Franz J.T. Lee, February, 2005
Crossing the Rubicon, from "El Caracazo" to World Socialism
Sixteen years ago -- a day like today. Within the context of the current international disinformation campaigns, and the ideological preparation for another US attack on Venezuelan sovereignty, it is imperative to remember the "El Caracazo" of February 27/28, 1989.
In 1989 ... under the government of Carlos Andres Perez ... as a result of an attempt to implement well-known savage "neo-liberal" measures of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Venezuela, Caracas and other cities were shaken by heavy popular protests.
Historically, the starving, oppressed, Venezuelan masses ... with their very blood inscribed on the walls of Caracas their eternal categoric NO to all forms of Yankee and |PuntoFijista exploitation and oppression.
Thousands from the barrios, already ruined by the "Black Friday" of 1983, had no alternative but to appropriate the very results of their exploited physical labor forces, the consume goods of capitalism, that is, they began to sack shops, and to grab anything that they could get hold of. Like in the case of Victor Hug's "Les Miserables" and Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth," skinny mothers, seeing their innocent children dying of hunger and sickness, broke into bakeries, appropriated their daily bread, and were shot dead, by the State, in defense of capital, capitalism, of national and international private property of the means of production, that was guaranteed by the very Venezuelan Constitution of 1961.
Spontaneously, unorganized, unarmed, this popular movement stormed the business bastions of the Cisneros, Mendozas, Capriles and others in Venezuela.
Like always in a class society, bourgeois, democratic social justice was implemented: the small "thieves" are being hanged, the big sharks go scot-free.
The repressive forces of the previous Adeco-Copeyano State violently repressed these legitimate, popular protests. Till today, we do not know how many thousands were really massacred; official government figures estimated barely 500 dead; later, in old oil wells, hundreds and hundreds of maimed corpses were discovered.
It took the Venezuelan sovereign, the popular masses, a decade to recover from this brutal, puntofijista trauma, but they did not forget. At the turn of the millennium, in successive democratic elections, they gave the corrupt, obsolete ancien regime their historic answer, the final, political, democratic nail in its Yankee-controlled, CIA-infested coffin.
How much the subjective factor of the Bolivarian Revolution has recovered from the traumatic shocks of February 27/28, has conscient-izes itself, it demonstrated in the defense of its social gains, between April 11-13, 2002. Within 47 hours, together with the armed forces, and loyal, helping Latin American States, like Cuba and Brazil, the awakening sovereign, the people, in a paradigmatic, modern class struggle, reverted a "sure" military coup, orchestrated by Washington D.C., into the greatest fiasco of US foreign interventions.
February 27-28. 1989, is the turning point in modern Venezuelan history, it is really the political birth of Hugo Chavez Frias, of the Bolivarian Revolution. This naissance is national and international, it is directed against world capitalism, imperialism and corporatism, it is being attacked permanently by these very same global and local counter-revolutionary forces.
The only true negation of global capitalism and imperialism, real worldwide praxis and theory, that is, proletarian internationalism and international proletarianism, were developed by scientific and philosophic socialism. Meanwhile, the times and places have changed, imperialism has transformed itself, but the renovation, self-critique, revision, reconstruction and revolutionary dynamics of socialism are as fresh as ever, in fact, only now, the transcendental moment of socialist permanent world revolution has arrived. Its trans-historic emancipatory sparks set the Venezuelan revolutionary prairie on fire, on February 27-28, 1989.
Socialism will only fade into oblivion when its matrix, Capitalism, is eradicated from the very face of the earth. Only then, Bolivar and Marx will become "obsolete," will be realized.
Although, for obvious reasons, our comrades are still very careful in mentioning the modern class struggle in Venezuela, that has already reached such emancipatory heights like proletarian continents versus the corporate metropolitan bloc, dimensions like billions of slaving peoples versus infinitesimal, powerful master elites, where class struggle has already been catapulted into the social, intellectual realm, yet, personally, speaking only for himself, President Hugo Chavez Frias, having read Trotsky, already openly speaks about anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism, as the struggle to achieve world socialism.
The only problem is: Which "socialism"?
Well, if we do not know which one, then: Our Socialism!
And, like the Bolivarian Revolution, our Socialism has to be original, new and authentic, has to be truly emancipatory.
Hence, let us cross the Rubicon, move on, from the "Caracazo" to "World Socialism."