Presidential elections in Venezuela: There is no alternative for the workers on the ballot paper!

Neither Hugo Chavez nor Orlando Chirino should be supported by the workers! For a new workers party on a revolutionary program!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 3.10.2012, www.thecommunists.net

 

1.            At the presidential elections in Venezuela on 7th October 2012 workers are left without a real choice on the ballot paper. None of the “left-wing” candidates - Hugo Chavez and Orlando Chirino – deserve support from workers. Instead, building of a new Workers Party, based on a revolutionary program, is necessary to fight for the victory of the socialist revolution.

 

Right-wing bourgeois opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski: An enemy of the people

 

2.            Obviously no workers with the most elementary class-consciousness will vote for Henrique Capriles Radonski, the candidate of the right-wing bourgeois opposition alliance Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD). The leading forces of MUD are the two traditional parties of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie which ruled the country together between 1958-1993/98: Copei and Acción Democrática. MUD’s presidential candidate Henrique Capriles was the mayor of the middle class Baruta municipality in Venezuela’s capital city Caracas. As the mayor at this time, Capriles and the police forces under his command played a central role in the armed clashes in 2002. These armed clashes were the prelude for the pro-imperialist coup d’etat. Capriles' Baruta police forces even detained the Chavista Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin during these counter-revolutionary uprising. In short, Capriles personifies the heart of the reactionary bourgeoisie and upper middle class.

3.            MUD is supported by the most reactionary forces: by the association of the capitalists Fedecámaras (the Federation of Trade and Industry Chamber), by former right-wing Colombian president Uribe, by the German and European governments and of course US imperialism. (1) The MUD leaders already promise to re-establish Venezuela’s ties with Israel if they come to power. (2)

4.            MUD is the main party of the Venezuelan capitalists. For them even the limited social reforms of the Chavez government are too much. According to their plans they want to start a massive roll-back. MUD wants to decrease goods and services provided by the Chavez government in order to reduce social spending. It wants to decentralize the provision of social services to municipal governments. Health and education missions, including the maintenance of school and hospital infrastructure and the provision of food, should be opened up to “private initiative”. MUD wants to end the current government subsidies on housing built as part of the Great Housing Mission. Overall, MUD wants to decrease the amount of government food subsidies by 60% over the next 3 years. It also wants to eliminate subsidized transport. The subsidized provision of electricity would also be cut and opened up to “the private sector”. All price control mechanisms would be eliminated within a year. MUD plans also include the deregulation of banks, opening up the economy to private investment and the reduction of state funding for public services and communal council projects. It also wants to eliminate the banks’ obligatory social contributions according to which – at least officially – 25% of a bank’s profits must go towards agricultural projects, 15% towards housing, 3% to micro-businesses, 10% towards manufacturing activities and 2.5% towards investment in national tourism. (3)

5.            For all these reasons we consider MUD and its presidential candidate Henrique Capriles as a central force of the Venezuela bourgeoisie which wants to liquidate all limited social progress of the revolutionary process since 1998. No class class-conscious worker will vote for him.

 

President Hugo Chavez: leading Venezuela not towards socialism but towards capitalism with a strong state sector

 

6.            President Hugo Chavez and his governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) claim to stand for building a socialist future. In his election program Chavez promises to “construct 21st century Bolivarian socialism”. (4) Many socialist-minded workers support Chavez and the PSUV. Internationally there are also a number of centrists like the IMT of Alan Woods and Lal Khan or the Australian Socialist Alliance/Green Left Weekly who uncritically support the “socialist government” in Caracas. However, despite its name neither the PSUV nor the Chavez regime is socialist. In fact it is a bourgeois, left-populist regime which is a close ally of emerging Chinese imperialism. While Chavez and the PSUV promise to march towards “socialism”, the truth is that despite being in power since 1998 (i.e. 14 years!), the capitalist class is still dominating both the economy and the state. While the regime has the support by the main trade union federation UNT, the heart of the state is the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie, i.e. the state-capitalist bureaucracy and sectors of the capitalists (personified in figures like the billionaire Wilmer Ruperti or the telecommunications magnate Gustavo Cisneros).

7.            In fact, the Chavez regime created a strong state-capitalist sector around the state oil corporation PDVSA. This gives it the material basis both to support state-capitalist interventions in the economy as well as to finance certain welfare programs (the so-called misiones). However despite its “socialist” rhetoric, the private sector even enlarged its size since Chavez took power. Between 1998 and 2008 the private sector’s share of the economy grew from 64.7% to 70.9% at the expense of the public sector. (5) In particular, the parasitic sector of “finance and insurance”, i.e. money capital, grew rapidly in this period, by 258.4%, followed by construction (+159.4%) trade and repair services (+152.8%), transport and storage (+104.9%), communications (+151.4%) and manufacturing (+98.1%). (6) As a result the banking sector – including private banks like Banco Bisboa, Liberty Mutual, ABM-AMRO and Citibank – makes huge profits (in 2011: 14.490 million bolivares which is about 3.369 million dollars, a growth of 92.3% compared to the previous year.)

8.            Another rebuttal of the Bolivarian “Socialist” myth is the fact that the working class’ wage share in income has not improved in the 14 years of Chavez. According to United Nations UNCTAD and other sources, the share of workers’ wages in national income is today below the level when Chavez took power. (7) Wages for workers at PDVSA were frozen by the state appointed executives between 2007 and 2009, despite inflation of about 30% a year. This has contributed to the situation whereby nearly 70% of public sector workers reportedly earn minimum-wage. (8) Officially, unemployment stood at 6.6% at year-end 2009. However these figures do not account for workers in the informal sector of the economy, who constitute approximately half of the country’s total workforce. (9)

9.            The supporters of the regime often refer to the misiones – the huge social welfare programs. Indeed these programs are beneficial for the poorest strata of the population and they have contributed – at least according to official statistics - to a certain reduction of the extreme inequality of income in the country. Of course all socialists must defend such social programs against neo-liberal attacks. However they are not the product of Chavez’ socialism but of the pressure of the masses – particularly after the failed counter-revolutionary coup d’état in 2002. One also has to see that these social aid programs do not strengthen the position of the working class because they neither raise the wages nor do they raise the formal employment – a major problem in a country with such a huge informal sector. These are not socialist measures but simple social-democratic small reforms. And indeed a similar process of limited reduction of inequality took place in a number of Latin American countries in the last decade. It is also true that the regime nationalized a number of enterprises. However one has to point out that these enterprises were often bankrupt and the owners were compensated for it.

10.          The social programs of the Chavez regime are not the result of any socialist policy but of the exceptional economic position of the country. Venezuela is the fifth largest member of OPEC by oil production. This enables the regime to make huge profits given the extraordinary rise of oil price in the past decade. On this basis the Chavez regime created a strong state-capitalist sector around the state oil corporation PDVSA, utilizing the enormous oil and gas resources of the country. As a result oil accounts for roughly 30% of GDP, 94% of export earnings, and more than 50% of the central government’s budget revenues. (10) Another material basis for the regime’s social reform programs is the country’s rapidly increasing foreign debt. Between 2006 and 2011 public debt – as a share of the Gross Domestic Product (the country’s annual output) – rose from 28.4% to 45.5%. (11) This natural wealth and the increasing indebtedness give the regime the basis to finance certain reforms. However relying on this huge oil rent and indebtedness is a classic cul-de-sac for semi-colonial countries. While the regime profited from the huge rise of oil price in the past decade, this can easily change in the future. Once the oil price collapses and the country doesn’t get new loans, the Chavez model collapses too.

11.          These social reforms – as limited as they are – are an important material factor for the remaining substantial support for Chavez and the PSUV amongst important sectors of the working class and the poor. On the other hand, the government needs the support of the masses as a counterweight to the deep hatred from a huge part of the domestic bourgeoisie. The latter want to use the country’s resource wealth to become rich compradors in a Venezuela which would be transformed into a pure US colony. As a result many workers and poor identify with the regime and support the Bolivarian movement of Hugo Chavez. While it is impermissible for socialists to politically support forces like the bourgeois-populist Chavez and vote for them in elections, it is also important to relate to these Bolivarian masses. In the trade union field, in the struggle against the greedy oligarchs, against the constant pressure of US imperialism etc, it is urgent to apply the united front tactic to the Bolivarian mass organizations and work with their activists in order to have joint actions against the bourgeoisie and to politically break them away from their bourgeois leadership.

12.          The anti-working class character of the regime is also visible by its suppression of independent working class activity. Independent activists face reprisal, dismissal, jail or even murder. A well known example for this is the union leader Ruben Gonzalez, a member of the PSUV, who was sentenced to 7 years in prison by the state, which accused him of violence during a strike at the state-owned Ferrominera Orinoco. While he was freed after one year in prison because of mass protests, at least 125 worker militants remain in prison for being involved in various strike actions or occupations and more than 2.500 activists have faced criminalization. (12)

13.          Another example of the anti-socialist nature of the Chavez regime is the arrest and handing over of the exiled Colombian Joaquin Perez Becerra in April 2011. Becerra acted before for years as representative for the guerilla movement FARC in Europe. Chavez personally agreed to a request by the pro-US government of Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia for the immediate extradition when Becerra visited Venezuela.

14.          Finally, the bourgeois character of the Chavez regime is also demonstrated in its support for the reactionary dictatorships of Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria as well as the Stalinist-capitalist dictatorship in China. When the masses rose up in 2011 to bring down these dictators, Chavez hailed and still hails these butchers as “anti-imperialists”. This scandalous position is related to the process of bourgeoisification of the Bolivarian movement. Its leadership becomes more and more a pro-social-imperialist leadership which leans towards Chinese imperialism as an alternative pole against US/Western imperialism. (13) In fact China did substantially expand its position in Venezuela in the recent years. While the USA remains Venezuela’s biggest trading partner, China has become the third biggest export destination as a result of a massive expansion of trade between the two countries from $1.3 billion in 2005 to nearly $8.9 billion in 2009. (14) China is also one of the country’s biggest foreign investor and lenders. Chinese corporations invested in Venezuela about $8.9 billion in the years 2005-2010. (15) Total borrowing from China has been $36 billion since 2007. (16) Such a pro-Chinese orientation does not stop Chavez – as a “flexible” politician – to make declarations of support to the US president Obama, showing how rhetorical his “anti-imperialism” is. Recently Chavez announced: “If I were American, I'd vote for Obama. (17)

15.          For all these reasons the RCIT does not consider the Chavez regime and the PSUV as socialist, but rather as bourgeois, left-populist. It made certain concessions to the masses and implemented some nationalization of enterprises. But this was the result of mass pressure and not of a socialist government policy. Of course socialists must defend Venezuela (as well as Cuba, Bolivia etc.) against any attacks by US imperialism or the internal counter-revolution of the old oligarchy. For these reactionary forces even these limited reforms are too much. This is why US imperialism and the majority of the domestic bourgeoisie want to get rid of the Chavez government. Given the history of the past decade in Venezuela, the 2009 coup d'état against Honduras President Manuel Zelaya, the attempted coup d'état against Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa in September 2010 or the recent palace coup against Paraguay President Fernando Lugo, such a possibility is a real danger. In case of a reactionary coup d’état socialists must – following the method of the anti-imperialist united front tactic of the Communist International of Lenin and Trotsky – defend the Bolivarian movement including the Chavez government against these attacks.

16.          But such a defense against imperialism and domestic reaction must not lead the working class to renounce its political independence of Bolivarism and Chavez government. Supporting the PSUV and Chavez at the elections is equal to the political subordination of the working class to the Bolivarian bourgeoisie. Unfortunately this is exactly what various international centrists like the IMT, the Australian SA or the CWI are doing. In opposite to them, the RCIT calls workers not to vote for Chavez!

 

Orlando Chirino and the UIT: collaboration with the right-wing bourgeois opposition in the name of socialism

 

17.          Orlando Chirino, the presidential candidate of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSL) and a long-time leader of the centrist Morenoite UIT, seems to offer a political alternative. He is a long standing trade union leader who supported Chavez for many years. He was one of the central leaders of the biggest trade union UNT. He broke with the regime and was sacked from his job for his politics. Today he is a leader of the PSL and of the small trade union Frente autónomo en defensa del empleo, el salario y el sindicato (FADESS). (18)

18.          However in the last years Chirino and his supporters have increasingly turned to a right-wing centrist and indeed dangerous policy. After failing to build a mass political alternative to the PSUV, Chirino follows a very dangerous policy of collaboration with the right-wing bourgeois opposition in the trade union field. In concrete, Chirino is leading FADESS together with a number of reactionary figures like:

* Froilán Barrios. In addition to leading FADESS Barrios is also a leader of the bourgeois party Movimiento 2D which supports the right-wing coalition MUD. (19)

* Pablo Castro. (20) Castro is at the same time a leader of the bourgeois party Un Nuevo Tiempo who was and is a main force of the MUD alliance. Un Nuevo Tiempo provided the main candidate of the conservative opposition at the presidential elections in 2006, Manuel Rosales. Castro is today the MUD’s “coordinador sindical” (21)

* Dick Guanique. (22) Guanique is also the General Secretary of Bandera Roja, a reactionary Maoist organization which is part of MUD and supported anti-Chavez plots and campaigns since 1998. (23)

* Carlos Navarro. (24) He was the former General Secretary of the old corrupt trade union CTV which was involved in the 2002 coup d’etat and is a member of the bourgeois COPEI. (25)

* Henry Arias. (26) He is also a leader of the bourgeois Voluntad Popular which is a member of MUD. (27)

* Jesus Urbieta. He is a former leader of the right-wing trade union CTV, concretely it’s Institute director. This Urbieta played a role in the pro-US coup d’état in 2002 and received money from the US AFL-CIO. (28)

19.          FADESS also demonstrated on MayDay 2012 together with the CTV, which is the right-wing trade union who supported the pro-imperialist coup d’état against Chavez in 2002. (29) It is also worrying that Chirino was invited and spoke recently at a meeting of Venancham (Venezuelan American Chamber of Comerce) (30)

20.          To summarize, despite his propaganda for working class independence, Chirino, in his trade union practice, is moving dangerously away from the politics of class independence. The RCIT is of the opinion that it is impermissible to build together with the right-wing, pro-US alliance MUD leaders – who represent nothing amongst the class-conscious workers in Venezuela – a small trade union against the big Chavezista union UNT. It is the worst kind of a popular frontist policy of collaborating with the most reactionary sectors of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie and its US imperialist masters. We think this is a gross violation of the communist principle of class independence and of the method of revolutionary trade union policy! In words Chirino and the UIT are in favor of class independence but in their deeds they subordinate the workers to the capitalists via their joint trade union work with MUD leaders.

21.          One could say that such work inside a reactionary trade union is legitimate referring to Lenin’s argument that revolutionaries have to work even in reactionary trade unions. However this argument hardly applies to this case since it is relevant for situations where the only existing mass unions are led by reactionary forces. In Venezuela however, FADESS is one of the smallest trade unions while the Chavezistas lead the biggest union UNT. In addition to this, it is one thing to intervene in a reactionary trade union in order to carry out a revolutionary opposition work. It is something completely different to build a union as a leading force together with right-wing, reactionary leaders!

22.          We are fully aware that the bourgeois, left-populist Chavez regime may push sectors of the workers towards the conservative opposition. In defending working class rights against the Chavez regime, one will join forces in a strike also with such sectors of workers. There is nothing wrong in such an approach. But it is something completely different to systematically work together with leaders of the counter-revolution, i.e. leaders of the MUD alliance! This is impermissible! In our opinion, a real class independent, socialist trade union policy must have nothing to do with the most reactionary political forces like MUD. Despite this, various international centrist organizations like the Morenoite UIT and LIT or the British right-wing centrist, pro-Zionist AWL, call to vote for Chirino. The RCIT draws the opposite conclusion: We oppose calling for a vote for Orlando Chirino at the presidential elections.

 

For a new workers party on a revolutionary program!

 

23.          Venezuela is characterized by an extreme unevenness in the political process. While the masses are repeatedly taking the streets and joining the class struggle, this process is stuck by the Bolivarian leadership. Chavez is administering a capitalist economy with a significant state-capitalist sector around the oil company PDVSA. The regime is allying itself to emerging Chinese imperialism. Under the pressure of the masses and faced with the hostility of a major part of its domestic bourgeoisie and of neighboring US imperialism, Chavez is forced to concede certain social reforms to the masses. Attempts to build a workers’ party to the left of the PSUV have failed until now because of a lack of revolutionary strategy. The recent collaboration of Orlando Chirino – a promising workers leader in the past – with the right-wing counter-revolutionary forces demonstrate that the lack of such a strategy leads to adventures and political dead-ends.

24.          The fact that at the presidential election there is no candidate workers should vote for, underlines the urgent need to build a new Workers Party – a party which gives class-conscious workers the opportunity to fight for their interests independent of any Bolivarian bourgeoisie or bureaucrats. Such a Workers Party should appeal to all militant trade unionists and activists inside and outside of the Bolivarian movement. The RCIT proposes that such a Workers Party should be based on a revolutionary program, i.e. a program for the revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeoisie, a rupture with all imperialist Great Powers in West and East and for the establishment of the working class dictatorship to open the road to authentic socialism.

25.          Such a revolutionary transitional program should include:

* Fight insecure employment! Conversion of unprotected, informal and temporary contracts into permanent contracts, with alignment of the employment protection provisions and wages. The adherence of these should be regulated by collective tariff agreements and controlled by trade unions and workforce representatives!

* No to any pay freeze! For massive wage increases and a minimum wage, the amounts of which should be set by independent workers' committees!

* Fight all layoffs and plant closures! Expropriation without compensation of all enterprises that don’t pay wages completely, who threaten with layoffs, who don’t pay their taxes in full or threaten with closure or relocation of the site! In such cases: the entrepreneurs must be made to pay out of their private property! Continuation of these companies as public companies under the management of the employees!

* Cut the working hours now! We support any reduction in working hours. The aim must be the division of labour on all hands. This means that everyone should have a job and work with less hours at unchanged wages!

* Fight inflation! For automatic adjustment of wages and all social benefits and pensions to price increases!

* For the control of prices through price monitoring committee, elected by the workers, housewives and -men as well as consumers! The basis should be a cost of living index, which is determined by representatives of the working class, the peasants and small traders.

* For accessible, quality housing with essential services based where people are located!

* Open the books – bookkeeping, bank accounts, tax returns, etc.! Inspection by accountants who enjoy the trust of the workers!

* For workers inquiry committees for comprehensive detection of corruption between companies and between companies and government agencies!

* For the control and the veto right of the workers against all decisions of the management! Against any participation of workers representatives in management positions!

* For a public employment programme to improve infrastructure (energy supply, public transport, education and child care, etc.). This programme must not be subject to state control of bureaucrats, but must be planned and controlled by the workers and the poor. It is to be paid out of profits and the assets of the super rich.

* All essential services such as water, electricity, health care, education, etc., must be publicly owned and controlled by the workers and the users! Free access to basic services for all!

* Fight women oppression! Equal pay for equal work! For the massive construction of free, well-equipped 24-hour child-care facilities! For a wide range supply of affordable and high-quality public restaurants and laundry facilities! Our goal is the socialisation of housework!

* For a public employment programme to create the conditions for the socialisation of housework and simultaneously eliminate unemployment among women!

* Free access to free contraception and abortion on demand regardless of age and no matter in what month of pregnancy the woman is!

* Nationalisation of all media under the control of employees, the workers movement and the consumers! Democratic participation of all sections of society in the media!

* Abolition of all indirect taxes such as VAT!

* Massive reduction in taxes on wages! Drastic increase in taxes on profits and speculation! Elimination of tax loopholes for businesses! Immediate recovery of outstanding tax debts of the companies!

* For the confiscation of property of the powerful and influential families and their utilisation in the context of a national economic plan! For the expropriation of the super rich!

* No further interest and debt repayment! Immediate and complete cancellation of all private and government debt!

* Nationalisation of all banks and financial institutions and fusion into a single central bank, nationalisation of large companies, large wholesale trade and transport, social, health, education and communication sector without compensation and under workers' control! Expropriate the big land owners! Introduction of a foreign trade monopoly!

* For a workers' government, based on the poor peasants and the urban poor, on the basis of councils in the enterprises and neighbourhoods as well as armed militias; Their representatives are under the direct election and can be recalled by the workers and they receive not more than an average skilled workers salary!

* For a socialist federation of the countries in Latin America!

26.          Of course such a program will not be realized by a Chavez government. The workers must organize in action committees and build a rank and file movement in the trade unions to oust the bureaucrats. It will need mass strikes and demonstrations to achieve even a small proportion of these demands. And even then such reforms will be only temporary given their incompatibility with the capitalist principle of production for profit and profit only.

27.          In the end this program can only be implemented in its totality by a socialist revolution, this means the armed insurrection of the working class and the oppressed to smash the state apparatus and to expropriate the ruling class. Such a revolution can never be peaceful – as the centrist daydreamers of the IMT, the CWI as well as form the Bolivarian theoreticians imagine – since it will meet the violent resistance of the bourgeoisie and the foreign imperialist powers. The allies of the revolution are neither the Stalinist-capitalists in Beijing nor the theocratic dictators in Teheran but the international working class and the oppressed people. The socialist revolution must become permanent and international – or it will be inevitable crushed. To lead the revolution to victory, the workers need a revolutionary Workers Party as part of the Fifth International. This is what the RCIT is dedicating its forces.

 

Footnotes

 

(1) See: “Fedecámaras welcomes people's participation in opposition primary. Jorge Botti, the president of the Federation of Trade and Industry Chamber (Fedecámaras), said that the election day sent a "very clear message" about what people want” http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/primarias-2012/120213/fedecamaras-welcomes-peoples-participation-in-opposition-primary; “Uribe Meets with Venezuelan Opposition to Protest “Chavista Dictatorship” http://www.caribbeannewsreview.com/index.php/cen-america/news/316-uribe-meets-with-venezuelan-opposition-to-protest-chavista-dictatorship; “Germany Asks European Union to Step Up Support for Venezuela’s Opposition” http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/germany-asks-european-union-to-step-up-support-for-venezuelas-opposition/

(2) “Venezuelan Opposition Promises “Renewal” for Venezuela-Israel Relations” http://alethonews.wordpress.com/tag/mud/

(3) See “Venezuelan Opposition Economic Plan to Roll Back Public Services Revealed” http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7198; the MUD document in Spanish can be read here: http://www.ciudadccs.info/wp-content/uploads/DOC-ACCIONES-ECON%C3%93MICAS-MUD.pdf

(4) See Tamara Pearson: Planning the Next 6 Years of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuelanalysis.com, July 6th 2012 http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7091

(5) See Shawn Hattingh: Venezuela and the ‘Bolivarian revolution’: Beacon of hope or smoke and mirrors?, http://libcom.org/library/venezuela-%E2%80%98bolivarian-revolution%E2%80%99-beacon-hope-or-smoke-mirrors; The Economist: Venezuela's economy. Towards state socialism. A wave of nationalisation promises scarcity and decline, Nov 18th 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/17527250; Federico Fuentes: Venezuela's Economic Woes? 23 May, 2010, Countercurrents.org, http://www.countercurrents.org/fuentes230510.htm; Associated Press: What socialism? Private sector still dominates Venezuelan economy despite Chavez crusade, July 18, 2010, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/07/18/socialism-private-sector-dominates-venezuelan-economy-despite-chavez-crusade/

(6) See Mark Weisbrot, Rebecca Ray and Luis Sandoval: The Chávez Administration at 10 Years: The Economy and Social Indicators, February 2009, Center for Economic and Policy Research, p. 7

(7) UNCTAD: Trade and Development Report, 2012, p. 53; See Marta Guerriero: The Labour Share of Income around the World. Evidence from a Panel Dataset (2012), Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM), Development Economics and Public Policy, Working Paper Series, WP No. 32/2012 p. 48

(8) Tom Wetzel: Venezuela from Below. Review: Venezuela: Revolution as Spectacle by Rafael Uzcategui, August 22, 2011

(9) Venezuela: Economy; http://globaledge.msu.edu/Countries/Venezuela/Economy

(10) See OPEC: Annual Statistical Bulletin 2012, p. 11

(11) International Monetary Fund: World Economic Outlook Database, 2012, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/01/weodata/index.aspx

(12) See Johan Rivas: Venezuela: Ruben Gonzalez freed!, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela) 08/03/2011, http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/4915

(13) The RCIT’s analyzes can be read in the recently published study by Michael Pröbsting “China’s transformation into an imperialist power” (online on www.thecommunists.net/theory/why-china-is-imperialist) and the statement “No to chauvinist war-mongering by Japanese and Chinese imperialism!”, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/no-war-between-china-and-japan.

(14) See José Orozco: China’s Buying Spree: Venezuela – A Match Made in Globalization, Feb 07, 2011 http://latintrade.com/2011/02/china%E2%80%99s-buying-spree-venezuela-a-match-made-in-globalization

(15) Derek Scissors: China’s Investment Overseas in 2010, Web Memo No. 3133, February 3, 2011, Published by The Heritage Foundation, p. 2

(16) Mark Weisbrot and Jake Johnston: Venezuela’s Economic Recovery: Is it Sustainable? September 2012, Center for Economic and Policy Research, p. 17

(17) Seth Cline: Hugo Chavez Says He Would Vote for Obama, October 1, 2012, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/10/01/hugo-chavez-says-he-would-vote-for-obama-debate-talking-point-hugo-chavez-endorses-obama

(18) See e.g. http://laclase.info/imagen/orlando-chirino-dirigente-de-fadess-ccura-y-usi

(19) See “Fadess estima 3.000 conflictos laborales en el país” http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/120620/fadess-estima-3000-conflictos-laborales-en-el-pais; “Conformado Fadess en Aragua” http://laclase.info/nacionales/conformado-fadess-en-aragua; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movimiento_2D and http://www.movimiento2d.org/nosotros.php

(20) See e.g. “Miembros del Comité Ejecutivo de la CTV rechazan anuncio de congreso ‘fraudulento’” http://noticiasvenezuela.org/?p=33545: “Roig: el aumento del salario mínimo no responde a una discusión seria entre todos los sectores” http://informecifras.com/?p=228787; “Pablo Castro: No se puede creer que este gobierno haya creado 4 millones de empleos” http://elimpulso.com/articulo/pablo-castro-no-se-puede-creer-que-este-gobierno-haya-creado-4-millones-de-empleos#.UDySDKO26Hg

(21) See e.g. “MUD denuncia que nueva LOT favorece expropiaciones” http://ve.globedia.com/mud-denuncia-lot-favorece-expropiaciones

(22) See “Fadess califica de electoral elaboración de la Ley del Trabajo” http://www.contextotmt.net/base/unilever/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=28934

(23) See “Venezuela presidential election: Venezuela opposition floods streets in support of presidential candidate” http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/10/2843123/venezuela-opposition-floods-streets.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Flag_Party

(24) See “Conformado Fadess en Aragua” http://laclase.info/nacionales/conformado-fadess-en-aragua;

(25) See http://books.google.at/books?id=wHnut2I9U04C&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=%22Carlos+Navarro%22+COPEI+venezuela&source=bl&ots=YI3IwlkoOa&sig=2KxvqK_zvp_G6ARmwAJCCMFLxtc&hl=en&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22Carlos%20Navarro%22%20COPEI%20venezuela&f=false

(26) See “Henry Arias en Fadess” http://laclase.info/imagen/henry-arias-en-fadess?page=158

(27) See “Ayer presentaron “Plancha del Progreso” integrada por quienes se sienten desplazados” http://www.nuevaprensa.com.ve/site/articulo/42909/OposicinenfrentadapordisputadenombresalConsejoLegislativodeBolvar/ and http://www.voluntadpopular.com/

(28) See “National Endowment for Death Squads? The AFL-CIO and the NED”, http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/margins-to-centre/2007-January.txt http://www.iefd.org/articles/for_death_squads.php

(29) See “CTV y Fadess marcharán juntas el 1º de mayo” http://www.el-carabobeno.com/portada/articulo/33272/ctv-y-fadess-marcharn-juntas%5C-el-1-de-mayo

(30) See “Reforma a la Ley Orgánica del Trabajo” http://www.venamcham.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=943:reforma-a-la-ley-organica-del-trabajo-valencia-10052012&catid=5:pagina-principal