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Venezuela

Venezuela: Chavista debate more than 'pragmatists vs radicals', 'Trotsky vs Stalin'

Jorge Giordani.

For more on Venezuela, click HERE.

By Federico Fuentes

July 21, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The publication of a document highly critical of the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, authored by one of the longest-serving ministers in former president Hugo Chavez’s government, has triggered an unprecedented debate among Venezuelan revolutionaries.

Jorge Giordani dropped the bombshell on June 18, a day after he was replaced as planning minister. This was preceded by his dismissal from the boards of Venezuela's Central Bank and state oil company PDVSA, the state oil company. He had held the post almost uninterruptedly since Chavez first came to power in 1999. .

Many view Giordani as a principal architect of the Chavez government’s economic policy and representative of a more orthodox Marxist strand within cabinet. His removal has been portrayed as evidence of a widening rift between “pragmatists” and “radicals” in the government.

Giordani’s testimony

Progressive ‘extractivism’: hope or dystopia?

By Don Fitz

July 4, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The controversy over "extractivism" in Latin America has become a lot hotter. Though social justice and environmental activists have sought a partnership for years, this could become a wedge issue. The debate is core to our conceptualisation of what type of society we are working to build and how we plan to get there.

Venezuela: Thousands debate socialist congress proposals

An activist with the Baruta Battle Unit Bolivar-Chavez (UBCh).

By Arlene Eisen, Caracas

June 19, 2014 -- Venezuelanalysis.com – On June 7, President Nicolas Maduro issued a call to each grassroots unit of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to submit 10 concrete proposals for ways to improve how the Bolivarian government functions. In response, throughout Venezuela, local units of PSUV militants, known as Battle Units Bolivar-Chavez (UBCh), devoted their weekly meetings to lively debates analysing political problems and attempting to reach consensus on solutions. There are some 13,500 UBChs.

Other Venezuelans joined the discussions through forums, meetings, editorial pages and social media.

A well-attended forum in Catia, a working-class district of western Caracas, set the tone for many other UBCh meetings. Catia is known and respected for being a centre of Chavista militancy. Aporrea.org and other pro-revolution media repeatedly ran written and videotaped reports of the proposals made there by a Gonzalo Gomez, spokesperson from Marea Socialista (Socialist Tide), a leftist grouping within the PSUV, and by Manuel Sutherland, a Marxist economist who coordinates the Center of Worker Investigations and Education and teaches at the Bolivarian University of Caracas (UBC).

Australia: Socialist Alliance's 'International Political Perspectives' resolution

"Despite repeated warnings from the majority of the world's scientists of the urgent need to slash greenhouse gas emission, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed over 400 parts per million for the first time in human history – signalling the globe’s dangerous race to catastrophic and irreversible global warming."

Adopted by the 10th National Conference of the Socialist Alliance, June 7-9, 2014.

1. The 10th national conference of Socialist Alliance is taking place at a time extreme inequality, intensified conflict and ecological crisis on a global scale. The 85 richest individuals in the world now hold as much wealth between them as the 3.5 billion poorest people in the world. A world divided by such extreme inequality will never be at peace and this is fundamentally why wars and uprisings continue to break out in numerous countries. This unprecedented concentration of wealth and power also is an absolute block to the urgently needed transition to an ecologically sustainable future.

Entrevista con Steve Ellner: 'La estructura capitalista es tan poderosa que el Estado no puede desligarse de ella por ahora'

Steve Ellner.

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3817. Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Steve Ellner entrevistado por Evaristo Marcano Marín

11 de abril de 2014 -- Aporrea -- Steve Ellner es un destacado investigador venezolano, Profesor Jubilado de la Universidad de Oriente (UDO), tiene varios libros publicados y una gran cantidad de artículos escritos en revistas venezolanas (CENDES) y de otros países. Recientemente regresó de Australia, donde desarrolló un seminario sobre el acontecer político de América Latina.

* * *

En varios momentos de esta entrevista, pensé y me ubiqué del lado de las explicaciones que nos ofreció Steve en cada una de sus respuestas. Me sentí comprometido con esa idea sobre el Estado que rescata de Nicos Poulantzas, en la cual, deja atrás esa especie de objeto secuestrado por una determinada clase y se concibe como una especie de espejo que recoge y refleja toda la dinámica social. 

Venezuela: ‘Bir ülkenin devrimci bir devleti ve kapitalist bir ekonomisi olabilir mi? – Steve Ellner ile görüşme

Steve Ellner.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3817.]

Professor Evaristo Marcano Aporrea.org için Steve Ellner ile görüştü; İngilizceye çeviren Steve Ellner, Türkçeye çeviren Işık Barış Fidaner

22 Nisan 2014′te Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal‘da yayınlandı.

Steve Ellner ile görüşmemin çeşitli zamanlarında, sorularıma karşılık sunduğu açıklamaları benimsedim. En çok benimsediğim şey olan Nicos Poulantzas’ın geliştirdiği devlet fikrinde verili bir sınıfın nesnesi olmanın yanısıra ve bunun ötesinde devlet ulusun toplumsal dinamiğini içine alıp yansıtan bir tür ayna olarak kavranmakta. Bu kavrayışa göre devlet her bir toplumsal kuvveti mobilize etme kapasitelerine uygun olarak büyüyüp değişen bir kuvvetler ilişkisi. Bu tez Venezuela’da gerçekleşmekte olan mevcut süreç bağlamında çok pratik anlamlara gelmekte.

Venezuela: ‘Can a country have a revolutionary state and a capitalist economy?’-- Interview with Steve Ellner

Steve Ellner.

Steve Ellner interviewed by Professor Evaristo Marcano for Aporrea.org; translated by Steve Ellner

April 22, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, with permission of the author -- At various moments in the interview with Steve Ellner, I welcomed the explanations that he offered in response to my questions. I most identified with the idea of the state as developed by Nicos Poulantzas in which in addition to, and beyond, being an object of a given class, the state is conceived of as a type of mirror that takes in and reflects the nation’s social dynamic. According to this conception, the state is a relation of forces that grows and changes in accordance with the capacity to mobilise each social force. The thesis makes much practical sense in the context of the current process taking place in Venezuela.

A comradely response to Mike Gonzalez’s 'Letters from Venezuela'

Example of Chavista graffiti in an area where Dan Gent was living in Merida. The opposition barricades are way down the road, where you will not find any of this graffiti. 

See also "Federico Fuentes replies to Mike Gonzalez". For more discussion on developments in Venezuela, click HERE.]

April 11, 2014 -- RS21 -- Dan Gent, writes from Venezuela having witnessed the events surrounding the opposition riots. It is offered as a comradely response to Mike Gonzalez’s "Letters from Venezuela". This piece was originally published on the Comrade Markin blog, where there are more photos that Dan has taken in Venezuela. Dan was a participant in the most recent solidarity brigade organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network.

* * *

Michael Lebowitz: Venezuela's economic problems; Trans-Pacific Partnership an imperialist assault

[For more articles by or about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE. For more on Venezuela, click HERE.] 

April 4, 2014 -- Newsclick -- Michael Lebowitz, a Canadian economist who has written extensively on Latin America and is a former resident in Venezuela, talks to Newsclick on the economic problems facing Venezuela and the recent protests there.

He says these protests have been orchestrated by right-wing forces that want to get rid of the left-wing government. They are happening in rich neighbourhoods; the poor are not participating.

Saying that these protests will not go very far and will fizzle out, Lebowitz points out that there is an underlying serious economic problem that did not originate with President Nicholas Maduro and have been building for quite a while.

Lebowitz says the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement is an international assault on the people and it can be countered only by an international response.

Venezuela: el racismo desvergonzado de la contrarrevolución

El gobierno revolucionario de Chavez invertió 300 millones de dolares en la construcción del metrocable. El metrocable elimina horas de la subida y bajada que normalmente la gente hacia a pie para llegar al trabajo, la escuela, centros de saludo, y otros sitios importantes. Beneficia a miles de habitantes de San Agustín, la mayoría de ellos siendo afro-descendientes.

[English at "Venezuela: Racism and the counter-revolution". Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Por Arlene Eisen

6 abril 2014 -- Sinpermiso.info -- Los grandes medios de comunicación, aquí y en Venezuela, han triunfado ampliamente dando un rostro democrático al movimiento racista, esencialmente fascista, de las calles en Venezuela. Coaliciones tradicionalmente antirracistas han ignorado Venezuela. Es hora de ser solidarios con la mayoría del pueblo venezolano.

Federico Fuentes: ¿Cogestión es Revolución? Workers' participation during the first Chávez administration (1999-2006)

For more on Venezuela, click HERE.

By Federico Fuentes

April 12, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Attempts to analyse Venezuela's experiments in cogestión (generally translated as "co-management") during the first Hugo Chávez administration (1999-2006) have tended to centre on form rather than content. Almost all have concluded that the government ultimately abandoned cogestión, and with its support for workers' participation.

However, rather than focusing on pre-established models or comparisons with historical experiences, the development of cogestión can be better understood as the product of a complex interaction between competing visions within the government and workers' movement in the broader context of attempting to create a uniquely Venezuelan model of socialism.

At the heart of these debates were the issues of ownership, production and distribution. The end result of all this was that by early 2007, cogestión came to resemble something quite different to its initial conception, that is: a mechanism for co-governance in the economic sphere and a necessary means by which to ensure integral human development.

Nicolás Maduro in 'New York Times': 'A call for peace'

The following article appeared as an op-ed in the April 2, edition of the New York Times. It is reproduced at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in interests of solidarity.

* * *

By Nicolás Maduro, president of Venezuela.

April 2, 2014 -- New York Times, CARACAS, Venezuela — The recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.

Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.

Venezuela: Racism and the counter-revolution

Chavez’ revolutionary government spent $300 million to build a futuristic funicular [cable car]. It eliminates hours of climbing on foot up and down treacherous mountain sides to reach jobs, schools, health clinics and other vital destinations. It benefits tens of thousands of shack dwellers of San Agustin—most of whom are African descendants.

By Arlene Eisen

March 27, 2014 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- It’s late morning in Caracas, February 12, 2014. From the restaurant inside the hotel around the corner from Plaza Venezuela we can hear chanting, but it’s too muffled to understand. Are they yelling “Maduro Salida” or “Maduro/burro Salida”[1] or something else? From the window, we can see people, almost all smiling white people, streaming down the street to join the first huge anti-government demonstration that signalled the onset of the current outrages in Venezuela.

'Venezuela se respeta/Respect Venezuela': Behind the economic war on the Bolivarian Revolution

By Venezuela's Ministry of People’s Power

March 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The passing away of Venezuela's President Comandante Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, the top leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, on March 5, 2013, was perceived by Venezuelan people as an irreparable loss, one of historical dimensions.

During 14 years, President Chávez led Venezuela along a victorious political process that pursued the recovery of the nation’s dignity and the construction of social justice. The affectionate warrior who with his accurate words guided Venezuelans through the transition between two centuries, and despite big obstacles, was able to take society to an upper level regarding satisfaction of people’s needs...

In the middle of the grief ...,Venezuela's people decided to keep on walking the revolutionary way and elected Nicolás Maduro as their president on April 14, 2013.

But one day after the presidential elections, opposition supporters of the candidate Henrique Capriles took to the streets complying with his call to drain their repressed anger, and spread death and destruction in opposition bastions governed by right wing’s mayors.

Venezuela: (Updated March 17) Asia-Pacific socialists pledge continuing solidarity with revolution

If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email: international@socialist-alliance.org

March 11, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialists in Asia-Pacific pledge support for Venezuela’s socialist revolution, a year after Chavez’s death.

March 5 marked one year since the death of Venezuela's president and revolutionary Hugo Chavez. An outspoken fighter for the oppressed in Venezuela and Latin America, the loss of Chavez is still felt keenly by socialists and anti-imperialists globally.

But the Bolivarian revolution that Chavez led is a mass movement of millions of people that lives on in the barrios and workplaces in Venezuela. This process, led by the government of President Nicolas Maduro, is facing fresh attacks by right-wing forces backed by the United States.

The recent violent protests by a minority that has repeatedly been defeated at the ballot box has caused widespread destruction and terror. Along with at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries, public buildings and government-run, pro-poor social missions have been attacked by opposition protesters, at the estimated cost of up to 10 million bolivars.

The international media has presented this fascist violence as a peaceful democracy struggle that has been repressed by a dictatorial Maduro government. This turns reality on its head.

Video: Tariq Ali presents the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture

Tariq Ali presents the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture in London (part 1).

March 10, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in Britain on February 20, 2014, sponsored the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture in London. The speaker was internationally renowned Marxist author Tariq Ali. Parts 2-4 below.

Violenze in Venezuela: miti e fatti

venezuela-protests-feb_-24-2014

 

[English at https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/56008]

di Federico Fuentes – 6 marzo 2014

Di seguito l’attivista della Rete di Solidarietà Australia-Venezuela, Federico Fuentes, offre risposte a domande comuni sui recenti avvenimenti in Venezuela. Ai fatti chiave è fatto riferimento in larga parte attingendo a canali mediatici che non possono essere identificati come filo-governativi.

I recenti disordini in Venezuela sono dovuti alla repressione governativa di proteste pacifiche?

Michael Lebowitz: A path to socialism -- building upon the foundations began by Hugo Chavez

[Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal urges its readers to consider taking out a subscription to Monthly Review, where this article first appeared. For more articles by or about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE.]

By Michael Lebowitz

March 2014 -- Monthly Review -- It is now one year since the unfortunate death of Hugo Chávez on March 5, 2013. Shortly after, the editors of Monthly Review quoted a letter from István Mészáros to John Bellamy Foster which described Chávez as “one of the greatest historical figures of our time” and “a deeply insightful revolutionary intellect” (“Notes from the Editors” in the May 2013 Monthly Review). Whether Chávez will be remembered over time this way, however, depends significantly on whether we build upon the foundations he began.

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