Venezuela: On the New Plans of the Bourgeoisie for a Coup d’Etat

After a week of “guarimbas” (public disturbances organised by the Right Wing) one thing has been obvious – these protests have been carried out by a minority which represents only itself with the sole aim of creating chaos and sabotage. The only way to confront them is through the conscious and organised mobilisation of the working class and the revolutionary people. 

[Original title: Second Statement of the Marxist Tendency of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on the New Plans of the Bourgeoisie for a Coup d’Etat.]

About the Guarimbas.

hands-off-venezuela-These protest actions have been carried out by a small group of students from the middle and upper classes whose sole aim is to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. These students do not suffer from inflation and shortages, both of which are caused by economic sabotage, because in reality the only ones who suffer are mainly ordinary people.

These demonstrations have been shown to have one sole aim: overthrow President Maduro and put an end to those things that have been identified as gains of the revolution: ministries, social missions, state owned public transport, etc.  All of this reveals the fascist character of the right wing and the hatred they have towards the poorest sections of the population that are seen to have benefitted from the gains of the revolution.

The bourgeoisie is clearly divided over its tactics. The most extreme sections, led by Maria Corina Machado and Leopoldo Lopez, want the immediate overthrow of the government by means of violent actions on the street which create a situation where the government is not able to function, and thereby force through a coup by parts of the Armed Forces.   

But the main section of the bourgeoisie (which also shares the same aim of overthrowing the government and crushing the revolution) thinks that at this moment conditions are not ripe for overthrowing the government and therefore wishes in the medium term to wear down the government and defeat it in an election contest. They understand that the Bolivarian Revolution still has important reserves of support among the working class and other sections of the people.  

The violent actions have caused opposition figures, such as Ramon Muchacho, Capriles Radonsky and Carlos Ocariz, to publicly declare their disapproval of these actions especially as some of the main people who have been affected by the Guarimbas are the very same sections of the middle class as traffic cannot move, smoke is produced by the constant burning of rubbish, transport services such as the Metro and the Metrobus have been destroyed and so on, and they have been the very ones affected by all of this.

On the other hand in the areas of the country where most of the poor people live there have not been any violent actions and the biggest demonstrations by the right wing in these areas have been confined to “cacerolazos” (the banging of pots) and the shouting of slogans, but these actions have been very weak and isolated.

The Democratic Situation in Venezuela.

The Bolivarian Revolution has won three elections in the past year and a half; Chavez against Capriles, Maduro against Capriles, and then a 54% against 42% win in the municipal elections achieving in these last elections an advantage of more than one and a half million votes of the total votes cast. Without doubt, all of this gives a lie to the media campaign at an international level which seeks to categorise Venezuela as a dictatorial and rogue state.

Within the country everyone has the right to go on a demonstration as we have clearly seen in the past a number of times where the right wing has called for public demonstrations of a peaceful nature. But this time this has not been the case. This time it is a case of barricades, attacks on public buildings, destruction of property not only of the state but also of private property (branches of the Provincial Bank, for example), and even armed attacks. There is a huge gulf between these actions and any peaceful demonstration and it is obvious that the agenda of the most radical right wing is to destabilise the government.  

What should be Our Response to the Guarimbas?

The only way to respond to these guarimbas is by the massive organised mobilisation of the working class and the working people as we saw in the city of Bolivar on the 19th of February when a march of revolutionary workers from the basic industries rapidly put an end to the guarimba of the opposition. The Bolivarian Revolution has shown time and time again that with the people on the streets any attempt at destabilisation by the right wing is defeated.  

Once again the reactionary opposition in Venezuela has made use of armed bands on their demonstrations in order to create chaos, to make people abroad think that the opposition is the victim and to put the blame onto the Venezuelan government. Yes, we want peace, but the only way to achieve that is by disarming the fascist groups. It is not a question of reprisals on the part of individuals or small groups, but the creation and strengthening of Self Defence Committees of the working class and the people in the form of Workers Militias in every factory, in every workplace, as President Maduro has correctly called for.

To stand up against the scandalous meddling of Imperialism we must make a strong call for solidarity from the international working class and the peoples of the world.

Faced with the Plans for a Coup d’Etat we must Expropriate the Oligarchy.

What the present crisis clearly shows is that conciliation with the bourgeoisie is impossible. On the one hand one section of the right wing wants to force the immediate overthrow of the government, but another section wants to wait until the government is worn down due to the economic war being waged against it. Nevertheless, what is clear is that both sections want to crush the Bolivarian Revolution and the only difference they have is that of tactics.

The bourgeoisie can only act in a reactionary manner against the revolution. This has been clearly shown despite repeated calls over the past 15 years that have been made to the owners of industry and right wing leaders to work for the benefit of the country. They have responded to such calls with coup d’etats, strikes, sabotage, destabilisation and economic war. It is therefore necessary once and for all to complete the revolution. This means taking economic power from the bourgeoisie who have been using it to sabotage the democratic will of the majority. 

To do this we must expropriate under workers control the oligarchy that is grouped together in national and international monopolies, the owners of large landed estates and the private banking system. The automotive (car) workers of Anzoategui have demanded the nationalisation of their industry under workers control in order to confront the sabotage of the multinationals. This is the path that we should follow, not only in this sector but in all the strategic sectors of the economy.

The offensive that was carried out in November against the economic war was widely supported and even won over sections of the opposition. This shows that with radical measures that bring solutions in the short term not only can the defence of the revolution be assured but we can also win over sections of the middle class at present under the sway of the opposition, sections that have not been so radicalised by media manipulation.

We must deepen this process not by regulating capitalism but by expropriating it in order to plan the economy in a democratic manner. It is only in this way that we will be able to lay the basis to put an end to shortages and inflation and thereby solve the real problems that the working people are faced with.

Faced with the violent Guarimbas – for the organised and conscious mobilisation of the working class and the people.

For the mobilisation of the working class and the people to get rid of the barricades – the streets belong to the people, not to the oligarchy.

In order to achieve peace – disarm the fascist groups. Set up workers militias in every factory, in every working class area.

No to imperialist interference – International Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution

Put an end to sabotage and the economic war – expropriate the oligarchy. For democratic planning of the economy under workers control.

Carry out the Revolution to the End. Build Socialism.

 21st February 2014.