Venezuelan Revolution

It is clear that US imperialism and its lackey countries have increased aggression against Venezuela in recent weeks. The aim has been declared publicly: to trigger a coup d'etat against the government of President Maduro and allow the capitalist oligarchy to take control again. It is necessary to respond with revolutionary measures that strike a blow at the economic power of the oligarchy: the agents of imperialism in the country.

The economic situation facing the masses in Venezuela has suffered a sharp turn for the worse over the Christmas period. The problems that already existed have worsened, with prices spiralling out of control, a further collapse of the transport system and an aggravation of scarcity (of food, fuel and cash). This has led to scattered protests and incidents of looting.

As was expected, Venezuela’s municipal elections on December 10 produced a landslide victory for the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV). It won 308 out of 335 local councils winning in 23 out 25 state capitals. The opposition, which stood divided and largely boycotted the election, only managed to win two significant local councils, those of San Cristobal, the capital of Táchira and Libertador, the capital of Mérida.

 The fact that the main Venezuelan opposition parties have decided to boycott the December 10 municipal elections has opened the space for candidates representing the revolutionary wing of the Bolivarian movement to stand against official hand picked candidates from the ruling PSUV party. The bureaucracy and the state have responded by using all sorts of tricks to prevent them from running. The campaigns of Eduardo Samán in Caracas and Angel Prado in Simón Planas (Lara) have brought out the simmering contradictions within chavismo.

The fascist bourgeois opposition, with the support of North American and European imperialism, threatens to crush the Venezuelan revolution and to wreck its achievements. The fascist attacks, in working-class neighbourhoods and against Chavista, are a taste of what is to come if the opposition takes power. This ultra-reactionary opposition must be defeated now, and only the workers’ revolutionary initiative can achieve this.

Even before the National Election Council had announced the results of Sunday’s Constituent Assembly elections in Venezuela, the opposition and western imperialism had already declared there had been massive fraud and that they would not recognise the legitimacy of the Assembly. Since then, they have piled up pressure on all fronts. What is to be done?

Oscar Alberto Perez

Things in Venezuela are changing by the day, sometimes by the hour. Yesterday, June 27, a police officer commandeered a helicopter and attacked the buildings of the Ministry of Interior and Justice and the Supreme Court of Justice, at the same time broadcasting an appeal for others to join in and overthrow the government of Maduro.

It is eighty-five days since the beginning of the current right-wing offensive backed by imperialism  against the Venezuelan government of President Maduro, which has left 85 people dead. So far the reactionary opposition has not achieved any of its aims. As its ability to gather large numbers of people in the streets has diminished, rioting has become increasingly more violent and deadly. The government has called Constituent Assembly elections on July 30, which will be a major test of its level of popular support. The opposition has declared it is in “disobedience” and has vowed to prevent the election from taking place. What comes next?

The calling of a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) has been issued in the middle of one of the worst offensives of the counter-revolution and imperialism in the last eighteen years. In this political situation, the convening of a Constituent Assembly has awoken important revolutionary aspirations among sections of the workers’ and people's vanguard, who are ready to fight to elect deputies to the Constituent Assembly who come from the rank and file and defend a programme of revolutionary demands.

During his speech at a massive Bolivarian May Day rally, Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, has announced the convening of a National Constituent Assembly, which he described as a workers’ and communal assembly. The Venezuelan opposition has immediately rejected this as part of the “regime’s coup” and has called for an escalation of protests.

“There’s been a coup in Venezuela! Maduro has carried out a power-grab!” Just a few days before the 15th anniversary of the short lived coup against the democratically elected president Chavez (11-13 April, 2002), those who carried out that coup (the Venezuelan oligarchy, their masters in Washington and its lapdogs in Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Santiago de Chile and Lima, cheered on by the media wolf pack in Madrid and the US) are now shouting and screaming like hyenas against an alleged “self coup” by president Maduro.

Last Thursday, the criminal courts of Monagas, Carabobo, Aragua and Apure states, among other states, annulled the collection of the 1% of signatures needed to activate a recall referendum, after they upheld claims of electoral fraud which were brought before them in relation to accusations of forgery and identity theft committed during the process. Such a judgement  means that the final step prior to the invocation of a recall referendum, the collection of the signatures of 20% of the electorate, is automatically suspended. The CNE (National Electoral Council) then proceeded to issue a statement in which the suspension of the collection of signatures was ordered across the

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This thesis documentwas drafted, discussed, and approved by our members this past October 2015. Although it was written some months ago, it still remains valid. It reflects a correct understanding of the events that have taken place, and shows how our warnings were confirmed in the face of serious threats from the counterrevolution. We believe that the document serves as a tool in the debate that is developing within the ranks of the Chavista movement in general.

The assault against the Bolivarian revolution has intensified in the recent days and weeks. Editorials and front pages in US and Spanish newspapers are screaming about hunger in Venezuela and demanding the removal of the “dictatorial regime”. Ongoing scarcity problems have led to instances of looting. The right-wing opposition is attempting to trigger a presidential recall referendum, but is also threatening violent action and appealing to foreign powers, including in some case for military intervention. What is really happening in Venezuela and how can these threats be faced?

With 53% of the votes the Venezuelan opposition has managed to secure 112 seats in the National Assembly. This gives them a sweeping two third majority and wide ranging powers. Drunk with victory and seething with revenge, they have started to announce plans to reverse every single one of the gains of the Bolivarian revolution. This has provoked ferment amongst the revolutionary rank and file, which at the same time is directing part of their anger at bureaucrats and reformists within its own ranks.

Late into the night on 6th December, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council announced provisional but conclusive results for the parliamentary election. The counter-revolutionary opposition MUD had won 99 seats to the Bolivarian PSUV’s 46, with another 22 remaining to be allocated. This is a serious setback and it is our duty to analyse the reasons and explain the likely consequences.

Venezuelans will go to the polls on December 6 to elect deputies to the National Assembly. A combination of factors have made this one of the most difficult challenges the Bolivarian Revolution has faced in the 17 years since President Chávez was first elected in 1998. In addition to the usual challenges of a profoundly undemocratic opposition and belligerent imperialist provocations we have to add a combination of national and international economic factors which have put Venezuela in a very tight spot and which lead to one conclusion: either the revolution is completed, or it will be defeated.

In this article we will be analysing the objective conditions which led to the emergence of SIMADI and the currency exchange controls in general, which since their implementation have been unable to reach their stated objective of preventing capital flight.

The statement by president Obama that Venezuela represents an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to US “national security” represents an important escalation in imperialist meddling against the Bolivarian revolution.