Venezuela: fight attempted coup with revolutionary mobilisation

Statement of Lucha de Clases (Class Strugge), Marxist Tendency of the PSUV. What we have witnessed in recent days is a developing coup as correctly described by Comrade President Nicolas Maduro.These are not just peaceful protests of fellow Venezuelans who believe that there has been fraud, but an orchestrated plan to overthrow the Bolivarian government and smash the revolution. How can we fight it?

The private media, the U.S., the OAS and the Spanish government of the PP, the local oligarchy (capitalists, bankers and landowners), they are all involved in the plan. 

What we have witnessed is a concerted campaign of attacks on the symbols of the Bolivarian revolution and its achievements: CDI health centres, Simoncito nurseries, of PDVALes and Mercal state run popular supermarkets, state and community media outlets, PDVSA oil company, PSUV offices, Petrocasa, as well as buildings of the CNE (National Electoral Council) and the private residences of state officials and Bolivarian leaders and their families.

Since the day of the closing rally of Maduro's campaign in Caracas we have also seen a new factor, the presence of gunmen, often on motorbikes, shooting randomly against revolutionary activists.Seven socialist militants were killed on the night of Monday to Tuesday in several parts of the country while defending the revolution.

The combination of public statements with wide media coverage, international pressure, marches in the streets, systematic violence and organized blackouts, shortages, economic sabotage, the threat of a bosses lockout , etc.. is calculated to create a state of anxiety and lawlessness that could force sectors of the state apparatus to intervene against the legitimate government.

How do we respond to this coup attempt?

20130417capriles latuffThe only way to respond to a threat of this kind, as evidenced by all the previous experience of the revolution, is through revolutionary mobilization. The bourgeoisie has correctly understood that the class struggle ultimately cannot be resolved within the framework of bourgeois legality, but in open confrontation. We should draw the same conclusion. That does not mean falling into provocations, but rather the need for organized and conscious mobilization of the revolutionary people and the working class. This is what has begun to happen in the last days in neighborhoods and cities across the country, when revolutionary activists have taken back and defended VTV state channel facilities, regional CNE centers, defended CDI health clinics, etc.. This spontaneous mobilization need to be given an organized and coordinated character.

Committees against the coup must be set up in every neighborhood and in every factory, to organize revolutionary vigilance with self-defence patrols to protect the conquests of the Bolivarian revolution (Simoncitos, CDIs, state and community media, revolutionaries headquarters, etc.).These committees must be composed of all revolutionary organisations, the organised motorbike groups, class struggle trade unions, workers councils, community media, CTU (Urban Land Communittes), communal councils, socialist communes, etc. which are active in each neighbourhood or workplace.

The oligarchy is threatening with a national bosses' lockout. Workers at POLAR company (food production and distribution monopoly) have reported the existence of secret warehouses being used for hoarding. Merida Governor Vielma Mora reported that cattle ranchers were organizing the sabotage of the distribution of milk and meat.These threats can only be answered with workers' control.

If there is a lockout or an attempt to sabotage the economy the slogan of 2002 must be applied, as correctly explained by Comrade Blanca Eekhout , "factory closed , factory occupied" and we would add "and expropriated".

In all factories, workplaces and state institutions we must organize mass workers' assemblies to discuss the situation and set up workers' control and revolutionary vigilance committees. These committees should be accountable to the workers' assembly and exercise vigilance against employers and against the bureaucrats and infiltrators in state companies and institutions.

At the first sign of sabotage of the economy the government must expropriate the companies responsible and put them under workers' control. The threat that Comrade Maduro issued against Repsol and other Spanish companies, should also be applied to the "national" bourgeoisie.

Faced with the sabotage of the electricity supply we must answer with rank and file workers' control. We cannot allow that infiltrated elements within these institutions organise sabotage of power supply in these crucial moments. To declare electricity as a national security institution is correct, but nothing can replace the role of electricity workers who know the situation of the company and can operate it and have been denouncing sabotage for months.Against electricity sabotage, revolutionary workers' control and cleaning of the institutions from traitors and infiltrators.

Faced with imperialist interference the ambassadors of the countries involved should be expelled and the multinationals from those countries expropriated. Venezuela should be respected. You have to combine these measures with an internationalist appeal to the peoples and workers of the world to mobilize actively in defence of the Bolivarian revolution to disable any attempt of external aggression.

The oligarchy is not strong in the streets. In recent months the revolutionary people has shown that on many occasions. But we should not give them a chance to organize. Now Capriles has retreated and called off the march to the CNE, but a show of strength of the revolutionary people in the streets is needed. It is not enough to organise concerts and vigils for peace. The revolutionaries are for peace, but in order to get peace we must first disarm the oligarchy. A mass revolutionary demonstration is needed, in order to make clear to the oligarchy what is at stake.

Funeral for Jose Luis Ponce, La LimoneraFuneral for Jose Luis Ponce, La LimoneraOnly the people can save the people, as demonstrated in many previous occasions. Now that we are all Chavez, there is no need to wait for instructions from above. The rank and file should be activated in each neighborhood, factory, school and poor parish. The committees against the coup in every factory, workplace, neighbourhood, parish and rural community, should be coordinated through democratically elected and recallable spokespersons in every parish, industrial area, municipality, state and at a national level.

Faced with the random assassination of revolutionary activists, committees against the coup should give themselves the necessary means for self-defence to repel such attacks, and develop popular intelligence to identify the culprits.

The oligarchy and imperialism are working to win over sections of the army high command to their plans for a coup. The revolutionary people must counter this campaign with organized political work in the army and the militia. We need to establish close links between revolutionary activists and ordinary soldiers and officers of proven revolutionary loyalty . Committees of soldiers and Bolivarian officers should be set up in all barracks to exercise revolutionary vigilance. A socialist and Bolivarian armed force can only be guaranteed with a revolutionary political work within it.

The fight against the coup is primarily a political battle. We have to win over to the revolution those sections of the people and the middle class who have been won over by the counter-revolution. This is only possible by solving the most pressing problems of the population, including shortages, insecurity and inflation. All these problems stem ultimately from the continued existence of a capitalist economy and capitalist state bureaucracy.

As Comrade Maduro said, "what is coming is not a pact with the bourgeoisie but the radicalization of the revolution." That should mean the expropriation of the means of production, banking and large landed estates, which are where the oligarchy derives its power from, in order to bring them under the democratic control of the working class. We also have to abolish the old bourgeois state apparatus and replace it with new revolutionary institutions based on the workers' councils and communal councils so that people shall rule.

Iron fist against the coup plotters!
Revolutionary mobilization of the people against the offensive of the oligarchy!
Against electricity sabotage, revolutionary workers' control and vigilance!
Against the bosses' lockout, factory closed, factory occupied!
Against the killings, organized self-defence of the people!
Committees against the coup in every factory and neighborhood!
Revolutionary Committees of soldiers and Bolivarian officers!
Against imperialist interference, proletarian internationalism!
No pact with the bourgeoisie, radicalize the revolution!
Expropriate the oligarchy, so we can plan the economy!

Lucha de Clases website (in Spanish)