[Marxism] Fwd: Venezuela’s Defeated Ruling Party Riven by Conflict and Scorn - The New York Times
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Thu Dec 10 08:43:40 MST 2015
NY Times, Dec. 9 2015
Venezuela’s Defeated Ruling Party Riven by Conflict and Scorn
By WILLIAM NEUMAN
CARACAS, Venezuela — There they were, two of the gray-haired confidants
of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s late leftist leader, voicing their
indignation at the government bumbling that led to Sunday’s stinging
electoral defeat of his United Socialist Party.
“We are facing a disaster,” said Héctor Navarro, a former cabinet
minister. “This is not the time to act like an ostrich.”
But in the middle of the news conference on Wednesday, with dozens of
journalists jammed into a dingy meeting room in a downtown hotel, a
shrill siren wailed and in burst a band of agitators, some in the red
shirts of Mr. Chávez’s die-hard supporters.
“You are traitors to the revolution!” shouted one man.
“Rats! You are sewer rats!” shrilled another.
And they began to chant the name of President Nicolás Maduro.
Handed its biggest setback at the ballot box in 17 years — with the
opposition winning control of the National Assembly for the first time,
and by a wide margin — Chavismo, the movement founded by Mr. Chávez, has
turned inward to attack its own.
“This type of defeat creates a lot of internal tensions,” said Margarita
López Maya, a historian. “Chavismo does not have much capacity to
process this type of conflict. It’s not used to that. It doesn’t have a
real democratic character or disposition for debate or tolerating
In his last televised speech to the nation in December 2012, Mr. Chávez
called on his followers to preserve the movement’s unity above all else.
Yet since his death the following March, after a long battle with
cancer, the top levels of government have increasingly been split among
rival factions — a splintering that the election debacle seems likely to
“Chávez was in charge,” said Jorge Giordani, the late president’s
longtime planning minister and economic guru, who spoke at the news
conference with Mr. Navarro. “Now everyone is in charge. Because there
is a crisis of power.”
Hector Navarro: I’m Encouraging a Rebellion at the Bases of the PSUV
Q: Is the revolution still possible?
A: The revolution is feasible, but it requires sacrifices. We should not
seek only the material satisfactions of the human race, because those
are infinite. What’s important is subjectivity, the conciseness to
improve upon ourselves. That is what Chavez worked on, that is why he
would harp on certain ideas.
There is a legal project against corruption which we drafted when I was
president of the Public Spending Commission. It was approved at first
mention and then put on the shelf. It has a very important chapter about
conflict of interests. It refers to three elements, and we even include
recommendations from the United Nations on the subject. In the first
place, if you are the director, minister or president, upon leaving your
post you cannot appear as an investor or employee of a company that you
would hire while in government. There’s also the question of presumptive
taxation and the third, which I think is vital in this moment, is that
of nepotism. It is difficult to find a case of corruption that doesn’t
have the element of nepotism; there is always a son, a nephew, a
brother, a wife, a parent or brother-in-law. There is no possible
socialism as long as there is nepotism, because there can only be
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