Venezuelan Revolution

In January of this year an article appeared in the main bourgeois paper in Brazil that referred to me as “Chavez’s adviser”. A few weeks later the same story appeared on the frost page of the Venezuelan opposition paper Tal Cual, edited by Todor Petkoff, who wrote the article. I answered Mr. Petkoff at the time. But, as a cynical journalist once said: why let the facts spoil a good story?

The September elections have posed some serious questions before the Bolivarian Revolution. The opposition has organized a noisy campaign in the media to present themselves as "winners", despite the fact that they lost. What is the purpose of this campaign? A minority cannot turn itself into a majority, no matter how loud it shouts. But such a campaign can be advantageous to the counterrevolutionaries both inside and outside Venezuela.

The result of the elections to Venezuela’s National Assembly elections on Sunday was greeted by jubilation in the bourgeois media internationally. It is too early to make a definitive judgment about the results, and it has not been confirmed the right wing has overtaken the PSUV in votes. However, the deafening chorus of triumph in the international media is premature.

The mood at the Miraflores presidential palace on Sunday night was one of cautious waiting and one could even feel a slight nervousness in the air as thousands of Bolivarians had gathered to hear the first results of the country's parliamentary elections.

On September 26 the people of Venezuela will be electing a new National Assembly. The reactionary Oligarchy, backed by imperialism, is taking advantage of the shortcomings of the revolution to strengthen its position and prepare for the counter-revolution. The Venezuelan revolution has gone a long way, but key economic levers are still in the hands of the Oligarchy. What is required is to fully carry out the socialist revolution and expropriate the capitalists and landlords. That is the only way of making the revolution irreversible.

If it is to succeed, the Venezuelan revolution must be taken to the very end, with the expropriation of the capitalists and landlords who still control two thirds of the economy. This is a powerful lever in their hands that they are using to organise economic sabotage to undermine the government. The right-wing, reformist fifth columnists within the Bolivarian movement are attempting to hold back the revolution. That is where the danger lies.

Alan Woods in Caracas describes the mood of the masses on the April 13 celebrations of the 8th anniversary of the failed right-wing coup. This time, as well as the usual red shirts, there was a massive display of the people’s militia clad in camouflage green, and carrying Russian-made AK-47s, a clear warning to the reactionary oligarchy that the masses are prepared to fight any attempt to turn the clock back.

The final results of the Venezuelan elections are now out. The Socialist United Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has won about 80% of all local councils and 17 out of the 22 governors that were up for election (there were no elections in the state of Amazonas, ruled by a pro-Chavez governor).

On Sunday November 23, 2008 Venezuela faces one of the most decisive elections in its history. These elections will determine who controls the governors and the key municipal positions throughout the country. What happens on Sunday will have a profound impact on the future of the Bolivarian Revolution.

On hearing of the nationalisation of Banco de Venezuela the World Congress of the International Marxist Tendency, which was sitting at the time, immediately discussed this important measure taken by the Venezuelan government and passed unanimously this resolution of support.

In a television programme broadcasted to the whole of the country on July 31st, President Chávez announced the nationalisation of Banco de Venezuela, the Venezuelan bank owned by the Spanish banking multinational Grupo Santander. "We are going to nationalize Banco de Venezuela. I make an appeal to Grupo Santander to come here so that we can start to negotiate".

The question of setting up factory committees has been posed in Venezuela. Because some of those putting forward this idea belong to the reformist wing of the Bolivarian movement, the leadership of the UNT unions instead of promoting them have come out against them. Marxists on the other hand view this as an opportunity to promote genuine workers' control from below.