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Venezuela

`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?

The challenges facing 21st century socialism in Venezuela

``In Venezuela the biggest threat to the revolution does not come from the right-wing political opposition but from the so-called `endogenous' or `Chavista' right wing, in that chunks of the revolutionary bloc, including state elites and party officials, will develop a deeper stake in defending global capitalism over socialist transformation''' -- William I. Robinson

Interview with William I. Robinson, professor of sociology, University of California at Santa Barbara, by Chronis Polychroniou, editor of the Greek daily newspaper Eleftherotypia

February 1, 2010 -- ZNet

Chronis Polychroniou: There are scare stories coming from Venezuela. The border is heating up, infiltration is taking place, a new Colombian military base near the border, US access to several new bases on Colombia and constant subversion. Is the regime concerned about a possible invasion? If yes, who is going to intervene?

Venezuela: Alberto Muller Rojas on the danger of bureaucracy

Alberto Muller Rojas interviewed by Vladimir Villegas

February 2, 2010 -- This interview was first published at Indymedia Venezuela on November 24, 2009. Vladamir Villegas is the former president of the state-owned Corporación Venezolana de Televisión (Venezuelan Television Corporation, VTV) network based in Caracas, and ex-Venezuelan ambassador to Mexico. Alberto Muller Rojas is the vice-president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). It was translated by Sean Seymour-Jones and Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com.

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Villegas: [You have said] 21st century socialism is a revision, a rectification of the socialist approach and that it isn’t trying to copy what happened in the Soviet Union. You believe that the Soviet model distorted itself because, among other reasons, it constructed a type of state capitalism. A public bureaucracy emerged, equivalent to that of any capitalist country and that bureaucracy totally disconnected itself from the masses.  And that isn’t happening here?

Fifth Socialist International -- Time for definitions; Hora de definiciones


By Luis Bilbao, translated by Janet Duckworth for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

February 2, 2010 -- The first step has been taken. It has extraordinary strategic implications. It will shake up the left and right, the West and the East. It will blow in like a whirlwind through every political organisation, trade union or social, in every corner of the planet. On the evening of November 20, 2009, the day before the opening of the first extraordinary PSUV [United Socialist Party of Venezuela] congress, a feeling of vertigo swept over tens of thousands of people who heard Hugo Chávez, either on TV or on the internet, speak before delegates of parties from 30 or so countries, and launch a proposal that was as long desired as it was unexpected: to set to work to build the Fifth Socialist International.

Venezuela steps up aid effort to Haiti, questions US military deployment

Aid from Venezuela bound for Haiti.

By Kiraz Janicke, Caracas

January 20, 2010 – Venezuelanalysis.com – Venezuela has stepped up its aid effort to Haiti as a second earthquake rocked the Caribbean country again today. This follows a 7.3 magnitude earthquake which destroyed the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince last week leaving at least 75,000 people confirmed dead, 250,000 injured and millions homeless.

Echoing his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega, who accused the United States of “manipulating the tragedy to install North American troops in Haiti” and French Secretary of State for Cooperation Alain Joyandet, who criticised the US role in Haiti, saying the priority was “helping Haiti, not occupying Haiti”, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez also questioned the US military response to the disaster.

“It seems that the United States is militarily occupying Haiti, taking advantage of the tragedy, 6000 soldiers have arrived. Thousands are disembarking in Haiti as if it were a war”, Chávez said during his weekly television program Alo Presidente on January 18.

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