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Venezuela: Taking a look at the anti-Maduro narrative

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

February 19, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The recognition by Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden of Juan Guaidó as Venezuelan president is the latest demonstration of the consensus in Washington over the nefariousness of the Nicolás Maduro government. Not since Fidel Castro’s early years in power has a Latin American head of state been so consistently demonized. But the 1960s was the peak of the Cold War polarization that placed Cuba plainly in the enemy camp, and unlike Venezuela of today that nation had a one-party system in the absence of political pluralism.

 

The scope of the consensus was put in evidence by the recent faceoff between two figures as far apart as Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In his State of the Union address, Trump attributed Venezuela’s economic crisis to the failed system of socialism. Ocasio-Cortez responded by arguing that the Venezuelan case is “an issue of authoritarian regime versus democracy.”

 

Venezuela and disaster capitalism

 

 

By Reinaldo Iturriza López, translation by Nicolas Allen

 

February 10, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso Blog — On Monday, January 28, the Department of the Treasury of the United States announced it was placing a “block” on all of Petróleos de Venezuela’s (PDVSA) assets under US jurisdiction, prohibiting its citizens from engaging in any type of transaction with the Venezuelan state-owned oil company.[1] Secretary Steve Mnuchin added that “if the people of Venezuela want to continue to sell us oil”, we will only accept it on the condition that our money goes to “blocked accounts”, which would later be made available for the “transition government”.[2]

 

Venezuela defines the future of the region

 

 

By Claudio Katz, translation by Nicolas Allen

 

February 10, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso Blog — Guaidó’s self-proclamation as Venezuelan president is the most ridiculous and dangerous coup attempt in recent years. With the shameless backing of Washington, the Venezuelan rightwing intends to place a complete stranger at the helm of the state.

 

This time around, the starting signal was neither a terrorist attack nor an assassination attempt directed against Maduro. Trump has chosen a group of conspiracy experts (Abrams, Pence, Bolton, Rubio) to pursue escalation and has opted to seize the Venezuelan oil enterprise operating in the United States (CITGO). He has brushed aside all principles of legal guarantee in his quest to appropriate the world’s largest concentration of crude oil reserves.

 

Regime change in Venezuela: “Made in the USA”

 

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

February 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  republished from NACLA: Report on the Americas —  Since its outset, the Trump administration has ratcheted up pressure on Venezuela and radicalized its positions. In the process, the Venezuelan opposition has become more and more associated with—and dependent on—Washington and its allies. An example is the opposition protests slated for February 4. The actions were timed to coincide with the European Union’s “ultimatum” stating that they would recognize the shadow government of Juan Guaidó if President Nicolás Maduro did not call elections within a week’s time.

 

Spain’s ‘socialist’ government to US: ‘Coup against Maduro? We’re in!’

 

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

February 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On February 15, 2003, in the face of the looming US-led war against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, the Spanish state saw the biggest demonstrations in its history. Part of a worldwide anti-war outpouring, about four million people turned out on the day, with 1.3 million in Barcelona, a million in Madrid and half-a-million in Valencia.

 

Leaders of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) were among those at the head of these oceanic demonstrations, which directly targeted the conservative Spanish People’s Party (PP) government of prime minister José María Aznar.

 

The US coup in Venezuela: New attempt to eradicate the Chavista Revolution

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

 

January 26, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — For over two years we have been told Putin’s Russia has interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections. We now find the US government has decided it can unilaterally invalidate the actual presidential elections in Venezuela and recognize a person of its choosing as president. This is just the latest US-backed coup attempt against a progressive Latin American government, following Venezuela (2002), Haiti (2004, and every subsequent election), Bolivia (2008), Honduras (2009), Ecuador (2010, 2015), Paraguay (2012), and Nicaragua (2018).

Is foreign military intervention in Venezuela imminent?

 

 

By James Jordan

 

January 24, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — According to conventional wisdom, there should be no serious talk of foreign military intervention in Venezuela. But these aren’t conventional times. The conventional playbook would adopt a strategy of foreign coordination of the Venezuelan opposition, economic sabotage, infiltration of the military, and manipulation of popular movements against the elected government. All this is being done, but, so far, unsuccessfully. The frustrations of the Bolivarian movement’s enemies are palpable. Does this mean intervention is imminent? And what would such an intervention look like?

 

Venezuela: What’s been learnt won’t be easily forgotten - a conversation with Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann

 

 

January 21, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann, who holds degrees from Venezuelan and Ecuadorian universities, has been a human rights activist and militant leftist since the 1980s. A former vice-rector of the National Experimental Security University, he took part in the process of police reform initiated in 2006. Today Gonzalez Plessmann is part of the SurGentes collective and is working with the Pueblo a Pueblo project in Caracas’ San Agustin barrio. In this interview with Cira Pascual Marquina, he presents important insights into the revolutionary potential that Chavismo unleashed during the course of the Bolivarian Process. It’s a potential that, he thinks, could be set rolling again.

 

Venezuela under siege: Challenges from within and without

 

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alborada — The siege-like conditions which Venezuela has been subjected to from both foreign interference and domestic opposition present a myriad of challenges for the country to move forward.

 

On 5 October, Venezuela expert Steve Ellner gave a talk entitled ‘Venezuela under Siege: Challenges From Within And Without’ at the James Connolly Forum in Troy, New York. You can watch the full video here.

 

Venezuela’s ‘21st Century Socialism’ and Marx, Lenin and Luxemburg on the role of cooperatives — A response to Marta Harnecker

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

 

July 23, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Marta Harnecker, author of numerous books and articles advocating her vision of “21st Century Socialism” in Latin America recently published an article that was translated into English and appeared on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal as “Venezuela After the Elections: What is to be done?

 

We should note first of all that the most important issue facing Venezuela after its May 20 presidential election is coping with the continually increasing US-Canada-European Union economic sanctions and their goal of overturning Chavismo in Venezuela. Of this Harnecker says little.

Venezuela — After the elections: What is to be done?

 

 

By Marta Harnecker[1], Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

Recalling the context in which it emerged

 

1. By the time Hugo Chávez won the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already in deep trouble. The dilemma he faced was basically whether to refound the neoliberal capitalist model — obviously with some changes, among them a greater concern for social issues, but motived by the same profit-seeking logic — or to seek to build another model.[2]

 

2. Chávez chose the latter option. In naming it, he decided to resuscitate the word socialism, despite the negative connotations it had due to the past. But he specified that this was a 21st century socialism to differentiate it from the Soviet socialism of the 20th century. He warned that we must not “fall into the errors of the past”; into “Stalinist deviations” that bureaucratized the party and ended up eliminating popular protagonism; into state capitalism that focused on state ownership and not on the participation of workers in the running of companies.

 

Lo que viene después del 20 de mayo: ¿algo nuevo en la política venezolana?

 

 

[Read in English here.]

 

Por Steve Ellner

 

2 de junio de 2018
Traducido con la ayuda de José Gregorio Tovar y Carmen Sánchez Ellner para Rebelion El desconocimiento de la legitimidad del proceso electoral del 20 de mayo por parte de Henri Falcón y el otro candidato presidencial importante de la oposición, el evangélico Javier Bertucci, no presagia bien para el nuevo periodo del presidente Maduro. La consolidación de un bloque moderado dentro de la oposición representado por Falcón que reconoce la legitimidad del gobierno, hubiera restado influencia a los partidos radicales de la derecha y significado un mayor grado de estabilidad en el país al disminuir la polarización.

 

La Rivoluzione Bolivariana vince la battaglia, ma sta perdendo la guerra?

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

Di Federico Fuentes

 

28 maggio 2018
Traduzione di Maria Chiara Starace, Znet Italy Anche prima che avessero avuto luogo le elezioni presidenziali del Venezuela del 20 maggio, gli Stati Uniti –guidati da un presidente che ha perduto il voto popolare in un sistema elettorale che sistematicamente priva del diritto di voto milioni di elettori poveri e non bianchi – hanno rifiutato l’elezione perché non era “né libera né corretta”.

 

Venezuela's May 20 elections: Where do things stand?

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

May 27, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA— Defeated Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcón announced on May 20 that he would not recognize the legitimacy of that day’s elections. Nicolás Maduro’s reelection was generally expected, though his 68 percent of the vote was higher than what most polls predicted. Similarly, the 54 percent abstention among registered voters came due to the opposition’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) call for an electoral boycott.

 

The refusal by Falcón and the other main presidential candidate, evangelist Javier Bertucci, to recognize the electoral results bodes poorly for Maduro’s new term as president. The consolidation of a moderate bloc within the opposition that Falcón represented which recognizes the government’s legitimacy would have significantly cut into the strength of the more intransigent or radical parties on the Right and provided Venezuelan politics with much needed stability.

 

Venezuelan people are prime victims of Ottawa’s sanctions

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

January 27, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — “Since 2014,” writes a reporter in the online journal Venezuelanalysis, “Venezuela has been suffering from a deep economic crisis brought about by the drop in global oil prices, a dysfunctional exchange rate system, and a decrease in oil production levels.

 

“So far the crisis has been characterised by triple digit inflation, and a shortage of hard cash and everyday staples. Nonetheless, the situation has worsened since December 2017.”

 

The Maduro government is by no means exempt from responsibility for these deteriorating conditions. It has displayed a remarkable ineptness in its failure to overcome the economic crisis by tackling its underlying causes, notwithstanding some innovative maneuvering that has, for now, staved off the offensive by its right-wing political opponents and their foreign supporters.

 

Candlelight Revolution Part 2: South Korea’s Constitutional Reform

 

 

By Dae-Han Song

 

The sovereignty of the Republic of Korea shall reside in the people, and all state authority shall emanate from the people.” – Article 1 of the Republic of Korea Constitution

 

November 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy Center — A democracy is founded upon the consent and power of the people. Its fundamental compact is the constitution which establishes the rules and government that shape and determine the lives of its people. Yet, rarely is a constitution drawn up by them or with their consultation. Rather, it is done by a political regime mediating the interests of the ruling class. The world’s first completely written constitution was established in 1789. To “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority,” it created the United States Senate [1].

 

Marxist theories of the state played out in Venezuela

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

October 15, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Steve Ellner's Blog on Venezuela, Latin America and Beyond — An abridged version of this article was published in Historical Materialism, volume 25, no. 2, 2017, pages 29-62

 

'People are radicalizing Venezuela's Revolution': An interview with Christina Schiavoni

 

 

By Farooque Chowdhury and Fred Magdoff

 

September 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from MR Online — Amidst imperialist interference, the people in Venezuela are carrying on the task of reorganizing their society. Real-life picture in Venezuela is far different from new-reports the mainstream media continuously circulates. The following interview of Christina Schiavoni, a researcher and food sovereignty activist, provides a different view of the life of the Venezuelan people than we normally get from the media. The interview covers food and health situations as well as on-going politics and people’s participation in the politics. The interview was conducted by Farooque Chowdhury and Fred Magdoff, in August 2017.

 

Correcting Eva Golinger on Venezuela

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

 

August 21, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As the class struggle heated up in Venezuela this year, fueled by interventionist threats by the pro-US Organization of American States (OAS) bloc, many former supporters of the Bolivarian revolution have remained sitting on the fence. Fed up with these fair-weather friends and their critiques which recycle corporate news propaganda, some defenders of Venezuela such as Shamus Cooke,  Greg Wilpert, Maria Paez Victor, have come with articles clarifying the stakes and calling the so-called “left” to account.

 

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