The crisis in Venezuela is not due to socialism, but due to the constant attempts to seek a compromise with imperialism and the Venezuelan ruling class. Back in 2005, Alan Woods, in The Venezuelan Revolution: A Marxist Perspective, explained that it is impossible to make half a revolution. Instead, he proposed the following way forward:
“[W]e have pointed out that the Venezuelan Revolution has begun, but it is not finished, and it cannot be finished until the power of the Venezuelan oligarchy is broken… This means the expropriation of the land, banks and big industry under workers’ control and management. It means the arming of the people. It means the setting up of action committees linked up on a local, regional and national basis. It means that the working class must organise independently and strive to place itself at the head of the nation. And it means that the Marxist tendency must strive to win over the majority of the revolutionary movement.”
The ongoing crisis in the country categorically proves that it is the ideas of Marxism, and not of ‘twenty-first-century socialism’, that would have shown the way forward.
The crisis in Venezuela is being blamed on socialism by reactionaries in all corners of the planet. It is, therefore, vital that all socialists have a good understanding of the history of the revolution. Marxist theory is the crystallised experience of the working-class movement. It is incumbent upon all activists to have a good understanding of the history of past struggles in order to apply the lessons to the future.