Venezuelan crisis deepens

Submitted by cathy n on 12 August, 2017 - 7:29 Author: Pablo Velasco

Venezuela’s growing social polarisation and slide towards civil war has intensified in recent weeks, the combined result of right-wing destabilisation and the actions of the Maduro government.

The current political impasse arises from the unravelling of the “Bolivarian” project of Hugo Chávez. His successor Nicolás Maduro narrowly won the presidential election in 2013, but failed to retain the regime’s popularity with the majority of Venezuelan people.

The waning of Chavismo?

Submitted by Matthew on 24 May, 2017 - 10:21 Author: Pablo Velasco

For the last seven weeks Venezuela has experienced violent opposition protests intent on toppling the elected Maduro government. Since the beginning of April, over 50 people have been killed during demonstrations orchestrated by the right-wing Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD – Democratic Unity Table).

Right tries to overthrow Chavistas

Submitted by AWL on 25 February, 2014 - 8:07

Recent bloody demonstrations in Venezuela are part of a concerted attempt by the neoliberal right-wing section of the ruling class to destabilise and ultimately replace the chavista government of Nicolás Maduro.

The Venezuelanalysis website says at least ten people were killed during the protests and the army are now on the streets. These mobilisations, it must be stressed, are led by reactionaries.

Chávez’s Trotskyist cheerleaders

Submitted by Matthew on 18 September, 2013 - 12:32

Pablo Velasco concludes his assessment of Hugo Chávez’s political legacy and the relationship of the “Bolivarian” state to Venezuela’s working class. In this article, he looks at the attitude of international Trotskyism, and particularly the “International Marxist Tendency” to Chávez.

The accommodation and prostration of the apparently “Trotskyist” left to Chávez was one of the principal signifiers of a wider ideological collapse of socialism that took place in the early years of this century.

Assessing Chavismo

Submitted by Matthew on 7 August, 2013 - 5:31

Pablo Velasco continues his assessment of the legacy of Hugo Chávez by looking at some of the aspects of his government most lauded by the left.

Probably the most common argument made by pro-Chávez supporters is that the extent of welfare spending makes Chavismo a social-democratic reformist project that socialists should support, albeit critically.

The Chávez government prioritised the “missions”, programmes in the areas of health (Barrio Adentro), education (Robinson, Ribas and Sucre) and food distribution (Mercal).

Venezuela's workers' movement

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2013 - 8:51

For Marxists, the most significant criteria for judging any regime — aside from its relation to capital and the nature of the state — is its relationship with the working class.

This is so often missing from pro-Chávez apologists, who tend to treat workers as the passive recipients of Chávez’s benevolence. It is also missing from neoliberal accounts, for whom the working class is merely raw material for exploitation.

A balance sheet on Hugo Chávez

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 12:15

The death of Hugo Chávez earlier this year provides the opportunity for a balance sheet on his rule and what it signified for socialists. Workers’ Liberty contends that Chávez was a “Bonapartist” politician who remained to his death within the bounds of capitalism, whatever his rhetoric about socialism and “Bolivarian revolution”. Pablo Velasco contributes the first of a serious of four articles.

Time to sober up on Chavismo

Submitted by Matthew on 16 April, 2013 - 8:27

The narrow victory of Nicolás Maduro in the Venezuelan presidential election on 14 April should trigger serious reflection on the left about the limits of chavismo without Chávez.

Maduro won by 1.6% of the vote against right-wing neoliberal opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, with 50.7% compared to his opponent’s 49.1%. Pro-chavista apologists such as the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign were saying only days before the election that Maduro had a double digit lead over Capriles. Turnout was still high at 78%. There can be few excuses.