The Venezuelan people strengthened the most important liberating process since the Cuban revolution in Latin America, but now it is the victim of a social, economic and political crisis that has frozen the process of change begun by Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution. That same people should be the main protagonist of any way out of the crisis.
The contributions of the Bolivarian revolution to Latin America have been immense: the idea of the Patria Grande and of the Second Continental Independence, opened the way to what later happened in Bolivia and Ecuador, processes that sought a margin of independence and sovereignty although with some limitations and contradictions. These processes changed the regime and advanced to new constitutions and very rich political experiences.
In Venezuela much progress was made under a regime and economic model change which placed the strategic resources in the hands of the state. This brought important social achievements. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to break the extractivist dependence or reach the diversification of the economy. In this way, the process was accompanied by the growth of a bureaucracy and a “boliburguesía” that appropriates the oil income and promotes corruption.
The death of Chavez represented a before and after. Maduro has not been able to mantain the course and with his policies he is liquidating the process. Less democracy, more bureaucracy, more bourgeoisie, more openness to foreign capital. The maximum expression of this is the concessions in the Orinoco Mining Arc.
In the midst of the crisis, political right uses the loss of social support from the government to resume the initiative at various national and international levels. The polarization that is imposed increases the violence, the poverty and the agony of this brave people. We who were always supporting the successes and seeking to correct the errors of the revolution we know that the right is not an exit for Venezuela, with the support of the US, they seek to destroy Maduro but aiming to dismantle the process as a whole.
Maduro’s response to a new Constituent Assembly going beyond Chavez’s Constitution is making him lose legitimacy and it is putting at risk the most powerful democratic tool in his hands. The regime is moving towards a reduction of democratic freedoms, increasingly being held in the Armed Forces and divorced from the people. For that reason, the so-called “critical chavismo” has been growing, composed of sectors, parties, ex-ministers, intellectuals and political figures that made up the platform in defense of the constitution and propose a different path of polarization between Maduro and MUD. There is also Marea Socialista (“Socialist Tide”) that has played a fundamental role in the articulation of these sectors, resisting all kinds of pressures.
From Latin America we are in solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their struggle for a free and sovereign homeland. We repudiate the aggressions and condemn any attempt to intervene from outside, whether from the OAS or from foreign armies. In our opinion, we must return to the people to deepen the process. The most urgent answers must be in the field of people’s needs. That is, the dialogue should not only be with the opposition of the right, it should be first and foremost with the people and their organizations, including Chavist dissidents to launch an Emergency Plan, attending to the needs of the people, deepening the process and supportted by popular mobilization and participation.
With the people, everything; without it, nothing! We shall win!