Yesterday I attended the International Venezuela Solidarity conference, held at Macalester College, in St. Paul, MN. Several Venezuelan government members, and activists attended.
I'm reprinting the opening of the Statement of the International Marxist Tendency, on the Dec 03, 2006 Venezuelan elections. The Chavez supporters use the slogan, "10,000,000 Votes for Hugo Chavez". It is expected that Chavez will attain some 8 million votes. If they don't get 10,000,000, the more conservative Chavez supporters, are going to say he was too leftist. After the election, how revolutionary the government is, will be known.
The December presidential elections are an important turning point in the development of the Venezuelan Revolution. They reflect the struggle between the Venezuelan workers and peasants and the oligarchy and imperialism. Our attitude towards these elections is therefore a key question.
Marxism has nothing in common with anarchism. We have never denied the importance of the electoral struggle as part of the class struggle. For the masses the question is very clear: a vote for Chavez is a vote for the revolution. On the other hand, the oligarchy and imperialism are doing everything in their power to bring about the defeat of Chavez. At bottom this is a class question and we must take our place side by side with the revolutionary workers and peasants fighting against imperialism and the oligarchy.
The counterrevolutionary forces have already started a campaign to discredit the elections. They will use all the means at their disposal to undermine them: bribery, corruption, slander and lies and all kinds of sabotage. They will have at their disposal considerable resources: the wealth of the oligarchy, the technology of the CIA, the backing of the US embassy, the yellow press and the rest of the prostituted media.
On the other side we have the revolutionary spirit, courage and dedication of millions of Venezuelan workers, peasants and urban poor, the revolutionary youth, the revolutionary sections of the army and the progressive artists and intelligentsia - in short, all the live forces of Venezuelan society, backed by the exploited masses of Latin America and the working class of the entire world.
The workers and peasants are fighting to transform society. Great advances have been made, but the final goal has not been reached. The power of the oligarchy has not yet been broken. As long as this is the case, the revolution cannot be irreversible and will be constantly under threat.
When government representatives, at the conference, were asked about worker's control of industry, and worker's democracy, in general the question was ignored, or danced around. The politicians say that the revolution is based around the 1999 constitution. This document allows for private property rights. You hear from them, about the unique history of the struggle in Venezuela. They will say socialism in the 21st century, is different than anything before. This talk protects career politicians, some corrupt, and bureaucrats to be in the government, without a way for the workers and peasants, to oust them. The possibility of sabotage to the revolutionary path is real. Without an organizational form, similar to soviets at the time of the Russian revolution, the revolution can be curtailed.
One of the Chavez representatives, said the name of the country might be changed to the Bolivarian Socialist Republic of Venezuela. He didn't say anything about the telecommunications, food, and banking industry are in private hands, or what he thinks should be done about it.
It should be made clear, the elementary duty of a socialist or progressive person, is to support Venezuela if attacked from the outside. At the same time as a socialist, to warn the Chavez supporters, that they can lose the gains already made, without socialist revolution.RENEGADE EYE