CMR Declaration: We must develop the strength of the workers, carry the revolution to the end and move towards socialism

We have just received the following declaration of the comrades of the Venezuelan Revolutionary Marxist Current (CMR), which we are pleased to republish in English and Spanish for our readers’ information. It is, in effect, a transitional programme that, taking its starting point from the concrete conditions of the Venezuelan revolution, explains what steps are necessary to build upon the victory in the referendum, carry the revolution forward and pose the question of workers’ power and socialism.

The revolution has won a most important victory

Now we must develop the strength of the workers, carry the revolution to the end and move towards socialism

The revolution has just won a major triumph. The referendum victory is indisputable proof of the people’s will not to accept any retreat in the revolutionary process, to defend the conquests in the field of health, education and in the level of organization and consciousness, and its will to carry the struggle forward.

This victory was won by the working class together with the popular-democratic revolutionary forces. It provides us with an enormously advantageous situation, since it has plunged the pro-imperialist sectors of the Coordinadora and the Bloque Democrático, and all the enemies of the revolution, into the deepest demoralization.

This victory must not be thrown away by false appeals for the unity of the nation, which includes those who organized the coup d’etat of April 11 2002, and the criminal bosses’ lockout of December 2, the provocative guarimbas, the infiltration of paramilitary forces, and who have murdered more than a hundred workers’ and peasants’ leaders.

We are already hearing and seeing it: the Coordinadora Democrática and the Bloque Democrático do not want to recognise the victory of the NO vote and their bosses in the government of Washington, although they say they do, act as if they do not.

In the hour of victory, we cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by those sections of the bourgeoisie who now come forward waving the white flag of surrender. This merely reflects their weakness and our strength. They are only doing this to gain time and prepare new ambushes like the one they prepared in the past for revolutionaries like Emiliano Zapata in México, or Augusto César Sandino in Nicaragua, or in our own country in 2002, when Chávez pardoned them after the coup of 11April.

 Nor must this victory be used as a smokescreen to cover up the responsibility of those elements in the government (ministers, institutions, governors, mayors etc.) who have been behaving in a bureaucratic manner. These people have been carrying out anti-working class and anti-popular policies that are similar to those of the enemies of the revolution, such as the sackings of thousands of workers, the violation of collective agreements and of the rights of the people.

 This victory was prepared by the people, the workers by hand or brain of both town and countryside, through sacrifice and bitter struggles against those who derive their privileges solely as a result of holding leading positions and have sought to prevent the development of popular participation in decision-making and the democratic election of the genuine leaders of the movement.

 We must make use of this victory, which further weakens the counterrevolutionary forces, to carry the revolution forward by taking concrete political, economic and social measures that will cut the ground from under the feet of the imperialist bourgeoisie and the national lackeys that serve it, and to put an end to the looting and exploitation and prevent the preparation of new destructive and painful conspiracies.

 We must advance towards our own victory. This means that the patrols and UBEs must be transformed into genuine organizations of revolutionary political struggle. They must become the embryos of power that will replace the existing governmental institutions that are standing in the way of a genuine democracy in which the masses will play the role of active protagonists.

 The patrols and UBEs must discuss the organization of mass meetings of all those who support the revolution in every sector, neighbourhood, local area etc. These meetings must have the right to elect the candidates to the next elections. At the same time, these assemblies of all the active elements, patrulleros, members of Bolivarian circles, misiones, etc. must elect the commandos, and the latter must be subject to recall.

  These embryonic organs of workers power must also take up the demands of the local neighbourhoods, to decide how to distribute the municipal, state and national budgets. The revolutionary rank and file that makes up the patrullas and other revolutionary combat organizations must also elect delegates, subject to recall, to a great national revolutionary assembly, which must elect the leading bodies of the revolution. The latter must be answerable at all times to the revolutionary assemblies and be subject to the right of recall by them.

 This system of workers power, based on the democratic decisions of the workers and other oppressed layers, must be reproduced at every level. The students must democratise the centres of learning, electing all the educative authorities; every student, teacher, worker and employee must have a vote in the elaboration of the syllabus and there must be free education for all.

 The patrols (patrullas) and UBEs, as the embryos of a new power leading to a genuine workers’ government (as stated in the founding document of the UNT) must fight for the extension of a free and good quality health service to all the people; to fight to open up the workplaces closed by the bosses, to take over those that threaten to close or sack workers and to institute workers control in the workplaces, and in this way to put an end to the violations of workers’ rights and solve the problem of unemployment.

 WE MUST CARRY THE REVOLUTION TO THE END AND MOVE TO SOCIALISM

 We must speed up the revolution and carry it to the end in order to solve the problems that the masses are suffering. History teaches us that a revolution that stops halfway will be defeated (as happened in Chile, Portugal and Nicaragua). In a capitalist world in crisis , where unemployment and exploitation are increasing even in the most advanced countries, the only way to solve the problems of the workers and the popular masses is by adopting the following measures, basing ourselves on the embryos of workers’ power, like the patrols and UBEs:

 -Nationalization of the banking system under workers control.

-Non-payment of the foreign debt: let these resources be used instead for productive purposes: to put the economy, which is now at the mercy of the price of oil, on a solid base.

-The nationalization of the basic industries under workers control.

-Nationalization of internal and external trade.

-The setting up of self-defence brigades in every neighbourhood, workplace, town and village to maintain order and protect the people.

-For the establishment of a workers’ and people’s militia to defend the revolution from any internal or external aggression.

-Nationalization under workers’ control of the big food and transport companies.

-Workers’ control and management of PDVSA that will guarantee a majority of workers on all the decisive organs of management.

-Workers’ control of the mass media to put an end to the constant counterrevolutionary agitation in the media, a campaign that is still continuing despite the clear victory on August 15.

-Military instruction for the masses: “every fisherman, every student, every member of the people must learn how to use a rifle, because that is the conception of the people in arms.” (Hugo Chávez,: Al√≥ Presidente, April 2004).

 All this can only be carried out through the establishment of a genuine workers’ government, based on workers’ and peoples’ assemblies.

 Last but not least, it is necessary to overcome the dispersal of the revolutionary vanguard, which must be united on the basis of the ideas of revolutionary Marxism. These ideas are the concentrated expression of more than 150 years of internationalist struggles. They are the only ideas that can guarantee the victory of the revolution: that is to say, the taking of power by the working class itself.

 In order to attain this end it is necessary to group together the most advanced sections of the worker and people’s activists and the youth in a Marxist cadre organization that can give to the revolution a clear socialist content.

 If you agree with these ideas, then join us! We are fighting to create a strong Revolutionary Marxist Current as an integral part of the mass movement, which, while supporting the social revolutionary process in Venezuela, are fighting to deepen it and impart to it a socialist character.

 Set up a group of the CMR in your neighbourhood, village, workplace, school or collage, or wherever you can. Come and join us! Together we will fight for total victory!

 Caracas, Wednesday, August 18, 2004.