Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/352/5831

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 June 2004

Venezuela: A Decisive Turn In The Crisis

IN A surprise announcement, the radical left-populist Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, has accepted the decision of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) and will face a recall referendum. The acceptance of the CNE results by Chávez has given the opposition the opportunity to go onto the offensive again.

Tony Saunois, CWI

Yet all of the evidence clearly points to a fraud. The figures announced by the CNE are only 15,738 more than the 2,436,083 signatures needed. 1.2 million signatures had to be subject to the 'repair process' or checked. Of these only 614,968 could be "confirmed" by the opposition. 74,112 people did not acknowledge their signatures, meaning they had been used without their consent. There is also the issue of 50,000 people who should not have been on the electoral register because they are dead!

Raids on the headquarters of opposition parties such as Accion Democratica have also found 600 forged ID cards and bundles of forms supporting the recall already filled in. One man was arrested in Caracas for carrying 420 false ID cards!

In addition to this are widespread reports of intimidation against workers in the factories if they refused to sign. The Coca-Cola plant in Antimano threatened 50 workers with the sack and closure. Unions at Coca-Cola plants in Carabobo, Lara, Bolivar and Monagas all reported similar incidents. The Venezuelan subsidiary of Coca-Cola just happens to be owner of Venezuela's largest TV network and a leading supporter of the opposition - Gustavo Cisneros.

The right-wing opposition has being conducting an on-going campaign to gain the 2.45 million signatures necessary to trigger the referendum. This follows two attempts to overthrow Chávez, in a failed military coup in April 2002, and a bosses' 'lock out' between December 2002 and January 2003. Both these attempts at reaction were defeated by the mass mobilisations of working class and masses from below despite the vacillation and hesitation of the leadership of the movement.

'Creeping Coup'

THE CNE announcement comes only a matter of weeks after a plot involving the entry into Venezuela of more than 100 Colombia right-wing paramilitaries was exposed. It seems these forces were colluding with right-wing reactionaries in Caracas to launch a bombing campaign aimed at provoking instability and a possible assassination attempt on Chávez.

These attempts to overthrow Chávez indicate that a 'creeping coup' is under way. They clearly show that the ruling classes throughout Latin America and US imperialism are now determined to remove his regime and replace it with a more pro-capitalist government which US imperialism can rely on.

Unfortunately, reaction has now been given the opportunity to regroup and try to strike again. This has been possible because following each defeat suffered by reaction - because of the mass movement - the revolution unfortunately has not purged the state of reactionary forces and overthrown capitalism.

A workers' government has not been established that would introduce a socialist plan of production based upon the nationalisation of the major sectors of industry and the banks, democratically run and managed by the working class. Rather than take such decisive steps Chávez and the leadership of the movement have, so far, tried to placate the forces of reaction, and thereby given them the opportunity to prepare to strike again.

'Twin track' policy

US IMPERIALISM and the ruling class in Venezuela will not be placated by Chávez's acceptance of the CNE's results. They have adopted a twin track policy of attempting a military coup and bosses lock out and at the same time using 'constitutional' means of defeating the government. The right wing will now energetically try to mobilise its forces to firstly win the referendum.

If that fails, they will not accept the result and will launch a further campaign accusing the government of fraud and initiate a further attempt to overthrow his government.

Big layers of workers and Chávez supporters understand that the referendum is now being called on the basis of a fraud and is a further attempt to overthrow the regime. The Bolivarian trade union federation, UNT, the Bolivarian Workers' Front and the National Co-ordination of the Bolivarian Circles have all rejected acceptance of the referendum. The referendum decision has also been rejected at meetings of government supporters up and down the country.

The working class needs to strengthen its own organisations to confront reaction and take the revolution forward. Rank and file soldiers' committees need to be set up which will begin to purge all officers who support reaction and institute a system for the election of officers. These committees need to be linked up on a district, city-wide, regional and national basis. These should form the basis of a new workers' and peasants' government. Through these bodies, an armed workers' militia needs to be set up to defend the revolution from the threat of reaction.

It is clear that the National Constituent Assembly, which was created by Chávez when he came to power, cannot be relied on. 20 MPs elected on the Bolivarian list have now gone over to the opposition! The creation of workers' councils or the expansion of the Bolivarian Circles, with the election of delegates subject to immediate recall, would be a more democratic and reliable basis for the working class to take the revolution forward.

Overwhelming support

IT WILL not be easy for the reactionary forces in Venezuela to secure a victory. They need not only to win a majority in the referendum but to win more than the 3.8 million votes that Chávez won in 2000

Chávez still has the support of the overwhelming majority of the working class and poor. Over one million have been lifted from illiteracy. Millions more have been given access to doctors and medical care for the first time. But society is polarised along class lines between the left and the right. The reforms that have been introduced are threatened by the continuation of capitalism.

Chávez, who was elected with over 60% of the vote, has lost some significant support especially amongst the middle class. This is mainly due to the deep economic crisis which has rocked the country. This is partly due to the effects of the bosses lockout and partly to the economic sabotage and flight of capital which has taken place.

The failure of Chávez to break from capitalism and introduce a socialist planned economy based upon a genuine workers' democracy has prevented his regime from being able to offer the middle class a solution to their problems. This erosion of support has given the 'creeping counter revolution' social forces on which to rest. Whether this is strong enough to defeat Chávez in this referendum remains to be seen. However, it will continue as a threat that will eventually succeed unless capitalism is overthrown.

This threat of reaction, especially in the form of US imperialism can only be averted through the establishment of a workers' and peasants' government in Venezuela and an appeal to the working class of the whole of Latin America and the USA for solidarity and support with the perspective of spreading the revolution to establish a Democratic Socialist Federation of Latin America and the Americas.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 June 2004:

European and local elections 2004: Blair Takes A Battering

Socialist Party Election Successes

A Shadow Over Blair

European elections: 'Kicked In The Ballot Box'

Ireland: Victory For Socialist Party In Local Elections

How to Combat the Threat of the Far Right


Socialist Party features

Hands Off Our Pensions!

PCS Executive Passes First-Year Test

Political Fund Up For Debate at UNISON conference


International socialist news and analysis

Iraq: A Transition To Discontent?

Kurdish people's struggle: No Trust In Imperialist Powers

General Strike Stops Nigeria But Union Leaders Have No Answers

Venezuela: A Decisive Turn In The Crisis


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 June 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Venezuela:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Venezuela - the battle to be faced by a Corbyn government?

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Venezuela - are the capitalists preparing a coup?

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: What are the lessons from Venezuela?

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Venezuela now, and its lessons for a future Corbyn government

Tony Saunois:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleInternational news in brief

CWI:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The work of CWI members around the world

triangleZimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

triangleSweden: 'Revolution2017' success

Revolution:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Women and Revolution

triangleMass rally to commemorate 1917 Russian Revolution

Working class:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Capitalism:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Hugo Chávez:

triangleChávez wins majority but right-wing gains ground

International

International

13/12/17

Israel

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13/12/17

CWI

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2