Venezuela – a last warning

Published on In Defence of Marxism, by Jorge Martin, May 19, 2016.

The assault against the Bolivarian revolution has intensified in the recent days and weeks. Editorials and front pages in US and Spanish newspapers are screaming about hunger in Venezuela and demanding the removal of the “dictatorial regime”. Ongoing scarcity problems have led to instances of looting. The right-wing opposition is attempting to trigger a presidential recall referendum, but is also threatening violent action and appealing to foreign powers, including in some case for military intervention. What is really happening in Venezuela and how can these threats be faced? … //

… A very serious crisis: … //
… Capitalism cannot be regulated: … //
… The government’s response: appeals to the private sector: … //

… Impact on consciousness:

I said before that something is different this time. What has changed from previous attempts of the counter-revolution to defeat the Bolivarian movement? The constant stress and strain of having to queue for hours to get basic products, the uncertainty created by scarcity and hyperinflation, the fact that this situation has been going on for over a year now and instead of getting better is getting worse, the realisation that while the masses are suffering there are those who call themselves “Bolivarian” in positions of power who are benefitting massively from corruption, the weariness brought on by having to battle against the bureaucracy within your own movement, etc., all of this has had an impact on the consciousness of an important layer of the masses who previously supported the revolution. This is the key reason for the defeat in the December 6 National Assembly elections which were won by the right-wing opposition for the first time in 18 years. At that time, the Bolivarian revolution lost about 2 million votes, allowing the opposition to win an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly.

That defeat created a situation of institutional deadlock. The right-wing dominated National Assembly has attempted to pass some reactionary laws (a scandalous Amnesty Law, the privatisation of housing), but these have been blocked either by the president or by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, initiatives taken by the President are ruled out of order by the Assembly.

Currently, the opposition is attempting to trigger a presidential recall referendum (a democratic guarantee introduced by the Bolivarian revolution under Hugo Chávez). They need to get a certain number of signatures to trigger the process, and then, in an Electoral Council-supervised process, get 20% of the electoral census to sign for it (3.9 million). Then a referendum would be called in which the opposition would have to get more votes than Maduro received when he was elected in order to force his removal. If he is removed within this year, 2016, then the right-wing president of the National Assembly takes over until new presidential elections are held. But Maduro will attempt by all means to delay any recall referendum until 2017, because if he is removed at that time, the vice-president takes over for the remainder of his term (until 2019). This also shows how the leadership of the Bolivarian movement seems to view the struggle from a purely legal-institutional point of view.

The oligarchy also feel emboldened by the electoral defeats in Argentina, Bolivia and the removal of Dilma in Brazil. Their side “is winning” and now they want to “overthrow the regime” in Venezuela. They cannot wait to go through the whole process of a recall referendum, and even less until the end of Maduro’s term.

The situation has reached its limits from the point of view of the patience of the masses. A week ago a comrade from Catia, a revolutionary stronghold in Caracas, described the situation thus: “Up until a few weeks ago you had to queue for 4, 6, 8 hours, but you could do your shopping for two or three weeks. Now there’s nothing. On Monday, me and my mum queued and could only get rice and pasta. The rest you have to get it in the black market at bachaquero prices. Wages are not enough to get by. The national guard is now outside the local supermarket with assault rifles manning the queues and they pushed it back a few hundred meters to dissuade people from looting.” There have already been small scale incidents of looting in Aragua and Guarenas.

In these conditions, there is the danger that any appeals made to the masses to mobilise against the threat of counter-revolution could fall on deaf ears. The masses have shown over and over again their willingness to struggle and push the revolution forward. But they are not at all convinced that their leaders know where to go, nor how to get there.

A military coup? … //

… It it not too late. The hour is one of extreme danger. This can only be overcome by extreme measures and firmness. Enough with vacillations. Carry out the revolution to the end!

(full long text).


Against the Crowdfunding Economy, on ZNet (first on Jacobin Magazine), by Keith A. Spencer, May 20, 2016;

Banking on a sovereign digital currency, on The Financial Express, by Roopa Kudva, May 19, 2016; The adoption of digital technologies is on the rise. In the banking sector too, we are witnessing a shift from paper-based transactions to more secure, efficient, transparent and lower-cost digital transactions.

Scottland: Is the war on drugs a war on mental health? on The National, by reader, May 19, 2016;

Le numérique, si vous ne pratiquez pas, vous ne comprenez pas, prévient Benoît Thieulin, dans Usine, le 18 mai 2016;

Ministers working on Sovereignty Bill in event of EU ‘in’ vote, on Mail, May 18, 2016;

Deputy PM Simsek: Turkey to roadshow sovereign sukuk in next few months, on AMEinfo, May 18, 2016;

Le budget de la zone euro, un projet de coureur de fond, dans, par Aline Robert, le 18 mai 2016;

Le point sur le bonus logement, Région par Région, dans, le 17 mai 2016;

Canada: Making this a ‘have’ province, on Winnipeg Free Press, by Lorna Turnbull, May 17, 2016;

Schlusswort aus obigem Video – Deutscher Soldat packt aus: Alles ist geplant, 9.29 min, uploadet by Der Politiker, April 7, 2016;

Ein Bundeswehrsoldat packt aus – Marcel Claus, 53.08 min, uploaded by NuoViso.TV, Nov 10, 2015 … man kann den Charakter eines Anführers daran messen, wie er seine loyalsten Untergebenen behandelt. Viele Angehörige der Bundeswehr, besonders die meisten Soldaten, sind bereit, ihr Leben aufs Spiel zu setzen, um ihr Vaterland, ihre Familie und Kultur zu verteidigen. Umso bezeichnender ist es, wenn die Bundesregierung, die Dienstherren und die Behörden ihre Fürsorgepflicht für Soldaten vernachlässigen und diese wie seelenloses Menschenmaterial behandeln und verheizen. Genau dies ist mit Marcel Claus, Ex-Stabsunteroffizier, Fallschirmspringer, Ausbilder und Bundeswehrangehöriger mit 8 Jahren Dienst geschehen. Er schildert seine dramatische Geschichte im NuoViso Talk mit Hagen Grell … // … Claus empfiehlt: Jeder soll anfangen, die Geschichte ab 1914 zu lesen und die wirklichen Zusammenhänge zu verstehen. Das aktuelle System habe nichts mehr mit einer Demokratie zu tun. Darum müsse sich die Bevölkerung dringend zur Wehr setzen. Niemand darf sich mehr von der Nazi-Keule ruhigstellen lassen. (ganzer Text).

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