The tasks of 2017: to face the government’s totalitarian course, organize the struggle to get out of the crisis and build a political alternative.
Marea Socialista’s Operations Team
In the first two months of the year, it has been exposed that the government decided to go deep into its totalitarian course. What in 2016 was a recurrent temptation, given by the shake induced by the electoral defeat on December 2015, has become today a State policy. The government has decided this course given its own weaknesses and dramatic lose of social support; pretending a preemptive waycut out the growing symptoms of the worker’s and the people’s reactions which are now beginning to express themselves. What the PSUV’s (Venezuelan United Socialist Party) top leadership seeks while frustrating the making of any dangerous election they could lose, is the consolidation of a repressive political regime that eliminates democracy as the one established on the Venezuelan Constitution.
Each day becomes clearer what the PSUV’s top leadership pretends to build, which is a totalitarian political system, that even though it is not jet a classic dictatorship, it certainly concentrates part of its characteristics where the borders of civil rights become tighter over time. The last overwhelming proof is the TSJ’s (Supreme Court) decision that canceled, per se, the immunity of congressmen. The characteristics of the new regime that they attempt to impose are: A) The elimination of the elections and all recall processes. B) To substitute the republic’s independent powers and institutions into a facto government that concentrates the decisions on the president and on the government’s leadership. C) To keep a permanent exception state, as in fact has been established, by the continuous and unconstitutional renewal of the emergency presidential executive orders. That is the way of justifying the elimination of the political, civil, economic, social, and human rights. D) The elimination, step by step, through several actions, of the rights for the freedom of thought, opinion, communications, and the classical right of “press freedom”. On these consist the recent attacks to several digital media, among them Aporrea.org; the paper limitation to government opposed newspapers or the attack to their websites, as is the case of the Correo del Caroní newspaper; the frightening, disqualification, judicial prosecution and persecution of journalists, columnists and editors, etc. E) The arbitrary detention of people regardless of whether they are in the opposition or they consider themselves revolutionaries or Chavistas stepping out of the official directions; violating the right to the due process, the innocence principle and all the legal regulations and state power’s independence that should prevail in these cases. F) The practice of para-state uncontrolled repression to a considerable number of people that leads to selective murders, in order to normalize a state of anxiety and fear. The instruments for this practice are the “OLHP” (Humanitarian Operations for the People’s Liberation), and some armed groups that spread the fear in communities, popular slums of the cities, and that in rural areas work using the most typical paramilitary style.
The most symbolic example of the violation of the Constitution on the political ground is the renewal of the political parties’ militant records. It was peculiar how the government allied parties forming the Polo Patriótico, in spite their submission and obedience to the PSUV’s policies, were wiped out of the electoral scene. This suppression of the right of political participation that begun with the proscription of Marea Socialista, seeking a single-party political system, with the necessary cover of a pusillanimous opposition almost made to fit the measures of the regime.
The system that the regime is building, the one that seeks to substitute the one stated in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has its own economic reasons and expressions on the limitation of social rights, violating the Constitution: A) The ban and elimination of all significant data that shows how the economy is doing. B) The negotiation, through emergency executive orders, of significant territorial spaces through what it has been named the Special Economic Zones. A conceding policy to international financial capitalists and big corporations. All this has been clear through the concessions given in the Arco Minero del Orinoco (the Orinoco Mining’s Belt), which provoked a significant struggle against those policies which represent a wound to our sovereignty, the environment and the life of the native communities. C) The approval of the National Budget by the government controlled Supreme Court, violating explicitly the National Assembly’s constitutionally required debate, review and approval. D) The approval of bonds, nation’s debt and other national and international financial operations with the same illegal procedure described previously. E) Non application of social legislation that addressed the most lower layers and most vulnerable groups of the population, such as the approval of food and health income bonuses for the retired. F) The facto elimination of the Organic Labor Law, and a very extended list of abuses.
Although the application attempt of totalitarian measures is not new, it occurred in the context of political instability that contained the imposing of such measures. Free from the danger of any electoral processes, the government has now applied these totalitarian measures as a State policy. That has allowed them to deepen the counter-reforms that dismantle the most progressive social and civil rights that the workers had conquered until 2012.
The collapse and complicity of the MUD’s (Democratic Unity Roundtable) leadership
The erratic, confusing and powerless MUD policies for 2016, and their crisis and fall at the end of that year, suggest an important question: their self-provoked defeat was by a mistake, incapacity, or complicity?
It is hard to understand how veteran politicians, supported by strong international and local operators, in coordination with an important part of the Antichavista intellectuality, have wasted in less than a year a strong electoral victory, while activation of the OAS Interamerican Democratic Letter. That request that we reject given the interventionist character that violates people’s sovereign, at the same time that we also reject the government’s intentions to try to avoid that the people protest and express their political will. The OAS request only confirms the interventionist intentions of the MUD’s leadership and their incapacity to organize on an independent way the Venezuelan people.
We will not attempt to explain here the reasons of their unprecedented failure, where the miseries of their leaders stand out. We just simply want to expose some facts: a) The most important concern of that leadership, so far away from the people’s interests just like the PSUV, was to find a way to take advantage of the electoral triumph to win more control and power spaces in the State, without making a stop to find solutions to the people’s demands. b) More than a unity towards a change project for the country, they represented, since they took the majority on the National Assambly, the dispute between the heads of each party to take advanced positions looking forward to the supossed next presidential elections, the proof of it is that there are already five presidential candidates that have been announced by the MUD. c) In front of their political failure, it is clear that there is a group on that leadership that is willing to fulfill a pact with the government to improve their position in the distribution of the oil rent.
Instead of a change that helps people, what that leadership seek is to occupy a more privileged site along all the corruption and impunity scheme, and to be part of the design of the new political system.
Our tasks on 2017
Spite the fact that there are many possible scenarios, we make a call to discuss what we consider are the tasks for this year. In the first place it’s a priority from our point of view, to face the totalitarian route that this government develops. That represents an essential task to handle all the social, economic or politic struggles that we have in the future. From that point of view, we make a call to the most wide unity in actions to face all the abuses, rights and gurantees violations that are pointed in our Constitution. We make a call to built the most wide and open movement for the defense of those rights that are being violated, and to develop all kinds of actions: local, national and internationals.
On a second place, we think is essential to promote the organization of the struggles and fights to recover our life level back and to confront the economic plan of misery, submission and concessions that is now being developed by the ones who have the power. These fights include the resistance to the Arco Minero del Orinoco, the fight with the retired people for them not to starve or die because of the lack of medicines, and for them to have their proper food and health bonus. The fight for a real recovery of the value of our salary, and the fight to demand the validation of all the labor rights, and so on with all the social achievements that are being attacked.
On a third place, everyday is more necessary and urgent to built a new political alternative. A political alternative that comes from the people that live only from the salary, that rebuilt the national project with a critical and self-critic evaluation. A new democratic and plural reference. An alternative that in this crisis, lift the creative and mobilizing working people’s power.
Our commitment is to accomplish these tasks.