Venezuela: 30 years from the Caracazo, we’re still bleeding from the wound

Feb 28, 2019 | Debates, Latin America

Today, February 27, it has been 30 years since the Venezuelan people started a popular rebellion in 1989. Currently, we’re under the threat of a foreign intervention with the United States leading, with the precarious situation in which a great part of the Venezuelan people lives in, caused by the measures of Nicolas Maduro´s government and the censorship of “democratic liberties” by both of these reactionary sectors.

The right opposition, mostly those of the extinct MUD, today grouped around Juan Guaido of the Voluntad Popular party, wants to advance in a coup against an already illegitimate government that is rejected by the majority of the Venezuelan people. Like we’d say in Caracas, it’s like fighting with a crippled person.

Deep down, Maduro and Guaido are part of the power structure that is functional to capitalism. The dispute between them is related to the imperial sectors that each privileges in the delivery of Venezuela´s resources, which will be sold at “clearance sale prices”.

While this dispute goes on, it´s the workers who have carried the weight of the crisis caused by the traditional and Bolivarian bourgeoisie. The later emerged through the bureaucracy´s management of the country’s resources. They are the two faces of the embezzlement of the nation, and in some cases, they were even business partners, during the times of “fat cows”. Thirty years later, in Venezuela we have a lumpen bourgeoisie that was exponentially strengthened in the Chavez-Maduro period, while the State bureaucrats turned into a caste of new bourgeois. Today, the workers and the poor people suffer the most brutal austerity plans, the total setback of the conquests won through years of struggle, the shortage of food and medicine, and most of all, the absolute instability of life. Totalitarianism, racketeering and repression accompany this calvary.

From 27F to this day

February 1989 was the moment that marked a point of inflection in what is know as the Fourth Republic, or the period in which the bourgeoisie, mostly the North American one, was well represented in the social-democratic party AD (Democratic Action) and the social-christian COPEI, each with its satellite parties. The campist left owes itself an assessment of its role during those times.

To remain in power for forty years, the traditional right -which is now the face of a military intervention in Venezuela- sold the country for cheap. They privatized the main public service companies, and, after the famous Black Friday (1983), the Venezuelan people were impoverished even faster. The Caracazo was the response of the masses against the capitalist austerity imposed by the IMF. Meanwhile, the Berlin wall was falling.

But on the other side of capitalism is the campist left, which on February 1989 was not at the level of the popular rebellion. They supported the faithful representative of the bourgeoisie, Rafael Caldera, and helped him get to power. The same campist left that, during the Chavez era, dumbly applauded and became servants of the XXI century revolution or the Bolivarian revolution (I can imagine the long debates about the surname of the revolution). The same people who had been satellites of a nationalist bourgeois government, now welcomed the “revolutionary Cubans”, experts on the confiscation of the participation and protagonism of the workers and the people. They gave false progressivism a helping hand while erasing the role of the working class in the absurdly pro-bosses unions. They praised Lula while he was betraying the Brazilian workers and embracing the great bosses, while Odebrecht was playing an important role in the embezzlement of public funds in several countries. This is the same campist left that now defends Ortega while he represses those who confronted the measures to increase the age of retirement and the measures imposed by the IMF. The same campist left that supports the government of Maduro. Whose “anti-interference” is only directed at U.S. interference; while they help China, Russia and Turkey take hold of Venezuela´s natural resources, companies and the lives of workers, turning them into an almost enslaved and precarious workforce

Marea as part of the Anticapitalist Network against of the upcoming challenge

The Caracazo and its consequences are only a small part of what’s happening at a global level when the workers are rising against the system, against capital. As Trotsky said, the tragedy of humanity is the crisis of the world revolutionary political leadership.

Fighting against capitalism and the bureaucratic leaderships, which are also capitalist, patriarchal and pro-imperialist, is the task and challenge that Marea Socialista will face, as part of Anticapitalist Network.

We are part of the millions that are rising and fighting across the world. We are the French yellow vests, the teachers in the United States, the women against patriarchy and sexism, we are the ones that confront the dictator Erdogan in Turkey, we are the thousands of Argentinians that rise against the Macri´s plans, we are the ones that confront Ortega in Nicaragua, the ones who defend Catalan independence, who fight in Chile, who fight against Bolsonaro -emerged thanks to the open space left by Lulism in Brazil, who support the democratic revolutions of the Arab Spring. We are the workers and the oppressed that rise against the capitalist system.

And we’re the ones that oppose imperialist military interventionism by the right in Venezuela, and also confront Maduro, who leads a corrupt, capitalist and totalitarian government.

Zuleika Matamoros