Chavez veers left, talks expropriation

Mato Ska m_zehr at
Sun Jun 10 14:29:42 MDT 2001

In this age those who promote change and defy the superpower represent a 
significant break from the past. Let us also be aware that the $1.3 Billion 
that the US has invested in Plan Colombia puts the  US military in a 
strategic position to deal with the resistance of the Venezuelean popular 
movement. What remains to be seen is how this will be played out. How far 
the revolutionary process can move forward will depend less on the 
pronouncements from the sideline than from the play on the playing field. 
And history remains the sole judge of that.

>From: "Jose G. Perez" <jgperez at>
>Reply-To: marxism at
>To: <marxism at>
>Subject: Re: Chavez veers left, talks expropriation
>Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 23:09:23 -0400
>I think that developments are now showing that the election of Chávez was,
>as Fidel said in his visit to Venezuela shortly after the event, something
>like Cuba's July 26. Not yet the victory that puts power in the hands of 
>revolutionary forces, and certainly not the consolidation of the 
>but the beginning of a GENUINE revolution, the event that set the stage for
>the process to unfold..
>Inevitably, the measures taken by Chávez to clean up the government and
>defend Venezuela's national sovereignty, like putting a stop to Venezuela
>being Washington's pliant tool and number one scab in OPEC, have led to a
>growing CLASS polarization in that country, with the priviledged classes
>adopting an ever-more-openly anti-national stance and the working people
>rallying to the defence of Chávez and his project.
>How quickly this polarization will develop, no one can foretell, although,
>clearly, the basic class camps have taken shape. But we do know from prior
>experience that such a stage in a revolutionary process can last years, but
>not indefinitely. And as the dynamic of a sharpening class struggle sets 
>suddenly the motor of historical development will be thrown into high gear,
>and what from the perspective of June could look like a task that in the
>best of circumstances will take years, by the end of the year will have
>begun receding into history, thanks to the decisive intervention of the
>laboring masses under a decided leadership that defends its interests.
>That is what happened in Cuba in the year 1960.
>But this may not yet be Venezuela's 1960. Before 1960, in Cuba there was
>1959. And the decisive issue then was not yet the conscious expropriation 
>the capitalists as a class, but justice for the campesinos, the agrarian
>reform. From what little can be gleaned from press reports, it seems "just"
>an agrarian reform is now what is on the agenda.
>I put the "just" in quotes because, although I do not have even a passing
>acquaintance with the class structure of the Venezuelan countryside, I 
>be surprised, indeed, astonished, if such a reform did not lead directly to
>an open and irreconcilable life-and-death struggle with the entire
>Venezuelan capitalist class.
>We cannot, of course, offer money-back guarantees. But there has been 
>experience now for us to be able to say that the comrades of the Venezuelan
>Communist Party are undoubtedly taking a correct, revolutionary stance in
>supporting President Chavez. On this, I'm with Nikita Khruschev, who I will
>admit is my favorite Stalinist, and who famously said he did not know if
>Fidel was a Communist, but he did know he (Nikita) was a Fidelista.
>As for the rest of us, those outside Venezuela, our main job now is to
>prepare ourselves for the coming international battle over the Bolivarian
>revolution. There is going to be a political and ideological --at least--
>war all over the Americas over the Venezuelan revolution. We need to begin
>arming ourselves with the facts and history of the country, follow closely
>the enemy propaganda, and prepare to defend the people of Venezuela, and
>their president and government, against imperialist attempts to slander
>them, isolate them politically, meddle in their internal affairs, and 
>them militarily.
>As for the revolution's "lack" of an ideology as this stage, we should not
>worry overmuch. Bolívar IS  an "ideology" -- even if the scribblers of
>imperialist press agencies are too ignorant to recognize the reality that
>sits two inches in front of their nose. We can expect an incredible amount
>of ideological diversionism and drivel from these worthies and their elder
>brethren in academia before the dust settles from the revolutionary tornado
>that is now taking shape in Venezuela.
>And at the other end of the stage that appears to be beginning now --the
>stage where the question of property takes center stage in the 
>process-- we will be able to look back and say what Ché said about Cuba in
>1960. And that is that if the revolution could be considered Marxist, that
>would be because the working people of the country has rediscovered, in and
>through their own experiences and struggles, the road pointed out by Marx.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Barry Stoller" <bstoller at>
>To: <marxism at>
>Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2001 6:08 PM
>Subject: Chavez veers left, talks expropriation
>Reuters. 9 June 2001. Venezuela's Chavez Declares Revolutionary
>CARACAS -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday he would
>not shrink from adopting emergency powers if necessary, and urged
>supporters to unite behind him in a justice-seeking, anti-imperialist

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