For an Independent Workers and Popular Government!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 26 January 2019, www.thecommunists.net
On January 10 of this year, Nicolás Maduro began his second term as president of Venezuela. The US, together with the “Organization of American States” (OAS) and the so-called “Lima Group”, decided (with the exception of Mexico) not to "recognize the legitimacy" of Maduro's second term. They demand new elections and also recognize the current president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Gerardo Guaidó, as "temporary president".
This duality of powers has the potential to pave the way for a civil war and consequently a military intervention by US imperialism respectively its regional allies under the command of the OAS. The history bears witness to the atrocities of American imperialism when it practices, together with its puppet allies, military interventions "in the name of peace" or to "reestablish democracy." The current saber-rattling of the Trump Administration has the support of the governments of Brazil and Colombia and other right-wing governments in Latin America. The newly elected president of Brazil, the ultra-reactionary Jair Bolsonaro, is an unconditional ally of the Trump government and the participation of Brazilian troops in this probable conflict is a realistic possibility.
It is evident that American and European imperialism is not at all interested in establishing what they call democracy in any Latin American country; neither is China and Russia. What is at stake is the interest of the great richness over Venezuela's vast oil and natural gas reserves that account for 80% of the country's exports. Furthermore, the US and China – the two strongest imperialist Great Powers – are rivaling for economic and political hegemony in Latin America as well as globally.
In early December, President Nicolas Maduro, sensing the imminent danger of a foreigner military intervention, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The international press reported that this meeting was not previously on the agenda of these two countries. In this strategic meeting Putin condemned "any attempt to change the situation in Venezuela by force" and expressed support for his Venezuelan counterpart. In addition to agreeing on new economic deals, Putin then sent two Russian long-range strategic bombers to a Venezuelan airport. They are supersonic bombers Tupolev Tu-160, capable of transporting short-range nuclear missiles. The bombers were accompanied by an AN-124 transport aircraft and an Il-62 passenger jet, 100 pilots and other Russian officials.
This demonstrates that Latin America is increasingly becoming a play ground for the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers – the old ones (like the U.S. and the EU) as well as the new ones (China and Russia).
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) considers the Maduro regime as a bourgeois, left-populist government that is a close ally of Chinese imperialism. It serves the interests of the "Bolivarian" bourgeoisie, that is, the state capitalist bureaucracy and capitalist sectors (the so-called “Boliburguesía”). Instead of its self-proclamation as “Socialism of the XXI Century”, the Chavez regime, in fact, created a strong state capitalist sector around state-owned oil company PDVSA. This gives it the material basis both for supporting state capitalist interventions in the economy and for financing certain welfare programs (the so-called “Misiones”).
If the right-wing forces in Venezuela have the capacity to mobilize not only the urban middle class but also popular masses and poor sectors of the working class to their demonstrations, it’s due to the failure of the economic model of the PSUV government. This model basically relies on extractive sector (mainly oil) and is subordinated and dependent on imperialism (both North American – to which Venezuela has never stopped selling energy – as well as Russian and Chinese, among which the Chavista bourgeoisie maneuvers).
Furthermore, the PSUV government has always made pacts and concessions with the business sector and is characterized by the corruption which corrodes the state bureaucratic apparatus and which has resulted in the enrichment of the top public functionaries, trade-union leaders and high military commanders. In addition, the Maduro regime implements a policy of austerity and repression against the working class and the popular masses (devaluation, hyper-inflation, social cuts, mass-layoffs, etc.). As a result, large parts of the population are suffering from a critical situation of scarcity, unemployment and poverty. This has pushed many to migrate or to take the streets seeking a solution to their desperate situation. There are also an increasing number of protests against the adjustment measures, defensive strikes and attempts of the workers to free themselves from state corporatism.
The privileges, corruption and repression of the Bolivarian regime have alienated many people and opened the door for the manipulations of the right-wing parties, which are linked to the USA and other reactionary governments. In this situation, we strongly oppose and condemn any coup and any foreign military intervention but without giving any political confidence or support for the Maduro regime. In the case of a foreign military intervention, the working class in Latin America and around the globe must rally in defense of Venezuela and for the defeat of the imperialist aggressors and their local allies!
At the same time, the workers, peasants, students and popular masses must demand from the Maduro´s government not to use the army against the protests on the streets. Instead, socialists must call for the general armament of the working people in order to attack the right-wing elite which are conspiring for foreign military intervention. The working class and the popular masses must mobilize for the expropriation of these elite and for the suppression of their mass media.
It is urgent that the working class and the popular masses, mobilizing against the right-wing and imperialist provocations, prepare for an independent solution of the political crisis in Venezuela. It´s important to call for the convocation of local and regional assemblies to organize the struggle, for the building of committees of action and workers and popular militias in each working place, neighborhood and school against the coup. Furthermore, it’s necessary to unite all these organizations in a National Congress of delegates where the workers, peasants and popular masses decide on an independent program to resolve the political crisis.
The RCIT advocates a revolutionary strategy which aims for the defeat of the coup and imperialist intervention and which, at the same time, mobilizes for the cancellation of external debt, for the reallocation of resources to education, health, job an social security, for an urgent program to increase the salaries indexed to inflation, for the political independence and democracy inside the trade-unions, freedom for all working class political prisoners, etc.
The RCIT states that the bourgeois, left-populist Maduro regime must be replaced by an authentic workers and popular government. Such a government would push for the nationalization of the key sectors of the industry, the banks, foreign trade and services, under the control of the workers and popular committees. It would expropriate the domestic and foreign monopolies, eliminate the privileges and corrupt businesses of the bureaucracy and military commands, and establish a direct proletariat democracy based on councils, committees and assemblies of the working class and popular masses, to take the first steps to advance towards a real socialist regime.
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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:
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/