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In 1998, a faction of Venezuelan capital, supported by the army and by a large section of the nationalist and leftist petty bourgeoisie (tasked with mobilizing the poor population of the Barrios), took power “El Comandante” Hugo Chavez after two failed coups. In order to consolidate his staggering power, Hugo Chavez financed a package of social measures (nurseries, schools, higher education, dispensaries, medicines, food aid, etc.) from the nationalized oil rent, which he called “Revolution“. “The Bolivarian Revolution is the name given by his partisans to the movement of reforms and redistribution of the oil pension introduced by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela after his coming to power” (1).
It was through the development of these public services that the left-wing petty-bourgeoisie found its way to employment and cessation of its migration abroad. This type of service is common in advanced but non-existent industrial countries, at least for the poor, in “emerging” capitalist countries. Hugo Chavez presented this upgrading of national social services as a populist social Revolution – much like “The Thunder Team” in Quebec carried out the “Quiet Revolution” in 1960. After a phase of “take off“, an expanding industrial economy always demands such an upgrade in order to ensure the training of workers and the reproduction of an increasingly expensive and skilled labor force. What recognize the experts with leftist bias who study the “Bolivarian Revolution” as model of modernization of the capitalist mode of production on the Latin American continent: “Beyond only Venezuela, the study of the Bolivarian revolution is all the more interesting, as it began the passage to the left of numerous Latin American countries at this beginning of XXIth century, causing deep and unpublished changes through the continent, with more or less success as the case may be”(2).
Obviously, the latifundians and a fraction of the big Venezuelan capital, incapable of understanding that the social peace and their global expansion called for this upgrading of social services, rose up against these “largesse” made to the poor populace, which had the habit of starving or repressing. These wealthy, ignorant people did not understand that if one million isolated rural peasants can be exterminated by the army, the situation is different when it comes to massacring a million of solidarized urban proletarians. Still, the landlords and a part of the Venezuelan capitalists organized coups and repeated insurrections against the Bolivarian power. They appealed to their friend and protector in the United States to give them a helping hand to put an end to this “waste” of capital in favor of the “worthless” cities (3). Hugo Chavez , bearing high oil prices, had no difficulty in imposing his power on behalf of his social class. Thus, oil accounts for 25% of the country’s GDP and for 95% of foreign exchange inflows (4). However, at his death in 2013, “El Comandante” left a troubled Venezuelan economy and his successor
Nicolas Maduro experienced the cataclysm of a barrel of oil at 50 US dollars. The Bolivarian Reform government found itself in a very bad position vis-à-vis its international creditors, as this excerpt demonstrates: “In January 2015, the website Dolar Today [archive] (whose access is prohibited by the Venezuelan government) announces an exchange rate of 180 VEF for 1 USD on the black market, which would correspond to a depreciation of nearly 98% of the value of the local currency in 12 years. The private sector holds 70% of the economy. According to the IMF, the inflation could jump to 2068% in 2018 after 720% in 2017; Venezuela’s GDP is expected to contract by 12 per cent in 2017 after falling by 18 per cent in 2016. According to the Colombian authorities, 300,000 Venezuelans have fled their country to seek refuge in Colombia … (5).
As it does in every capitalist country “emerging”, the reactionary faction of world capital to take this unfavorable economic climate to undermine the nickname “Bolivarian Revolution” and regain power under the indolent eyes of the poor Barrios of indifferent to the fact to be cut off social services by Maduro the left-wing capitalist, or by right-wing capitalists. The Venezuelan proletariat had not understood that under capitalism in imperialist phase these so-called “social gains” are never acquired nor poorer countries or in rich countries, and that the proletariat must lead a permanent war to defend its working and living conditions. The world leftist petty-bourgeoisie rises to barricades to protect and extend the life of its most recent vote-catching reformist “miracle” which crumbles off as all the previous national – chauvinistic – progressive governments of the history…. the next one could well be the Bolivia of Morales, or Cuba, or …
The trick of the Constituent Assembly (a referendum that the Venezuelan proletariat has shunned) will not save the governance of the bleating Venezuelan left, nor will it eventually save the reformist power of Mélenchon in France, or the “reformist solidarity” in Quebec, wherever the go-left proposes to share the power of the rich by making the “people” believe that it has any power at the end of its voting pencil or in the presence of a constituent assembly. The Venezuelan proletarians, like the other contingents of the international proletariat, will not be spared a true proletarian world revolution, probably after a severe nuclear war … unfortunately
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Traduction by Claudio Buttinelli. Roma.