Venezuela: a city council candidature amidst crisis and struggle

Before writting these lines I was watching some videos of the confrontations between the French “yellow vests” and the police. I also saw a video where someone eggs Emmauel Macron on the head during a public appearance. Wondering how hard world governance gets once the people take over the streets, I decided to write this article about the City Council candidature of some Marea Socialista comrades in the capital city of the Libertador commune. By the way, we joined our UPP 89 friends´ list again, because Marea Socialista has been outlawed by Nicolas Maduro´s authoritarian regime.

It is no secret that throughout history, even in the peak of the Bolivian process, and of course in the last five years, the councilmen have had a dull role, completely detatched from their competence, with a political work marked by bureaucratic clientelism, where they are subjugated to the parties´ and even the governments´ desires –both municipal and national- keeping the relationship with the community as the least important duty, or even worse, like the councilmen of the PSUV and the GPP, who became the first executors of Maduro´s authoritarianism like an ideology police.

The aforementioned is the result of a degenerating process that can be seen, not only in city councilmen, but also in mayors, deputies and senators, even in the President. It would be mistaken or irresponsible for anyone who wishes to be councilman to think they will solve the community’s problems on their own, considering the deep crisis we’re going through, in which those responsible for the crisis have assimilated into this crisis ridden world governance. They´re in crisis, but still hold power. In Venezuela, they have shielded themselves behind the ANC (Constituent National Assembly), from where they administer the privileges of a few and the misery of the majority, deciding the distribution of our resources according to their interests. This is why we see that, while they impose poverty wages on us, they hold a “suena caracas” festival or spend fortunes on welcome posers for the opprobrious Erdogan.

We, the candidates of Marea Socialista, who run on the UPP 89 list, say that only through strugglecan we find a way out of this situation, from our perspective as workers and popular sectors. With this in mind, we want to, not only speak to the people of Caracas, but also to the rest of the country. We’re immersed in the fight against Maduro´s anti-workers austerity program. The dynamic of the struggle led us to found the ITV (Venezuelan Workers Union), from which we aspire to unite workers to fight together. We do not separate the conflicts. That’s why, while promoting the Platform for the Nullity of the Mining Arch of Orinoco, we also participated in the Platform in Defence of the Constitution, because we understand that the PSUV needed another legal framework to definitely become a part of the global plan shared by the North American, European, Chinese and Russian governments.

In this context and with the struggle as an answer, we face the challenge of not abandoning the electoral terrain. we’ve been to parks, walked the streets and talked to the people. Campaigning within our capacity, but with an unbreakable spirit and a firm belief in the mobilizing potential of those who suffer, who are the majority. A majority tired of the same old lies: deception, mistreatment, abuse and having to see how our loved ones leave our country because of the lack of possibilities of having a dignified life. But we still believe that we haven’t been defeated. The last word hasn’t been said. The example set by the working class nationwide is a mirror in which we should all see ourselves. And just as we assume the task of organizing labor, we have to speak to the rest of society, that protests the lack water, public transport, gas and a never ending list of calamities that Maduro and his government have provoked.

The beginning of this article is about the French “yellow vests” that forced Macron to suspend the fossil fuel tax increase because they are a clear demonstration that protesting against governments when they try to harm us in order to benefit the economic gains of the powerful actually works. Taking over the streets works! This is an empowering exercise. This is why Marea Socialista and UPP 89 call everyone to vote the entire list of UPP 89 this December 9. And we expecting to meet on the streets from the 10th onward, trusting in our strength and capabilities. Let’s face this challenge together.

Gustavo Martínez Rubio