Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and so on

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at
Sun Jan 19 20:25:11 MST 2003

Dear Gary:

My VCR and CD player will remain broken for a long time. I simply
don't have the money to have them repaired, not to speak of replacing
them... Thus won't be able to respond to David S.'s wishes soon. But
he may be reassured that I won't be able to attend the Marxism
mailing list as frequently as today, either. I said that the last one
was my last mailing on his positions, and I will remain on that idea.

But although it isn't raining any more, a few minutes before I get to
bed I want to send dear Gary McLennan a few lines on the general
situation in L.America, at least from my own "nationalist" and
"bourgeois" viewpoint.

This means, first and foremost, Venezuela and Brazil. But not only

Venezuela: against all our fears, Chávez is demonstrating that he is
a great rider, and that it will be difficult for the beast of
reaction to overthrow him.

Allow me to sum up what has been happening in Venezuela since he took

First of all, he maintained the neo-liberal Minister of Economy of
his predecessor. Thus, the reactionaries felt sure that this new guy
would do nothing particularly terrible.

With his home thus in order, he proceeded to win some half a dozen
elections with increasing percentages (reasons why are very simple:
the lower classes of the society perceived that his was a government
for the poor and the wretched, a patriotic government, even though
for the time being it could not do as much as desired) and, at the
same time, preparing and generating a Constituent Assembly that, it
would be discovered lately, was to be his main political weapon.

The Constitution drafted by that Assembly is one of the most
progressive Constitutions in Latin America, and it has become the
mainstay of Chávez and his government. Even the last "guajiro" in the
Llanos keeps a copy of the Constitution in his breast pocket, close
to his heart. And will fight to death, if need be, to defend it.
Because -in a striking contrast with normal Latin American practice-
Chávez began to make the Constitution true. Thus, the program of the
movement became the Constitution of the country!

Thus, Chávez begun to deploy the programme that was implicit in that
Constitution. For example, by launching an agrarian reform, or by
redistributing wealth and educational resources among the poorest
populations. This drove the opposition into a frenzy of rage and

It would be advisable here to explain what is that "opposition".
Basically it is the Party of Oil. Since the 1958 agreement of Punto
Fijo, two parties, AD ("social democrats") and COPEI ("christian
democrats") alternated in power. Both were interested in keeping
Venezuela tied to American needs and desires. Both displayed a
permanent rule of "democratic colony" against the Venezuelan people.
Both were crushed by Chávez.

After the April coup, when he was re-installed in power by a massive
upheaval of his supporters against what proved to be a new
Pinochetist attempt at massacre, he cleansed the Armed Forces of
reactionaries. It is seldom commented that 400 officers were expelled
from the Forces as a consequence of the coup.

Then, imperialists and oligarchs began to fight against him by
attempting to choke Venezuela through the oil company PDVSA. The
final result was that the anti-national management of PDVSA is now
being chased away from the company.

Next, will be the media.

And every and each of these measures is supported by the
Constitution. It would be a mistake to dismiss this particular aspect
of Chávez's tactics.

What is the petty bourgeoisie doing? Well, one of Chávez's great
things is that he did not _antagonize_ brutally with the petty
bourgeoisie in the way, say, a Perón (particularly an Evita Perón)
did. He has taken all and each of his measures through an enormous
political debate, involving thousands and thousands of persons.
Through that debate, many middle class employees have discovered how
perverse their anti-Chavist patrons were. And many turned Chavistas.

So that the petty bourgeoisie is split in two in Venezuela. There is
still a great fraction that has been co-opted by the media and by
resentment at the fact that those darkies from below are rising to
their levels (a very usual petty bourgeois trait in Latin America).
But Chávez has managed to generate fractions of the middle class that
support him.

I think he is managing the situation quite well, all things
considered (including the scarcity of cadre in Chávez's movement). In
fact, he has been able to stand imperialist pressure until Lula got
to Presidency in Brazil, which has given him new air to breath.

Brazil: let us say that Brazil turned Left immediately after what
happened to Argentina was understood by the Brazilians. Thus, the
victory of the PT is in more senses than one a solid victory. Lula
will, for some time, toe the line of agreements with the IMF. But at
the same time he shall begin to carry on a serious agrarian reform,
which will be supported by most Brazilians. Even the Brazilian petty
bourgeoisie (which is already somehow different to their Hispanic
American counterparts, basically because Brazil has been following a
steady industrializing path which has linked this petty bourgeoisie
to the domestic market in a way nobody could have expected, say, in
1950) will support this reform. And they have poured massively
towards Lula. In Rio de Janeiro, he got 80% of the vote.

But there is someone on this list, Carlos Rebello, who might give a
more accurate (and somehow different) view of things.

In my own opinion, we are advancing towards a more national-
democratic (this time, Bolivarian patriotic) Latin America. The basic
source of this is the new consciousness both in Argentina and in a
good part of Brazil that we need to coallesce as much and as soon as
possible. Chávez will, of course, be one of the main partners in
this, and thus Cuba will at last find some anchorage in a continent
that, for decades, has not been able to escape the pressure of the
United States.

Argentina: well, I would like to see Rodríguez Saá (the guy who
decided to carry the foreign debt to Parliament and who stopped
payments of the foreign debt) at the House of Government. I have very
good reasons for this, which I will not comment now (too tired). But
if Rodríguez Saá gets to power, against the rage and fears of the
Establishment (the now very influential Spanish bourgeoisie believes
that he is "another Chávez", for example), then the perspectives
shall be boosted enormously. To sum it up in a single sentence:
Rodríguez Saá will try to bring Argentina back to September 15, 1955,
and gain new momentum after he manages to do so. That is, he will try
to rebuild Argentina from the only firm starting point available,
which is the situation before the gorilla coup of 1955. Never
forget that it was during this coup that the word "gorilla" acquired
political meaning in Latin America...

I may write to you privately, Gary. Don't know. Too many things to do
too short a day to do all them. Today I have greatly surpassed my
quota of Marxism list.

Hugs to all,

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at

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"Aquel que no está orgulloso de su origen no valdrá nunca
nada porque empieza por depreciarse a sí mismo".
Pedro Albizu Campos, compatriota puertorriqueño de todos
los latinoamericanos.
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