[Marxism] Tariq Ali on Ortega's victory

Wayne S. Rossi felianan at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 10 06:51:19 MST 2006

Joaquin writes:

"The article is really about Venezuela, not Ortega. But look at how he
describes Chávez's policies! Maybe this is meant to convince the English
that he's really quite inoffensive, but what needs to be explained is that
Chavez represents an entire continent rising against imperialism. You can't
get away from that, what Chavez is doing is to make Venezuela truly
sovereign and independent."

I would argue that, in the context of imperialism, "truly sovereign and independent" is a classification without real meaning.  Chávez has made some important steps for control, particularly with PDVSA, etc., but for the most part this amounts to being more assertive in negotiations with international finance capital.  Foreign investment in Venezuela, and foreign control of finance capital (especially the banks), are still the order of the day, and there's a reason that this was what Lenin focused on in "Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism":  this is the means of modern imperialist economic domination.

What Chávez has done is primarily to revolt against neoliberal "austerity" and U.S. foreign policy domination, for which they tried to have him overthrown.  And these measures are progressive as far as they go, and they deserve support, but that doesn't mean that Venezuela today is "truly sovereign and independent," or even close to it.  There is a long road and a great struggle between here and there, and I don't think that it is possible in a world still dominated by neoliberal capitalism.

 - Wayne

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