Venezuela

Fourth International's response to Chavez’s call to found a Fifth Socialist International

[The following is an excerpt from the "Role and tasks of the Fourth International", a report adopted by the Fourth International at its 16th World Congress held in Belgium in February 2010. Click here for the full report.]

Chavez’s call to found a Fifth International poses other questions about its origins, its framework, that is to say, its viability. The Fourth International declares that it is willing to participate in the debates and preparatory meetings that may be organised. We will contribute our historic gains and our vision about what a new international and its programatic foundations could be. A genuine new international can only be born if its members share a program, an ability to intervene in society, a democratic, pluralist form of functioning, as well as clear independence from governments in order to break with capitalism.

Conference: `Bolivar, Lincoln and Marti in the ‘ALMA’ of our America', Caracas, Venezuela, November 17-20, 2010

Official announcement for the II International Conference “Bolivar, Lincoln and Marti in the ‘ALMA’ of our America” to be held in Caracas, Venezuela, November 17 to 20, 2010, within the framework of the bicentennial of the independence of Ibero-America.

The first International Conference ‘Marti, Juarez and Lincoln in the ALMA of Our America’ held in October of 2009 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico was convened with the objective of defining the bases for the creation of the Marti Alternative for Our America (ALMA) which would strengthen integration mechanisms such as ALBA and turn into reality the dreams of achieving unity and integration of our Great American Homeland. These bases are contained in the Final Declaration approved which is called the “Declaration of Monterrey”.

Venezuela: New moves to build workers' power; Revolution in the electricity industry

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

March 22, 2010 -- The free, sovereign and independent homeland of our dreams will only come true if we radicalise the process and speed up the transition to socialism”, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez wrote in his March 14 weekly column “Chavez Lines”.

The Venezuelan government has launched a number of initiatives in recent weeks aimed to tackle threats to the revolutionary process — including from elements within the pro-Chavez camp that seek to undermine plans to deepen the revolution.

Central to this are new measures aimed at speeding up the transfer of power to organised communities.

Chavez wrote in his February 21 column: “The time has come for communities to assume the powers of state, which will lead administratively to the total transformation of the Venezuelan state and socially to the real exercise of sovereignty by society through communal powers.”

Participatory democracy

The previous day, Chavez announced the creation of the federal government council in front of thousands of armed peasants that are part of the newly created peasant battalions in the Bolivarian militia.

Venezuela: neue Schritte für den Aufbau der Volksmacht

Federico Fuentes, Green Left Weekly

22.März 2010

„Die freie, souveräne und  unabhängige Heimat unserer Träume wird nur wahr werden, wenn wir den Prozess radikalisieren und den Übergang zum Sozialismus beschleunigen“, schrieb der venezolanische Präsident am 14.März in seiner Kolumne „Las Lineas de Chavez“.

Die venezolanische Regierung hat in den letzten Wochen mehrere Initiativen gestartet, um Gefährdungen des revolutionären Prozesses zu bewältigen – einschliesslich solche, die vom Pro-Chavez Lager ausgehen und versuchen, Pläne zur Vertiefung der Revolution zu untergraben.

Zentral dabei sind neue Massnahmen die darauf abzielen, die Übergabe der Macht an organisierte Comunidades zu beschleunigen.

`For Venezuela, there is no going back’: A discussion with Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke

Kiraz Janicke (right).

By Ali Mustafa

March 23, 2010 -- As Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution enters a new decade of struggle and defiantly advances towards its goal of “21st century socialism”, serious challenges to the future of the process emerging from both inside and outside the country still abound. As a result, key questions surrounding Venezuela's mounting tensions with the West, the role played by its fiery and outspoken leader Hugo Chavez and the future of the process itself remain as relevant today as ever before. Australian-based journalists and long-time Venezuela solidarity activists Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke have been carefully following Venezuela's ongoing political transformation for several years now, countering mainstream media spin and providing invaluable on-the-ground coverage and analysis about the process as it unfolds. I had the fortunate opportunity to sit down and speak with them in Toronto before they returned to Caracas, following a 10-day solidarity tour of Canada.

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Tour builds Venezuela solidarity in Canada

By John Riddell

March 15, 2010 -- Socialist Voice -- Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke concluded their 10-day tour of Canada on March 7, with a rally in Vancouver entitled “Change the system, not the climate”. Fuentes shared the platform with Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s UN ambassador and chief spokesperson on climate change.

 

Venezuela: Revolution steht vor entscheidenden Auseinandersetzungen

von Federico Fuentes, Caracas

23.02.2010 — Green Left Weekly  — Am venezolanischen Horizont drohen entscheidende Kämpfe zwischen den Kräften der Revolution und denen der Konterrevolution.

Der Wahlkampf vor den Parlamentswahlen (am 26. September) wird wichtige Entscheidungen zwischen den Anhängern des sozialistischen Präsidenten Hugo Chavez und der rechten, von der Opposition unterstützten Opposition bringen. Diese Kämpfe sind Teil des Klassenkampfes zwischen der armen Mehrheit in Venezuela und der kapitalistischen Elite. Ausgetragen wird der Kampf aber eher auf der Straße als an den Wahlurnen.

In diesem Jahr kam es bislang zu einer Eskalation der faschistischen Demonstrationen gewalttätiger oppositioneller Studentengruppen. Auch kommt es weiter zu Mordanschlägen gegen Gewerkschafter und Bauernführer - durch rechte paramilitärische Gruppierungen. Die Kampagnen in den Privatmedien, die das Bild einer zerfallenden, krisengebeutelten Regierung zeichnen, die bald weichen werde, nehmen zu.

Am 29. Januar warnte Chavez: "Falls sie eine extrem gewaltsame Offensive einleiten werden, die es zu unserer Pflicht macht, harte Maßnahmen zu ergreifen - was ich ihnen nicht raten möchte - wird unsere Reaktion sie auslöschen".

Women in the Venezuelan revolution: `We’re not invisible but invincible'

Pielrroc Montenegro.

By ABN (Venezuelan news agency), translated by Tamara Pearson

Caracas, March 8, 2010 (ABN/Venezuelanalysis.com) –  “I’m a woman with a new life since the Bolivarian Revolution knocked on my door”, said Pielrroc Montenegro, Maracaiban[i] by birth and Andean by tradition, with eyes full of nostalgia and gratitude. She described herself as a “dignified mother of the neighbourhood” since the mission of that name[ii] enabled her to realise one of her dreams: enrol in university.

Years ago, Pielrroc didn’t think much of it when, barely aware of its existence, she signed up with Mission Ribas [high school-level education program]. When she was young she had been forced to leave high school just one year before finishing it.

Le « Venezuela » devant une bataille critique

mardi 2 mars 2010, par Par Federico Fuentes

Texte publié le 20 février 2010 sur le site de Green Left Weekly.
Traduction de David Mandel

Press-toi à gauche -- Des batailles décisives entre les forces de la révolution et de la contre-révolution se dessinent à l’horizon au Venezuela. La campagne menant aux élections à l’Assemblée nationale le 26 septembre sera une bataille critique entre les partisans du président socialiste Hugo Chavez et l’opposition de droite, appuyée par les E-U. Mais ces batailles, qui font partie de la lutte de classe entre la majorité pauvre et l’élite capitaliste, vont se dérouler plus dans les rues que dans les urnes.

Has the World Social Forum been co-opted by capitalism? Does it have a future?

March 3, 2010 -- Olivier Bonford and Eric Toussaint are members of the International Council of the World Social Forum (WSF) and of the the Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM). In this interview with Marga Tojo Gonzales, they discuss the future and role of the World Social Forum as it enters its second decade. They also examine the relationship between the WSF and the call for a Fifth Socialist International by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Translated by Vicki Briault and Christine Pagnoulle.

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Marga Tojo Gonzales: Ten year after the first use of the slogan, "Another world is possible", a majority of humankind still lives in subhuman conditions, and with the international financial crisis, the situation has become even worse. Does this mean that the alternative globalisation movement has failed?

Eyewitness account: Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution -- The second decade

With Kiraz Janicke, Federico Fuentes. Moderated by Greg Albo.

Left Streamed -- Toronto, February 26, 2010 -- Kiraz Janicke is a journalist for Venezuelanalysis.com, the foremost independent English-language source of news on Venezuela. She is editor of the Peru en Movimiento website and a member of the Caracas bureau of Green Left Weekly, Australia's leading socialist newspaper.

Michael Lebowitz reviews `The Real Venezuela': Exploring the dialectic of the Bolivarian Revolution

The Real Venezuela: Making Socialism in the 21st Century
By Iain Bruce
London: Pluto Press, 2008, 240 pages

Review by Michael Lebowitz

Monthly Review -- “When Chávez speaks, we listen. But we don’t listen to those around him.” This comment by a community activist interviewed by Iain Bruce, and integrated into his wonderful exploration of the Bolivarian Revolution from below, points to an essential characteristic—the unique link at present (por ahora) between Hugo Chávez and the exploited and excluded of Venezuela.

Chavez' historischer Aufruf zur Gründung einer V.Internationale

von Federico Fuentes, Caracas 30.11.2009

An die Delegierten des Internationalen Zusammentreffens linker Parteien gerichtet, das in Caracas vom 19.-21. November 2009 abgehalten wurde, erklärte der venezolanische Präsident Hugo Chavez, „für uns ist die Zeit gekommen, die V. Internationale auszurufen“.

Konfrontiert mit der kapitalistischen Krise und der Bedrohung durch Krieg, die die Zukunft der Menschheit in Gefahr bringen, „fordert das Volk lautstark“ nach größerer Einheit der linken und revolutionären Parteien, die bereit sind, für den Sozialismus zu kämpfen, sagte er.

Canadian meetings salute 10 years of Venezuelan revolution (Feb 26-March 7, 2010)

February 22, 2010

Two Caracas-based activists, Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke, will speak in Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Victoria and Vancouver between February 26 and March 7, in a tour organised by the Centre for Social Justice and the Venezuela We Are with You Coalition in Toronto.

Their tour takes place at a decisive turning point in the Venezuelan revolutionary process, as US-backed rightist forces escalate attacks on the movement of working people and the Bolivarian government.

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Related article
Venezuela’s revolution faces crucial Battles ahead

by Federico Fuentes
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During the eleven years since Hugo Chavez was elected as president of Venezuela, his country has become a focus of hope on a world scale. At the Copenhagen climate conference, Venezuela helped lead the countries calling for international social and ecological justice.

Venezuela’s revolution faces crucial battles; Chavez: `Towards a communal state!'

Revolutionary youth mobilise in Caracas, February 12, 2010. Photo by ABN.

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

February 20, 2010 -- Decisive battles between the forces of revolution and counter-revolution loom on the horizon in Venezuela. The campaign for the September 26, 2010, National Assembly elections will be a crucial battle between the supporters of socialist President Hugo Chavez and the US-backed right-wing opposition. But these battles, part of the class struggle between the poor majority and the capitalist elite, will be fought more in the streets than at the ballot box.

So far this year, there has been an escalation of demonstrations by violent opposition student groups; the continued selective assassination of trade union and peasant leaders by right-wing paramilitaries; and an intensified private media campaign presenting a picture of a debilitated government in crisis — and on its way out.

Michael Lebowitz: `The Four Rs' of global capitalism

By Michael A. Lebowitz

February 19, 2010 -- Correo del Orinoco -- In Venezuela, people know what the 3Rs stand for: revise, rectify and re-impulse. Like Karl Marx, who stressed that the revolution advances by criticising itself, President Hugo Chavez has argued that it is necessary to recognise errors and to go beyond them in order to advance.

FSLN on the Fifth Socialist International: Globalise struggle and hope!

By Carlos Fonseca Terán, deputy secretary of the International Relations Department of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

First published in Correo de Nicaragua, No. 7, diciembre 2009--enero 2010, Managua. Translated by Felipe Stuart Cournoyer and Kiraz Janicke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.

There will always be ample excuses not to struggle at all times and under all circumstances, but that is the only way to never win freedom. -- Fidel Castro. [1]

Canada's Socialist Project on the call for a Fifth Socialist International

The call by Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez for discussion of the formation of a "Fifth International" has generated a lot of debate amongst the left around the world. As an addendum to the "Caracas Commitment" of November 2009, a resolution was passed to form a preparatory committee to convene a global conference of left parties in Caracas in April 2010 to discuss the formation of a new international.

Beyond the World Social Forum ... the Fifth International

Eric Toussaint interviewed by Igor Ojeda for the Brazilian weekly paper Brasil de Fato. Translated from French by Judith Harris and Christine Pagnoulle.

February 2010 -- According to Eric Toussaint, a doctor in political science and one of the ideologists of the World Social Forum, now in its tenth edition, effective political action calls for the creation of a permanent national front of parties, social movements and international networks.

Eric Toussaint, a doctor in political science and a member of the International Council of the World Social Forum (WSF), is in favour of the WSF becoming a platform of greater political influence in social struggles throughout the world. He is not particularly worried about the resistance of certain sectors within the forum who would prefer this event to retain its original form. For him, the solution is simple. “If the World Social Forum cannot accommodate it, we must build another instrument, without leaving or scrapping the forum”.

How credible is Human Rights Watch on Cuba?

Human Rights Watch does not see the US blockade of Cuba as a human rights abuse.

By Tim Anderson

February 11, 2010 -- In late 2009 the New York-based group Human Rights Watch published a report titled New Castro Same Cuba. Based on the testimony of former prisoners, the report systematically condemns the Cuban government as an “abusive” regime that uses its “repressive machinery … draconian laws and sham trials to incarcerate scores more who have dared to exercise their fundamental freedoms”.

The group says it interviewed 40 political prisoners and claims to have identified extraordinary laws by which Cubans can be imprisoned simply for expressing views critical of their socialist system.

At first glance one might be forgiven for thinking that Cuba must be among the worst of human rights abusers in the Americas. A little reflection, however, might lead one to question such statements coming from the USA, a country with thousands held in an international network of secret prisons, many subject to torture regimes.

So how credible is this scathing report on Cuba? And who does Human Rights Watch represent?

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