Statement of Venezuelan communists: rebuild the forces of revolution

The following is the Resolution of Lucha de Clases – CMI Venezuela on the political and electoral situation, approved by its Central Committee. Future analyses will be published that add further detail to the position the resolution puts forward. We invite the most conscious layers of the workers’ and wider mass movement to read, analyse, circulate and discuss the content of the text. It is a contribution to the debate on what position consistent revolutionaries should take in the coming presidential elections and the kind of organisation we need to put the forces of the Venezuelan working people back on their feet.

[Read the original in Spanish]

The Central Committee of Lucha de Clases, Venezuelan section of the International Marxist Tendency, in the context of the current political situation and the road towards the presidential elections of 28 July, expresses the following position:

1. The revolutionary communists of LdC/CMI categorically condemn the blackmail policy of US imperialism, which is threatening to re-impose financial sanctions against Venezuela in response to the failure of the Barbados Agreements and as a form of economic pressure to try to secure its interests in our country. The imposition of sanctions against the state and [the state-run oil company] PDVSA has aggravated the previous crisis of rentier capitalism in Venezuela, which has seriously affected the living standards of the working people.

2. We reject the threats expressed by María Corina Machado – the main leader of the pro-coup and pro-imperialist right wing – to constitute a civic force to underpin civil disobedience, and thus demand from their imperialist masters "more forceful actions" against Maduro. Reading between the lines this implies new calls for coups d'état and more decisive foreign interventions, including military incursions.

3. If the pro-imperialist right wing comes to power, it would continue – alongside other schemes – the ongoing brutal policy of cuts targeting the workers and poor, which in a matter of a decade have pulverised the rights and gains of the working people. The puppets subservient to Washington would take up the same anti-democratic and repressive weapons that the Maduro government has deployed, not only to silence the voices of dissent to the cuts, but also to unleash all the vengeful anger against the working class, contained and accumulated for decades.

4. We unequivocally reiterate our most forceful opposition to the anti-working class cuts policy that the Maduro government has implemented in an attempt to save decaying Venezuelan capitalism. The PSUV leadership has imposed, through the authoritarian use of institutions, electoral conditions that hinder the registration of new voters by impeding the participation of Venezuelans abroad, while restricting the right of numerous organisations to stand candidates. All these actions are aimed at ensuring Maduro's second re-election at any cost. In addition, the government uses accusations of coup conspiracies to persecute and carry out arbitrary arrests, in violation of due process. This Bonapartist action, which extends to the proscription of class-based trade union activity, the criminalisation of protest and the arbitrary prosecution of workers, constitutes a repudiatory assault on the political, civil and democratic rights of the population. Such a policy is diametrically opposed to the ideals of socialism and the revolution, with which the PSUV leadership is trying to manipulate its rank and file.

5. We condemn the absolute restriction on the participation of left-wing political organisations, which – in accordance with their legitimate democratic rights – aspire to run candidates in the upcoming elections. This state of affairs is the result of the state taking control of the electoral register of several parties, the institutional rejection of formalisation of new groupings, efforts to block the formation of “groups of electors” [another method for presenting candidates], and requests for provisional designations to run candidates.

6. Despite the above, we must voice our differences with the electoral proposals put forward by different left-wing factions, which have been obstructed by the institutions. We refer, on the one hand, to that presented by the MPA [Movimiento Popular Alternativo/Popular Alternative Movement] and the PCV [Communist Party] in the figure of Manuel Isidro Molina, and, on the other, to that of the Bloque Histórico Popular in the person of María Alejandra Díaz. In our opinion, the political positions and programmes defended by these figures constitute class conciliation, they are deeply impregnated with chauvinism and bourgeois conservatism, and more importantly, they do not present proposals capable of connecting with, attracting, organising and developing the forces of the working class, the youth and all the oppressed layers of society.

7. The anti-working class and anti-popular programmes defended by the dominant factions in national politics, and the absence of programmatic proposals that would allow the accumulation of class forces, lead us to the following conclusion: the working people today do not have an electoral alternative capable of genuinely expressing their aspirations. While the members of LdC/CMI understand electoral tactics as an opportunity to spread a revolutionary programme, the present electoral conditions have annulled any prospects in that direction. We firmly believe that the present situation demands the development of the forces of the working class, to put their stamp on society beyond these elections. Faced with the offensive of the ruling classes against the rights and gains of all the oppressed layers, the task of revolutionaries, before and after 28 July, is to organise, extend, integrate and coordinate all local, regional and national efforts aimed at promoting the defensive struggles for a wage equal to the cost of a basic basket of goods, restitution of labour rights, freedom for all workers imprisoned for struggle, public services and quality services, among others. We call on all working people and youth to maintain and redouble their initiatives of struggle. These categorically should not be postponed in the name of a flawed electoral process, the outcome of which is predetermined. In response to the political demagogy that will abound in the coming months, we must keep the focus on the prevailing needs of our class, promoting instances of programmatic discussion that will allow us to build our forces. We are convinced of the need to link the immediate demands of the workers of the city and the countryside, the women's movement, the youth and other oppressed layers with the tasks of the revolutionary transformation of society.

8. All of the above highlights the need to build a communist and revolutionary alternative capable of bringing together the fighting capacity of the most conscious sectors of the working people. We struggle to overthrow capitalism and build a new world, with the creative force of the working class and all the oppressed peoples. We call on revolutionaries who agree with this position to support us in this necessary struggle.

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