[Marxism] Venezuela Forming Unified Party

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 23 15:41:24 MST 2006

The move toward building a new political party in support of the
Bolivarian process will constitute an important political challenge
to everyone, first within the country and then internationally, too.

What attitude will they take toward the process? There's a most
interesting extended discussion in THE MILITANT which was just
posted today, a discussion which took place at the book fair in
Caracas. Particularly notable was the talk by Oscar Rodriguez,
which gives us a good indication of the kinds of thinking and
debates which must be going on in that country at the moment.

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California

Oscar Rodríguez is a member of the legislative assembly in the state
of Miranda, which surrounds Caracas. He is also a leader of the Youth
of the Fifth Republic (JVR), which is affiliated with Venezuela’s
governing party, the Movement of the Fifth Republic. 

Thank you for the invitation to this event. I am proud to represent
the Movement of the Fifth Republic at this important activity.

I have only been able to read part of “Capitalism’s Long Hot Winter
Has Begun” but aspects of the article have forcefully caught my
attention. One example is the section titled “Compete or Die,” which
explains how capital acts in the world, and how sometimes we don’t
take into account that its tentacles extend everywhere. Perhaps we
see some of the consequences of that in the communities where we
live. But I think it’s important for us all to know this
macro-analysis. I urge you to promote this article and to read it
together in study circles in our communities in order to forge
revolutionary consciousness.

In the past being a revolutionary was a little more difficult. Simply
passing a message on to another comrade implied danger, because 
the intelligence agencies had orders to spy on revolutionaries.

Today this dynamic is different. This revolution is unique. A young
person from a barrio can sign up for a mission, succeed in getting a
scholarship, buy food at a Mercal, and if he gets sick can see a
doctor at a Barrio Adentro clinic.1 And then he says I am a
revolutionary. But his level of consciousness is not what is needed.

Today it’s much easier to be a revolutionary. But this ease can lead
to breaking your spirit. We have to consolidate revolutionary
consciousness through reading, commitment, values, and by promoting
study circles that can increase comradeship.

Theory also has to go along with practice. That’s why I urge the
youth, and all those we have worked with in one way or another, not
only to organize study circles but to apply what we read.

Such a dynamic will allow this material to reach into the
consciousness of our communities.

I began to see how this magazine makes a diagnosis of capitalism and
its workings. I was surprised because I was aware of some things but
I did not know how the capitalists, the banks, the financial
institutions have no scruples, no principles, no values. They simply
use interest rates and other means to accumulate riches at the
expense of the majority, of working people.

This article helps us see from another point of view the hand of much
bigger forces at work behind seemingly local conflicts. It helps us
see how the hand of imperialism, the hand of capitalism, operates in
our communities.

I’ll describe an experience we went through in the state of Miranda.
Until two years ago we had a governor who represented the interests
of the right, including having participated in the April 11 military

Two years ago there was the presidential recall referendum, which we
won with 60 percent of the vote.3 That demoralized the opposition and
many of them stayed away from the polls in the gubernatorial election
that took place within a month after the referendum. So we were able
to win a state where the opposition has had a strong base.

Since then, we have instituted a series of public policies in Miranda
aimed at dismantling the effective privatization of health care by
the previous administration.

In education and health care they were privatizing hospitals,
clinics, schools.

In the last two years the new administration dismantled these
policies and the state has assumed responsibility for these services.

Today I participated along with President Hugo Chávez in the
inauguration of a new medical clinic, which has equipment with the
latest, most advanced, technology, in Chuao, located in the
municipality of Baruta, here in Caracas, where the opposition has had
a strong base because it is an upper middle-class neighborhood.

This shows the opposition that we are governing both for the rich and
for the poor. It’s clear that we must give priority to the poor,
because they are the majority and they were excluded for so many
years. But we also govern for the middle classes.

We faced a financial crisis in this country a decade ago, which cut
deep into the pockets of those who had savings. And who had savings?
The middle classes. If someone would deposit 10 million bolivars
($4,650) into a bank, financial institutions would often rob them of
up to 6 million and leave them only with 4 million.

They had also imposed interest rates on credit cards of as much as 80
percent. People would use their credit cards to buy something and
would be suffocated by debt.

What we were looking at as local problems were in fact the results of
such policies, what can be described as capitalist cannibalism.
Capitalists pushing to accumulate riches and power without any kind
of principles, values, or purpose.

I greatly appreciate the invitation to take part in this meeting. And
I am committed to include the material from this magazine in the
study circles we are already organizing with the youth.

We are going to absorb it and promote it so that others understand
it, which will help in building a stronger popular movement, one with


And a report from the CPUSA on the Venezuelan vote:

Venezuela Forming Unified Party

Caracas, Dec 23 (Prensa Latina) The first steps for the creation of
the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) were made this week,
after several organizations announced their dissolution to allow
members to form part of the new association.

President Hugo Chavez suggested the creation of the PSUV to allow
better structuring of the revolutionary process and fully bring
forward socialist development.

Despite its complexity, a major step was made with the announced
dissolution of the MRV (V Republic Movement), taking into
consideration it is the country's largest political organization.

In the meantime, Podemos, Patria para Todos, and the Communist
parties, the MVR s main allies, accepted the proposal, but announced
they will consult with the grass roots before making a decision.

In his first statements after the December 3 presidential win, Chavez
informed his followers, grouped in 24 parties and organizations, of
the need for higher political unity to face the challenges in the
process leading to the country s transformation. When debating on the
ways, goals, period of time, and structure of the new party taking
shape, the president clarified the idea is not to merge
organizations, but to found a new one.

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