes like food subsidies were put in place to compensate low income families. New legislation, such as the Anti-Blockade Law, gave the country new legal frameworks under which it could promote exports and needed investment. Meanwhile, Washington, always concerned about others’ ties to strategic allies such as China or Russia, drove Venezuela in that direction as the country relied on their solidarity to obtain vaccines and medical supplies to combat Covid-19. The result was clear: elections for a new National Assembly and for State Governments in 2020 showed that even opposition supporters rejected the strategy set out by Washington and the extremist leaders. Today, Venezuelan resistance has paid off. An economy set against the ropes grew at a rate of 15% in 2022.

President Joe Biden inherited an embarrassing mess. A parallel government, whose recognition dropped from around 50 nations in 2019 to around five by the end of 2022. No diplomatic or consular relations, amid the context of an influx of Venezuelan immigrants to the United States. But above all, a system of illegal sanctions that prevent Venezuela from playing a stabilizing role in today’s energy market when it is most needed, as the effects of the crisis in Ukraine are felt worldwide.

One would expect a radical change of direction, but instead, only a few cautious steps have taken place. In March of 2022, contacts between both governments were taken up again, with several visits taken place throughout the year as well as the handing over to US authorities of some US nationals processed for crimes in Venezuela. By the end of 2022, the Biden Administration granted Chevron a license to restart limited activities and in late January, it issued a license to Trinidad and Tobago for the development of an offshore oilfield in Venezuela. President Maduro, however, has denounced how the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) now wants to implement a colonial model where licenses are granted but companies prohibited from paying Venezuela for purchases with anything other than food. Venezuela has strongly rejected and refused to accept these colonial terms.

These new measures take place against the backdrop of a severe crisis in the extremist opposition, which led to a decision in late December to discontinue the so-called “interim government” of Juan Guaido. The US still recognizes the National Assembly elected in 2015, as Venezuela’s legitimate authority despite it having had its mandate expire in 2020. Meanwhile, the Maduro Government has kept its commitment to dialogue and worked out a deal with the opposition’s unity platform for a social response plan. The key, however, to implementing the plan and to allow for the political dialogue to render fruits is in Washington’s hand. In a letter written on January 19, Democratic representative Jim McGovern called for the Biden Administration to “expedite the unfreezing of Venezuelan assets and their transfer to the Fund.”

Despite small adjustments, the current US Administration has still fallen short of a return to diplomacy. Both the illegal sanctions and other types of aggression against Venezuela persist. Alex Saab, a Venezuelan diplomatic envoy illegally detained in Cabo Verde, continues to be illegally detained in a Florida prison despite his diplomatic immunity. Venezuela’s accounts are still frozen, its Embassy remains closed, and its most valuable US asset, Citgo, remains in the hands of the extremist opposition. But the resilience of the government in Caracas has shown that the maximum pressure campaign was a complete failure.

In a recent interview for the AQ Podcast, Juan Gonzalez, National Security Council Director for the Western Hemisphere, recognized the limitations of implementing a sanctions policy and how poorly designed it was. However, they still need to identify the greatest flaw in the policy, the assumption that Venezuela-US relations can be based on constant threats of new sanctions rather than on sincere dialogue and an understanding of each other’s interests.

President Maduro has shown two firm convictions. The first is that he will not cede the nation’s sovereignty to the pressure of illegal sanctions. He has stated in clear terms to the US that “Venezuela is to be respected and does not accept colonial models over its gas, oil industry, over its economy, and overt our country.” But he has also indicated that dialogue and diplomacy is the way; that Venezuela is willing and ready to re-establish relations as long as they are based on mutual respect and an equal footing. For a country so concerned about the level of its geopolitical influence, it should learn from its rivals that the key to strong strategic alliances lies within dialogue, diplomacy, and respect for the interests and self-determination of others. ... ure-fails/


Venezuela Makes Fun of White House and Fantasy ‘Narnia’ Government Ties
MARCH 17, 2023

Photo composition showing Venezuela's Foreign Affair Minister Yván Gil, the Venezuelan coat of arms, and the Venezuelan flag. Photo: Banca y Negocios.

This Wednesday, March 15, the Venezuelan minister of foreign affairs, Yván Gil, said, sarcastically, that he wishes the “best of luck” to the US government in its relationship with the leader of the “parallel” parliament of the South American country, in reference to the fictional “interim government” upheld by members of the Venezuelan opposition.

The minister for foreign affairs highlighted that the US government maintains a “childish effort” to promote an erratic diplomacy far from political reality, by trying to continue recognizing a non-existent “interim government” that does not hold any power in Venezuela.

The foreign minister thus reacted to a message on social media platforms from the Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the US Department of State, Brian Nichols, in which he reported his meeting with Dinorah Figuera and his support for the opposition fake parliament.

“We wish the State Department the best of luck in building relations with Narnia [fantasy world],” Gil wrote via social media. “I find it laughable, and it confirms the childish endeavor of the US to promote a failed political and diplomatic fantasy.”

Who is Dinorah Figuera?
The former deputy Figuera led a “parallel” parliament, elected in 2015 with an opposition majority, but which is now extinct, since it completed its term established in the Venezuelan Constitution (2016-2021). After that period, the current National Assembly (AN) was elected in 2020, which enacts the laws of Venezuela.

Figuera replaced Juan Guaidó in January this year in the presidency of the fictional AN, after a group of legislators from various opposition parties decided at the end of December 2022 to put an end to the interim government that Guaidó had headed since 2019, amidst allegations against the coup leader, ranging from corruption to his support for invading Venezuela and the imposition of sanctions.

However, Washington ignores the current—and real—National Assembly, democratically elected through elections and with full legislative functions. Washington further refuses to accept that the previous parliament has ended its term.

In doing so, the US keeps Venezuela under a series of sanctions to force the Maduro government to resume what it considers “democracy.” This goes on despite the fact Venezuelans have elected and continue to elect their authorities through popular vote, such as Maduro’s recent announcement that next year his successor will be elected at the polls. ... ment-ties/


Mar 17, 2023 , 3:16 p.m.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States ambassador to the UN, was in charge of announcing the "help" for Venezuelan migrants (Photo: File)

The United States approved 171 million dollars in new funds for "humanitarian aid" and development for Venezuelan migration, said the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, during the Solidarity Conference with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants.

Before detailing the amount, he began by justifying that last year, for the first time, the world number of forcibly displaced persons exceeded 100 million. He then put Venezuela at the center of the speech by repeating the usual refrain: "More than 7 million people have been forced to flee the country."

According to what was indicated in the statement of the United States Mission to the multilateral organization, this new financing will help provide food, health care, emergency shelter and access to legal and protection services, while praising Ecuador for its leadership on the International Funding Action Package Committee for the Los Angeles Declaration.

The particular thing about this aid is that it is announced in the first quarter of this year. In 2022, the resources were approved in September and the amount was more than 140 million and more than 31 million dollars in development "aid" to "respond to the needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants."

At that time, the aid included more than $56 million through the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and more than $115 million through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). , its acronym in English).

At the moment, the narrative is maintained that there is a migratory crisis in Venezuela and every day thousands of Venezuelans "flee" the country. The fact that said aid is announced at this time leaves a large gap to continue promoting maneuvers of this type in the remainder of the year. ... -venezuela

Google Translator
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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