[Marxism] From Fred Fuentes Ven analysis blog: Dramatic escelation in campaign against reforms

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 18:39:03 MST 2007

Dramatic escalation in campaign against constitutional reform
Submitted by Fred Fuentes on November 5th, 2007.

Yesterday a massive red sea took over the streets of Caracas to kick
off the campaign in favour of Chavez's proposed constitutional reform.
I haven´t seen any official figures, but the march was clear BIG - it
was smaller than some of the others i have been on and was definitely
less than a million but clear a few 100,000 participated. Its
important to remember that this was to kick off the official campaign,
and no doubt the closing march will be much bigger.

During Chavez´s speech besides outlining how the PSUV would be
organised at the local level to push forward the YES vote (utilising a
structure very similar to that for the recall referendum - the Units
for Electoral Battle) he made clear a few points

1) the key enemy is abstention and we have to fight hard to make it as
small as possible to make sure we have a massive victory and one which
no one can deny

2) this is the most important referendum for the revolution so far -
more important that the 1999 referendum to approve the constitution
and the 2004 recall referendum

3) The opposition are trying to arm a violent campaign in the face of
which the state must act. He heavily attacked several ministers for
allowing the fascist student opposition to burn parts of Caracas and
attack police, as well as for allowing several TV stations to openly
show opposition leaders calling for a coup. He said no more permits
should be given to violent and fascist opposition marches and the
police must act to stop them.

4) Whilst calling on pro-revolution parties such as PCV and PPT to be
part of the structures to vote YES, (without having to dissolve their
party structures), he once again made clear PODEMOS was now part of
the opposition and said he had a long list of others that would betray
the movement

5) He reiterated this is a peaceful revolution, and we will try the
best we can to remain peaceful but if we are forced to take up arms
and go to the mountains, Chavez will be the first to do so.

He was clearly pissed off. Perhaps he knew what was about to happen next....

Today, ex-minister for defence General (r) Raul Baduel, who played
perhaps the central role in mobilising troops from Maracay to Caracas
to demand Chavez be reinstated during the April 2002 coup came out to
break his months long silence in front of a press conference (where
only opposition media outlets were convoked) to declare that he was
against the reforms. He said they amounted to a coup, that they would
take power away from the people and place it in the hands of one
person and that the people and military had to closely study it to
realise why they should oppose it, saying "don't let them take power
away from you". This will undoubtably have further impacts in a
military from which numerous rumours are coming out off that there is
some discontent with what is occurring in regards to the reform.

Also today, university students protested across numerous campuses to
say they would not be stopped and will continue to protest, with
violent scenes in a number of these demonstrations. The universities,
which continue to be bastions of the right wing have seen numerous
protests and violent scenes including shoot outs in the last week.

The opposition march on Saturday was virulent in its tone. They called
for a march "with no return" on Nov 26 as well as for protests across
the country this friday. They made clear that anything goes in order
to stop this reform.

This means that November will be an intense period, some herr say they
feel that the situation is as tense as 2002, and more so than the
situation in the recall referendum in 2004. There are rumours that
other "chavistas" will come out now after Baduel to oppose the reform.
The opposition realise a lot is at stake with this referendum and have
made their intentions clear. We would all do well to start now to
build solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution as events heat up here
in Venezuela.
"The free market is perfectly natural... do you think I am some kind
of dummy?" - Jarvis Cocker

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