Venezuela

Right tries to overthrow Chavistas

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.

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.

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Chávez’s Trotskyist cheerleaders

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.

The last in a series of articles assessing Hugo Chávez’s political legacy and the relationship of the “Bolivarian” state to Venezuela’s working class looks at the attitude of international Trotskyism to Chávez.

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Assessing Chavismo

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).

An assessment of the legacy of Hugo Chávez, looking at some of the aspects of his government most lauded by the left.

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Venezuela's workers' movement

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.

The second part of a four-part assessment of the legacy of Hugo Chávez and the meaning of his government and state examines the relationship between the Chávez regime and the Venezuelan labour movement.

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A balance sheet on Hugo Chávez

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.

The death of Hugo Chávez earlier this year provides the opportunity for a balance sheet on his rule and what it signified for socialists.

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Time to sober up on Chavismo

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.

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.

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Chávez - no hero of ours

A critical assessment of Hugo Chávez.

Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela died this week after a lengthy battle with cancer. Much of the left across the globe has lauded Chávez because he won 15 elections, used some of Venezuela’s immense oil wealth to pay for social programmes and stood up to American imperialism in Latin America.

Neoliberals have chastised him as a dictator standing in the way of free markets. Whilst we have absolutely no truck with the neoliberals, our own assessment of Chávez is highly critical for our own reasons.

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Venezuela without Chávez

While reports of Hugo Chávez’s death may be exaggerated, there is little doubt that his prolonged treatment in Cuba is giving rise to a crisis, in which the Venezuelan workers are likely to lose out.

Chávez went to Cuba for cancer treatment on 11 December, the fourth time he has been for treatment in less than two years. He has not been seen in public since and missed his swearing in as president on 10 January.

For the Venezuelan working class, a polarisation between Chávez’s forces and the opposition is likely to narrow the democratic space it needs to form an independent labour movement.

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Venezuela: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

“Anybody familiar with Stalinism will know the technique; figures record yet another triumphant over-fulfilment of the five-year plan while the peasants drop dead of starvation in the fields.”

NCAFC held its AGM last weekend in Birmingham where Student Broad Left – the student front of Socialist Action – proposed a motion so absurd that only the four members of Student Broad Left present at the NCAFC conference voted in favour of it.

NCAFC held its AGM last weekend in Birmingham where Student Broad Left – the student front of Socialist Action – proposed a motion so absurd that only the four members of Student Broad Left present at the NCAFC conference voted in favour of it.

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