Venezuela

Venezuelan crisis deepens

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.

Defend Venezuelan workers against the right-wing coup, for an independent working-class alternative to Chavismo.

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The meaning behind the Venezuelan election

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Argument pour la lutte sociale

On Sunday 30 July, so-called elections took place to a so-called Constituent Assembly in Venezuela. It is important, for the future, the revolution, and democracy, not to fool ourselves about the meanings of the words being used here.

Maduro's victory does not represent the preservation of the "gains of socialism".

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The waning of Chavismo?

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).

Venezuela was never a socialist alternative and the unravelling of its modest reforms has punctured its radical and “anti-imperialist” pretensions.

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Venezuela: shift to the right

The government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela is in trouble. Destabilisation after the death of Hugo Chavez has fractured the government’s political base. An economic crisis due to low oil prices, and mobilisations by the political right, have brought the government to a state of collapse.

The government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela is in trouble. Destabilisation after the death of Hugo Chavez has fractured the government’s political base. An economic crisis due to low oil prices, and mobilisations by the political right, have brought the government to a state of collapse.

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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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