[Marxism] The Socialist Revolution in Venezuela

Néstor Gorojovsky nmgoro at gmail.com
Sun Nov 11 06:09:46 MST 2007

2007/11/10, Joaquin Bustelo <jbustelo at gmail.com>:

1. On the Spanish revolution

> Spain was an imperialist country, and that very directly,
> immediately and concretely shaped the course of events there

Suffice it to remember, and to know (for those who have a slight
relation with the history of the Spanish revolution) that Franco and
his troops were mostly formed in the colonial Spanish Army at Morocco,
and most of them had taken part of the Annual "disaster", where the
cracks of Spanish bourgeois development showed themselves under the
worst light, that of impotence in a colonial war.

> *  *  *
> Limiting presidential terms to one or two was such a cheap and demagogic
> measure for the bourgeoisie to adopt that it exists in almost all Latin
> American countries, and even the United States has it. For the privileged
> classes, it also provides a certain protection from becoming the victim of
> its own servants. And, of course, it has never prevented the perpetuation in
> power of a right-wing dictatorship for many years no matter what the
> constitution says. See, for example, the cases of Somocista Nicaragua and
> Pinochet in Chile.
> But as for the political role this slogan or similar ones play, that has to
> be based on a concrete analysis. "No reelection" directed against a Chavez,
> a Morales, a Peron or a Fidel is a reactionary rallying cry, which is why
> the imperialist-controlled media in Latin America is so avidly promoting the
> protests of students and others against the Venezuelan constitutional
> referendum.

And let us also not forget that the two-term limit in the USofA
themselves is a consequence of "the privileged providing themselves a
certain protection from becoming the victim of their own servants."
Not a socialist regime, but even the imperialist populism of a FDR was
simply too much to stomach, so that they made sure it would never
happen again.

> Popular movements in Latin America have often (not always) given rise to a
> central leader who plays a decisive role, for good or ill, and sometimes for
> both. The reasons for this I don't fully understand, but I DO know that this
> is the case, and not just simply a question of the (re)writing of history as
> the tale of the acts of "great men." And not just today but historically --
> look at the role of people like Bolívar and Martí.

One of the main reasons is the difficulty of the Latin American
societies to build up political élites that can process cleverly and
wisely the world drama.One of the consequences of imperialist and
oligarchic regimes is that they impose a blood-stained political
infantilism on the whole of the formation. When in the midst of such a
dismal scenario a good popular leader appears, the masses tend to
rally around that leader as a matter of self-defense, and this
adherence props that one citizen high above the whole. This has
nothing to do with the "cult to personality", which however exists and
tends to become the backbone of bureaucratism and conservatism in the
revolutionary movements in L.America.  Once the masses find a tribunus
plebis, they need to keep the tribunus in power for as long as is

In the end, this is NOT that different with the histories of other
countries. Even in the bourgeois USofAm, there was a need for personal
rule by Washington in order to consolidate the rising republic during
its first years. He resigned later, yes, but not before a well
established political élite of New Englanders and Virginians
consolidated (partly through family clans who kept in power somehow
like what happens in my own country today with the Kirchners).

What our "great men" do is, simply, the task the Absolute
Enlightenment in Spain never accomplished. They are the inheritors, in
a sense, of those kings. A product of the misery, poverty and
shallowness in political thought in Latin America under the monstruous
weight of imperialist-oligarchic "cultural" (in fact political)
pedagogic colonization, it is the masses themselves through their
material experience who spot them, anoint them and turn them into the
icons of their own revolutions and deeds.

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