Mike Friedman mikedf at
Wed Sep 25 22:01:17 MDT 2002

It is !*EXACTLY*! the same thing: NOT in terms of the depth of the
revolution, but of the economic sabotage carried out by the bourgeoisie,
including such "patriots" as the Pellas, Cuadras, etc., in league
(willingly or not) with U.S. imperialism. One could say your response was
ahistorical and implicitly self-contradictory, since your initial comments
described the real existing Nicaraguan situation so well (although the
balance of forces differed): "... The local capitalist class--assisted by
imperialism--will strangle any progressive initiative and alienate the
popular classes from the government."... while your subsequent comments
seem to deny those historic events. And you read way too much into my
response, if you see it as a recipe for a particular economic model. I
don't think Nicaragua should have followed a Cuban model, not merely
because of the lack of Soviet aid, but because initial economic and
political conditions were way different. In fact, in some ways the
Sandinista revolution actually went further toward the Cuban model than it
should have, for example in trying to socialize agricultural production and
create all those UPEs, instead of favoring small agricultural
producers.  However, to repeat, the FSLN government catered to the
"patriotic employers," gave them all kinds of concessions, cut them all
kinds of slack, politically, while they (the employers) continued to
decapitalize and curtail investments. At the same time the FSLN government
imposed austerity on the rest of the population, and that cost them -- and
the revolution -- heavily. So, if you criticize Chavez for "stopping short
of transforming the mode of production," then be honest enough to admit
that the Sandinistas committed a similar error, in kind, if not degree. Or,
cut Chavez some slack.


  But, yes, one can interpret your posting in the two ways I indicated.
Either degree or direction.
>Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 12:26:00 -0400
>From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at>
>Subject: Re: Venezuela
>Mike Friedman wrote:
> > Recall that the exact same thing happened in Nicaragua under the
> > Sandinistas, who did move forward to a mixed economy. This either
> > gives Chavez the benefit of the doubt, or it implicitly condemns the
> > the FSLN's policy of catering to sectors of the bourgeoisie that the
> > Sandinistas referred to as "patriotic employers."
> >
>This is *not* the same thing that happened in Nicaragua. In Nicaragua
>the old state was smashed and replaced by one that reflected the class
>interests of the workers and the peasants. Mike believes that Nicaragua
>should have moved rapidly to build an economy similar to Cuba's without
>the backing of the USSR, which was rapidly moving toward capitalism and
>without Cuba's island status, which gave it a relatively more secure
>position. His position, while well-meaning, is ahistorical.

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