Venezuela: Barinas and the challenges of the critical left in the face of the traditional right and Maduro’s right wing

By National Leadership of Marea Socialista

After the ruling party had governed Barinas since 1998, in a crude attempt to continue holding power, in spite of the fact that the people of Barinas do not support them in the majority, the result is overwhelming against the PSUV.

Even though the bureaucratic apparatus, with Diosdado Cabello at its head, developed a narrative of being “the heirs of Chávez”, together with a gross economic expense and with a hypocritical “self-critical” mood, the people of Barina defeated them with a defeat of great proportions.

It was not enough for them to disqualify candidates, to disqualify cards, as in the case of the PCV-APR card. Today the Venezuelan population sees a light of hope in Barinas. In this town of the plains it has been glimpsed that it is possible to defeat Madurismo; then we can discuss the forms or strategies.

The love-hate relationship between the PSUV- Government and the traditional Right wing

We have witnessed the “symbiotic” relationship with a right-wing opposition that has been, at the end of the day, the sustainer of the regime. The liquidationist policy that led them to win the majority in the NA in 2015, to throw away the opportunity to activate the Recall Referendum and the policy of promoting US sanctions and requesting foreign military intervention, in addition to the theft of resources, the imposition of an interim president in a more undemocratic manner than even Maduro’s own government and the PSUV, the abstentionist policy that opened all opportunities for the ruling party to impose itself as a governing minority, express how the private employers’ right wing, fragmented as it is, does have a common element of balance: It is that, precisely, they are the ones who have contributed the most to sustain Maduro in power.

On the other hand, the government of Nicolás Maduro-Military-PSUV, although it has fragmented it, has been the one that has strengthened that other right wing with its political practice and with the frustration or repudiation it has generated in the great majority of the people. Not only because of the fabric of alliances it has cultivated with a sector of the right wing that has settled for a few spaces in the parliament. Also because by being so repressive and authoritarian with the revolutionary left which is not allowed to legalize parties, as is the case of Marea Socialista, political disqualifications, imprisonment of workers’ leaders, confiscation of all types of participation and exercise of participatory-protagonist democracy and imposition of their “leaderships” with profoundly anti-democratic and violent methods, has led to all the discontent, the pent-up rage and the bad social mood being ridden and capitalized by the bosses’ parties, of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie.

What becomes clear is that, deep down, the PSUV has its best allies, in a right wing that has sustained it to the same extent that the PSUV has strengthened it. And, on the other hand, with the parties that remain as silent accomplices in the so-called Gran Polo Patriotico (Great Patriotic Pole).

Barinas and the other example

The electoral defeat of Madurism in Barinas is viewed with deep sympathy by the great majority of the population, a reflection of the legitimate rejection inspired by the anti-worker and anti-popular government of Nicolás Maduro and the military, but it is imperative to make some clarifications that should not be overlooked, which help to further illustrate what we say above.

With the same CNE and with the same authoritarian and anti-democratic tonic of the regime, which disqualified the candidate of the PCV-APR, which suspended the result of two months ago where Freddy Superlano won, Sergio Garrido has won. That is to say, in the last instance, the PSUV leadership chooses which actor from the other leadership “defeats” it. Besides the fact that the defeated Jorge Arreaza is already promoting himself as “Protector of Barinas”, the way the government and the PSUV have of circumventing the electoral results and maintaining their “simulated democracy”.

If an opponent wins, the result is equally flawed. It is this “democracy” that serves both rightists in a very functional way, in which they play with their advantageousness and their tricks. This invites us to think about deeper forms of participation and possibilities of real change, of resolving the real problems of the people from within, instead of wrongly emboldening ourselves in the electoral issue.

Challenges for the critical and revolutionary Left

The forces of the left, of course, must rise to the challenge of organizing around a policy of confrontation with this government, but also to prevent the right wing, which to a great extent sustains this regime, from being the one to ride the deep rejection that has been expressed by word of mouth in every corner, in every neighborhood, in every workplace and in every ballot box in the elections of Sunday, January 9, in the state of the plains, until recently dominated by Chavism.

From Marea Socialista we pronounce that in Barinas we break with this imposed polarization between the traditional right wing and the defeated PSUV. We believe that this is a false polarization, because deep down they have the same economic program, which is based on extractivism through the Orinoco Mining Arc (AMO), the Anti-Blockade Law that puts Venezuela as a country for sale and the implementation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) that threaten to formally turn us into a maquila country. What they are disputing is the direction of power and the administration of all the business that for them represents the implementation of a policy of surrender and dispossession, in addition to the exploitation of the people.

That is why in Barinas we must advance in a profoundly democratic policy. That the popular sectors, peasants and workers are up to the task of exercising autonomously and independently of the PSUV and the right-wing parties, an exercise of genuine participatory and protagonist democracy from the grassroots, strengthening the participatory and protagonist muscle with organization, denunciation, initiative and unitary mobilization, demanding real popular control over the issues of production and state policies, and thus opening up spaces that will reduce the dominance of those co-responsible for this political, economic and social crisis, who have not really earned the place they occupy with the manipulation of the popular vote.

We insist on the call to build a workers’, peasants’ and popular political alternative, which will take on the task of democratically raising a program of struggle with central demands such as wages, benefits, union freedoms, women’s rights, against repression, for the freedom of imprisoned workers, for the application of policies that truly favor the people and not the bureaucrats, corrupt and bourgeois, among other points. May the moralizing impulse obtained with this blow struck by the people of Barina against despotism-nepotism, not be ridden by those who have also been accomplices of a policy that sacrifices the people in favor of the elites, whatever the color of their card.