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Venezuela

Venezuela: LUCHAS activists on the call for a Constituent Assembly

 

 

June 2, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint Activists from the Liga Unitaria Chavista Socialista (LUCHAS, Unitary Socialist Chavista League) gave their opinion on the call for a National Constituent Assembly made by President Nicolás Maduro on May 1, 2017 in his speech at the celebration of International Workers’ Day.

 

The aim of the statement is that hopefully comrades from other revolutionary organizations and political personalities, with whom they have been sharing some orientations and positions about what has been happening in Venezuela and in our continent for some months now, decide to adhere to the present declaration. They consider this a document that they make available for discussion, to the various revolutionary political organizations that exist and to the vanguard that has made it possible to move through this Bolivarian and Chavista process.

 

Punto muerto en Venezuela

 

 

[Original version in English published on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal here.]

 

Federico Fuentes entrevista Steve Ellner. Traducido para Rebelión por Paco Muñoz de Bustillo

 

Desde hace algunas semanas, Venezuela vive estremecida por manifestaciones casi diarias de protesta (y contraprotesta) con las que los oponentes de derechas del presidente Nicolás Maduro intentan derribar su gobierno.

 

Stallo in Venezuela

 

 

[Original version in English published on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal here.]

 

di Steve Ellner e Federico Fuentes, traduzione di Giuseppe Volpe, Da ZNetitaly

 

13 maggio 2017
Il Venezuela è stato scosso nelle settimane recenti da manifestazioni e contromanifestazioni quasi quotidiane, con gli oppositori di destra del presidente socialista Nicolas Maduro che cercano di far cadere il suo governo.

 

Venezuela: speaking up to say the truth

 

 

By Atilio Boron

 

May 24, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alainet — In various recent works, different analysts and observers of Latin American political life have reproached intellectuals and militants on the left for their silence on what is happening in Venezuela. That silence, they say, only reinforces the worst features of the government of Nicolas Maduro. This strategy was used a few weeks ago by a noted Venezuelan intellectual, Edgardo Lander, and more recently, in a special production of Pagina/12, it was reiterated by two colleagues from Argentina: Roberto Gargarella and Maristella Svampa. [1]

 

Is Maduro taking Venezuela down the authoritarian path?

 

 

 

By Lucas Koerner

 

May 23, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Venezuela is once again dominating international headlines as violent opposition protests bent on toppling the elected Maduro government enter their seventh week. The demonstrations have claimed to date at least 54 lives since April 4, surpassing the previous wave of violent anti-government protests in 2014, known as “the Exit”. However, this time around, the unrest coincides with a severe economic downturn and a transformed geopolitical landscape defined by the return of the right in Brazil and Argentina as well as an even more bellicose regime in Washington.

The Chávez hypothesis: vicissitudes of a strategic project

 

 

By Chris Gilbert

 

May 23, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Counterpunch —What does Chavism really stand for? What are its main accomplishments and its main failures? What was the soldier-become-president Hugo Chávez trying to achieve, and how far did he go in achieving it? Most often it is taken for granted that Chávez, who was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, began with an anti-neoliberal project that became, with time, anti-imperialist and then later aspired to socialism. It is also usually argued that, unfortunately, Chávez went very little of the way to achieving the latter goal. Chávez’s project suffered, this story goes, because it was only discursively socialist; that is, it proposed socialism as a goal but could not really begin the transition, being unable to go beyond mere discourse to concrete social and economic facts. That being the case, a part of the Left praises the Venezuelan leader for what it sees as an essentially verbal achievement. This group contends that Chávez fulfilled an important task for humanity by merely recovering and promoting the word socialism after the fall of the Eastern bloc. Others, generally from the so-called Hard Left, are more skeptical. They highlight Chávez’s failure to significantly alter the structure of the society or the economy.

 

Critiquing Maduro from the left

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

May 13, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — With the intensification of political conflict and economic deterioration in Venezuela, harsh all-encompassing criticism of the government is originating not only from the right side of the political spectrum, but also from the left. Gone are the days when late President Hugo Chávez could boast of having unified the nation’s notoriously fragmented leftist movement, ranging from Trotskyists and Communists to social democrats.

 

Standoff in Venezuela

 

 

May 12, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / Green Left Weekly — Venezuela has been rocked in recent weeks by almost daily protests and counter-protests, as right-wing opponents of socialist President Nicolas Maduro seek to bring down his government.

 

While the media portrays these events as a popular rebellion against an authoritarian government, supporters of the pro-poor Bolivarian revolution initiated by former president Hugo Chavez say the country is witnessing an escalation in what is an ongoing counter-revolutionary campaign seeking to restore Venezuela’s traditional elites in power and reverse the gains made by the poor majority under Chavez and Maduro.

 

Federico Fuentes interviewed Steve Ellner, a well-known analyst of Venezuelan and Latin American politics and a retired professor at Venezuela’s Universidad de Oriente, to get his views on recent events.

 

What is to be done in Venezuela?

 

 

By Greg Grandin

 

May 12, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Nation — The news from Venezuela is grim: A “fall in oil prices, soaring interest rates…have intensified an already deep-rooted recession. The country is being pauperized. It has the highest inflation in Latin America, increasing unemployment and more than 40 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty.” With economic immiseration comes political violence: Over the course of one year, “security forces killed 126 people, 46 in extra-judicial executions, and 28 when they were in police or military custody. Authoritarianism and repression are growing. Of 13,941 arbitrary detentions, 94 percent occurred during anti-crime operations mainly in poor neighborhoods.… Violent death has become a feature of Venezuelan life. On Monday mornings, the newspapers carry a grim roll call of those killed in stabbings and shootings in the city’s slums. The figure often reaches 40 or 50, mostly young, male and poor.” 

 

Asia: Statement in defense of Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution - no to foreign intervention!

 

 

 

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We, the undersigned organizations, express our support and solidarity for the people of Venezuela and Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, against the ongoing threats of counterrevolution and violent attacks orchestrated by right-wing forces with the backing of the US imperialist power.

 

Marta Harnecker: 'Nobody can deny that a new revolutionary subject has been created in Venezuela'

 

 

January 27, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The following interview with Marta Harnecker was conducted by journalist Tassos Tsakiroglou for the Greek newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton prior to Harnecker's participation in the international conference "150 years Karl Marx's Capital: Reflections for the 21st Century", held in Athens, Greece, January 14-15, 2017. Links is making available the original English version of the interview.

 

Venezuela: Economic war or government errors?

 

 

By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Translated by Rachael Boothroyd, VenezuelaAnalysis.com

 

Remembering the context in which the project emerged

 

1. When Chávez triumphed in the presidential elections of 1998, the neoliberal capitalist model was already falling apart. The dilemma was none other than to either reform the neoliberal capitalist model, evidently with changes, and amongst those a greater for concern for social issues, but still orientated towards the same profit seeking motive, or to move forward with the construction of another model.[1]

 

2. Chávez chose the latter option. To give it a name, he decided to rescue the word socialism, despite its historical burden of negative connotations. He specified that it should be socialism of the 21st Century in a bid to differentiate it from the Soviet socialism implemented during the 20th Century, and warned that it must not “make the same errors of the past”; the “Stalinist deviation” which had bureaucratised the whole party and put an end to popular protagonism, or the state capitalism which emphasised state property and not the participation of the workers in directing enterprises.

 

Steve Ellner: 'There is much to learn from the positives and difficulties of the Venezuelan experience'

 

 

By Lucas Koerner

 

October 21, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Distinguished Venezuelan history and politics professor Steve Ellner visited Caracas from September 26 to October 7 to teach an intensive seminar at the Venezuelan Planning School, titled “The Role of the Venezuelan State in the Transition to Socialism”. VA sat down with the long time Universidad de Oriente professor to discuss a range of pressing issues facing Venezuela, including the country’s current economic crisis, the recall referendum, the future of the Bolivarian process, the efficacy of state social programs such as the CLAPs, rentierism and the Maduro government’s controversial Mining Arc, as well as the role of international solidarity.

 

[21세기사회주의 컨퍼런스] 마이클 레보위츠 인터뷰: 오늘날 라틴아메리카 신자유주의 대안 만들기

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

국제전략센터/International Strategy Center -- 2016년 5월 24일 – 링크스– 마이클 레보위츠는 사회주의적 대안 구축에서 나타날 수 있는 문제점을 연구하는데 많은 시간을 할애해온 맑스주의의 선도적 인물이다. 레보위츠는 2004년부터 2010년까지 6년간 베네수엘라 까라까스의 미란다 국제 센터(CIM)에서 혁신적 실천방안과 인간 발전을 위한 프로그램 개발 책임자로 일하면서 “21세기 사회주의” 건설에 참여할 기회를 가졌다.

 

레보위츠는 최근 링크스와 공동 주최로 호주에서 개최된 21세기 사회주의 컨퍼런스에 참석했다. 아래 내용은 컨퍼런스에서 레보위츠가 중심이 되어 논의한 오늘날 라틴 아메리카에서의 신자유주의 반대와 사회주의 대안 전망에 대해 인터뷰한 내용이다.

 

Hunger in Venezuela? A look beyond the spin

 

 

 

By Christina Schiavoni and William Camacaro

 

July 15, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Food First! with permission — You may have seen the headlines about Venezuela – headlines that allude to food scarcity, rioting, people eating stray animals to survive, and a country on the brink of starvation. These stories are not only alarming, but perplexing, too. Is this the same country that was recognized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as recently as 2015 for having nearly eradicated hunger?[1] Is this the same country that has been the focus of international delegations and extensive alternative media coverage for its ‘food sovereignty experiment’ involving agrarian reform, food distributions programs, and direct citizen participation in the food system?[2] What’s going on?

 

Beyond the boliburguesía thesis: Why critics are wrong to blame socialism for Venezuela's woes

 

 

The pressing problems facing Venezuela, ranging from triple-digit inflation to hours-long lines to purchase basic goods, have provided critics with ammunition to discredit the Left’s political and economic project

 

By Steve Ellner

 

Media Wars: the role of the Left when Venezuela's imperfect revolution is under attack

 

 

By Tamara Pearson

 

May 25, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis -- One of my deepest reasons for respecting Chavez was his way of speaking sin pelos en la lengua – without hairs on his tongue – directly, clearly, unafraid of admitting to problems, challenges, and his own humanity, right down to his toilet needs. He said the hard things, he stood up to the media attacks with sincere and pointed questions rather than abuse. He was known for talking a lot because there was a lot to be done and it had to be discussed in depth, not superficially. That is what we need to do too, especially right now.

 

Building alternatives to neoliberalism in Latin America today: An interview with Michael Lebowitz

 

 

May 24, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Leading Marxist author Michael A. Lebowitz has dedicated a big part of his research to the problem of the possibilities of building a socialist alternative. He spent six years (2004-2010) in Venezuela working as a director of the program for Transformative Practice and Human Development at the Miranda International Center (CIM) in Caracas, where he had the opportunity to participate in the building of “socialism for 21st century”.

 

Lebowitz was recently in Australia for the Socialism in the 21st Century conference, which was co-hosted by Links. In the interview published below, Lebowitz covers some of the topics he discussed during his visit regarding the opposition to neoliberalism and the prospects for a socialist alternative in Latin America today.

 

Venezuela: ¡Comuna o Nada!

 

By George Ciccariello-Maher

 

March 23, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ROAR Magazine with permission — Have you heard about Venezuela’s communes? Have you heard that there are hundreds of thousands of people in nearly 1,500 communes struggling to take control of their territories, their labor, and their lives? If you haven’t heard, you’re not the only one. As the mainstream media howls about economic crisis and authoritarianism, there is little mention of the grassroots revolutionaries who have always been the backbone of the Bolivarian process.

 

This blindspot is reproduced by an international left whose dogmas and pieties creak and groan when confronted with a political process that doesn’t fit, in which the state, oil, and a uniformed soldier have all played key roles. It’s a sad testament to the state of the left that when we think of communes we are more likely to think of nine arrests in rural France than the ongoing efforts of these hundreds of thousands. But nowhere is communism pure, and the challenges Venezuela’s comuneros confront today are ones that we neglect at our own peril.

 

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