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(en) Elections 2006: Venezuelan Anarchists Speak

Date Wed, 15 Nov 2006 20:12:44 +0200

I´m in Caracas now and you pretty much can´t go anywhere without running
into something about the upcoming presidential election between Chavez and
Rosales: campaign posters, Chavista marches, Rosalista marches, the missions
doing some public activity, booths set up in the subway explaining to people
how voting works, television shows, etc. I´ve also had the chance to meet
with some of the folks from the various anarchist groups here.
The Commission for Anarchist Relations, which is a network of anarchist
groups in Venezuela, has put out three statements from Venezuelan
anarchists on the upcoming presidential elections. I´ve translated the
first of the three below. S.

From the Commision of Anarchist Relations and its organ El Libertario, we
disseminate three texts in which we publically express our perspective on
the upcoming Venezuelan elections of December 3, 2006.

* A Call and an Alert to Public Opinion *

As a group of activists of critical tendencies we have found it necessary
before the present situation to signal an alert to all popular forces:
workers, indigenous peoples, Afro Venezuelans, students, women,
neighborhood groups, intellectuals and social groups.

We maintain that the two options publicized by the established order -
Chavez as much as Rosales - represent the domination of financial power
and empire over Venezuela, and present a scene of super-exploitation,
unemployment, and social exclusion in addition to the fortification of big

Eight years into the ¨revolution¨ or the so-called Process, we find that
there is a social misery that has resulted from the consolidation of the
State and the destruction/co-optation of social groups. In recent years,
the political regimen has deteriorated into a total submission to
transnational capital on the part of the Chavez government, a fact that
Rosales and the opposition pretend to not be aware of.

The established game consists of the following: faced with the superficial
and limited reforms of the current administration - which are driven by
the Stalinist left within the capitalist State - the opposition pretends
that these measures are communist, when in reality they form part of the
dynamic of global capitalism. What we have seen is State management with
punctual payments of external debt, the surrender of the oil deltas of the
Orinoco and the natural gas of Falcon state, destruction of the
environment (Imataca, Perija and Paria), hegemony and the increase of the
commercial sector, of finacial speculation, and the creation of flexible
labor and social exlusion.

The ideological discourse of the State is crushing and hegemonic and has
managed to block all critical forces, which have been silenced though
bribery and cronyism, entangled in a thought process that can only lead to
totalitarianism. There has been a increased fragmentation of the social
movemements while the power of the cliques has only grown.

In the same way, there is an exercise in direct militarism when the high
branches of the public sector are in the hands of the military forces. The
popular imagination has been channeled into the civil-military lie;
arbitrariness is the actual situation, and the military sector need not
look upon the past with nostalgia, since El Amparo is exactly the same as
La Paragua. As a result, Chavismo is simply the reproduction of
puntofijismo, as demonstrated by its corruption and impunity.

Based on these considerations, we call upon all indigenous peoples,
peasants, students, professors, intellectuals, workers, women, Afro
Venezuelans, neighborhood coalitions, social groups and people in general
to abstain from voting because there will be no substantial change. The
reality is that representative demoncracy based on populism vs. opposition
symbolizes nothing new, but is merely a backward sector anchored in the
cold war, just like Chavismo.

This call for abstention is not based on the problem of electoral fraud,
which we do not deny; nor does it coincide with the opportunistic call to
abstention coming from certain quarters. Required change will never be
given through the electoral process, but will rather be produced through
the autonomous initiative of the social movements themselves. The grave
social, economic and cultural crisis suffered by Venezuela does not find
its answer in electoral politics, which banalizes and liquidates all

We bring this alert forward so that all agents of social change may
actively organize around and promote absentionism through their own
struggles, without messiahs or authoritarian bureaucrats, in order to
demonstrate to the scaffold of power that it is ineffective and
antidemocratic. Only the collapse of the existing system will guarentee
transformation. Otherwise, we alert you to increases in repressive
practices in the immediate future within the framework of the worsening of
the structural crisis of the country.

Faced with the bourgeois, genocidal State of the past 40 years, which is
expressed in the candidacy of Manuel Rosales, the alternative cannot be
support for the totalitarian State of Hugo Chavez.

*- Depolarization and autonomy, these are the challenges of the social
movements in Venezuela after December 3rd.
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