Venezuela: Criticism of the “short-legged” anti-imperialism of the Sao Paulo Forum and its support for the destroyers of the Bolivarian revolution against its people

Against the US interventionism supported by Guaido and against all imperialist factors acting in Venezuela.

The XXV Forum of Sao Paulo (FSP) recently culminated. From its statement, we only agree with the denunciation and rejection of American interventionism, in all its forms, but not the unconditional support given to the government of Nicolás Maduro and to the political leaderships of the Latin American bourgeoisie that have shown their “short legs” and have even carried out policies against workers and the people when they have been in government. Of course, we also agree with the rejection of everything Guaidó represents, as a representative of bourgeois and imperialist interests in Venezuela, but not because the alternative is a government like the current one (Maduro-Military-PSUV), authoritarian and destroyer of the conquests of the Bolivarian revolution and many previous achievements, reaching further in its austerity measures than neoliberalism, with a sugarcoating of false leftist and “socialist” language. In addition to all that, it is one of the most predatory governments of Venezuelan, delivering resources to various expressions of global capitalism (despite the confrontation with the Trump administration).

The final declaration of the FSP clearly show the true interests and priorities of a group of parties, movements and governments that proclaim themselves progressive and leftist, but whose true character is portrayed in reality, just by looking at the overwhelming growth of corruption and the mafia mechanisms of appropriation of income, light years away from the principles of a real alternative to the prevailing model of world governance. Throughout the declaration, the top-down and careless vision of the great problems faced by workers and the people of Latin America is revealed, with respect to which the polarizing optics is not enough, which resorts exclusively to pointing out the role of the United States as the economic hegemon in the world and its condition of capitalist power. The responsibility of FSP members who are or have been in government is ignored, their responsibility in deepening the calamities the people of the continent suffer. And more, observing the direction taken by political leaders that became facilitators of antidemocratic measures, rapine and the smashing of incipient emancipatory processes lived in the region throughout the twentieth century and early twenty-first; as is the role of Maduro and Ortega, for example.

They speak in the abstract of defending sovereignty, democracy, Human Rights, plurality… when governments like those mentioned and others, have ended up doing the opposite. It would be necessary to ask then: how do those who deliver 12% of the national territory to the mining transnationals in the so-called Orinoco Mining Arc or persist in paying debt at the expense of the most deprived sectors of society conceive “sovereignty”? How do those who are part of murky negotiations in Europe or the Caribbean with the factors they claim to rival and of which we have no idea what is being discussed or agreed on the backs of the people conceive “democracy,”? How do they understand the “peace” they proclaim, while the neighborhoods suffer the onslaught of FAES and murders are committed in extrajudicial actions? What can they say about Human Rights when in Venezuela they have eliminated our wages and other work related rights, which are inherent to life? How can those who defend the perpetuation of single party regime speak of “plurality” or proclaim “popular activism” when paramilitary gangs in the service of cliques locked in state structures are sad fire-fighting protagonists, in the face of genuine population protests, as seen in Managua or Caracas?

Lula or Cristina Fernández, exalted during the realization of the event -for the latter a resolution of electoral support in the coming presidential election in Argentinawas voted- were not and do not mean a different option that gives possibilities to open a gap of struggle against the extractivist developmentalist plundering model based on the appetites of the markets, which has led us to the contamination of rivers, deforestation, the deep commodification of health and education or the assembly of hunger labor regimes.

On the contrary, we say without a doubt that such governments rode on the coattails of mass movements at a time when there was a willingness to change in most of South America and once in the government they became bureaucratized and assimilated to the logic of capital, with its inherent vices and with its way of doing politics in favor of the –old or new- powerful, betraying the wills of millions who were committed to moving towards the resolution infinite problems, caused by historically being the backyard of the United States. They have already governed, they demonstrated what they are and want to return to power, but the people should not continue paying the cost of following those inconsequential and treacherous leaders.

Support for Maduro is one of the most grotesque resolutions of the Forum, because of the support they offer for such a position, attributing an assessment of continuity of the so-called Bolivarian revolution and supposed libertarian deeds in favor of the Venezuelan people, when it is the expression of a caste that generates a huge rejection in the popular base and the population as a whole, precisely because of being the dismantlers, not only of the social and economic conquests that had been achieved in the last 20 years, they have led the country to a total catastrophe, turning the day to day life of humble families into an endless torture. There is an electrical crisis, a transportation crisis, a hospital crisis, education has fallen apart… Maduro and his people let human rights violators like Simonovis escape. It would not surprise us if that was part of what the government and the opposition have secretly agreed. Here, a young artist is imprisoned for publishing a few tweets, such was the case of Karen Palacios. A boy is left blind for claiming domestic gas with his community. Here, prisoners are tortured and murdered in their cells, as happened recently with Captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo. Here, Rodney Alvarez, a worker who has been imprisoned for eight years, part of them without trial, for a crime he did not commit, just for raising his voice against union bureaucrats linked to the PSUV. And we only cite some cases to exemplify.

The “integrationism” of the “progressive” governments that the FSP raises, though it may express friction with US imperialism and the search for a more favorable correlation of forces, really expresses a rearrangement of bureaucratic and neo-bourgeois factors that aim to continue refining the control and business of the elites within the framework of geopolitical and inter-imperialist disputes, giving continuity to the handing over of our resources to corporations, including Chinese and Russian businesses that have a confrontation against Trump and his gang , which does not mean that they give way to other ways of addressing the global crisis of capitalism in favor of the depleted majorities. That is why the FSP greets the mobilization of the Puerto Rican people almost reluctantly and very superficially, because they find it inevitable to feel threatened by the uprising of any people.

It is clear then, that the only alternative we have for Latin American workers and peoples and around the world, is ourselves, through our own self-organized and conscious expressions. That is an initial conclusion that must lead to the construction of our own political tools. We are not obliged to choose between our executioners. Maduro, Ortega, Cristina Fernández, Lula, Diaz-Canel… who do not represent real forms of liberation for their peoples, in front of the typical faces of capital that are shown today through Donald Trump and his direct servers: Guaidó, Macri, Bolsonaro and all racist, xenophobic, homophobic and antipopular variants congregated in other groups such as the Lima Group.

Marea Socialista promotes a different kind of Latin American integration, based on the energy of the revolutionary mobilization of workers and people on a continental scale, to achieve the establishment of governments that respond to our class and not to the dominant and exploitative social layers. On that basis, our nations will be able to unite and strengthen themselves to overcome all colonial and semi-colonial submission. We aim at two fundamental strategies that are: mass mobilization and the construction of revolutionary parties, the antithesis of bureaucratic spaces such as the FSP.

Our organization is part of the struggle for full independence and for the free and self-determined union of peoples, without any ties to the interests or impositions of imperial powers (traditional and emerging) and global capitalism. Therefore, in the Venezuelan case, we have supported breaking from the OAS and ICSID, and all military, political and commercial treaties designed for American domination and world imperialism over the countries of Latin America. Hence, we accompanied Chavez’s initiatives to create UNASUR and CELAC, not subject to the United States, though always warning about their limitations and inconsistencies, while they were controlled by national bourgeoisie governments and not by working-class governments. For the same reason, we have pointed out, when Venezuela entered, the need for a new Mercosur, for the benefit of workers and peoples, and not for capitalists in the area, without “free trade” treaties that weaken their sovereignty against Europe or Israel. That is also why we oppose Colombia’s relations with NATO and, of course, the US bases in its territory. For our organization, the perspective has to be the free union of the peoples in federations of socialist and democratic republics by region or continent, without forgetting the inspiration of what was the Bolivarian Great Colombia that united several of the liberated nations for a time under the leadership of Simón Bolívar.

We vigorously fight against all imperialist intervention and domination, in all fields, and that is why we pronounce ourselves against the system of domination implanted through the external debt. We oppose the sacrifice of our people for the payment of a corrupted debt, which is paid today by both Maduro and Guaidó; the latter through the resources from Trump´s usurpation of the Venezuelan company CITGO, and that the self-proclaimed president did not dentine to “humanitarian aid” but to satisfy international financial capitalists and bondholders. Against this, we have raised the approach of a public and citizens´ audit of the debt, with suspension of payments of the illegitimate and fraudulent external debt. And in this same sense, we have supported the idea of ​​a front of debtor countries to ignore illegitimate and odious debts.

We condemn the actions of imperialist rapine carried out by the United States against Venezuela with the approval and cooperation of the opposition right and the “government” of Guaidó, which has become a direct instrument of US interests; the seizure of Venezuelan assets and companies and the so-called economic “sanctions” applied to Venezuela by imperialism, which are actually genocidal instruments for intervention and unacceptable mechanisms of pressure and blackmail against the country. We demand the immediate cessation of these actions and the return of Venezuelan assets and funds abroad to be used to overcome the crisis. But we do not validate the manipulation that is done with the excuse of the blockade, sanctions and economic warfare, to cover the responsibilities of the ruling bureaucracy in Venezuela about the disasters generated by its policies and the huge embezzlement of public funds that they have practiced. That is why we criticize the exercise of a hypocritical “solidarity” that consists of supporting some elites against others, at the expense of the true interests of the peoples.

Within our anti-imperialist orientation we have supported the nationalization of companies and public services in Venezuela, but under social control and not for the use of the bureaucracy or for its liquidation and re-privatization once squeezed dry. We are for the annulment of the Free Trade Agreements (FTA), which accentuate the economic domination of imperialism and transnational corporations. We also say: Down with the US blockade of Cuba!, without defending the authoritarian bureaucracy prevailing on the island. We say: Get the Minustah and its troops out from Haiti! And we do not turn a blind eye to the participation of Brazil in the time of Lula or of Argentina in the time of the Kirchners in this mission of UN military intervention on that Caribbean nation, in which the United States (major imperialist aggressor), France (former colonizer of Haiti) and Spain (former colonizer of much of America) stand out. Confronting US imperialism does not mean we stop opposing the imperialist policies of China and Russia, particularly committed in Venezuela, to the usufruct of its resources and for the geopolitical positioning of their governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

With this approach, against all imperialisms, for independence and a genuine integration of the oppressed nations, from below and with their peoples, against their elites, their bureaucracies and their bourgeoisies, in revolutionary harmony with the working class worldwide. We are part of the International Socialist League (ISL), of which the MST is also a member in Argentina, in where an important step has been taken for the unity of the anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-bureaucratic left, broadening the articulation of the Left and Workers Front (FIT-Unity), which electorally presents other alternatives, such as legislative candidacies, and the presidential formula of Nicolás del Caño and Romina del Plá, against the candidates of the Argentine bourgeoisie and those supported by the parties of the Sao Paulo Forum. We raise alternatives independent of bureaucracies and bourgeoisies around the world, as a task for which we work alongside youth, workers, women, students, farmers… the only way to find the real possibility of a way out of the crisis in favor of our class and not of those who exploit and dominate us. With that call, program and policy, we invite you to make a militant experience together around the construction of Marea Socialista and the ISL.

Marea Socialista