[Marxism] Re: Grantite's in Venezuela

Ilyenkova at aol.com Ilyenkova at aol.com
Sat Aug 7 09:50:28 MDT 2004

Andy writes:  >I'd be curious by the way to hear what folks think of the kind 
of constructive
criticism given by the Grantites vis-a-vis the Bolivarian Revolution in

Firstly, it's necessary to review what the Grantites have been doing in 
support of the mass radicalization in Venezuela.
 I can't speak for the Grantites but I've followed their Venezuela work 
pretty closely. 

 They have been aggressively running a "Hands off Venezuela" petitioning and 
fund raising campaign (I've signed it myself). The campaign has been 
successful, particularly in the Italian Red belt cities and in Refondazione Communista 
centers. The campaign caught the attention of Chavez who invited Alan Woods to 
meet with him. 

Invited on Chavez's television show this past April, Woods apparently enjoyed 
a friendly give and take conversation with Chavez for an hour. Chavez was 
clear that he's a "Christian, not a Marxist," and that he believes the Bolivarian 
movement can succeed under capitalism. He fulsomely praised Woods' book on 
dialectical materialism, which is being rushed into Venezuelan publication. For 
his part, Woods was upfront with his Marxism, his certainty that the movement 
will need to nationalize the means of production in Venezuela, and that this 
can only succeed if based upon the active involvement of the mass base of the 
Bolivarian movement. During his stay in Venezuela Woods appeared on television 
a number of times.

 When the opposition's clearly fraudulent signatures were certified by the 
referendum commission and the August 15 date was set, the Grantites, in 
Venezuela and internationally, called for the immediate formation of Assemblies of 
People's Delegates as the necessary prerequisite for defending the the 
anti-imperialist movement in the runup to the referendum.  Preferring the advice of his 
social democratic advisors Chavez has not moved in this direction, as yet. 

The Grantites have not responded to what they consider this dangerous 
reliance on the referenda results with sectarian calls for the Bolivarian masses to 
break with Chavez, baited the regime with charges of pop-frontism, or any of 
the usual flaming stuff. They've maintained a position of unconditional defence 
of the Bolivarian Revolution against imperialist attack, while continuing to 
organize independently around delegated popular assemblies of workers and 
peasants, and for the nationalization of Venezuela's considerable banking and 
industrial capital, as well as the opposition-controlled mass media, under workers 

In Woods' words >This means the expropriation of the land, banks and big 
industry under workers' control and management. It means the arming of the people. 
It means the setting up of action committees linked up on a local, regional 
and national basis. It means that the working class must organize independently 
and strive to place itself at the head of the nation. And it means that the 
Marxist tendency must strive to win over the majority of the revolutionary 
movement.< (www.marxist.com/Latinam/foxngrapeslatest)

If Trotskyists have ever waged as successful and principled a campaign under 
similar conditions I'd love to hear about it. 
Contra Peter Taafe, Pablo's liquidation into the Algerian NLF bears no actual 
resemblance to the Grantite work in Venezuela, and sounds pretty much sour 
grapes sectarianism. I hope others will register comments on this. Whether the 
Grant tendency suffers delusions of grandeur, is cultish around the personality 
of the ninety-something Grant,or spends too much time on dialectics is beside 
the point. The work they've done and are still doing deserves discussion.

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