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Venezuela

Malaysian socialists: Solidarity with the people of Venezuela against threat of military aggression

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

July 28, 2010 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is deeply concerned with the possibility of military aggression towards the people of Venezuela by the Colombian government, which could be supported by the United States of America and its seven military bases recently installed in Colombia.

This matter has arisen from the recent events when the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was accused on July 22, 2010, at the Extraordinary Session of the Organization of American States in Washington by the Colombian government of promoting, supporting and maintaining a relationship with armed organisations from Colombia, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). The accusations were only based on images which have never been substantiated or subjected to verification.

The current moves by right-wing Colombian government is clearly an attempt backed by the US to justify a pre-emptive attack on Venezuela and its people. There has been a pattern of false allegations against Hugo Chavez’s government as part of a US-backed campaign to dismantle the revolutionary process taking place in Venezuela.

Colombia & United States threaten attack -- Stop the lies and aggression against Venezuela!

A statement from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

July 24, 2010 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network -- On July 22, Venezuela broke off all diplomatic relations with Colombia and placed its national borders on high alert. This follows accusations made by the Colombian government that Venezuela is harbouring “terrorists” from the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and hosting several “terrorist training camps” near the border region that divides the two countries.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington on July 22, called for by Colombia, Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented television and video images allegedly taken from computers confiscated during the Colombian military’s illegal invasion of Ecuadorian territory in March 2008, as well as some computer-generated maps and photographs of alleged members of the FARC, which he said were taken inside Venezuela. Hoyos called for “international intervention” in Venezuela, and gave a “30-day ultimatum”.

Venezuela's process of struggle

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network solidarity brigade in Caracas, May 1, 2008.

Jason Netek looks at the political situation in Venezuela -- and why international solidarity is key to furthering the process of workers' power.

July 22, 2010 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the focal point of a political shift to the left that has affected most of the Latin American continent for just over a decade. For years now, we have heard denunciations of the nation and its president, Hugo Chávez, from TV personalities like Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson to establishment figures like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all of whom liken the nation to a military dictatorship.

It's no good pointing out to these types that the US actually has propped up real military dictators in efforts to stave off leftist movements all across the continent. They are fully aware. They are hypocrites.

Venezuela: Communal power in Caracas

Wilder Marcano.

Wilder Marcano interviewed by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber

July 4, 2010 -- The Bullet -- We caught up with Wilder Marcano, director of the network of comunas [communes] in Caracas, on the morning of June 18, 2010. He talked with us just before addressing a crowd of a few hundred representatives of different comunas from around the capital who had gathered in the offices of the Ministry of Popular Power for the Communes and Social Welfare to discuss a whole series of issues related to building popular power from below in the poorest barrios.

What is the role of the comunas in the construction of socialism in Venezuela?

John Bellamy Foster on Venezuela: Marxism and `vernacular revolutionary traditions'

The following article is the Foreward to the July-August 2010 issue of the US socialist magazine Monthly Review, which features Marta Harnecker's “Latin America and Twenty-First Century Socialism: Inventing to Avoid Mistakes". Bellamy Foster will be a feature speaker at the Climate Change Social Change conference, to be held in Melbourne, November 5-7, 2010.

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I’m certain that this process is irreversible. This movement of change, of restructuring, of revolution, will not be stopped.

Hugo Chávez, 20021

By John Bellamy Foster

Building a socialist-feminist economy in Venezuela

Lidice Navas in Caracas, Venezuela, June 18, 2010.

Lidice Navas interviewed by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber

June 30, 2010 -- The Bullet -- A long-time revolutionary activist, Lidice Navas is an important socialist-feminist leader within the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and a candidate for the Latin American parliament, among her many other responsibilities. We met her at the Women’s Development Bank in Caracas on June 18, 2010, to talk about her vision of socialism, the accomplishments of the Bolivarian process so far, and what remains to be done.

What is your political history?

I am a candidate for the PSUV in Caracas. I am also a member of the Political Bureau of the Region of Caracas and a candidate for the Latin American parliament. I also have some responsibilities in the Women's Development Bank (Banco de Desarrollo de la Mujer, BanMujer) and am also active as a coordinator in the parroquia [parish] El Valle, where we are trying to construct socialism from the level of the community.

Behind the New York Times' hatchet job on Oliver Stone's "South of the Border"

Trailer for South of the Border.

By Oliver Stone, Mark Weisbrot and Tariq Ali

[The following letter was sent to The New York Times.]

June 27, 2010 -- South of the Border -- The New York Times' Larry Rohter attacks our film, South of the Border, for “mistakes, misstatements and missing details”.  But a close examination of the details reveals that the mistakes, misstatements and missing details are his own, and that the film is factually accurate.

Venezuela: Workers’ control and the contradictions of the Bolivarian process

Gustavo Martínez.

Gustavo Martínez interviewed by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber

June 21, 2010 – The Bullet – On June 10, 2010, we caught up with Gustavo Martinez, a union leader in the worker-controlled, nationalised coffee company, Fama de América, in Caracas, Venezuela. The company has 350 workers at the national level, with two separate plants – one in Caracas and one in Valencia. We sat down with Martínez to discuss the centrality of workers’ control in the ongoing struggle to transition toward socialism and some of the most pressing contradictions of the Bolivarian process in Venezuela today.

* * *

To start off, can you tell us your name, how long you've worked in this coffee company, your job in the company, and your role in the union?

Eric Toussaint: Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution at the crossroads?

By Eric Toussaint

[See parts 2 , 3 and 4 below.]

Part 1: Nationalisation, workers’ control: achievements and limitations

April 14, 2010 -- Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt -- The economic, social and political situation in Venezuela has changed a lot since the failure of the constitutional reform in December 2007, which acted as a warning to President Hugo Chávez's government. |1| This failure had the effect however of reviving the debate on the need to have a socialist perspective. The debate revolves around several key questions: further nationalisation, workers’ control, the place of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), people’s participation, etc.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez interviewed by BBC `Hardtalk'; Mark Weisbrot analyses interviewer's bias

On June 15, 2010, the BBC's Hardtalk program broadcast an wide-ranging interview with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez from the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas. The interviewer, Stephen Sackur, clearly intended to provoke Chavez with a series of ill-informed and outright dishonest claims and questions. He did not succeed. Parts 2 and 3 below.


Part 2

Part 3

Building socialism from below: The role of the communes in Venezuela

Antenea Jimenez.

Antenea Jimenez interviewed by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber

June 13, 2010 -- The Bullet -- We met with Antenea Jimenez, a former militant with the student movement who is now working with a national network of activists who are trying to build and strengthen the comunas [communes]. The comunas are community organisations promoted since 2006 by the government of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez government as a way to consolidate a new form of state based upon production at the local level. She told us about the important advances in the process, as well as the significant challenges that remain in the struggle to build a new form of popular power from below.

Can you tell us about the barrio where you live and the comuna?

I live in a barrio [neighbourhood] in the north part of Caracas and work in a national network that is building comunas. Currently we operate in seven states; the majority of the comunas are situated outside Caracas.

Michael Lebowitz: `We must choose socialism over capitalist barbarism'

Michael Lebowitz was interviewed by Srećko Horvat during the Subversive Film Festival and conference on socialism, held from May 1 to May 25, 2010, in Zagreb, Croatia. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Michael Lebowitz's permission. [Click HERE to read more articles by Michael Lebowitz.]

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Srećko Horvat: In May, as a participant of the big international conference on Socialism, you are coming to a country which had an experience with the the Yugoslavian version of socialism in the last century. Could you explain why socialism in the 21st century?

Support Tamils not Sri Lanka’s war-criminal government -- Eva Golinger misinterprets solidarity

By Ron Ridenour

June 1, 2010 -- Eva Golinger is known for her analysis in the service of Venezuela’s peaceful revolution against the local oligarchy and the United States empire. She is a noted author (The Chavez Code: Cracking US intervention in Venezuela). A dual citizen of the US and Venezuela, she is an attorney, and a personal friend of President Hugo Chavez. She is a frequent contributor to left-wing media around the world, and is the English-language editor of the Venezuelan newspaper, Correo del Orinoco.

Hugo Chávez and Cuba condemn Israel's brutal massacre of aid activists

Chavez is a hero in the Middle East.

Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs, Caracas

May 31, 2010 -- The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Commander Hugo Chávez, emphatically condemns the brutal massacre perpetrated by the State of Israel against the members of the Liberty Flotilla, as a result of the war action started by the Israeli Army against defenceless civilians, who tried to carry humanitarian aid supplies to the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip, who are victims of the criminal blockade imposed by the State of Israel.

President Hugo Chávez, on behalf of his government and the Venezuelan people, expresses his deepest regret and sends his deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the heroes who have been victims of this state crime, and commit to honour their memory and to give the necessary help so that the responsible of this murderers  are severely punished.

The revolutionary government of Venezuela will continue denouncing the terrorist and criminal nature of Israel, and it reaffirms, today more than ever, its unbreakable commitment with the fight of the Palestinian people for freedom, the sovereignty and the dignity.

Venezuela's economic and energy woes?

The Venezuelan government is taking stronger measures against those responsible for the economic problems — the capitalists. Photo: Ques communismo/Flickr.

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

May 23, 2010 -- In recent weeks, local and international media have attacked the left-wing Venezuelan government over alleged “economic woes” and electricity problems (see article below). Pointing to Venezuela’s inflation rate — the highest in Latin America — and an economy that shrank 3.3% last year, the private opposition media is raising fears of a serious economic crisis.

These same media outlets, which have been predicting the fall of President Hugo Chavez for years, argue recent government actions will worsen the situation. Venezuelan business federation Fedecamaras warned on May 5 that Venezuela faces an “economic and social crisis”. The federation helped organise a 2002 military coup against Chavez that briefly installed Federcamaras leader Pedro Carmona president before a mass uprising restored Chavez.

Venezuela: Millions vote to select socialist candidates

PSUV delegates. Photo from Radiomunidal.com.ve.

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

May 9, 2010 -- The May 2 internal preselection of United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates for the September 26 national elections was an example of the mobilising force of this mass party in construction. More than 2.5 million party members participated. This demonstrated the PSUV is the largest national political force, and highlighted its democratic and participatory nature.

The participation rate was greater than the 2.3 million people who voted to preselect PSUV candidates for governors and mayors in 2008. More than 3500 candidates stood in the 87 different electoral circuits, for 110 deputy and 110 alternate positions.

The national leadership, headed by PSUV president Hugo Chavez — also the Venezuela's president — will decide a further 52 deputy and 52 alternate deputy candidates for province-based lists.

Indigenous peoples will select candidates for the parliament’s three Indigenous seats.

Venezuela: 100,000 celebrate May Day

By Tamara Pearson

May 2, 2010 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- Venezuelans marched on May 1 to celebrate International Worker's Day. President Hugo Chavez also implemented a 15% wage increase, and the government broadened social security entitlements.

The main national march was in the capital Caracas, where people chanted, danced, waved placards and banners and played music as they marched towards the presidential palace Miraflores. While there were no official or police estimates, various participants in the march told Venezuelanalysis they estimated that "hundreds of thousands" turned out, celebrating the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution and its promotion of wage increases, better working conditions and better life conditions for the poor majority. [However, more sober accounts told Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal that participation was around 100,000.]

A range of union and workers' representatives addressed the crowd from the main stage and 7000 police and guards looked after the march.

The `First Socialist International of the 21st Century'

Venezuela: `This what democracy looks like'; Alan Woods: The people in arms

Venezuelan students organised in the Bolivarian militia.

Introduction to Alan Woods' article (below) by Stuart Munckton, photos by Kiraz Janicke 

April 22, 2010 -- The Future on Fire -- A common chant around the world when people take to the streets against the crimes of the global capitalist system is: "This is what democracy looks like!"

It is a statement that real democracy is on the streets, in the united action of ordinary people. It is a statement that democracy is more than passive voting once every few years, it is popular power and direct participation.

Raúl Castro at Venezuela's bicentenary of independence: `We have only one alternative: unite, fight and overcome'

Bicentenary of Venezuela independence celebrations. Photo from Correo del Orinoco.

Speech by Raúl Castro Ruz, president of Cuba's Councils of State and Ministers, delivered at the 9th ALBA-TCP Summit, Venezuela

April 19, 2010 -- It is very moving for us to be in Venezuelan today, April 19, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the independence struggle, which represented the battles for independence in the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

It was the embryo of a first integration process in Latin America, as Simón Bolívar understood the destiny of the peoples of our region very early on. Everything that we do now for the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean began precisely here, on a day like today, two centuries ago.

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