No political support for the Maduro government! For a Workers and Popular Government!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 5 May 2019, www.thecommunists.net
1. On 30 April Juan Gerardo Guaidó, self-proclaimed "interim president", called the military to overthrow the Maduro government in Venezuela. However, only two dozen soldiers (who soon had to seek asylum in the Brazilian embassy) and a few hundred right-wing hooligans came out in response and, as a result, the coup attempt collapsed.
2. This was another provocation by the right-wing, pro-US forces led by Guaidó, a direct agent of U.S. Imperialism, who has tried to overthrow the Maduro government since proclaiming himself “President” on 23 January. Guaidó is now calling for a “general strike”. This is nothing more than a euphemism for intensified economic sabotage by Venezuela’s capitalists.
3. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) condemns this attempted coup d'état and calls for the defeat of the right-wing Guaidó forces. They are the spearhead of the most powerful faction of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie, U.S. imperialism, and right-wing governments in Latin America led by such the arch-reactionaries as Brazil’s President Bolsonaro. The main task in the current conjuncture is to defeat the pro-US coup-mongers by the independent mobilization and organization of the workers and poor.
4. The provocations of the Guaidó forces go hand in hand with the accelerating aggression of U.S. imperialism against Venezuela. The Trump Administration has repeatedly threatened to invade the country. It has also imposed severe sanctions which seriously hurt the country’s economy. Venezuela’s oil exports - accounting for more than 95% of the country’s export revenue - have dropped by some 40% since January. At the same time, it has been unable to import all the fuel it needs for blending with its heavy crude, as well as for domestic consumption. Hence, the RCIT strongly opposes these sanctions and calls for their removal.
5. At the same time socialists must not lend any political support to the Maduro government. True, it stands at the helm of the Bolivarian movement, a reformist-populist movement shaped by two decades of class struggles. As a result, the Bolivarian movement retains the support of the majority of the progressive, class-consciousness workers, and poor in Venezuela. However, contrary to its self-styled image, the Chavez/Maduro government is neither socialist nor anti-imperialist. Despite being in power for more than two decades it has refused to expropriate the capitalist class of Venezuela. Instead it has (unsuccessfully) tried to appease the domestic bourgeoisie. It has helped to create a regime-friendly sector of capitalists (“Boliburguesía”) that is comingled with a corrupt state-capitalist bureaucracy and the army command. As a result, its policy of limited social reforms (the so-called “Misiones”) has proven unable to overcome poverty and joblessness. Furthermore, the Misiones are bureaucratically controlled by the Chavista state apparatus. The task is to break this up and to bring it under the control and administration of independent popular committees.
6. Although, in essence, it never broke fundamentally with the strategic interests of US imperialism, the Chavez/Maduro government has provoked the hostility of Washington in promoting a relatively independent foreign policy in the traditional backyard of the former sole super-power. While this has proven advantageous for movements and governments under attack by U.S. imperialism (e.g. the Columbian FARC, Cuba, etc.), it has also dovetailed with the increasing influence of the new imperialist Great Powers, China and Russia, in Latin America and found a place in the ranks of those supporting the genocidal dictatorship of Assad in Syria. In summary, the Maduro government is a popular front government combining a bourgeois-Bonapartist type of rule with left-populist policy and collaboration with Russian and Chinese imperialism. The pro-US coup conspirators are the immediate danger that must be defeated. This can only be accomplished by the independent mobilization of workers and the poor. The bureaucratic methods of the Maduro government rely on the army, police, and intelligence forces, a section, of which has now telegraphed that it is reconsidering its continued support. This was made clear with the recent leak of the El Aissami documents to the New York Times. Tareck El Aissami, a close associate of Maduro, a former vice president, and now industry minister, was indicted this March in the United States on drug trafficking charges. Venezuela’s intelligence agency — which Mr. El Aissami once controlled — put its concerns in a dossier of documents, investigative findings and transcripts of interviews with drug traffickers that it forwarded to the American journalists. This is a vital section of the state apparatus that Maduro relies upon to remain in power… and the sands are now rapidly shifting.
7. Revolutionaries must call upon the government to give arms to the workers and poor and not only to the National Bolivarian Militia. They must advocate the formation of an independent popular militia. Revolutionaries in Venezuela must work hand-in-hand with supporters of the Bolivarian movement in order to defeat the immediate threat of a Guaidó/Trump-led coup d'etat. It is absolutely impermissible for socialists in Venezuela to jointly build a fake trade union (like the “Intersectorial de Trabajadores de Venezuela”) jointly with the ultra-reactionary coup-mongers. At the same time revolutionaries must work towards the independent organization of the workers and poor to politically prepare the the ideological and organizational conditions among the masses for the revolutionary overthrow and replacement of the Maduro government, not by pro-imperialist stooges, but by an authentic workers and popular government controlled by popular assemblies and militias.
8. It is urgent to build an authentic revolutionary party in Venezuela around these lines. Such a party must be constructed in combination with building a Revolutionary World Party. It must advocate an independent class policy based intransigent opposition against all imperialist Great Powers – the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. It must denounce of the bourgeois character of the class-collaborationist governments in Latin America and work towards international solidarity with the struggles of the workers and oppressed against right-wing regimes like Bolsonaro in Brazil, against the ruling elite in Algeria and Sudan, against the Zionist state Israel, and against the Assad dictatorship in Syria. Join the RCIT in tackling this great task!
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The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements and articles on Venezuela which can be read on the sub-section on Latin America on this website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/. Our latest statements are:
¡Solidaridad internacionalista al pueblo venezolano contra el intervencionismo imperialista!, ¡Por una alternativa revolucionaria ante la crisis en Venezuela!, Agrupación de Lucha Socialista (Sección mexicana de la CCRI), 12 marzo, 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/solidaridad-internacionalista-al-pueblo-venezolano-contra-el-intervencionismo-imperialista/
All support to the Venezuelan people against Imperialism and Right-Wing Forces! For an Independent Workers and Popular Government! 26 January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/support-to-venezuelan-people-against-imperialism-and-right-wing-forces/
Solidarity with Venezuelan Migrants! 21 August 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/solidarity-with-venezuelan-migrants/
¡UNIDOS CONTRA EL INTERVENCIONISMO IMPERIALISTA EN VENEZUELA! Defender a Venezuela contra las agresiones políticas, económicas y de intervención militar del presidente de EEUU, Trump, 07.09.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/intervencionismo-imperialista-en-venezuela/
Venezuela: ¡Ni la Asamblea Constituyente antidemocrática de Maduro, ni el Parlamento reaccionario! Los trabajadores y sectores pobres venezolanos al poder! Agosto 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/asamblea-constituyente-antidemocratica-de-maduro/
TESIS SOBRE LA SITUACIÓN ACTUAL DE VENEZUELA. ¡POR UNA ORGANIZACIÓN INDEPENDIENTE DE LOS TRABAJADORES Y POBRES QUE DERRIBEN A LA REACCIÓN Y A MADURO!, 11 julio, 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/tesis-venezuela/