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(en) ANARCHIST FEDERATION OF ROSARIO: Extract from the fAu analysis specifically on Venezuela and Bolivia. (ca, fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:52:28 +0300

From April 28, 2017, an anarchist act prior to May 1st. ---- More when a certain popular discontent with the government is capitalized largely by the right. For that right that wants to remove the achievements achieved, those that are ultimately the fruit of popular demands and struggles. ---- The social situation in effervescence of Venezuela we have every day in the media, with half or false information and also with honest information from independent press. The subject does not give any position in black and white. But here we will emphasize only some aspects that seem to us of interest beyond all the hype there is. ---- There are constant and interested references of many scribes; Of the fundamental means of communication; Of a whole structure of the right that everything bad happens in Latin America, is tried to explain with external conspiracy theses, especially what refers to countries where it governs the progressivism, more if it is Ecuador, Bolivia or Venezuela.

That is why it is convenient to add here even a few lines that consider this topic. It is clear that many governments, intellectuals and left-wing activists have resorted to conspiracy theory to account for progressives, failures, betrayals to popular postulates, governmental administrative incapacity, corruption, taking away social movements in favor Of alliances with powerful rights, or to diminish or nullify real social participation. These and other factors have produced high discontent in the popular grassroots that supported progressive governments. That the right forces stimulated and supported by the empire take maximum advantage of such social opportunities is not at all strange, for that they are. But what should not confuse anyone is that this conspiratorial use to justify horrors committed does not nullify the fact of the existence of permanent imperial action. There are two problems that must be clearly separated, the demagoguery or the excuses of progressives and allies, and the solid and constant presence of the empire through its various tentacles.

There is no doubt that penetration for the purpose of control and domination by part of the empire is systematic and carried out by different organisms that play different roles. Notwithstanding these specific roles there is coordination and complementarity between them. If we consider that we are before a power that wants to continue dominating the world and that its interests and orders are accepted, and that especially relies on the force for it, it would be naive to think that this spectrum of organisms that try to assure this imperial orientation did not exist. They have a regular task that they carry out every day of the year with exuberant technical and economic means. We will now refer to a part of it. We will take what is most closely related to the military in the first place.
We have that there are concrete references and denunciations that there are silently or half-quietly deployed US military forces throughout Central and South America. The militarization of the national police forces has been a direct task with some camouflage. The DEA and Foreign Support Advisory Team (FAST) ... arrived in Honduras to train a unit and assist in the local police narcotics plan and execute operations. These operations were difficult to differentiate from military missions. They then covered more countries. According to the New York Times, five "command-type squadrons" of FAST teams have been deployed throughout Central America to train and support local counter-narcotics units. Counter-narcotics? Do not tell me.
The deployment of this type of combination of military, paramilitary, and militarized police is indicative of the US strategy for re-militarization of the region. Instead of military occupation, he simply states, Washington "provides assistance" in the form of military aid.
In 2013, it was reported that former US Special Operations Command Commander William McRaven "made the decision to deploy[Special Operations Forces]to different countries without consulting the ambassadors in those countries or even the Command "In fact, the deployment of Special Forces troops, Mc Raven reached more than 65,000, many spread throughout Latin America."
At the same time we have that the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) created by Obama in 2011 received more than 2.5 trillion dollars for its objectives. It is known that massive funding has been channeled mainly through military and paramilitary programs.
The United States Army has further strengthened its position in establishing cooperation between NATO and Colombia. Perhaps this is an inevitable part of imperialism. Perhaps it is indicative of the waning influence of an Empire and its desperate attempt to recover the lost spheres of influence. Whatever one interprets their motives, the US is unequivocally consolidating its military power in Latin America within its power strategy.
Simultaneously, the US has multiplied military bases in the region, adding seven new bases in Colombia in the last period. Also in Paraguay, where the United States became involved to support the coup dubbed as "institutional."
But the imperial penetration is not only in the military, with its CIA at the head, it is also in the "cultural" through its globalized media, transformed into powerful ideological-political apparatuses, designers, who manufacture notions favorable to the system , Discredit for its enemies and, by the way, a range of consumptions.
We have direct political threats from the top up such as: the Executive Order signed by Barack Obama in March 2015 in which Venezuela was declared an unusual and extraordinary threat to US national security. And now the threatening statements by the Chief of the Southern Command, Admiral Kurt W. Tidd (April 6, 2017), stating that the "humanitarian crisis" in Venezuela could force a regional response.
On the other hand, a number of NGOs, and other organizations, almost all claim to defend human rights, democracy and cultural issues (NED, USAID, IRI), for example. Precisely USAID mentioning the new Latin American situation requested for fiscal year 2017 to increase its budget for Venezuela by more than one million dollars, to a total of 5 million 500 thousand, for, say: "to defend democratic practices, institutions and values that support Human rights, freedom of information and the participation of civil society ". Pure generosity, no.
Venezuela and Bolivia two gravitating experiences Certain peculiarities of their processes
Venezuela and Bolivia are two experiences that have special peculiarities within the framework of progressive governments. It is interesting to keep in mind these experiences that have their originality and seal of the context in which they are developed. Themes such as Popular Power and Good Living.
Of course they have all the limitations of policies made from the capitalist state, driven and digitized from there, from above. They also contain aspects that are well worth reviewing since they raise some issues that from another approach and other dynamics are of importance. On the other hand they question us, they challenge us in producing a proposal of independent social-political action that keeps adequate call with the interest of the bottom in the progress of a process of rupture.
In the Venezuelan case, the Popular Power and Communes project had important popular participation and support. But they depended fundamentally on the top, on mechanisms and state bureaucracy. The locks were many for an in-depth self-management development. So much so that Chavez, shortly after winning the October presidential election, publicly criticized his cabinet for not pushing that model enough. It was at the time of the sentence: "Commune or nothing, or else, what do we do here?" He asked during a council of ministers in which he commissioned his dolphin Nicolas Maduro to promote "popular power." But momentum remained limited and bureaucratic control over it increased.
What was said was a commune. There are long explanations. We try here, briefly, just to give a general idea. Theoretically it was a popular political organization, based on the principles of cooperation, which through delegates made their own decisions. Here, they are usually organized by community councils, which are smaller, more local organizations that are making their policies according to the needs they have in their localities. A Commune comprises communal Councils.
The communes would allow solving common problems and needs, sharing land, cultural assets, housing needs. Integration with other nearby communities facilitates solving major problems such as the need to build bridges or infrastructure, bring water or electricity to an area, and other decisions that would normally be beyond the reach of a communal council.
There are about 500 Communes in the country in 2012. In each one, spokespersons (spokespersons) chosen by the communal councils of each neighborhood together with other groups (cultural, sports, union associations ...) of that territory, usually a small city or an area of a big city
In their definitions they establish that they do not have as purpose to generate riches and particular profits, but to generate a social benefit. The communes are seen in this conception enunciated as the essence of popular power.
An example that graphs the operation of a Commune is the Ataroa case, it gathers fifty communal councils of the south of Barquisimeto (the fourth largest city of Venezuela) and other social groups, and where, among other small companies, Formed a brick that provides material to the works that are made in those neighborhoods. Also the commune has assumed the management of an urban transport system with eight buses; Of a television, Lara TV. An active member of this Commune adds that people naturally solve their problems but that "the experience has not been free of internal and external problems, struggles to hoard some power, bureaucracy, and conflict with other State institutions."
Despite many difficulties in its operation some analysts consider that the system of Communes would not be easily reversible in the event of a change of government. It would be the problem of the management of the services that these have assumed and that the state had never lent there. Not in vain, some of these people had no identity card or rights of any kind, health care or education. Yes, there may be some of this, plus everything that has been formed on the level of subjectivity that effective action produced.
Precisely the problem that interests us a lot in relation to this experience is what imaginary produced, what degree of empowerment, what social-political capacity brought you active participation, what hopes and dreams were recorded. No doubt, a large part of the people did not have a passive participation in this process. From these places may arise the hope of building an independent political action and that truly go deep with the needs and aspirations of the popular movement.
In total, the Federal Governing Council allocated between 18% and 25% of GDP, from oil revenues, to civil society initiatives, organized in communal councils or through traditional institutions (mayors) and Governorates. A few years ago, when oil was at 100 or more dollars, this was a lot of money. Today this has changed substantially. Despite all the bureaucratic limitations and being in the bosom of a capitalist state it was a curious and original experience there is no doubt. But, logically, it went through a process of tensions and contradictions between the capitalist state and the developing People's Power.
This contradiction between the existing capitalist state with Bolivarian government and the Popular Power under construction was increasing. A process that dragged on for more than a decade and a half. Where there are few major changes in an economy based on oil revenue. Far from an economy focused on achieving a type of production that ensures greater autonomy and well-being.
The following quote was theorized from Bolivarian stores. "The challenge of building socialism in the 21st century forces us to creatively rethink ways of conceiving this relationship between the People's Power Network and the State, so that we do not make mistakes again historically known. To erroneously define this relationship would mean, on the one hand, that the State ends up kidnapping the popular will; On the other hand, to establish relations of representation that dilute the creativity, initiative and participatory power of the people. In short, to reduce power to the great social changes that are being promoted, and that we must continue to drive in the years to come. Many of those mistakes that were feared were just what quickly gained ground. The state institutionalism was the concern by far fundamental and the one of the popular power was in a very second background. However, there were those who believed that from that capitalist structure that is the state could develop a popular power with true autonomy. . This at most was a declaration of good intentions.
The Popular Power was in increasing tension with the institutions of the State, with its bureaucracy, with its centralist dynamics, with its tendency to control and subordinate current policies. He was relegated and increased his weakness and dependence.
The proposal of Hugo Chávez, which at times was expressed was: to carry out from the State through a series of measures and mechanisms the popular empowerment. Trying that the state was losing power in favor of this form of popular organization. That is, a statelessness that operates against its own future. A state that decides to go extinct. The opposite of what has historically been the dynamics and logic of the state. This was, in medium term terms, an "impossible mission". Shortly before his death, Chavez criticized this process that saw growing and was contrary to People's Power. One opportunity is when he makes a quote from Kropotkin of a letter to Lenin. This is in the statement of FAU when the death of Chavez.
The empowerment of the people from above, once again, proved that it was not possible. Then came the predictable tensions, plans that were locked; Finances that did not arrive, bureaucracies that controlled to their discretion certain projects; Co-optations of "cadres" of the popular power to integrate them to the State; Corruption promoted by bureaucrats; Sabotage of the "bourgeoisie" and traditional bourgeoisie to projects that did not suit them. Alliances with anti-people bourgeoisie and even agreements with predatory oil companies and identified with the empire.
They add, to facts of this type, those who from official spheres promoted the Popular Power: "being on a determined territory, a government that emanates from the bottom up and that little by little this new institutional form, which is multiplying along And width of the country (the target is three thousand communes by 2019), wherever the power resides and becomes the new space through which regulates the daily life of the people. It means replacing the state, with this looking at how life is going, and installing, within a framework of capitalist structure, built with tools of the system, a new organizational form of society. All without confrontation of rupture. Nothing about the eye. Intentions aside, a fantasy world.
This type of approach, taking the state through government, and installing the future society is still sustained today. Intellectuals and politicians defined as the left base it with long, contradictory and confused theories. It has been possible to read statements that do the impossible to save the conception that the current society can be changed from the capitalist state. The state appears, in such circumstances, as having with complete independence the capacity to regulate everything that is necessary and to put limits to the power. They invent a state that is not articulated and in interrelationship with an economy, an ideology, with great means of communication in the hands of the power, with a whole legal reproductive structure. More than a political theory this is already a fantasy. That animal does not exist.
Our identification always with the struggle of peoples who seek their political destiny, regardless of bourgeois states and parties. Against all interference and imperialist intervention. We affirm once again: for the self-determination of the Venezuelan people and of all peoples. It is well known already, in this capitalist world, the power that comes from above is not popular. If the people do not exercise the power, then this does not really exist in the town. The People's Power is created every day exercising, if not exercised does not exist. The Popular Power built as a process and as a social dynamic necessarily collides with the existing structure of privileges. With a capitalist structure, an entire reproductive institutionality, different ideological circuits, A society divided into classes where a small minority oppresses and exploits a large majority. Precisely to that majority in which the People's Power must be based.
We want to point out something. The analysis of the above, of government policies, should not negate an analysis of what may have happened in the below. The "plebeian" world was active, had experiences, had experiences that do not necessarily have to be identified with the process of progressives at the level of government. What happened in the imaginary of our towns in these more than 15 years? Is the people perhaps an "empty organism" that does not add its own or that which passes through it without modifying it in any way? Do not certain processes of subjectivation occur? Is not fighting and participation good teachers?
The peoples were active not only electorally. In all these processes that were, in which he participated, surely new elements were added to him, new notions. It mobilized, won the streets, was repressed and murdered, believed in "progressive" proposals, supported electorally governments that he thought brought the new proposal. He had political disappointments and continued to believe in changing needs. There was all that and more. It was there not only as a totally passive element. Do not confuse or underestimate your current subjective state.
There is already a political question for this moment. In what situation are the remains of these progressive governments today, are they reaching the end of their path? For how long can they keep some expectation in the villages? What is the degree of disbelief they have already harvested? It is notorious today that this policy that we can say slightly produced "wear" with its popular support, is lurking to replace it a crude right that wants as quickly as possible to remove conquests that were ultimately popular achievements. This situation already in progress, with a breakthrough in a short time, is the example already of Brazil and Argentina, presents us with new problems.
Yes, a specific challenge. As parties and fronts, and the vast majority of their militancy, have been turning towards the center and even practices that were denounced as right, in opportunities with repression against popular demands. Yes, we know, it will not be easy to elaborate during the social-political action of a line itself and by the left. Own line that implies to have clarity in the analysis and to know to differentiate the different sectors and their different policies, friends and enemies, as well as the different political-social processes that are giving; To have rigor in the analysis to avoid falling into "everything is the same", discourse that can be related to the right or political skepticism. It is a challenge and it is the obligatory political task ahead.
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