[Marxism] Fwd: The Constituent Assembly: Venezuelan Thermidor?

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Fri Aug 18 01:49:32 MDT 2017


i'd like to reply in more depth -- but while there are many problems not
just in general but clearly with the "official" and government response to
the economic problems and serious political crisis, i would just say there
are a lot more voices than the government spokespeople, the amplified
voices of the hard right and sometimes outright fascists on the streets or
even those on aporrea, which runs a wide range of views but is very far
from the be all and end all of left and revolutionary perspectives.

I would also say the government, and the movement as a whole, faces an
opposition that is desperate to take power not just as soon as possible but
not through elections, and this explains the sustained nature of the
violent protests and actual terrorist attacks (there are separate accounts
of who is responsible for what deaths than the one Joaquin mentions that paint
a different picture <https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13081>, but we
can leave aside the question of exactly whose killed who and say that
burning someone alive because you suspect they are Chavista, or just as
likely because they are poor and black, is terror, as is improvise
explosive devices that rip through a national guard contingent -- largely
drawn from the poorer sectors -- violent attacks on maternity hospitals and
military bases all amount to terrorist campaigns. Of course not everyone
who joins a protest is involved in or necessarily supports all these
things, but neither are they isolated).

This campaign of violence and terror has reached a bit of a dead end, and
partly because the constituent assembly elections went ahead despite
pledges to stop them, while no sector of the military has responded to more
than four months of these protests and appeals to bring the government
down, nor has any serious section of other institutions still loyal to the
process or at least constitution, broken, with pretty much the sole
exception of the attorney-general..

The opposition would prefer to come to power outside of having to face an
electoral test (even if they are clearly a reasonably chance to win
elections) because they want a period of time without having to rely on any
mandate in which they can smash up the social gains of the revolution. An
example of what they want is in neighbouring Brazil, where the unelected
coup president temer has an approval rating far, far worse than Maduro's
and his regime is ramming through harsh neoliberal and ant-worker measures
that go further than what the military dictatorship got away with. Compare
this to Argentine, where Macri came to power through electoral means and
has had a tougher time actually getting through his hard-right agenda.

And that is just Brazil, with far milder social reforms under the PT, and
dramatically less popular empowerment. In Venezuela, not only are they
desperate for a far deeper series of counter-reforms, but need to smash a
deeply organised mass movement, that whatever weakening it is has suffered
in recent years is still a force to contend with,. It isn't alarmist to
raise the spectre of 1973 in Chile, but whether it reaches such a scale,
there is no doubt the right coming to power, *especially* outside of
elections, it will involve a deepening of the terror already underway
(where it is at high levels already in the country side, see this detailed
and disturbing eyewitness account in Green let Weekly "The War for Power in
Venezuela's Countryside
<https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/war-power-venezuela-countryside>").
The fact that in the two days they held power during the coup in 2002, when
they combined overturning all of the progressive laws including the new
constitution with killing 60 chavistas and hunted down and tortured many
more, is indication enough.

Then no doubt, once the worst of the counter-reforms are implemented and
repression against popular sectors achieved its aims, then you could have
elections, the country will be "ready" and up will jump representatives of
the friendlier face of the opposition and the elite, critical of the
"excesses" of recent times, wanting to "heal the nation" and "bring us back
together", end the excesses of the neoliberalism and terror the preceding
"government of national unity" has implemented *and* of course the
"excesses" of the Chavistas beforehand. Before then, they don;t WANT to
have to rely on any electoral mandate, it will only act as a handbrake on
their plans.

All this is not just "yes of course" level of ticking a box and saying
you;ve noted it, it is essential to the situation and the difficulties of
finding a way forward when the opposition won't talk and won't play the
constitutional games, with -- despite clear differences within them -- the
hard right still in ascendency.

There are those often critical of the government and its (frequently lack
of) actions in recent times, who nonetheless do not see it as a
dictatorship or moving towards a dictatorship. (And in relation to the
National Assembly, while the government has prioratised legal and
constitutional manoeuvres seemingly over attempting to serious deal with
the political problems and growing frustrations or apathy among the base,
it has nonetheless sought to do aso within a constitutional framework, even
if this is contested, with both sides seeking to claim institutional
legitimacy.

For instance, the Supreme Court ruled that the assembly could not swear in
four deputies (three aligned to the opposition, one Chavista, until an
investigation into allegations of electoral irregularities is completed.
The opposition deputies in control of the National Assembly defied the
supreme court and ruled its three deputies in, with the Supreme Court
ruling the Assembly in contempt. So you have had a stand off between the
executive and supreme court and the assembly, with the opposition aborting
(seemingly screwing up) its recall referendum campaign.

Could it have been handled better by the government as well as opposition?
No doubt. But the opposition has also refused any talks or serious attempt
to negotiate a solution unless its "political prisoners" are released,
while burning barricades remain.

In this context, many grassroots sectors seen the constituent assembly a
potential way out of the crisis, to advance the process, although not
inevitably. They see it as a remobiisation of the chavista base to directly
intervene, which has the potential to impose itself on the situation,
although it depends on how the government responds.

Green left has run a series of interviews and pieces giving various
responds to the constituent assembly from those invariably with some often
very strong criticisms of maduro "from below":

*Maria Helena Ramirez Hernandez, *an activist with the Revolutionary Sex
and Gender Diversity Alliance (ASGDRe) and student at the Bolivarian
University of Venezuela, spoke with *Green Left Weekly*’s *Federico
Fuentes *about what the July 30 vote for the ANC meant for grassroots
*Chavistas*
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-revolutionary-sex-and-gender-diversity-alliance-constituent-assembly

*Stalin Perez Borges *from the LUCHAS (United League of Chavista
Socialists) and a member of the Consultative Council of the Bolivarian
Socialist Workers’ Central (CBST)
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-socialist-trade-unionist-constituent-assembly-terror-attack-military-base


Ex-minister for communes, revolutionary activist and sociologist *Reinaldo
Iturriza, who* has spent many years working with popular movements in
Venezuela, ahead of the constituent assembly
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/reinaldo-iturriza-fate-chavismo-and-venezuela-revolutionary-democratic-experiment

*Marco Teruggi* writing from Caracas:
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/zero-hour-venezuela-ahead-constituent-assembly-vote

Carlos Morreo (venezuelan academic) on the constituent assembly as a
chalenge for opposition and "critical chavismo"
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-constituent-assembly-poses-challenge-opposition-critical-chavismo

And in this interview from a week ago, Steve Ellner, who has lived in
Venezuela since the 70s and offers some (imo) balanced assessments based on
trying to interpret the real situaiton beyodn rhetoric, spoke to Green Left
Weekly, on what he calls the "fragile upper hand" the government has
achieved through the constituent assembly elections to date.
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-trump-talks-military-options-maduro-constituent-assembly


All that said, I don't think some sort of "coup" in the name of Chavismo
out of desperate self-defence from some sectors, namely some of the
military or at least with military support, can be absolutely ruled out,
even if not necessarily likely, if they see no other way out of the crisis
against an opposition, in clearly alliance with imperialism, that wants
them all in jail at the very least, and the phrase "very least" is
deliberate. However, I just don't see much evidence the Constituent
Assembly is it. If anything, it appears as a potential way to
democratically break the deadlock -- although this remains potential,
something the voices in these pieces emphasise.

But while figuring out what is going on is crucial to orientate ourselves,
I think there is a crucial point Steve Ellner made in an earlier piece, on
the tasks of supporters of the revolution from outside the country in the
context of this crisis. On the economic crisis in particular, where he said
as far as he could see there were three major factors behind it, which he
gave more or less equal weight: the huge drop in oil prices aggravated by
venezuela's dependency on oil; the imperialist campaign against venezuela
and economic war; and the mistakes and bad policies of the government and
the institutional corruption.

He pointed out that, from outside venezuela, in the global North, while we
seek to understand all of this, the only one we can actually act on, the
only obvious way we can help, is to take action around the imperialist
intervention.

Stuart



On 16 August 2017 at 20:44, Gary MacLennan via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> ********************  POSTING RULES & NOTES  ********************
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>
> I hope sincerely Comrade Joaquin will not mind me sending this to the
> list.  It is truly meant in the best spirit of dialog between comrades.  I
> sent his post to my good friend  and comrade Jim McIlroy who is the joint
> author of a book on Chavez Voices from Venezuela : behind the Bolivarian
> Revolution . <http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an43957179>
>
> Jim sent me the post below and agreed that I could send it to the list.
>
> comradely
>
> Gary
> <http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an43957179>
>
>
> Hi Gary,
>   I haven't got time at present to give a detailed commentary on this
> [Joaquin's] article, but the general point is that we on the left have to
> decide which side we are on in the final instance.
>
>   (This year is the centenary of the Russian Revolution. No doubt there
> were similar commentaries by Western leftists about the "undemocratic"
> nature of the October Revolution. Maduro is definitely not Lenin, by the
> way).
>   Whatever the, very real, mistakes of the Maduro government, and their
> political weaknesses, the stakes are clear in Venezuela: No volvaran! (No
> return to the past!)
>   The article is full of errors...eg, contrary to the coverage, the
> majority of deaths in the violence have come directly or in-directly from
> the right-wing opposition.
>   His stuff on the Constituent Assembly is pure sophistry. The analogy with
> Thermidor/Bonapartism is ridiculous. The CA may be a turning point in the
> crisis, if the masses can successfully move to the centre of Venezuelan
> politics again.
>   The best source of information on Venezuela is Telesur English,
> venezuelanalysis.com, and dare I say Green Left Weekly (a couple of good
> articles in there this week).
>   I will send you some more material on all this when I get time,
>
>   Venceremos!
>
>   Jim Mc.
>
>
> On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 7:02 PM, Gary MacLennan <gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Jim
> >
> > What do you think of this?
> >
> > ae
> >
> > Gary
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: Joaquin Bustelo via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
> > Date: Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 5:51 PM
> > Subject: [Marxism] The Constituent Assembly: Venezuelan Thermidor?
> > To: gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
> >
> >
> > ********************  POSTING RULES & NOTES  ********************
> > #1 YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> > #2 This mail-list, like most, is publicly & permanently archived.
> > #3 Subscribe and post under an alias if #2 is a concern.
> > *****************************************************************
> >
> > At the outset, I should explain that for many years I did not try to
> > follow the Venezuelan Revolution closely, but in the last couple of
> years I
> > have been increasingly forced to do so.
> >
> > That because I am the producer and co-host of the program "Hablemos con
> > Teodoro." It is a daily 2-hour Spanish-language news, analysis and
> call-in
> > show. Our station is Radio Información, a progressive and now
> internet-only
> > service organized by people from the immigrant rights movement (see the
> > footnote for too much information about us).
> >
> > For some time I have been disturbed by the seeming direction of the
> > Venezuelan process under President Nicolás Maduro. Obviously Venezuela
> > faces imperialist hostility and subversion as well as the revanchism of
> > traditional ruling class figures and families (Capriles, etc.) who
> dominate
> > the "opposition" and quite obviously look to imperialist backing to
> fulfill
> > their dreams of a return to yesterday's Venezuela.
> >
> > After becoming president in 2013, Maduro had at least formally abided by
> > Chavez's Bolivarian Constitution for a couple of years, but since last
> > year, after losing (and very badly) the National Assembly elections at
> the
> > end of 2005, his government has defied constitutional provisions by
> > refusing to accept the authority of the resulting legislature, refusing
> to
> > hold a recall referendum on his mandate, packing the national Electoral
> > Commission, etc.
> >
> > (But note that the opposition and its National Assembly majority are also
> > partly to blame. It was quick to abandon the ground of defending the
> > Chavista constitution --especially the recall referendum--, turning
> instead
> > to will of the wisp nostrums like that Maduro by his actions had
> abandoned
> > the presidency.)
> >
> > This spring, the Maduro administration adopted an all-but-explicit
> > anti-constitutional course, with the Supreme Court proclaiming itself,
> > formally, on its own initiative, the national legislature. It was quickly
> > forced to abandon the usurpation by very widespread denunciations
> including
> > from within the government, given voice above all by the Attorney
> General.
> >
> > However this was quickly followed by Maduro calling a Constituent
> Assembly.
> >
> > Contrary to what the constitution seems to require, and the precedent set
> > by Chávez, the people did not have a chance to vote on whether or not to
> > establish this body. The election rules set by the government departed
> from
> > tradition and normal representative, bourgeois-democratic norms,
> especially
> > one person, one vote.
> >
> > Government candidates ran without opposition. Even so, the company that
> > operated the voting machines announced a discrepancy of at least one
> > million votes between machine readings and official results claiming a
> > turnout of seven million, close to or a little more than 50% of those
> > registered.
> >
> > Once elected, in its first sessions last week, the Assembly proclaimed
> > itself the Supreme governmental  body and decreed the
> extra-constitutional
> > removal of the Attorney General and the lone opposition member of the
> > electoral council. It announced that all bodies and officials were
> subject
> > to its decisions on functions and composition. And to underline its
> > authority, Maduro formally placed his position as president in the hands
> of
> > the Assembly, which then in what it called a legitimate exercise of its
> > paramount authority, ratified him in his post.
> >
> > This is clearly a dictatorship, using that word not as a vulgar insult
> > against a government one doesn't like, but a *regime* where the
> authorities
> > are not restrained or bound by any previously existing norms. And
> *regime*
> > is used here not in the common "objective" journalist sense of "a
> > government we don't like but won't honestly and simply say so" but a form
> > of government beyond any one administration. (So, for example, there was
> no
> > change in regime between Bush and Obama or Obama and Trump.)
> >
> > Why do I use these terms? Because what happened in Venezuela last week
> > registers a formal, qualitative change in the country's governmental
> > regime: from the one established under the 1999 Bolivarian Constitution
> to
> > a dictatorship of the Constituent Assembly.
> >
> > In my view, this is unquestionable even if you consider the assembly to
> > have been quite properly established in a democratic or revolutionary
> way.
> > In other words, there can be such a thing as a "revolutionary" or
> > "democratic" dictatorship. Although I do not see where that is the case
> > here.
> >
> > The fact that Maduro surrendered his authority to the assembly as a
> > president elected by a popular vote and is now president thanks to
> > authority newly invested in him by the assembly (even if phrased as
> > "ratification" in the office) could not make the change in regime more
> > blatant.
> >
> > Which raises the question, what is the significance of this change?
> >
> > I am finding myself increasingly pushed to consider that this might mark
> a
> > Thermidor resulting from an increasingly deteriorating situation.
> >
> > *    *    *
> > The left wing and pro-revolution web site aporrea.org has had a series
> of
> > articles raising questions and even sounding the alarm, including this
> > interview analyzing the protest movement and government repression
> > published a couple of days ago: https://www.aporrea.org/ddhh/
> n312836.html.
> >
> > Among other things the interviewee presents detailed figures on the
> deaths
> > in connection with the demonstrations since the beginning of April,
> saying
> > the majority of them where events are documented those responsible were
> > government forces and allegedly pro-government motorcycle-mounted flying
> > squads. He takes into account reports of demonstrators attacking and
> > burning Chavistas alive, pointing to two documented cases. But including
> > other incidents of attacks on Chavistas, he concludes that the big
> majority
> > of killings where the attacker is clearly documented were done by
> > government forces. He also documents that the majority of the known
> victims
> > were students or young workers, not scions of the oligarchy.
> >
> > This did not really surprise me, as from the coverage and talking to
> > people who had been there I had come to the conclusion that this is
> largely
> > a student and younger millennial movement of the relatively better-off
> > layers of the working people who grew up and came of age under Chavez,
> and
> > not mostly of the upper crust. But also not of the poorest marginalized
> > layers.
> >
> > It seems pretty clear that there have been several, perhaps many
> instances
> > of actions staged in such a way as to be deliberately provocative or even
> > leading inevitably to violent clashes, such as surrounding and
> blockading a
> > military barracks. A minority of demonstrators often come prepared for
> > battle, and some are armed with Molotov cocktails and even tear gas
> > canisters: there are some video clips showing this pretty clearly.
> >
> > But also I have been especially struck by the evidence suggesting that
> the
> > oligarchic opposition set this into motion and periodically throws
> gasoline
> > on the fire, but does not take responsibility for the movement nor offer
> it
> > leadership despite its semi-insurrectionary character. Thus it is very
> rare
> > to see in the press interviews with opposition leaders at the protests or
> > with them giving eyewitness accounts.
> >
> > I've very much gotten the impression that the oligarchic opposition of
> the
> > MUD is perfectly happy to have maximum turbulence and violence for
> > international propaganda purposes but that they are absolutely unwilling
> to
> > stick out their own necks in doing the next logical thing: launch a
> > more-or-less coordinated uprising seeking to gain the support of the
> poorer
> > layers of the population that are suffering terribly from the economic
> > crisis and split the army and perhaps the police.
> >
> > Although they do not say this in so many big words, the impression one
> > gets is that they are definitely hoping for a deus ex machina from abroad
> > to put them in power, and in the meantime are constantly jockeying among
> > themselves to be in the best position to come out on top in such an
> > eventuality.
> >
> > And as part of that, now they've undermined the protest movement by
> > deciding to take part in regional elections, despite having boycotted the
> > national voting for Constituent Assembly candidates. It's all about
> > preserving "political spaces" and "the small elements of democracy that
> > still exist," in other words, opposition governors and mayors want to
> stay
> > in office to have the best opportunity to jump into higher positions when
> > salvation from abroad arrives.
> >
> > In other words, their "intransigent" and "to the ultimate consequences"
> > resistance is a cowardly sham. The press projects them as freedom
> fighters,
> > but they are definitely not "give me liberty or give me death" types.
> >
> > Not all of this is reflected in the interview I referred to but what it
> > says is consistent with the picture I have.
> >
> > *  *  *
> >
> > The part of the interview that truly shocked me was  the homicide figures
> > for 2016, which the interviewee claimed came from the attorney general.
> It
> > said the intentional homicide rate was 70 (per 100,000 population), which
> > is well into what I would generally consider failed state territory, and
> > which he said was the second highest in the world (for a country not
> > formally at war).
> >
> > But even more astounding to me was that more than 20% of the homicides
> had
> > been carried out by government agents and they have primarily taken as
> > victims young people in the poorest communities.
> >
> > I was so surprised by the figures that I had a hard time believing them,
> > but an internet search quickly revealed that the attorney general really
> > had released these figures. This is an AFP story on the revelation:
> > elfaro.net/es/201703/internacionales/20196/Venezuela-cerr%C3
> > %B3-con-70-homicidios-por-cada-100000-.
> >
> > There were 21,752 homicides, of which 4,667 were committed by members of
> > police or other government security bodies. In the United States there
> are
> > about 1,000 police killings compiled on the crowd-sourced
> > killedbypolice.net.  But a comparable figure to the Venezuelan one in
> the
> > United States would be around 45,000. This suggests a radical divorce
> > between the state's repressive forces and the popular, mobilized masses
> > which they are supposed to be based on and defend in a popular
> revolution.
> >
> > And the interview presents a broader picture presented of Maduro playing
> > the "law and order" card as do bourgeois politicians when they, too, have
> > no program to confront grave problems facing society.
> >
> > Other very negative signs include government concessions to imperialist
> > firms for extractive industries; the growing mortgaging of future oil
> > exports to pay for current loans; a total decline by the end of this year
> > in the Gross Domestic Product since 2013 of 32% (one third! or as close
> to
> > as makes no difference); a huge jump in unemployment; a hyper-inflation
> of
> > more than 200% a month and a catastrophic collapse in the standard of
> > living in the population.
> >
> > A lot of this was prompted by the decline in the price of oil but it had
> > tremendous impact due to unsustainable economic policies of price
> controls
> > and subsidies, compounded by the inevitable corruption such policies
> > engender.
> >
> > They are proving untenable without the oil bonanza, which I believe also
> > shows this use of the surplus oil income was not the best. And at least
> the
> > point that much more oil income should have been invested in developing
> the
> > country's productive machinery is very widely accepted by Chavistas.
> >
> > The government constantly blames an imperialist-oligarchic economic war
> > and I do not doubt it is taking place. But even if it were not, the
> economy
> > would still be displaying the same tendencies. You cannot sell gasoline
> for
> > a few cents a gallon and NOT expect it to go across the street where it
> can
> > be sold for a few dollars a gallon.
> >
> > And you cannot expect to have an "official" exchange rate of something
> > like 10 Bolivars to the dollar, a "parallel" rate of about 3,000, and a
> > Black market rate of 12,000 and NOT have people taking official and
> > parallel rate dollars and merchandise to the black market.
> >
> > You can have --for a time-- successful price and currency controls,
> > especially if, for example, you are a small island nation like Cuba
> > surrounded by oceans and completely cut off from any interchange with
> > anyone within a few thousand miles. And it is well-nigh essential that
> you
> > have overwhelming and mobilized, active support to enforce the price
> > control regime. But apart from exceptional circumstances, generalized
> > policies that try to control a market economy against its natural
> > tendencies are bound to fail.
> >
> > These kinds of attempts to control a market economy by diktat also take
> > place in the United States. Today, you have severe restrictions and
> > repression to keep out certain commodities from the market: labor power
> > from unauthorized workers. With all the laws against it, why are hundreds
> > of millions of hours of "illegal" labor power bought and sold each and
> > every week in the United States? Why don't all of Congress's laws work?
> >
> > Because the economy obeys a higher law-- the law of supply and demand.
> >
> > You see the same thing with Marijuana and prostitution today, alcohol
> > prohibition in the last century, etc.
> >
> > The failure of a generalized policy of diktats as the long term basis for
> > economic policies is well-known. In Venezuela, the problem has been
> evident
> > for several years. So why doesn't it change?
> >
> > In general, it is often because there are sectors that benefit from these
> > policies whose support the government needs, perhaps even to such a
> degree
> > that it could be said the government is (at least) partly based on and
> > represents those interests. In given sectors and properly designed, they
> > can work, for example American and European agricultural subsidies.
> >
> > In the case of Venezuela, corruption has become legendary. And it must be
> > frankly admitted that a number of policies that contributed to this have
> in
> > fact been demagogic and never benefited first and foremost the least
> > advantaged layers of working people that supposedly they are aimed at
> > protecting.
> >
> > Take, for example, gasoline prices. The stuff is practically free. This
> > encourages waste, promotes smuggling, creates pressure for the
> importation
> > of vehicles and especially gas-guzzling American monstrosities, leads to
> > lower exports costing the country a lot of hard currency and yields
> > practically no benefit to the millions of people that have no cars and
> are
> > mostly the least favored sector of the population.
> >
> > You might object that it keeps public transit costs down for the
> > population and reduces the cost of transporting goods inside the country.
> > But keeping public transport costs low can more easily and sustainably be
> > achieved through direct subsidies and cheapening transportation of goods
> is
> > not necessarily a good thing, as it encourages arbitrage, especially when
> > you have the government distributing subsidized goods through official
> > channels and a portion of them are being diverted.
> >
> > *  *  *
> >
> > Is what amounts to what Latin Americans call an "autogolpe" --a
> > self-coup-- in Venezuela a turning point, or a confirmation of one that
> had
> > already passed? I do not know. But I do know that fort a couple of years,
> > I've found it increasingly difficult to defend the actions of the Maduro
> > government.
> >
> > I almost breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when Trump threatened
> > Venezuela by saying he had not ruled out the military option, and even
> more
> > when the oligarchic opposition on Sunday, after days of silence, came out
> > with a statement denouncing foreign interference, for example ... Cuba!!!
> >
> > And Trump should not be dismissed lightly. He raised this quite
> > consciously, obviously having planned it, as Pence was leaving on a
> junket
> > to Latin America. In his first stop in Colombia, Pence proclaimed at a
> > press conference that the U.S. considered a dictatorship in Venezuela
> > intolerable. Meanwhile back in the USA, the head of the CIA went on Fox
> > News to explain how Venezuela represented a potential threat to the
> > national security of the United States: Cubans! Russians!! Iranians!!!
> And
> > --worse of all-- Hezbollah!!!!
> >
> > Thus for the moment defense of Venezuela and its established government,
> > no matter who it is-- has an obvious precedence, and it also offers an
> > opportunity to expose the oligarchic opposition.
> >
> > But this does not solve the underlying problem: we need to understand
> > Venezuela and what has happened. I don't feel I am in a position to do
> more
> > than raise one possible explanation.
> >
> > The way I tend to view this is very heavily influenced by the Nicaraguan
> > experience of three decades ago. I lived for several years in Nicaragua
> at
> > that time and eventually came to a very definite view, about how the
> > revolution had been bled to death and strangled economically by the
> United
> > States through the contra war.
> >
> > Part of that analysis is that I came to view a revolution as first and
> > foremost the mass, organized movement of the working people, and that it
> > was the atomization of this movement, its being destroyed by the war and
> a
> > grinding, day to day struggle for individual survival that led to the
> > unraveling. This then had many and very negative consequences that
> > eventually destroyed the FSLN as a revolutionary organization (today's
> FSLN
> > is a very different animal even though directly descended from the
> former).
> >
> > It was many years ago that I posted on this list a recounting of that
> > experience. Thinking of Venezuela, I reposted it on my blog a few months
> > ago. (hatueysashes.blogspot.com/2017/01/from-archives-how-1980s-s
> > andinista.html)
> >
> > Reading it again, I realize that I could not possibly have come to this
> > understanding without having lived there for several years. And that I
> > could not possibly write anything like this about Venezuela ever, not
> > having been there.
> >
> > But reading what i wrote about Nicaragua and thinking about what I think
> I
> > can piece together about Venezuela fills me with dread. I hope I am
> wrong,
> >
> > Joaquín
> >
> > -----
> >
> > Radio Información was started at the end of 2011 and is led by Teodoro
> > Maus, who was Mexican consul-general here for more than a decade when the
> > community was growing explosively from essentially nothing and was
> central
> > to founding many community institutions, from the Mexican-American
> Chamber
> > of Commerce to the main immigrant rights organization, now called the
> > Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (glahr.org). He is like the
> > Patriarch of the community, very well known.
> >
> > I've been with the station since the beginning. Originally we were on a
> > fairly low-power AM station, and two years ago we went Internet-only. We
> > are non-profit but not non-commercial. We do accept advertising and
> > sponsored programs (although selectively). Find us at :
> > - www.radioinformacion.org
> > - www.facebook.com/RadioInformacion, and
> > - www.youtube.com/channel/UCeukuq-dJIGM-vOnz6IRNFQ.
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
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