[Marxism] After Chavez: The Maduro Government And The 'Economic War' in Venezuela

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 22:13:41 MST 2014

> clip - Nearly two years after the death of Hugo Chávez, the key question
> that many on the left are debating, in Venezuela and elsewhere, is whether
> his successors have been true to his legacy, or whether the ‘revolutionary
> process’ initiated more than a decade ago has now stalled or even been
> thrown into reverse. The recent emergence of a number of pressing problems
> has convinced some Chavistas that the revolution has either been betrayed
> or, at best, that President Nicolás Maduro is severely lacking in Chávez's
> political acumen. High on the list of difficulties are the chronic
> shortages of numerous consumer goods and products, including basic ones, as
> well as an annual inflation rate of over 60 per cent. Both of these, Maduro
> claims, are part of an ‘economic war’ being waged by powerful interests to
> destabilize Venezuela. The government's difficulties include the
> universally recognized problem of corruption.
> Of course, these scourges were also prevalent under Chávez, but with less
> intensity, and in any case he faced them head on. His response to the
> shortages of basic commodities – which became particularly severe in 2007,
> influencing the outcome of the referendum on proposed constitutional reform
> – was to decree widespread expropriations. In 2009 he faced the problem of
> corruption that led to a major financial crisis by jailing at least 16
> bankers, including the brother of a trusted cabinet minister, and ordering
> the arrest of over 40 others who fled the country, while at the same time
> nationalizing 13 banks.
> Radical Chavistas point out that Maduro is lacking in audacity of this
> type. They criticize, for instance, the decision to replace the Chavista
> slogan ‘Chávez Lives, the Struggle Continues!’ with ‘Chávez Lives, the
> Homeland Continues!’ as indicative of political retreat and a lessening of
> the leadership's revolutionary fervour. One Chavista radical concluded
> that, given this type of rhetorical modification, ‘Chávez is facing a
> second death.’ The radicals also questioned the rationale behind the
> proposed ‘peace dialogue’ with opposition leaders and the business sector,
> designed to control the violent protests that shook Venezuela in early
> 2014. They were convinced that underlying these conversations were
> concessions to the historical enemies of the Bolivarian revolution. Antonio
> Aponte and Toby Valderrama, an ex-guerrilla of the 1960s whom Maduro has
> attacked personally, wrote "It's time for self-criticism: we wanted to
> avoid sacrifices and so we extended our hand to the bourgeoisie, the
> enemies of peace... we wanted to control the capitalist monster that is
> uncontrollable."
> full -   http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1063.php#continue


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