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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL September - Venezuela: " Boligarchy " chavist against pro-Washington oligarchy (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:19:33 +0300


While the reactionary right is threatening, the caste to power seems to hold only through institutional fraud and repression. The melting of its popular base sign disillusionment vis-à-vis the nickname " socialism of the XXI th century." ---- While the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is clinging to presidential power behind the heir of Hugo Chavez, Nicolás Maduro, the right-wing opposition, led by the Mesa de Unidad Democratica's (MUD, " Platform for democratic unit "), has been, since December 2015, a majority in the National Assembly. To short-circuit the latter, the PSUV first tried to replace it with the Supreme Court - unsuccessfully - and then elected a Constituent Assembly according to a method of voting, guaranteeing a large majority. These successive blows of force excited the demonstrations against the PSUV, violently repressed by the police.

Abroad, after four months of crisis, it is difficult to get out of a binary vision of the situation. Some condemned a " dictatorship that sustained a serious humanitarian crisis, when there was a democratic opposition victim of red terror ," others supported the " legitimate government, the defender of the people, the guarantor of socialism and the revolution, victim of a plot hatched by the United States . " What is it ?

Since the launch of the " Bolivarian Revolution " [1]in 1999, US pressures on Venezuela are multiple. If Donald Trump threatens to intervene militarily today, Obama already declared in March 2015 that Venezuela was an " unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States ". The long list of coups and reactionary movements spurred by the United States, which considers Latin America as their preserve, shows the reality of the threat. The demand for a socialist model - even rhetorical - on this sub-continent insupposed the White House.

62 billion Chinese investments

But, more than this pseudo " socialism ", it is undoubtedly the association of Caracas with competing imperialisms that excites the wrath of Washington.

Rich in oil, Venezuela, to reduce its dependence on the US neighbor, has gradually formed political-trade alliances with other powers, including China, Russia and Iran. In recent years, Chinese capitalism has invested more than 62 billion in the country [2]. As the Chinese government newspaper Global Times recently pointed out, Washington wants to take full control of its backyard, as Beijing wants a " fluid and close cooperation " with Venezuela, whatever the government [3].

Far from being part of any " socialist " or " Bolivarian " program, these investments aim to exploit the country's natural resources, to the joint benefit of the Chavist oligarchy - " Bolibourgois " - and foreign multinationals. These are welcomed with open arms in " special economic zones " derogating from tax and labor law, [4]but allowing megacontracts of exploitation such as those of the exceptional oil-producing zone of the Orinoco. In one of the most corrupt countries in the world [5], these arrangements with the multinationals leave us pensive.

82% of the poor

In seventeen years of power, the Chavista regime has never been able to diversify the Venezuelan economy and emancipate it from its dependence on oil, which accounts for 95 % of its exports. By ending oil revenues, the fall in prices since 2014 has also put an end to its redistribution - unduly described as " socialism ". Most of the " social missions " that had secured the popular base of Chavism in the 2000s were abolished by the State.

As a result, the poverty rate has soared from 48 % in 2014 to 82 % in 2016, with annual inflation of more than 700 % according to the National Institute of Statistics [6]. Food, currency, medicines, gasoline ... the population buys daily on the black market. To stem it, the government created the local supply and production committees (Clap), in favor of beneficiaries of social programs ... with a strong suspicion of clientelism.

The suffering of women

As often when the social situation worsens, women pay the heaviest cost. The violence they face is increasing: in 2016, it is estimated at 169 the number of femicides, ignored by both the government and the opposition, and unpunished in 96 % of cases [7]. Venezuela also recorded a sad record: 25 % of pregnant Venezuelans have less than 15 years [8], and the UN reported in 2013 that teenage girls accounted for 66 % of maternal mortality [9]. Only solution proposed by the government: a television campaign in favor of sexual abstinence! No discussion about the right to sex education, contraceptive methods and even less to abortion, still illegal after fifteen years of " revolutionary process " ... Clandestine abortions would kill a woman every ten days.

Rivals who share many values

The opposition of the right will not bring any solution to the social distress, on the contrary.

Even early 2016, a government decree Maduro created a vast " economic zone of national development ," confident mining 112 000 km2 of territory to dozens of multinationals trampling the " sovereignty of the basement ," registered in the 2012 Constitution. Usually very hostile to the policy of the PSUV, the MUD approved this decree, completely in line with its " program of national unity government 2013-2019 ".

As such, the confiscation of the lands of the original peoples, the exploitation of workers and the destruction of natural resources can be values equitably shared by the two blocs that are fighting for state power.

One believes the MUD on parole when she is the bard of entrepreneurial " liberties " ; much less when it claims public freedoms. Some of its components were in power when, in February 1989, a program of liberal shock measures was launched under the aegis of the International Monetary Fund. The population protested against the breakdown of public services and social budgets ; the repression caused between 300 and 3,000 deaths according to the sources.

Similarly, after their ephemeral coup d'état against Chavez in April 2002, the coup leaders immediately suppressed the popular protest, in close collaboration with the employers. The patron of the Fedecamaras - the Venezuelan Medef - had proclaimed himself the head of the government, and was immediately dubbed by Washington and Madrid.

The people therefore have nothing to expect from the MUD, which incarnates only an oligarchic alternative pro-Washington to the present " boligarchy ". But he also has nothing to expect from an authoritarian government at bay, some fractions of which envisage the departure of Maduro as a solution to prolong the survival of the regime.

The only way out of this regime crisis would be the rise of a popular counter-power, structured by autonomous social and trade union organizations. Difficult to imagine after seventeen years of state supervision over social movements, but it is to be hoped that current events will move the lines in this direction.

Abobora (AL 31, Comminges link)

[1] Invention of Hugo Chavez referring to Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), " bolivarism " is a leftist nationalism, aiming to constitute a national capitalism, independent of the American interests.

[2] " Venezuela has microcosm of Latin American conundrum " Global Times, 1 st August 2017.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Thomas Posado, " The Venezuelan popular classes caught in the trap ", Contretemps.eu, August 8, 2017.

[5] In 2016, the NGO Transpaency International ranked Venezuela 158 th on a list of 168 states.

[6] III e Forum Living conditions of the Venezuelan population, Simon Bolivar University, April 22, 2015, on Rectorado.usb.ve.

[7] Observatoriodeviolencia.org.ve, 25 November 2016.

[8] Statement on Facebook by Nelmary Diaz, Director of the Planificacion familiar, August 5, 2016.

[9] Eluniversal.com, May 20, 2013.

http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Venezuela-Boligarchie-chaviste-contre-oligarchie-pro-Washington
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