PANDEMONIUM  REFERENDUM  SPECIAL


No. 1038







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ESPAÑOL & ENGLISH: 

*** Presidente Chávez convocó a transformar de raíz modos y relaciones de producción capitalistas.

*** CNE emitió resultados oficiales del referendo revocatorio presidencial.

*** El rector del CNE anunció los resultados definitivos del referendo. El 59,25 por ciento respaldó la opción del NO. Sufragaron cerca de 10 millones.


*** Latin America: The Historic Roots of Oligarchic Racism in Venezuela.
By  Franz J. T. Lee.

*** La Oposición Golpista de Venezuela; Mentiras y Manipulación

Por: Franz J.T. Lee.

*** Venezuela: O inventamos, o erramos -
we either invent, or we err


By  Jutta Schmitt


*** Why we support the Bolivarian Revolution wholeheartedly

By Jutta Schmitt.

*** Venezuela Defeats the Coupmakers.

*** Beyond Populism: Venezuela and the International Left.

*** América Latina, Venezuela: Ahora el zorro corporativo está cuidando nuestros pollitos electorales democráticos
Por: Franz J.T. Lee. Aporrea.Org.

*** Google News.

*** Please hand the opposition the silver bullet ... so it may finally rest in peace.
Jutta Schmitt.

*** MORE CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING JUTTA'S  "SILVER BULLET" ARTICLE.


*** Franz J. T. Lee: Venezuela's opposition coupsters and CNN, BBC, DPA, AP lies.

*** David Sheegog: The future is being written in Venezuela as we speak.

*** Venezuela: ¿Cómo hacer la democracia sin demócratas?
Heinz Dieterich
Rebelión




Presidente Chávez convocó a transformar de raíz modos y relaciones de producción capitalistas
Por: Venpres
Publicado el Viernes, 27/08/04 04:32pm

Caracas, 27 Ago. Venpres (Carmen Ostia Pulgar).- "Compatriotas, los convoco
a todos y a todas a que pongamos el máximo de nuestra voluntad, de nuestra
fibra patriótica, de nuestra capacidad, nuestra fuerza moral, intelectual y
física, en lo individual y en lo colectivo, para que esta nueva etapa que
comienza, ahora mismo, los conduzca hacia destinos superiores", como son, en
el área estructural económico-social, la transformación de los modos y las
relaciones de producción, y por otro, en el área superestructural, jurídica,
la promulgación de leyes, "recipiente que contiene" la estructura ya
referida.

Los exhortos y razonamientos corresponden al ratificado
presidente de la República, Hugo Chávez Frías, durante su intervención en la
plaza Caracas, frente a una nutrida concurrencia de seguidores del proceso
bolivariano que lidera, luego de recibir oficialmente la ratificación de su
mandato, de manos de los directivos del Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE).

Subrayó el mandatario, que las metas expresadas anteriormente
forman parte de la nueva etapa en la que entró la Revolución Bolivariana,
tras el referendo del 15 de agosto, "mensaje poderosísimo que le está dando
la vuelta al mundo entero".

Una vez más insistió, en que todo eso es imprescindible" para la
transformación del modelo neoliberal capitalista, por otro humanista,
integral", donde se ha avanzado pero sólo de manera superficial, y ahora es
el momento para profundizarlo, de no hacerse, nada valdría el triunfo
rotundo del NO en la pasada contienda refrendaria.

Respecto al marco legal que exige este proceso de cambios, puso
por ejemplo "al tiro en el ala que le dieron a la Ley de Tierras", la cual
contemplaba la ocupación preventiva de tierras ociosas en zonas rurales,
pero luego esto se modificó en detrimento de la masa campesina; de allí la
necesidad de evaluar nuevamente el articulado de esa herramienta legal, así
como la elaboración y puesta en vigencia de otras, aún en deuda.

"Juro, delante de Dios, que daré mi vida entera a la esperanza
del pueblo de Venezuela (...) Sea cual sea la trinchera que me toque (...)
Voy a luchar sin tregua y sin descanso para darle al pueblo lo que le
corresponde", se comprometió una vez más, al arrancar con esta fase
revolucionaria de cambios profundos.

Dijo, inspirado en las Olimpíadas de Atenas 2004, que el mundo
le dio una medalla de oro al pueblo de Venezuela, por su comportamiento
democrático el 15 de agosto, tanto a quienes apoyaron el Sí como a quienes
auparon el No. Todos, a juicio del jefe de Estado, merecen ese galardón
áureo del orbe, por el apego de los sufragantes a la Constitución.

Instó a redoblar el paso y acelerar la marcha, porque este
camino es largo y apenas comienza, a cuyo efecto es fundamental alcanzar
nuevas victorias en los comicios regionales y municipales.

Chávez resaltó en torno a este último aspecto, el carácter
imprescindible de la unidad, para lo cual deben deponerse actitudes
personales, partidistas, de grupo. Específicamente invitó a Joel Acosta
Chirinos a renunciar a sus aspiraciones de gobernador en Falcón y apoyar la
candidatura de Jesús Montilla.

Aprovechó la oportunidad para autocriticarse públicamente en
cuanto al apoyo que le dio en 1998 a Alfredo Peña en la Alcaldía
Metropolitana, y para enmendar ese error solicitó el concurso del soberano y
llevar hasta ese cargo al diputado Juan Barreto.

Tuvo una actitud igualmente autocrítica respecto al gobierno de
Anzoátegui, donde no duda del triunfo del también parlamentario Tarek
William Saab; así como prevé con certeza la victoria de Diosdado Cabello en
la gobernación de Miranda, y de Freddy Bernal, en su reelección como alcalde
del municipio Libertador.

A pesar de sus optimistas augurios, advirtió la importancia de
no creerse vencedor, de no caer en triunfalismos, y a cambio otra vez
convocó a la unidad, así como a implementar la táctica y estrategia cónsonas
de las Unidades de Batalla Electoral y de las Patrullas Electorales,
organismos de base del Comando Maisanta.

Por ejemplo, en su opinión es necesario proseguir con la Misión
Identidad, pues es muy factible que hubo abstenciones involuntarias por
carecer de cédula. Todo esto, según vislumbra el Presidente, va a
posibilitar ganar todas las gobernaciones y gran parte de las alcaldías.
Hizo un llamado a todos los funcionarios del Gobierno
Bolivariano a redoblar sus esfuerzos, porque no hay posibilidad de
"repliegue". Agradeció a Dios, al pueblo por su solidaridad permanente, por
haberlo ratificado en su mandato.

"El gobierno de Chávez no es el gobierno de Chávez, sino el
gobierno del pueblo (...)", enfatizó. Vislumbró, como en otras ocasiones, y
poniendo al Creador por delante, que en febrero de 2007 "Chávez entregará la
banda presidencial a Chávez".

Pidió disculpas por sus errores en medio del discurso, y tras la
consigna "Policía Nacional" de la concurrencia, ratificó que la ley que la
crea así como otras herramientas jurídicas están pendientes.

Invitó al Desfile de las Misiones, este sábado en Los Próceres:
Robinson, Ribas, Sucre, Barrio Adentro, Vuelvan Caras, Guaicaipuro, Piar,
Miranda y Cristo "Misión de Misiones: 2021, pobreza cero (...) Siempre
unidos, seremos invencibles".

En la jornada lo acompañaron varios funcionarios gubernamentales
y líderes bolivarianos, entre quienes estaban el nuevo ministro de
Comunicación e Información, Andrés Izarra; diputado Juan Barreto, el
candidato a la gobernación mirandina, Diosdado Cabello y Lina Ron.

*************************************************************************

CNE emitió resultados oficiales del referendo revocatorio presidencial

Por: Venezolana de Televisión / 26-08-2004
Publicado el Jueves, 26/08/04 05:37pm

El rector del CNE anunció los resultados definitivos del referendo. El 59,25 por ciento respaldó la opción del NO. Sufragaron cerca de 10 millones

El presidente del Consejo Nacional Electoral, Francisco Carrasquero López, se dirigió al país en cadena nacional para anunciar las cifras definitivas y oficiales del evento electoral celebrado el pasado 15 de agosto, las cuales dan como ratificado en su cargo al Presidente de la República, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, con un total de 5 millones 800 mil 629 votos a favor de la opción "No".]


En la contienda electoral participaron 9 millones 815 mil 631 electores, de los cuales 3.989.008 se inclinaron por la opción "Sí" para revocar el mandato del Presidente Chávez. La totalización arrojó que la opción "No" alcanzó el 59,25% de los votos, mientras el "Sí" logró el 40,74% del total general, y la abstención fue del 30,02%.

Vale destacar que para estos comicios el Registro Electoral se incrementó significativamente, alcanzando un universo de 14. 027.607 de electores con derecho a sufragar en el RR.

Con base en la expresión de la voluntad popular, el Consejo Nacional Electoral, este viernes 27 de agosto, ratificará en la Presidencia de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela a Hugo Chávez Frías, quien culminará su período constitucional en el año 2006.

http://www.aporrea.org/dameverbo.php?docid=19864
*********



(Foto) CNE formalizó ratificación del presidente Hugo Chávez
Por: Prensa Presidencial
Publicado el Viernes, 27/08/04 01:36pm








Presidente Hugo Chavez Frias ratificado por el CNE
Credito: venpres
Prensa Presidencial (27. 08. 04) El Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) oficializó formalmente la ratificación obtenida en el referéndum 15 de Agosto por el Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, para continuar su mandato hasta el año 2006.

En compañía de los representantes de los cinco Poderes Públicos y los integrantes del Gabinete Ejecutivo, el Primer Mandatario Nacional recibió de parte del directorio del CNE, la copia autentificada del acta que certifica los resultados finales de la jornada electoral recientemente realizada y cuya totalización arrojó las cifras siguientes:

_Voto identificado con la opción número 1, correspondiente a la opción No 5: millones 800 mil 629 equivalente al 59,25%. Voto identificado con el código 2, correspondiente a la opción Si, 3 millones 989 mil ocho equivalente al 40,74%.

Ante tales resultados se plasma en la resolución que “el CNE hace constar que el mandato popular del ciudadano Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, como Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela ha sido ratificado por el pueblo venezolano en la jornada electoral del 15 de Agosto pasado. Por consiguiente, el mencionado ciudadano tiene el derecho de ocupar y ejercer el mencionado cargo público hasta la culminación del actual período constitucional”.

Al tomar la palabra en el acto protocolar que fue transmitido en cadena nacional, el presidente del CNE, Francisco Carrasquero, destacó la enorme gratitud hacia el pueblo venezolano “por esa vocación democrática mostrada no solamente para nuestro país sino a nivel mundial y a todos los trabajadores del CNE que hicieron posible este complejo y difícil proceso de prístina belleza democrática”.


El día 15 de agosto de 2004, el pueblo venezolano, en una extraordinaria manifestación democrática, concurrió masivamente a expresar su libérrima voluntad para sufragar en un novedoso referéndum revocatorio presidencial, hoy ratificatorio, establecido legalmente comentó y agregó que tal actividad abrió para siempre “la verdadera democracia participativa y protagónica plasmada en la Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela”.

Carrasquero resaltó que el proceso llevado a cabo escribirá una importante página de la historia nacional con consecuencias mundiales. “El tiempo jamás podrá borrar de la página de la historia mundial, especialmente de Latinoamérica, este ejemplo de excelso civismo, actualizante de los postulados de la democracia que el constitucionalismo social, político, libertario y de justicia destacan en aras del humanismo progresivo de los pueblos”.

El presidente del máximo ente comicial del país comentó la necesidad de retomar el diálogo político “especialmente entre los actores involucrados sin perder de vista nunca que es en el pueblo donde reside la mayoría de la voluntad soberana y a este se deben sus representantes políticos”.

_Es hora de reflexionar y no de lamentaciones. En verdad es muy difícil que aceptemos nuestras propias fallas pero el momento lo exige para disfrutar de una definitiva paz para todos los venezolanos, concluyó.(FIN/R.R)
http://www.aporrea.org/dameverbo.php?docid=19858

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Latin America: The Historic Roots of Oligarchic Racism in Venezuela

Contributed by juttafranz on Thursday, August 26 @ 16:26:34 AST Venezuela and ChavezBy Franz J. T. Lee

One of the quintessential elements of the capitalist world system -- applied ideologically by the "Opposition" in the national and international mass media, to "divide and rule" the Venezuelan people -- is social discrimination, racism. In fact, racism is the ideological reflection of the world market, of the international division of labour, that is, of globalization, of the vicious global class struggle. In fact, Racism is Ideology par excellence. Its current, concrete reality is global fascism, is globalized Apartheid.

Social discrimination, racism, is an innate characteristic of any capitalist society, just like economic exploitation, political domination, destructive militarization and mortal alienation. All of them are intrinsic elements of our world system, to eradicate them, the whole exploitative labour system has to be annihilated. As ideology, there is no capitalism without racism, and vice versa; no matter what excuse we may have, who favours capitalism, sows racism; to eliminate any one of the two, we have to annihilate both. This also applies to all five capitalist essences.

Long ago, in Venezuela, Andres Eloy Blanco, demanded that somebody must paint "black angels" for him, indicating that the European Conquest, that Christianity, have already painted racism into our very sacred essence, into the very soul of Latin America. Concerning the Bolivarian Revolution, the clarion call, the "Diana" attack, has to be: Do not paint any angels for me, neither black angels nor white devils!

The worst that could have happened in Venezuela was when the oligarchs began to attack the black face - the expression of African slavery - of the Bolivarian Revolution, when they slandered President Chávez with racist, fascist diatribes. However, because of a colonial education for barbarism, although they experience it daily, very few Venezuelans know what is racism, what is social discrimination, and what is its relation to capitalism and imperialism. Thus, we will summarize the historical and social roots of racism here. We will under-line its ideological functions, to indicate that the Bolivarian Revolution does not need any ideology, or ideological education, rather it urgently has to develop its own scientific práxis and philosophic theory, to tell the world what is happening here in Latin America.

The Concept "Racism"

"Race", "racial prejudice", "racial discrimination" and "racism" are very vague, unscientific and polydimensional conceptions, which have caused ideological confusion and social disaster over the last three centuries. Although Arthur J. de Gobineau published a manifesto, The Inequality of the Races, and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made their manifesto public at about the same time, yet none of them dealt with the crucial question, namely, the relation of the so-called "race struggle" and the "class struggle", especially in the "Third World" context.

However, these authors cannot be dissociated from their intellectual environment; they are products of their epoch, no matter how critical and revolutionary they may have been. This also applies to us, when we kiss "Mi Negra", or make jokes about Africa: His name is "Negro", his surname is "Mierda"; just imagine what Nelson Mandela would think about us -- about this result of decades of "escualido", puntofijista education. Everything is fine with "Mi Negra", from the very heart of the Congo, however, when she is being presented to her future parents-in-law, then the real racist drama begins.

In the epoch of "discovery", Western Europe had experienced an unprecedented development in technology and science, which was accompanied by a strong feeling of "white race superiority". The social sciences bore the imprint of this arrogance, and anthropology, ethnology or sociology attempted to legitimize scientifically the hegemony of Europe and the supremacy of the "Aryan race". Already prior to the French Revolution, great philosophical thinkers like Montesquieu and Voltaire had paved the road for ascientific "racist" thoughts.

Although Karl Marx spoke about "barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones", and found a subject of derision in Lassie's "negroid" features, there is no reason whatsoever to define scientific socialism, as developed by him as being a "racist ideology". However, we must see our teachers within their historic context, and criticize them according to the limitations of their personal and historic knowledge; above all, one realizes how deeply "racism" has penetrated the very "soul" of human beings, living under capitalism, colonialism and imperialism.

Arthur De Gobineau was of the opinion that all ancient and modern "civilizations" and cultures were "the creation of white men, the only history being white history." Thus, because all history of "non-white" cultures were practically unknown before 1847 in Europe, we find the controversial statement in the Communist Manifesto: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle". In a letter to A. H. Starkenburg, Engels even went so far as to state: "We regard economic conditions as the factor which ultimately determines historical development. But race is itself an economic factor."

These examples raise the crucial question: not whether "races" should be treated equally, not whether "races" are equal, but whether the category of "race", which is the base of "racial prejudice" or "racism", is scientifically a valid one. Now, "ghosts", "angels" or "demons" have not been proved to exist in physical reality, but nevertheless they exist intellectually and spiritually in the minds of millions of Latin American human beings. Similarly, "races" and "racism" are social realities of our epoch. The problem is not to show that they really exist, but that they are pseudo-concepts, part and parcel of bourgeois and oligarchic ideology, which operates with categories which are scientifically invalid.
In Venezuela, these are all necessary to rationalize oligarchic class rule, economic exploitation and to maintain the status quo of "white" hegemony - and nowadays, even "black" supremacy as well. Only when this point is clear can we analyse contemporary "racism" in all its shades and shadows, fired from Plaza Francia.


"Race", "Racial Prejudice" and Racism

The concept "race", in its current use, appeared for the first time in 1684. The French medical doctor and traveller Francois Bernier, wrote about "four or five races of people, whose differences are so obvious, that by right these should be used as the basis for a new division of the world." The real founder of the "race" doctrine, later developed as an ideology, was the Swedish natural scientist, Carl Von Linné. In the tenth revised edition of his famous book, "Systema Naturae", in 1758, he divided the human species into four major "races", according to physical, psychological and social features: Indians, Europeans, Asiatics, and Negroes.
Due to the contributions of Houston Chamberlain, G. V. de Lapouge and De Gobineau, eventually the "racist" ideologues settled for three major "race" groups: Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid. These were again sub-divided into various groups, including, for example, the famous "'Aryan race”.

Scientific knowledge was harnessed in support of the theory of "white race superiority". Charles Darwin's book, "The Origin of the Species. The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" (1859) , gave a great impetus to "race" doctrines; in fact, even Marx was fascinated by Darwin's book, obviously for other reasons, and he even wanted to dedicate the second volume of Capital to Darwin. Darwin had connected evolutionary theory to the "race" theory, creating "Social Darwinism ", a tendency which had applied the biological selection theory to the historical social process. (This eventually found its application in Nazism and apartheid, in ideas like the "Herrenvolk" and "Aryan race").

The genetic laws of J. G. Mendel demolished the anthropological criteria for defining "race", and the biological/genetic "racist" scientists had to seek refuge in the field of sociology. From discovering "gene pools", the term "sociological races" was developed, for the mechanism of biological heredity made the anthropological concept of "race" meaningless. From "sociological races", ''race prejudice" was inferred, especially by the German Nazi scientists, and later by their pupils, the South African "Afrikaner" (Boer) scientists.

"Group Antipathy" in Ancient Civilizations

"Civilization" is a concept created at the same time as "race'", and presupposing as it does "civilized" and "uncivilized" peoples, it has many "racial" connotations. Currently, in racist fashion, in his "new wars", Bush is using this concept against the "Arab barbarians".

We need just to read the works of Hegel, Marx, Engels, De Gobineau or Darwin to see how this term was used against what were in fact culturally highly developed peoples, in Africa, in Latin America, in Venezuela.

In the case of Ancient Egypt, for instance, about a third of the population was composed of "Negroid" peoples, some pharaohs were of "Negro" origin, and at a time an Ethiopian dynasty reigned. The Egyptian rulers had enslaved peoples from many countries, among them Africans, especially from Nubia and Ethiopia. The ruling classes spoke scornfully about these groups, but social relations in the slave-owning society of Egypt had nothing to do with "race prejudice". We have many accounts of how the Egyptians mixed freely with their neighbours, whether slave or free.

In the ancient Greek civilization we find similar social patterns. For Plato, Heracleitus or Aristotle slaves were not considered as citizens, and throughout their works we find scornful remarks about them, for example, calling them "speaking tools".
This also applied, however, to the white slaves from the North; "race prejudice" was not a relevant factor. The Hellenic Greeks had a cultural bond, and the basic division was simply Greeks and barbarians. The latter were simply peoples who did not speak Greek or possess Greek culture. But the Greeks founded colonies, encouraged the ''barbarians'' to participate in Greek culture, married them freely, and once they had acquired a working knowledge of Greek culture, all the Europeans, Asians and Africans were included in the sonorous concept "Hellas". The pre-Columbian African travels, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the origin of the world market, the infamous capitalist "Bermuda Triangle", all link us here in Venezuela to this cultural African heritage, to permanent world revolution.

At the Time of the Empire of Alexander the Great, a new Greco-Oriental ruling class and culture came into existence, on the basis of all the civilizations within the empire. The class distinction between the ruling class and the un-Hellenized natives was a property, an estate one, not a "sociological race'' division.

In the great Roman empire which followed, similarly, the slaves did not differ in outward appearance from their masters, or from "free men". The norm for superiority in Rome was a cultural/class attribute, and as the empire grew, the basic distinction of Roman citizenship was extended to all freeborn persons in the various municipalities.

In his famous book: "Caste, Class and Race", Oliver Cromwell Cox concluded: "There seems to be no basis for imputing racial antagonism to the Egyptians, Babylonians, or Persians." As Ina Corinne Brown stated, "it is important to emphasize the fact that race prejudice such as we know it did not exist before the modern age. "

Slavery And "Racism"

From the Roman Empire, to the "barbarian" invasions of Europe, the reign of the Moslems, and until the era of domination of Roman Catholicism, the rationalization given for slavery was not slaves' colour, but culture or religion. Even as late as the 15th century, when the Transatlantic Slave Trade began, Africans were not enslaved because they were black, but because they were not-Christian, and for economic reasons. According to the late President of Trinidad and Tobago, Eric Williams, in his book, "Capitalism and Slavery":

"Slavery in the Caribbean has been too narrowly identified with the Negro. A racial twist has thereby been given to what is basically an economic phenomenon. Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery. Unfree labour in the New World was brown white, black and yellow; Catholic, Protestant and Pagan."

Before slavery became "big business", the readiness of an African slave to become a Christian was sufficient to gain his emancipation. Later, after the "race" ideology was developed, he had no possibility to change his genes, and slave status was identical with black, and later with "coloured" or yellow.

During the "age of discovery" and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the very European languages became vehicles of emerging "racism"; it entered into children's stories, rhymes and songs. The "Ten Little Black Niggers", the "Struwwelpeter" , the "Bimbos" , etc., all came into existence. The word "negro" never was used in Africa before the 15th century, especially not in "Black Africa", but ever since then "negro" and "negrero" became household words.
The "Negro", as his colonial designation indicates, was distinguished from his white slave-master by his skin colour - black. Over the decades the invidious connotations of the slave status were transferred to anyone who was black, and eventually to anyone who was "non-white". We have seen already how Bernier, de Gobineau or Linné had then elevated "Europeans" with a white skin colour to "superiority" and "Negroes" to "inferiority", using these as pseudo-categories in their "race doctrines". However, "racism", like capitalism itself, had a long historic process of development; only in the 19th century, when capitalism had captured economic and political power, could "racism" reach maturity as part of the general Ideology which gave rationalizations for colonial, social discrimination, and for the division of labour on an international scale.

Capitalism and "Racism"

Concerning the genesis of "racism" and its relation to capitalism, we might quote from a lecture held by the author at various universities in Germany, in October 1976:

" 'Race hatred' ... as a derivative of 'underdevelopment' of Africa and the 'development' of Europe came into existence and became the distinguishing mark of social relations between men of different pigmentations. The concept 'Neger' (Negro) thus acquired its historic discriminatory content ....

'Racism' ... is very closely knitted with the genesis of world capitalism; it functions as a disguise, as rationalization for the barbaric crimes of the colonial epoch .... But it also has a function at home in the metropolitan countries; the common members of the 'master race' stand high up on the rungs of the social ladder of the world, higher than the 'aborigines', 'Bushmen' 'Negroes', 'Red-skins', 'Coolies', 'camel-drivers', etc."

Summarizing, as stated before, "racism" and "capitalism" have a similar genesis. There can be no "racism" without capitalism, and no world capitalism without international "racism". "Racism" is a direct product of the evolution of colonialism and imperialism; it is either openly present or potentially latent in all capitalist countries. Wherever capitalism is flourishing as "neocolonialism" in the so-called "developing world", "racism" in modern forms, with new faces, and new masks, is virulent and contagious.

The capitalist ideology used by the "Opposition" in Venezuela -- against the poorest classes, who support the Bolivarian Revolution -- is pure "racism". Their violent diatribes, calling for "civil disobedience", for "social insurrection", against a legitimate, democratic government, their racist, fascist attacks against Chávez, demonstrate their bloodthirsty capitalist essence. They don't care about the millions of impoverished masses in Latin America, they just see "tin-collectors", the "scum of the earth", "speaking-tools".

For the first time in Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution has given human dignity and worth to the impoverished multitude, enables it to participate in its own destiny. This is too much for the fraudulent "democratic co-ordination" of racism, for corrupt, "democratic" Corporate America, they have to stop this by all violent means, by means of a 10 or 20 years "ancien regime" of terror, of dictatorship.

However, they never will return, the Bolivarian Revolution has left them behind, has crossed the Rubicon on August 15, 2004. President Chávez does not recognize their existence anymore, the Zombies can now decimate each other, can enjoy the "silver bullets" of revolutionary Renaissance and of revolutionary Emancipation. 
http://www.trinicenter.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=764&mode=thread
&order=1&thold=5

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La Oposición Golpista de Venezuela; Mentiras y Manipulación

Por: Franz J.T. Lee

Cierto, hacer una revolución, crear un mundo emancipado, no sólo es un asunto académico, sino más bien es una necesidad práctica, teórica. Precisamente esto fue verificado aquí en Venezuela a través de una feroz lucha de clases – entre el 11 y 14 de abril de 2002 millones de Venezolanos han creado el “milagro” de Caracas concreto y revolucionario; y sólo después fueron alfabetizados y enseñados a leer y escribir.

Después, el 15 de agosto de 2004 ellos pintaron su “NO” arrollador en los muros de Venezuela y el mundo, es decir, las “letras sobre la pared”, el “menetekel” de Cassandra para Bush y sus políticas agresivas hacia Venezuela.

También, como el Presidente Chávez suele resaltar, estamos tratando de introducir la justicia social, precios justos del petróleo, la redistribución justa del ingreso nacional, una “sociedad justa” – sin embargo, no debemos olvidar lo que es “justicia” en una sociedad de clases; en la sociedad colonial, capitalista, imperialista y corporativa, solamente es la acumulación de capital, ganancias justas, explotación justa, dominación justa, discriminación justa, militarización justa y alienación justa. Las hambrientas madres campesinas son juzgadas por robar un pedazo de pan para sus niños muertos de hambre, los grandes tiburones quedan en libertad, viven en Miami, en ese asilo de la corrupción y conspiración.

Por los momentos vemos lo que un puño de golpistas, la “oposición”, entiende de justicia social, democrática y electoral. Y toda la galaxia de agencias internacionales de noticias – incluyendo a CNN, BBC, DPA, AP, etc. – se están sintonizando con las mentiras de esta punta de lanza de la reacción y la contrarrevolución en Venezuela tan cuidadosamente fabricada.

Como unos mocosos protegidos por la CIA, quieren esto y aquello, de repente no quieren nada, no aceptan nada – no dejan ni una chispa para establecer una sociedad justa dentro del actual status quo corporativo imperialista, no en la libre sociedad democrática de Venezuela.

Por eso resaltamos el éxodo revolucionario hacia algo completamente nuevo, original y auténtico, un nuevo modo de creatividad, creación y emancipación. El Trabajo, el proceso de producción, a través de su propia naturaleza explotadora y dominadora no son justos y nunca pueden generar sociedad justa alguna.

¿Por qué pensar, por qué teorizar, por qué filosofar sobre el futuro, sobre nuestra revolución permanente?

Simplemente porque no somos vaqueros yanquis, que primero disparan y averiguan después, primero invaden a Irak y luego buscan las armas de destrucción masiva que no se encuentran en ninguna parte de Irak, porque Bush ya los ha amontonado en casa y en Israel.

No hay pensamiento verdadero alguno, teoría verdadera alguna, que no se basa en la acción, en la práxis y vice versa.

Precisamente “las raíces del cosmopolitanismo y la sobrepoblación del planeta junto al fascismo global actual” se encuentran en la Revolución burgués democrático capitalista, el proceso entero de la Revolución Francesa. Esta revolución sólo permite la justicia de la Razón alias el Capital y ataca ferozmente cualquier “organización económica justa” del ALBA, del MERCOSUR, de una Televisora para el Sur, de un “Banco del Sur”, de un “PetroSur”, de la Unificación Revolucionaria del llamado “Tercer Mundo”.

Así que no podemos progresar dentro del “salto dialéctico” intra-sistémico y sólo queda un camino: el Éxodo del proceso de producción explotador, dominador, hacia una Creatividad, Creación y Emancipación Humana. Esto están tratando de iniciar, alcanzar y materializar actualmente las misiones y los proyectos de la Revolución Bolivariana.


***********************************************

Published: Thursday, August 26, 2004
Bylined to: Jutta Schmitt

Venezuela: O inventamos, o erramos ... we either invent, or we err

 University de Los Andes (ULA) lecturer Jutta Schmitt writes:  We thank all the readers for their valuable comments on my article "Why Venezuelans support the Bolivarian Revolution wholeheartedly." My apologies for not responding individually to each of your emails, but let me try to make an effort to address the most important points and questions raised.

My article is, in the first place, a synthesis of a debate we have been conducting with supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution from the ideological spectrum of the political left, and outlines the answer to the question, what the Bolivarian Revolution is all about and where in history it stands.

Because of its summary character, my article does not include detailed reasons, why Venezuelans also support the Bolivarian Revolution, such as the fact and as correctly pointed out in one comment, that for the first time in Venezuelan history, the vast majority of the eternal, socially and racially discriminated "forgotten ones" -- the very poor and downtrodden, the dark-skinned, the "lumpen", "la chusma", "la Venezuela primitiva y bananera" -- have been actively addressed by their political representatives.

Not only have they been bestowed with political rights, but provided with concrete measures of action, that allow them to overcome their chains of misery and lethargy, recover their human dignity and participate in Venezuelan society as active players; also a decisive step in leaving behind the social and racial discrimination, where "an individuals origin and secondly his/her level of wealth and finally the color of the skin" determines the fate of millions.

I agree it is a "silent and healthy revolution," and in spite of the ferocious and relentless attacks it had to endure, that have cost the country hundreds of lives and the economy billions of dollars, it has not gone for the extermination of the adversary, but made continuous efforts of principled dialogue and effective inclusion! The Bolivarian government presided by Hugo Chavez has, in many ways, acted exactly to the contrary of the calculations of its adversaries and thus avoided falling into a sea of traps.

The Bolivarian Revolution is, indeed, a "revolution of paradigms" and furthermore contains tendencies of "building new means and gains of production," towards overcoming the existing economization of the human being and establishing the humanization of the economy.

Can we really think of and actually construct a social order, where the economy stands in the service of the human being, and not in reverse?

Can we conceive of and realize a social order, where the means and gains of production do not produce exclusion and destruction, where economic interests and profits do not walk over human beings, alive and dead alike?


President Hugo Chavez Frias

Although we cannot point to "any nation in the world which is presently prospering and providing a nice standard of living for its people wherein private property does NOT exist," we can certainly point to a myriad of nations which are presently dwarfing and providing a generalization of misery for its people, wherein private property of the means and gains of production DOES exist.

However, is the negation of capitalism -- socialism -- still an alternative, "can over 75 years of experience with the communist model demonstrate one single success story on our globe?" -- It can't. I not only agree, that "capitalism has been quite successful," I dare say it has been successful to an extent, where its consequences can only disappear with the universal extinction of the entire planet earth, extinction we are actually beginning to witness.

What is at stake with regard to the Bolivarian Revolution here in Venezuela, goes definitely way beyond the question capitalism or socialism -- the two sides of the same, productive-destructive labor process, culminating in today's globalized barbarism.

We need to creatively foster each and every germ in the Bolivarian Revolution that contains the potentiality to counter the self-destruction course of homo "sapiens" on a worldwide scale. In this sense, I say with Simon Rodriguez: O inventamos, o erramos -- we either invent, or we err.

The floor is open...

Jutta Schmitt
jutta@aktionspotenzial.de

JUTTA SCHMITT, M.A., Political Science, Philosophy & Sociology is an Assistant Lecturer (ad honorem) in Political Science at the University de Los Andes (ULA) in Merida. 
You may email Jutta Schmitt at jutta@aktionspotenzial.de

http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=22587
***********************************************

Published: Thursday, August 26, 2004
Bylined to: Jutta Schmitt

Venezuela: O inventamos, o erramos ... we either invent, or we err

 University de Los Andes (ULA) lecturer Jutta Schmitt writes:  We thank all the readers for their valuable comments on my article "Why Venezuelans support the Bolivarian Revolution wholeheartedly." My apologies for not responding individually to each of your emails, but let me try to make an effort to address the most important points and questions raised.

My article is, in the first place, a synthesis of a debate we have been conducting with supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution from the ideological spectrum of the political left, and outlines the answer to the question, what the Bolivarian Revolution is all about and where in history it stands.

Because of its summary character, my article does not include detailed reasons, why Venezuelans also support the Bolivarian Revolution, such as the fact and as correctly pointed out in one comment, that for the first time in Venezuelan history, the vast majority of the eternal, socially and racially discriminated "forgotten ones" -- the very poor and downtrodden, the dark-skinned, the "lumpen", "la chusma", "la Venezuela primitiva y bananera" -- have been actively addressed by their political representatives.

Not only have they been bestowed with political rights, but provided with concrete measures of action, that allow them to overcome their chains of misery and lethargy, recover their human dignity and participate in Venezuelan society as active players; also a decisive step in leaving behind the social and racial discrimination, where "an individuals origin and secondly his/her level of wealth and finally the color of the skin" determines the fate of millions.

I agree it is a "silent and healthy revolution," and in spite of the ferocious and relentless attacks it had to endure, that have cost the country hundreds of lives and the economy billions of dollars, it has not gone for the extermination of the adversary, but made continuous efforts of principled dialogue and effective inclusion! The Bolivarian government presided by Hugo Chavez has, in many ways, acted exactly to the contrary of the calculations of its adversaries and thus avoided falling into a sea of traps.

The Bolivarian Revolution is, indeed, a "revolution of paradigms" and furthermore contains tendencies of "building new means and gains of production," towards overcoming the existing economization of the human being and establishing the humanization of the economy.

Can we really think of and actually construct a social order, where the economy stands in the service of the human being, and not in reverse?

Can we conceive of and realize a social order, where the means and gains of production do not produce exclusion and destruction, where economic interests and profits do not walk over human beings, alive and dead alike?


President Hugo Chavez Frias

Although we cannot point to "any nation in the world which is presently prospering and providing a nice standard of living for its people wherein private property does NOT exist," we can certainly point to a myriad of nations which are presently dwarfing and providing a generalization of misery for its people, wherein private property of the means and gains of production DOES exist.

However, is the negation of capitalism -- socialism -- still an alternative, "can over 75 years of experience with the communist model demonstrate one single success story on our globe?" -- It can't. I not only agree, that "capitalism has been quite successful," I dare say it has been successful to an extent, where its consequences can only disappear with the universal extinction of the entire planet earth, extinction we are actually beginning to witness.

What is at stake with regard to the Bolivarian Revolution here in Venezuela, goes definitely way beyond the question capitalism or socialism -- the two sides of the same, productive-destructive labor process, culminating in today's globalized barbarism.

We need to creatively foster each and every germ in the Bolivarian Revolution that contains the potentiality to counter the self-destruction course of homo "sapiens" on a worldwide scale. In this sense, I say with Simon Rodriguez: O inventamos, o erramos -- we either invent, or we err.

The floor is open...

Jutta Schmitt
jutta@aktionspotenzial.de

JUTTA SCHMITT, M.A., Political Science, Philosophy & Sociology is an Assistant Lecturer (ad honorem) in Political Science at the University de Los Andes (ULA) in Merida. 
You may email Jutta Schmitt at jutta@aktionspotenzial.de

http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=22587
***********************************************
Why we support the Bolivarian Revolution wholeheartedly

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Mellor
To: jutta@aktionspotenzial.de
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 11:05 PM
Subject: My 'Revolution' Will Not Hurt You, Chavez Tells Foes

What do you think of Chavez here assuring the capitalist class that all is well?

Richard

Published on Sunday, August 22, 2004 by Reuters
My 'Revolution' Will Not Hurt You, Chavez Tells Foes
by Pascal Fletcher

  CARACAS, Venezuela -   Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told his opponents on Sunday they should not fear his left-wing "revolution" after his referendum win and pledged to respect private wealth and fight corruption.

While he offered a dialogue to foes who accepted his victory in the Aug. 15 recall poll, Chavez said he would ignore opposition leaders who refused to recognize his mandate and urged other Latin American leaders to ostracize them as well.

In a television broadcast, the populist leader sought to dispel fears among rich and middle-class Venezuelans that he planned to launch a fresh ideological offensive against their status and property.

"What we want is national unity ... this revolution should not frighten anybody," Chavez said during his weekly "Hello President" TV and radio show.

Opposition leaders say Chavez won the recall vote through fraud by rigging voting machines, but international observers found no evidence of cheating.

Venezuela has remained calm through the referendum, but some opposition leaders have called for protests. This has raised concerns of renewed conflict in the world's No. 5 oil exporter, which has been bitterly divided over Chavez's rule.

First elected in 1998, Chavez won 59 percent of the referendum vote and will now serve until 2006 elections.

"All this stuff about Chavez and his hordes coming to sweep away the rich, it's a lie," he said. "We have no plan to hurt you. All your rights are guaranteed, you who have large properties or luxury farms or cars."

But he pledged to intensify social programs for the poor and proceed with reforms of Venezuela's Supreme Court and judiciary that critics say are squandering the country's oil resources and seek to consolidate his personal grip on power.

He also vowed to "fight to the death against corruption."

"GO TO MARS"

Chavez said he would no longer deal with the opposition Democratic Coordinator coalition, which promoted the referendum challenge and now refuses to accept his win.

"We cannot talk with people who don't recognize this result or the constitution ... if they want to start a rebellion in the mountains, then let them," said Chavez, who himself led a failed coup bid six years before winning 1998 elections.

He suggested these opposition leaders fly "to Mars or Venus" to find support for their fraud charges.

Chavez said the Democratic Coordinator group, which he accuses of backing a short-lived 2002 coup, should face sanctions in the Organization of American States for what he called their anti-democratic attitude.

He added he would lobby other South American presidents to cut all contacts with the opposition coalition.

Chavez also appointed Jesse Chacon, a close political ally and former military colleague, as interior minister.

Chacon replaced Gen. Lucas Rincon, who was made interior minister early last year when Chavez was battling a grueling opposition strike.

Chavez also named Andres Izarra, a journalist who was press attache at Venezuela's embassy in Washington, as information minister.

Additional reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez
© Copyright 2004 Reuters Ltd
###
-- 
Check out our website at: http://www.laborsmilitantvoice.com

"I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it".  Eugene Debs

Richard Mellor
Member, AFSCME Local 444
Oakland CA


**************************

Richard,

The Bolivarian Revolution here in Venezuela is, according to our analysis and placed in the context of the even, uneven and combined development, the effort to accomplish the pending historical tasks of the French (bourgeois) revolution, such as the agrarian reform introduced by Chávez´ government, the push for industrialization beyond the oil / extractive industry sector, and the building of a national bourgeoisie, which has been a continuous effort of this government since 1999. 
 
Simultaneously and facing today´s globalized reality, the Chávez government has been strongly pushing towards Latin American integration, in order to effectively counter the USA´s Free Trade Area for the Americas (FTAA), which originally was going to take effect in 2005, a plan aborted for now. Latin American Integration, however, presupposes the existence of respective national bourgeoisies in all of the hemisphere´s countries, yet we know, that historically and as a result of the establishment of the world market, national, productive bourgeoisies  - as we have known them in Europe for instance - , never came to be a reality in the "Third World" countries, where the economic structures and the capital accumulation models were, from the very beginning, unilaterally oriented towards the extractive industries and/or agri-monocultural production, mainly for exportation.
 
Pretending to catch up with the historical tasks of national capital accumulation, industrialization and the formation of a national bourgeoisie inmidst of the de facto existing, globalized corporate world, under the economic and financial dictate of the few giga-corporations that dominate the world market, is comparable to "fighting the hen with the egg". 
 
Finally and given Venezuela´s specific situation, where we have seen kind of a "rentist state model of capital accumulation" operating through the 20th century, based on the State´s income from the oil extractive industry, the behaviour of the economy always stronlgy has depended on oil prices. Depending on these, we have seen efforts in the past of a redistribution of national wealth, favouring the lower classes of Venezuelan society, and this is what we see again today, under Chávez´ government, which, in addition, has tried to politically empower the lower classes to a certain extent, which may be considered the epicentre of the Bolivarian Revolution.
 
Given all these factors, can we really speak of a "revolution" here? - Certainly not in terms of a socialist revolution, in terms of socializing the means and gains of production. Even if the new constitution (1999) is a comparatively progressive and innovative one, the right to private property keeps being enshrined in it and thus does not affect the continuity of capitalist production.
 
However, and given the concentration and monopolization of capital on a global scale, the fascist face of which we have been seeing ever since the "New American Century" has (unofficially) been proclaimed with its merciless drive to preventively stop and crush all remaining competitors for energy and markets on a world wide scale, we have to support each and every effort, however obsolete in time and limited in space, to counter the existing global barbarism, and this is why we are supporting the "Bolivarian Revolution", especially the radical tendencies that do exist within it, and that tend to transcend it towards overcoming the capitalist mode of production as such.
Greetings,
Jutta.
*************************************************************************

Venezuela Defeats the Coupmakers
Tuesday, Aug 24, 2004 Print format
  Send by email

 

By: Lee Sustar - Socialist Worker

VENEZUELA’S POOR met the news of Hugo Chávez’s referendum victory with joy. Thousands of people from the nearby barrio of Catia jammed the streets around Miraflores, the presidential palace, just as they did in April 2002 to defy--and defeat--a U.S.-backed military coup.

This time, the scene was sheer celebration, with demonstrators dancing in the streets to the music of popular salsa bands. Young people crammed onto the back of pickup trucks. One of the many 1970s Chevy sedans seen around the city--kept on the road through necessity, and by the ingenuity of Caracas’ poor--somehow crawled along with 20 people on board, jammed inside and standing on top.

The numbers in the streets were still growing when Chávez addressed the crowd from the palace balcony, shortly after 4 a.m. on August 16. Perhaps the biggest cheer came when he declared, "This is a blow to the center of the White House."

A few hours later, Chavistas organized caravans, honking their horns in the rhythm of the popular chant: "Uh, ah, Chávez no se va!" (Chávez isn’t going!) "This is a victory for the people," said Maria Luisa Delgado, a retired teacher, as she and a friend prepared to join a celebration in the midst of opposition territory--the upper middle class suburb of San Antonio de los Altos. "We have real democracy in Venezuela, participatory and proactive."

Predictably, the misnamed Democratic Coordinator--the opposition coalition funded by the U.S. government-backed National Endowment for Democracy--made claims about fraud in the functioning of the electronic voting system. But these charges were undercut when international observers--including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter--accepted the results announced by Venezuela’s National Election Commission, with 58 percent voting "no" to the recall and 42 percent "yes."

Even the U.S. State Department went along. With 94 percent of the votes counted, the vote count for Chávez was nearly 5 million--an increase of more than 1 million votes over his total in the 2000 elections. The opposition had won 3.6 million "yes" votes in a turnout initially estimated at 80 percent. The huge turnout in the barrios made it clear that Chávez still has the backing of the 80 percent of the population that lives under the poverty line.

In a country that, according to one recent study, has more social inequality than Brazil or South Africa, the wealthy have despised Chávez all along for raising the expectations of the poor. Today, they hate him even more intensely for delivering on his promises, with a series of anti-poverty programs paid for by rising revenues from oil exports.

The U.S., meanwhile, sees Chávez’s nationalism as a dangerous break with the free-market "neoliberal" policies of the so-called Washington consensus. In a period in which popular rebellions against intolerable economic and social conditions have overturned governments across South America, Chávez is bidding to become a regional leader.

Plus, his regular denunciations of U.S. imperialism have always infuriated U.S. officials--and today carry added weight because of the crisis of the U.S. occupation in Iraq. All this is reason enough for Washington to undermine Chávez.

And since Venezuela is the number one exporter of oil to the U.S., the situation was even more embarrassing for Washington: Chávez not only regularly pokes Uncle Sam in the eye, he does it with pocketfuls of U.S. dollars. That’s why the U.S. backed the military coup against Chávez in April 2002--euphemistically referred to as a "temporary alteration of constitutional order" on the U.S. State Department Web site--and immediately recognized the new government of the coup-makers.

But the opposition immediately showed its true dictatorial colors--provoking a popular rebellion that toppled the new regime within two days and forced the military to allow Chávez’s triumphant return. Now, if a report in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo is accurate, the CIA concluded that Chávez’s victory in the recall vote was inevitable--and that Washington’s spies had met with its Latin American counterparts in Chile to discuss Chávez’s alleged plans to spread his "Bolivarian revolution" to neighboring countries.

This, of course, is nonsense--but it provides a pretext for future efforts to isolate and destabilize Venezuela. That will be harder now, however. Chávez’s victory is the seventh in a series of electoral successes for his movement--including his first election win in 1998 after the collapse of Venezuela’s political parties; the election of a constituent assembly the following year to write a new constitution; and Chávez’s reelection in 2000 for a six-year term.

Now Chávez has rolled up his biggest majority yet. But that won’t bring political stability to Venezuela. Not only will the opposition and its U.S. backers keep hammering away, but the contradictions between Chávez’s politics and his social base are likely to come into the open.

At a press conference prior to the election, Chávez vowed to meet with leaders of the opposition immediately after the vote--the latest in a series of attempts to make a deal. Given the size of his victory, he may find some takers among some big business executives and opposition figures--but only as they buy time until they can challenge him again.

Behind the rise of Chavismo

CHÁVEZ’S DEALINGS with the opposition and big business highlights the contradictory role of a man who calls himself a revolutionary, but who runs a capitalist state dominated by a hostile bureaucracy. Much of the government remains staffed by members of the two traditional ruling parties of Venezuela--the center-left Democratic Action (AD, according to its initials in Spanish) and the conservative Social Christian Party (known as COPEI).

These two parties ruled Venezuela according to a power-sharing pact negotiated in 1958 after the collapse of a military dictatorship. By constitutionally mandating nationwide slates for elections and centralizing power in the federal government--state governors were appointed, for example--AD and COPEI were able to exclude rival parties, such as the Communist Party, from mounting a serious challenge.

Party cadres regularly stole elections by intimidating voters at polling places, invalidating ballots and manipulating registration lists. Their omnipresent political machines were funded by revenues from the oil company, PDVSA--which was nationalized in 1976 under President Carlos Andrés Pérez of the AD party, along with other industries.

This state capitalism reinforced the political power of the two ruling parties--and produced an economy and a state permeated with corruption. During the financial crisis of the 1980s, for example, government officials helped their cronies gain easy access to dollars, allowing an $11 billion capital flight from the country, while real wages for Venezuelans plunged 20 percent.

This was a symptom of a wider economic crisis of stagnation, as the state-run industries were squeezed by competition on the world market. Meanwhile, PDVSA, supposedly run by the state, became a power unto itself, investing money in overseas operations to minimize taxes.

It was in this context that Pérez was elected president again in 1988. This time, he launched an aggressive neoliberal austerity plan, cutting government spending and allowing huge price increases for essential goods, in accordance with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement.

This triggered a spontaneous, insurrectionary protest on February 27, 1989, in which as many as 1,500 were killed by police and the armed forces, according to activists. The repression caused a crisis inside the army among mid-ranking officers and soldiers, including Chávez.

In 1992, he led a military coup against Pérez, but surrendered and was imprisoned. Chávez wasn’t seen as a would-be military dictator, but as a popular hero--and he was pardoned the following year. He began to articulate the anger and aspirations of workers and the poor, who had suffered under the government’s harsh neoliberal policies.

The percentage of workers in the informal sector--those in day labor, street vending and the like--grew from 34.5 percent to 53 percent by 1999. Real wages in Venezuelan industry--which includes auto assembly plants for both General Motors and Ford--dropped by 40 percent between 1980 and the late 1990s.

This was part of a wider shift in wealth from the poor to the rich. Between 1981 and 1997, the poorest 40 percent saw their share of income drop from 19.1 percent to 14.7 percent in 1997, while the richest 10 percent grabbed a third of the national income. In the decade up to 1994, poverty rates nearly doubled, reaching 66 percent.

Over the same period, budget cuts obliterated what had been one of the more developed welfare states among poor countries. Spending on housing and urban development was slashed by 70 percent in the early 1990s, health care by 37 percent, and social development by 56 percent.

All this meant that Chávez found a ready audience for his ideas of a nationalist "Bolivarian revolution"--named for Simón Bolívar, the leader of Venezuela’s anti-colonial struggle against Spain in the early 19th century. Although "Bolivarian" politics were vaguely defined, one point was clear: the poor had suffered long enough, and their time had come.

Revolution from above?

CHÁVEZ SUPPORTERS describe the political changes in Venezuela as "el proceso"--shorthand for the Bolivarian revolutionary process. "El proceso"--which Chávez called a "third way" between capitalism and "failed" communism--began haltingly when he took office in 1999.

The high-profile Plan Bolivar 2000 put the military in charge of several anti-poverty programs, such as repair of homes, schools and public buildings; medical aid; and food distribution. More far-reaching was land reform.

In a country where 70 percent of agricultural land is owned by just 3 percent of the population, Chávez’s government turned over state-owned land to 130,000 families in 2003 (takeover of private land has been authorized, but not implemented). Urban land reform gave property deeds to families in poor neighborhoods where community organizations organized to request them.

The late 1990s recession, a collapse in oil prices, and capital flight from Venezuela soon limited funds for reform, however. With the economy shrinking, the opposition was able to mobilize a massive anti-Chávez march on April 11, 2002--which served as the springboard for the failed military coup.

The next blow was the oil industry strike called by the Venezuelan labor federation, the CTV--historically "financially dependent on successive AD governments and politically controlled by the AD party," as Venezuela specialist Julia Buxton wrote in a recent book on the country. Oil workers and the military were able to break what amounted to a lockout, but the economy was devastated, shrinking 8.9 percent in 2002 and another 9.4 percent last year.

The Economist magazine smugly predicted Chávez’s eventual downfall. But the spike in world oil prices--thanks in part to the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq--has changed all that. The Venezuelan economy is on track to grow by as much as 12 percent this year.

This allowed Chávez to launch new reform projects, known as "missions," to bypass the inefficient bureaucracy and shore up his political support. The programs include subsidized food markets for the poor; medical care in rural areas and urban slums provided by Cuban doctors; and greater access to higher education.

The missions were key to mobilizing countless delegations from the barrios for a mammoth pro-government rally August 8 in Caracas--estimated at over 1 million strong. "The victory of Chávez means that Venezuela is finally coming to use its riches for the well-being of the people," said 70-year-old Maria Carmen.

Argelio, a young man from the Barrio Adentro anti-poverty mission, said that Caracas "popular zones" like his were central to Venezuela’s political change. "The barrio of Del Valle is important to the Venezuelan revolution, to our liberty, to patriotism, to the people of Venezuela."

The anti-poverty programs and reforms, coupled with Chávez’s frequent denunciations of U.S. imperialism and neoliberalism, mark a break from the free-market "Washington consensus" of privatization, deregulation and "flexible" labor policies imposed across Latin America. Chávez’s network of advisers includes leaders of the French anti-globalization group ATTAC and a number of internationally known left-wing intellectuals.

But does this constitute a "revolution?" In some respects, Chávez is a throwback to Latin America’s nationalist and populist leaders of the past--Lázaro Cárdenas in 1930s Mexico, and Juan Perón in Argentina a decade later. But where these governments nationalized key industries to develop their economies, Chávez hasn’t moved to expropriate private industry.

Instead, he’s trying to use his control of the PDVSA oil company to discipline Venezuelan big business and become more assertive in trade agreements--opposing the Free Trade Area of the Americas, for example. In this sense, Chávez is following a policy that Brazilian President Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva calls "sovereign insertion" into the world market.

This is a policy of reasserting national initiative against imperialism and its institutions--including the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization. Yet where Lula has capitulated to those pressures, Chávez has pushed back, using oil revenues to chart a different course.

Even so, Chávez has continued to pay off the IMF loan sharks, and he’s sought to reconcile with sections of Venezuelan capitalists. The majority of workers--including those in the left-wing labor center, the National Union of Workers (UNT)--support Chávez against the employer-backed opposition. Many UNT affiliates pulled out of the CTV federation following the oil industry lockout.

Still, real wages haven’t increased, and the employers’ decimation of jobs through layoffs and outsourcing hasn’t been addressed. A strike earlier this year by the independent steelworkers’ union at Venezuela’s steel company--half owned by the state and half by a consortium of foreign companies--brought these issues into the open.

For its part, the CTV accuses the UNT--which gets preferential treatment from Chávez--of being virtually an arm of the state. The UNT has received resources from the government--but also at times has found itself at odds with government policy.

The Venezuelan capitalists who run the privatized companies have their own links to the world market and are loathe to hand the initiative to Chávez and the state. They and their backers in Washington--which includes Republicans and Democrats alike--will continue to undermine Venezuela’s government.

What’s next in Venezuela?

THE RESULTS of Venezuela’s referendum are a victory for everyone opposed to neoliberalism and U.S. imperialism--in Venezuela and around the world. But the polarization of Venezuelan society reflected in the recall vote won’t be resolved by the election results.

Washington’s intervention will continue. Venezuelan big business and the wealthy may hanker for a military coup like Chile in 1973--but the armed forces remain loyal to Chávez, so they will have to build an electoral opposition and bide their time.

Yet the often-quoted phrase of Chávez supporters that "the Venezuelan military are on the side of the people" is no guarantee against a future coup. Armies are inherently rigid, conservative and hierarchical institutions, in which the chain of command is followed unquestioningly if they are to be effective--and the top officers are socially intertwined with the wealthy and powerful.

The military, after all, is the core of a state that reflects and reinforces class relations in society. Chávez’s "Bolivarian Revolution" has tried to remold and bypass that state--but hasn’t dismantled it. That means the process of social change will be continually impeded and undermined, if not blocked altogether.

Since the defeat of the oil lockout, activists on the left in popular organizations and the movement have complained that "el proceso" has been bureaucratized and "cleaned up." In an interview after the referendum results were announced, Roland Denis, a former vice minister for local planning in the Chávez government and an activist with the popular organizations, said that the struggle will intensify after the celebrations are over.

"This is a process that is immensely majoritarian, sustained fundamentally, of course, by the popular classes, and [the election results] show their force," said Denis, who was reportedly forced from office for being too left wing. "It’s evident, however, that revolutionaries can’t rely on an electoral plan to construct a new society."

He added that there is a "big contradiction between the policy of the process and its program"--tensions between leading elements who want to slow down the changes, and those who want to break with all limitations and "deepen" the process. This reflects the fact that Chávez has so far been able to balance antagonistic classes--business and the wealthy on one side, workers and the poor on the other.

As in previous elections in Venezuela, the recall vote channelled that conflict into the ballot box. Now, Chávez’s recall victory, along with economic growth and the anti-poverty missions, will raise popular demands for deeper change.

That can bring workers and the poor into struggle for their own interests--faster and more extensive land reforms, rebuilding the traditional health care system, higher wages, more jobs. Such struggles will be met with ferocious resistance by business and the wealthy--and force the Chávez government to choose sides.

In the midst of those battles, the debate over the nature and direction of the revolutionary process in Venezuela will develop--and have an enormous impact across Latin America and around the world.

Original source / relevant link:
Socialist Worker






2003 VenezuelAnalysis.com
Ongoing News, Views and Analysis from Venezuela


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Beyond Populism: Venezuela and the International Left
Monday, Aug 23, 2004Print format
  Send by email

 

By: Jonah Gindin - Canadian Dimension

All over the world, the international Left — including the global social justice movement — is peering sceptically at Venezuela, unsure of what to make of President Hugo Chávez’ alleged democratic revolution. Is Chávez the next Allende? Is the ‘Bolivarian revolution’ really revolutionary? Is it anti-capitalist? Or does he merely represent another chimera in a long line of populists who rile up the masses with rousing condemnations of US Imperialism, only to quietly cut deals with international capital? Hesitation, wariness, doubts — these feelings are understandable; the Left has been taken in before by Latin America’s infamous, ephemeral caudillo. But it is wrong to merely lump Chávez in with that sordid history of pseudo-revolutionaries. Yet placing him in Allende’s lineage is not entirely accurate either. Chávez is, after all, not exactly socialist. He hasn’t even nationalized anything (yet). But the relevance of the Venezuelan experience to the Left is fundamental. Something is happening in Venezuela that should inspire progressives everywhere, and it is the responsibility of the Left to learn from this experience — and more than that — to ensure that it is not extinguished before it has a chance to catch.

At this key and contested juncture in Latin American history, the Bolivarian revolution has been leading the regional struggle against neoliberalism, including the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA); it has been fomenting regional cooperation; and developing elements of a hopeful model of participatory democracy. Venezuela’s leadership has been based on a serious alternative model of democratic development, backed by a politicized and well-organized alliance between grassroots organizations and the executive of the state.

Since Venezuela’s ‘democracy’ was born in 1958 the political system has been dominated by Accion Democratica (AD-social-democratic) and Copei (social-christian)-essentially a two-party polyarchy that kept oil-rents circulating in elite circles. But by the 1990s corruption and unpopular structural adjustment programs led to a nationwide rejection of traditional politics and opened a space for an alternative political movement. Hugo Chávez, a former paratrooper, filled the void with a radical critique of the old politics, and a new constitution aimed at profoundly transforming the economic, political, and social organization of Venezuelan society. Chávez won the presidential elections in 1998 and again in 2000 with over 50 per cent of the vote, and his movement has since won a series of elections, plebiscites and referenda.

Anti-Neoliberal

Article 73 of the Constitution obliges the state to keep its citizens informed about the implications of issues under negotiation in the FTAA.” It states that, “International treaties, conventions, and agreements that could compromise national sovereignty or transfer power to supranational entities shall be submitted to referendum.” This position on the FTAA is more than xenophobia, more than casual resistance to US influence, more, even, than anti-neoliberal: it is democratic.
In attempting to foster a viable challenge to US-led neoliberalism, the Bolivarian revolution has developed a broad, participatory democratic model that includes economic and social rights as well as the goal of a complete redefinition of political rights. Venezuela’s unusual combination of oil wealth and the considerable support for the revolution within the military has allowed it to limit the degree of its dependence on international financial institutions and the US.

The Revolution on the Ground

Unlike the populist caudillos who promised, and occasionally actually did things for the working poor, Chávez’ emphasis and commitment have been to providing support and resources for developing their organizational capacities.

One of the most interesting examples of this revolutionary redefinition of democracy is the funding of community organizations such as the Organizaciones Comunitario Viviendo (OCVs-Community Living Organizations) — the most local level of a network of community, district, and municipal organizations at the centre of the Bolivarian revolution’s project of decentralization. These OCVs are made up of one member from a maximum of 30 families who allocate funding received from the municipality (and ultimately from the state oil company PDVSA) according to their needs. Autonomous decision-making at the community level and the broader movement towards decentralization have combined with access to free education, childcare and health-care to politicize many Venezuelan communities, providing them with the impetus and the ability to lay the foundation for a more profound, long-term revolutionary transformation.

Free educational projects now provide education from basic literacy to university-level in classrooms located in poor areas all over the country. Free childcare facilities are coming to more and more communities, extending the right to education to overwhelmed parents. A similar project known as ‘Barrio Adentro’ (Inside the Neighbourhood) uses Cuban doctors to provide primary health-care in some of Venezuela’s poorest and most inaccessible hillside barrios.

Yet it is difficult to completely transform political, economic and social relations overnight — especially in a country with so much wealth at stake. Many elements of the old state remain, and a forty-year tradition of bureaucratic corruption will not disappear quietly. At root is the fact that Venezuela remains a capitalist state and state structures remain oriented towards the global economy, rather than towards extending and applying Venezuelan democracy to the economy. Compounding these internal limitations is the Venezuelan opposition, at core the old elite, who remain in control of production and of the media.

Internal and External Opposition

Domestic opposition to Chávez comes for the most part from the old ruling elite, and their reach is considerable: many white collar workers in the state oil company (PDVSA); media magnates controlling all mainstream private television and most print media; and big-business interests in oil, finance, and industry. But a key element of the opposition also comes from the middle class-the journalists, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals who have been turned off the Bolívarian revolution mostly due to economic policies that have benefited the 80 per cent of the population living in poverty, at the expense of the middle- and upper-classes.

The same disenchantment with traditional politics that brought Chávez to power in 1998 dealt such a blow to AD and Copei that they did not even field candidates. Six years later they have begun to recover and represent the foundation of the Coordinadora Democratica-a political body lumping together the fractious, chaotic mish-mash of ‘anti-chavists’ who form a large part of ‘the opposition’.
The political campaign to topple Chávez is being waged on several fronts: extra-legal/violent, legal/political, and the all-important realm of public opinion. The most striking example of the extra-legal/violent strategy was the briefly successful coup of April 11, 2002, reversed 48 hours later by the alliance of loyal elements in the Military and the determined support of millions of Venezuelans who gathered outside the Presidential palace to demand Chávez’s return.

The legal/political route has only been considered recently, and in the face of the failure of violent, extra-legal means. It centres around a recall referendum scheduled for August 15, 2004.
Arguably the most important, and certainly the most international, aspect of opposition to Chávez is the battle is being waged predominantly in the mainstream media — joined regularly by certain human rights groups — often outweighing their commitment to objective-reporting. These news organizations, while pretending to objectivity, actually held meetings of the coup conspirators in news stations and private residences of reporters and station owners prior to the coup.
International print and television media are also guilty of employing active members of the Venezuelan opposition as correspondents. It is on this last front that many believe the battle for Venezuela will be lost; for, even many on the Left appear to have been dissuaded from taking much interest in Venezuela by the constant barrage of misreportage.

A Space for the Left

Whatever the limitations and flaws of Venezuela’s revolutionary process, activists in the ‘North’ have a responsibility to participate, criticize, advise, and agitate. Two main areas demand the Left’s attention: international policies towards (against) Venezuela; and contributions to the movement itself.

The Canadian government’s differences with the U.S. on Iraq did not signal a fundamental break in their relationship. In fact, since the tensions over Iraq, the Canadian government has been bending over backwards to confirm its place within the American empire. This was evident in Haiti, and it continues to be so as the Canadian government toes the OAS line on Venezuela. The OAS being what it is — a cosmetic front for U.S. meddling — Canada is partly responsible for the reactionary role the OAS has played to date in Venezuela. It is for the Canadian Left to make this an issue in Canada, to force the government to defend its position and the hardly objective role of the OAS to the Canadian public.

However, in the final analysis what is missing most in Venezuela is the kind of international solidarity that those fighting from below deserve. More than anything, it is up to the Left to realize that there is a uniquely significant social, political, economic-humanist revolution at stake in Venezuela. And it is up to us to commit to participating, criticizing, and supporting the Venezuelan revolution in order to ensure that it is not extinguished by the machinations of the U.S., that it does not disappear from Left consciousness before it has even arrived.

Jonah Gindin is a Canadian journalist living and working in Caracas, Venezuela. He writes regularly for www.venezuelanalysis.com

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1261



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Aporrea.Org

"...Esta epopeya que tenemos delante,
la van a escribir  las masas hambrientas de indios,
de campesinos sin tierras,
de obreros explotados.
La van a escribir las masas progresistas,
los intelectuales honestos y brillantes
que tanto abundan
en nuestras sufridas tierras de América Latina..."
 
 Ernesto Che Guevara
 
 "Supiste cabalgar contra quien odia
desde su torre de oro y exterminio
pero, en mi parecer, te dió más gloria
el Alma que tallaste a tu dominio "
 
- Silvio Rodríguez

América Latina, Venezuela: Ahora el zorro corporativo está cuidando nuestros pollitos electorales democráticos
Por: Franz J.T. Lee
Publicado el Lunes, 23/08/04 07:00pm





Ahora, después de la "Batalla de Santa Inés" en Venezuela, como paradigma emancipatorio para el mundo, estamos celebrando el internacionalismo y el proletarianismo internacional, la práxis-teoría revolucionaria de las clases obreras del mundo, de la Revolución Bolivariana a escala global, especialmente en América Latina.

Sin embargo, ahora vale más que nunca: “¡La Lutta continúa!” ¡Tenemos que saber qué es la Revolución, nuestra Revolución!

Desde las Revoluciones (Norte)Americana y Francesa, y desde la Revolución
Industrial Británica, muchos estudiosos hicieron serios intentos científicos
para explicar esos cambios sociales históricos momentáneos, que tuvieron lugar
en Europa y Norteamérica durante los siglos 18 y 19, y en Asia, Africa y América
Latina en el siglo 20.

En otros de nuestros ensayos tratábamos de explicar el concepto de “revolución”
en general, y la “Revolución Bolivariana” en Venezuela y América Latina en
particular. Aquí otra vez un resumen de los conceptos fundamentales.

El Concepto de “Revolución”

Para las tareas emancipatorias, después de la victoria electoral Bolivariana del
15 de agosto de 2004, es obligatorio saber lo que se tiene que hacer en el
futuro inmediato, saber de lo que se trata con la revolución social, con el
proletarianismo internacional y la emancipación de los trabajadores a escala
mundial.

Ahora, aquí un breve resumen del origen histórico de la revolución.
Enfatizaremos las ideas y los eventos históricos pertinentes, bajo cuya
influencia y guía ideológica Bolívar, Miranda, Rodríguez y Zamora estaban
luchando para iniciar la revolución, la liberación de América Latina.

Agustín Thierry (1795-1856), el historiador y escritor romántico Francés, vio el
desarrollo nacional como una lucha entre dos “razas” principales, los invasores
y los invadidos; Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874), otro historiador
Francés, quien, entre 1829 y 1832 escribió la obra de 6 volúmenes “Historia
General de la Civilización en la Europa Moderna”, igual que Thierry, interpretó
las revoluciones sociales Europeas como luchas de clases sociales. Louis Adolphe
Thiers (1797-1877), Primer Ministro de Francia entre 1836 y 1840 y Presidente de
la Tercera República Francesa entre 1871 y 1873, un historiador Europeo
prominente de su tiempo, igual que Thierry y Guizot, formó parte de los
intelectuales respetados que inspiraron a Carlos Marx y Federico Engels en
desarrollar su teoría de la lucha de clases en la mitad del siglo 19.

Desde la “Reflexión sobre la Revolución Francesa” de Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
hasta los autores contemporáneos de la “teoría sobre el sistema” o "teoría
sistémica", “teoría de la modernización” o “teoría de la independencia” hay una
conexión histórica directa de intelectuales que habían intentado de explicar la
esencia y las leyes del desarrollo del “cambio social” o la “revolución social”.

Obviamente tenemos que estudiar este “proceso de la revolución mundial”, tenemos
que entender las raíces históricas metropolitanas de la Revolución Bolivariana.
De la manera contraria nos volvemos clavados a lo inmediato, al "carpe diem" de
la ideología y la reacción, por ejemplo, olvidamos que Jimmy Carter era un
presidente de los EE.UU. que participaba en todo tipo de conspiraciones y
sabotaje de posibles revoluciones en Haití, Nicaragua, etc. Ahora irónicamente,
el zorro corporativo está cuidando nuestros pollitos electorales democráticos
contra las intrigas golpistas de la "Coordinadora Democrática".

Los diferentes autores mencionados anteriormente, independientemente de su
ideología política específica, trataron de captar las múltiples causas,
pre-condiciones, estrategias, tácticas y consecuencias del “cambio social”
dentro de un tejido sofisticado de conceptos teóricos y categorías de la cátedra
de las “Ciencias Sociales”.

Especialmente desde el fracaso de la Comuna de París de 1871, muchas obras
radicales revolucionario-teóricas aparecieron a escala mundial. El fracaso de la
Primera Revolución Rusa de 1905 y el éxito de la Segunda Revolución Rusa de 1917
y luego el colapso de todos los “países socialistas real existentes”, había
elevado la problemática de la revolución a un lugar central dentro del campo de
la sociología política. Las diferentes revoluciones coloniales de los años 60
habían amplificado este problema y se formularon numerosas “teorías del cambio
social” por parte de los intelectuales no marxistas. Esto no quiere ser
sofistería acadámica sobre el concepto de la revolución, sino es una necesidad
práxico-teórica en función de evitar tergiverzaciones de la revolución social
real en Venezuela y América Latina.

Bien conocida es la “teoría de la revolución” de Chalmers Johnson (Revolutionary
Change, 1966) que se convirtió en el prototipo del modelo revolucionario para la
teoría “sistémica”. Intelectuales contemporáneos Marxistas como Ernest Mandel en
sus últimas obras criticaron estos modelos “burgueses”, que al fin y al cabo
intentan de mantener el status quo capitalista a escala mundial.

No obstante, la ciencia social “oficial” contemporánea igual no ayuda para
explicar los cambios sociales actuales o la Revolución en Venezuela, como
tampoco da esperanza para analizar las “nuevas guerras” de Bush, el “terrorismo”
y el evento de las “Torres Gemelas”. Aún ambas fuerzas, las revoluciones y las
guerras, pertenecen a los fenómenos históricos principales de los siglos 20 y 21.

Actualmente, como podemos testimoniar en Afganistán, Irak y Venezuela, las
guerras, revoluciones y contrarrevoluciones sacuden al mundo contemporáneo y aún
todavía no son sujetos definidos de una cátedra específica como la es la Ciencia
Política en nuestras universidades. Así que urgentemente hay que incluir la
cátedra “Revoluciones Sociales del Siglo 21” en todas las Universidades
Bolivarianas de Venezuela y de América Latina.

Actualmente esos son tratados como subordinados de varias materias “importantes”
como lo son “Relaciones Internacionales”, “Historia del Pensamiento Político” o
“Sistemas Políticos Contemporáneos”. Muchas veces, estudios en esta dirección,
por ejemplo un curso en “Práxis-Teoría Revolucionaria” serán descartados en la
mayoría de las universidades nacionales de la misma manera, que la Teología
declaró tabú a las Ciencias Naturales durante la Edad Media en Europa.

Sin embargo, conceptos como “ideología”, “práctica”, “revolución”,
“contrarrevolución”, "emancipación" y "creación", científicamente son muy
difíciles de determinar, especialmente cuando se utiliza el método de la lógica
formal, que ha dominado al mundo desde Aristóteles. Esos fenómenos poseen la
característica esencial de ser incompletos, dependientes de un proceso y
anticipatorios, siendo estos características que no son compatibles con la norma
de conceptos generalmente fijadores, asignándoles significados absolutos de
manera A = A, un árbol es un árbol para siempre, no importa los cambios que
ocurrirán. En nuestras instituciones de la educación mayor aquí en Venezuela,
tenemos que desarrollar nuevos métodos, una Nueva Lógica, para entender a
nuestra Nueva Revolución Bolivariana, una Ciencia y Filosofía que transcienden a
la Lógica Formal y la Dialéctica.

Cuando la verdadera teoría científica trata de explicar procesos mundiales como
las revoluciones, una y otra vez verifica las agudas deficiencias de las
visiones idealistas y religiosas de la historia y la vida humana en general.
Aún, a pesar de que ya al comienzo del siglo 19, hace 150 años, el filósofo
objetivo idealista alemán Georg Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) había descubierto el
método dialéctico del razonamiento lógico, la mayoría de los académicos de la
ciencia social moderna, todavía hoy, separan la práxis científica de la teoría
filosófica, de la misma manera que lo hizo Aristóteles (384-322 A.C.)
lógico-formalmente.

La Revolución Bolivariana no necesita ideologías y prácticas obsoletas; en la
post-Batalla de Santa Inés tiene que generar su propia Ciencia y Filosofía, su
propia Práxis y Teoría, sus propios Actos y Pensamientos. Ya se hizo bastante en
esta dirección, pero todavía falta tanto por hacer, tan poco se ha hecho (esto
es una verdad fluyente, formulada por el archi-imperialista, Cesil John Rhodes,
del siglo 20).

La Génesis del Concepto de “Revolución”

Así que en Venezuela, igual que en otras partes, existen suficientes razones
sociales para re-considerar, re-evaluar y re-definir el concepto de re-volución.
Esto no es un empeño científico fácil. Recientemente la revolución es tema
central de fenómenos que conocimos como “socialismo”, “comunismo” o
“Marxismo-Leninismo”, y esos asuntos no son muy queridos en el mundo Occidental
capitalista. Han sido dibujados como Dráculas o Frankensteins. Los intelectuales
burgueses de la mitad del siglo 18 Rousseau, Voltaire o Montesquieu estaban muy
bien familiarizados con el feudalismo y el Catolicismo Romano, los entonces
archi-enemigos del capitalismo en su lucha de poder política e ideológica. Esto
es la razón del por qué la clase burguesa era revolucionaria y históricamente
podía tener éxito.

Las dos llamadas revoluciones “clásicas”, la Revolución Francesa de 1789 y la
Revolución de Octubre de 1917, ambas han introducido los primeros niveles de
nuevos modos de producción intra-sistémicos antagónicos, el capitalismo y el
socialismo respectivamente. Hoy sólo pueden explicar limitadamente las raíces de
las causas, las dinámicas sociales, las latencias históricas y las tendencias de
la revolución mundial social actual, cuya vanguardia se forma en América Latina,
en Cuba y Venezuela y por las luchas obreras heróicas en Bolivia, Argentina,
Brasil, Ecuador, etc.

Los conceptos y las categorías obtenidos de los análisis críticos de las
sociedades industrializadas modernas altamente desarrolladas no se pueden
aplicar directamente a los países en “desarrollo”; de manera similar, cum grano
salis, para nada se pueden usar conceptos clásicos Marxistas de explotación,
clase o imperialismo para explicar eficientemente las realidades “tercer
mundistas” actuales.

Esto fue demostrado mejor en el conflicto entre los autores Marxistas
latinoamericanos de la “dependencia” y los intelectuales “neo-Marxistas” de los
años 60 y 70. También la aplicación de las tácticas y estrategias de la guerra
de guerrillas obtenidas en China, Vietnam o Cuba a las condiciones
revolucionarias metropolitanas por la “Facción del Ejército Rojo” en Europa
Occidental, había resultado en situaciones emancipatorias desastrosas. Tambien
el "pez en el agua" oriental del siglo 20 no es necesariamente la misma
"merlusa" actual en las costas de Venezuela.

Desde los años 60 existe una discusión internacional apasionada, especialmente
introducida por Herbert Marcuse, en cuanto a la localidad del presente sujeto
revolucionario en la lucha mundial emancipatoria. El problema es tanto más
serio, porque – al menos durante las últimas décadas – el proletariado de países
altamente industrializados, como Alemania o los EE.UU. no había cumplido con su
tarea revolucionaria histórica, como fue originalmente anticipada y
esperanzadamente especificada por la teoría revolucionaria Marxista; tiene más
que perder que sólo sus “cadenas”, por lo menos esto lo “cree”.

Aquí en Venezuela, los Bolivarianos tienen todo que perder, en caso de que el
fascismo global intervendría y tendría éxito en instalar el cenagal beligerante
de Afganistán o Irak. La “Revolución” igual que la “Democracia” es un invento
burgués capitalista y un arma de destrucción masiva global. La emancipación, el
éxodo del modo de producción capitalista, es una necesidad proletaria global,
una conditio sine qua non para la Revolución Bolivariana.

Ahora, investigaremos la génesis de la “revolución” mundial misma. En la Edad
Media tardía, la palabra “revolución” apareció en Europa. Era la formación del
sustantivo proveniente del verbo latín, revolvere, significando “revolver”, por
ejemplo para explicar la rotación de la luna en su órbita circular. San Agustín
lo utilizaba en el sentido de “reencarnación”, en su batalla religiosa contra
los paganos que creían que el alma “rota” repetidamente a través de diferentes
“cuerpos” hasta que ésta se purifíque. Para Dante, “revolutio” es el movimiento
cambiante del sol, de las estrellas y los planetas. Así que hasta el siglo 15,
el concepto “revolutio” era en su esencia todavía un concepto pre-político
astronómico.

Después vino el descubrimiento burgués-capitalista de los científicos naturales
Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) y Sir Isaac Newton
(1642-1727), quienes dieron al concepto una connotación físico-política. Los
astrólogos del siglo 17 creían que a través de las posiciones de los cuerpos
celestes - del horóscopo - podrían predecir el destino de los príncipes
feudales, que les pidieron consejos antes de ir a una guerra. Este método
pre-científico se usa todavía en nuestro tiempo en nuestros medios masivos
nacionales e internacionales y en los horóscopos, para determinar los patrones
de conducta de los trabajadores asalariados en el capitalismo moderno.

No obstante, desde el siglo 17, la gente creía que los eventos políticos
dependían de fenómenos físicos. Pensaron que las acciones políticas estaban
encerradas dentro del campo magnético de las fuerzas de la naturaleza. Esto
claramente era un paso revolucionario burgués, fuera de la noción idealista,
religiosa, donde la Providencia determina la conducta humana.

Galileo hasta creía que las rotaciones de la tierra causan accidentes y
contingencias en la vida humana. Desde entonces, el prefijo “re-“ no sólo
significaba una simple repetición, sino también contenía la idea de la
destrucción. Actualmente, los EE.UU. nos muestran lo que es la “destrucción
masiva revolucionaria corporativa”. La revolución ahora incluyó este nuevo
elemento, que se encontró fuera del alcance de la arbitrariedad, del cálculo y
la planificación humana.

La palabra “revolución” recibió su connotación política en la génesis del
capitalismo mismo. Originó en los ciudades-estados septentrionales de Italia,
donde el capitalismo se desarrolló en forma embriónica. Palabras tales como
“rivoltura” y “rivoluzzione” fueron usadas para describir serias revueltas
sociales o descontento popular. Lo que esas palabras significaban exactamente,
se puede comparar con el entender político presente del “alboroto social” o los
“eventos turbulentos” en asuntos de carácter doméstico o extranjero. Claro, los
actuales intentos de golpe político, el sabotaje económico y la conspiración
constitucional en Venezuela involucran a la contrarrevolución global.

La Teoría Revolucionaria Marxiana

Expondremos brevemente la esencia de la teoría revolucionaria obrera marxiana,
para entender, por qué la Revolución Bolivariana no es Marxista ni es anti-Marxista.

Marx evolucionó su teoría de la revolución en los años 1840-1844 y ésta tenía la
intención de ser un programa para la revolución burgués-democrática, entonces
retrasada en Alemania. El retraso histórico alemán, comparado con sus vecinos
Occidentales burgueses (Inglaterra y Francia), le ofreció un chance histórico
único a la revolución social Alemana, no sólo para completar la “emancipación
política” que se había producido por la revolución jacobiniana en Francia, sino
hasta para sobrepasarla en una “emancipación humana”, que llegaría tan lejos
como para superar la contradicción entre citoyen y burgués. Para razones
históricas esta superación emancipatoria también vale para la Revolución
Bolivariana.

En clarificar la pregunta por el sujeto de tal revolución, Marx no sólo pasó la
línea del ideólogo burgués radical al teórico proletario de la revolución
socialista, sino también del socialismo utópico al socialismo científico, hecho
que para sí sólo es susceptible de cruzar el puente de la práxis que
necesariamente tiene que vincular la crítica del presente con la utopía concreta
del futuro, y de actuar la “alianza de los hombres pensantes y sufridos”, que
liberará la sociedad humana de las cadenas del modo de producción burgués y por
lo tanto del sistema de clases a escala mundial.

Dos partes están unidos para encontrarse en una alianza temporal impulsada por
la revolución, aunque difieren en su actitud política básica hacia esta
revolución: “una de tipo pequeño-burgués que apunta a lograr y terminarla, y una
proletaria que la empuja hacia adelante hasta que todas las clases que más o
menos poseen propiedad privada, han sido exprimidas de la autoridad, el poder
ejecutivo ha sido arrebatado por el proletariado, y las asociaciones de los
proletarios no sólo en un país sino en todos los países líderes del mundo serían
tan adelantados (...) que al menos las fuerzas de producción decisivas
estuvieran concentradas en las manos del proletariado” (Véase: Marx y Engels,
“Discurso de la Autoridad Central a la Liga”, marzo 1850).

Esta postulación de permanencia para la revolución proletaria (una idea que
luego fue profundizada por León Trotski en su “Teoría de la Revolución
Permanente”), fue al mismo tiempo la plataforma política común de la “Liga de
los Comunistas” y de los “Blanquistas”. Aquí es relevante, que la Revolución
Bolivariana históricamente está continuando esta tradición de la Revolución
Mundial Permanente.

El “Manifiesto Comunista”, Marx y Engels

En el “Manifiesto Comunista”, Marx y Engels se dirigieron al “proletariado” en
la tercera persona, por lo tanto un poquito distanciado. También, dirigiéndose a
los “comunistas” mismos, utilizaron la apelación de la conclusión del
“manifiesto”: “¡Trabajadores del Mundo, Uníos!” El Manifiesto de Marx y Engels
de 1848 no se dirigió directamente a los proletarios a escala mundial, sino fue
formulado para el proletariado Europeo. No obstante, aplicado a las condiciones
capiatlistas globales actuales del llamado "Tercer Mundo", tiene plena vigencia
revolucionaria.

Cabe destacar, que para ellos, revolución no tenía nada que ver con
conspiración, con activismo ciego o Blanquismo. Fue una transformación social
que hizo época y que se convirtió en algo históricamente necesario a nivel
mundial, y cuya tarea fue erradicar las relaciones explotadoras basadas en la
economía de las clases burguesas. La posibilidad de una revolución social
primero tiene que ser teóricamente derivada de las condiciones objetivas de la
ley de acumulación de capital, luego probada científicamente, sólo así se podían
formular correctamente las ideas en cuanto a la organización y la defensa de la
revolución. Esto significa que una teoría revolucionaria primero tiene que ser
desarrollada desde las condiciones específicas, luego tiene que ser probada
científicamente en la práxis revolucionaria a través de la organización activa
de las clases obreras. Ciertamente nosotros, los Bolivarianos, tenemos que
estudiar la lección mencionada anteriormente muy cuidadosamente.

Los Cinco Postulados Principales de la Teoría Revolucionaria Marxiana

Revoluciones Sociales sólo son posibles, cuando existe un sujeto histórico,
cuyas necesidades concretas son articuladas tan claramente, que la teoría
revolucionaria parece como la expresión más adecuada de esas necesidades. Las
revoluciones sociales son “reales” y “totales” y tienen que tener un carácter
internacional. Por eso, este sujeto histórico tiene que ser la vanguardia de la
Revolución Bolivariana actual en Venezuela.

En cuanto a la revolución social alemana de la mitad del siglo 19, sólo tendría
éxito si la “burguesía”, en alianza con el Estado, llevaría a cabo la revolución
política; esto, por un lado, haría posible la continuación de la concentración
del capital y por otro lado la pauperización del proletariado en desarrollo; por
eso el conflicto central entre las fuerzas de producción y las relaciones
productivas alemanas al fin alcanzará un nivel agudo y crítico, creando las
condiciones históricas reales para la revolución social proletaria alemana. Aquí
se ve el secreto de la lucha de clase global actual en Venezuela.

Revoluciones sociales sólo pueden ocurrir frente a una crisis económica
universal, en la cual la estructura antagónica de una sociedad de clase burguesa
se vuelve clara como el sol para cada obrero consciente. Esto fue el caso en
Venezuela después de la masacre de 27 de febrero de 1989 (El Caracaso) y
continua con la Batalla de Santa Inés. En situaciones como esta, las dos (o más)
clases principales de la sociedad capitalista se confrontan una a la otra
abiertamente. La crisis mundial de 1847, para Marx y Engels fue la verdadera
base económica de las revoluciones Europeas de “Febrero” y “Marzo” de 1848;
también el periodo de relativa prosperidad económica de 1849-50 fue la base
económica de la reacción política Europea a comienzos de los años 1850.

Una pre-condición para revoluciones sociales, es un nivel altamente desarrollado
de la revolución industrial. Esto crea un proletariado altamente organizado y
experimentado, que puede rebelarse de manera unida y disciplinada, como una
“clase para sí misma” que es capaz de superar la sociedad de clases capitalista.
Obviamente, esta tarea de la Revolución Francesa, la industrialización, es parte
del proyecto de la Revolución Bolivariana, en la cual la clase obrera petrolera
está jugando un papel revolucionario central.

En conclusión, este concepto Marxista de revolución no sólo tiene validez en
sociedades industrializadas capitalistas altamente desarrolladas. Un
prerrequisito es una teoría comprensiva del desarrollo social. Este concepto
mantiene que la revolución proletaria social es inevitable a escala mundial
histórica, y la manera cómo, cuándo o dónde ocurren las revoluciones sociales no
se puede determinar abstractamente, sino en base de unas condiciones específicas
históricas, económicas, políticas, sociales y culturales.

Ciertamente nosotros, como revolucionarios Bolivarianos, deberíamos disfrutar el
alimento emancipatorio para el pensar y la acción mencionado anteriormente.
Definitivamente, Marx era el primer pensador que describió la esencia de los
cambios sociales fundamentales como el resultado de la contradicción entre las
fuerzas de producción en desarrollo y las relaciones productivas obsoletas. En
una cierta fase del desarrollo, las fuerzas sociales materiales de producción
contradicen las existentes relaciones productivas, es decir, las relaciones de
propiedad dentro de las cuales se desarrollaron hasta entonces. Siendo
originalmente formas de desarrollo de las fuerzas productivas, estas relaciones
productivas ahora se convierten en las cadenas de las mismas. El resultado es
que empieza una época de revolución social. Por lo tanto se entiende que no es
posible una revolución emancipatoria proletaria dentro del sistema capitalista
burgués democrático corporativo.

Marx explicaba que un modo de producción nunca desaparece antes de que todas sus
fuerzas productivas estén desarrolladas. Nuevas y más altas relaciones
productivas nunca aparecen antes de que las condiciones materiales de
existencia, necesarias para su llegar a ser, todavía no estén presentes ya en
forma embriónica dentro del viejo modo de producción. Esto quiere decir que el
modo de producción capitalista mismo está desvaneciendo y por consiguiente ubica
al ALBA y MERCOSUR en una nueva perspectiva contemporánea global.

Revolución es caracterizada como un proceso, como una época. Generalmente se
necesita la "violencia emancipatoria", la autodefensa legítima, para romper la
vieja cáscara del huevo, en función de dar a luz a las nuevas fuerzas
productivas o creativas. Pero la violencia no es necesariamente un sine qua non
para la revolución social. Correctamente los Bolivarianos hablan del “proceso”
revolucionario hacia la "paz social" en Venezuela.

El concepto de revolución como proceso está confrontado con el concepto acción,
con la revolución política. Este acto político, en el pasado, prácticamente no
ha ocurrido exactamente en el punto, donde la concentración de las nuevas
fuerzas productivas entró en contradicción con la cáscara del huevo de las
relaciones productivas obsoletas. En este sentido, la Revolución de Octubre era
prematura y la revolución en los Estados Unidos está demasiado retrasada. En
Venezuela, la revolución política tiene que captar su revolución económica, su
base material, PdVSA.

Marx y Engels opinaban que la revolución socialista tendrá lugar simultáneamente
en todos los países “civilizados” altamente industrializados, por lo menos en
Inglaterra, EE.UU., Francia y Alemania. El mundo “no civilizado” automáticamente
será obligado a aceptar el modo de producción socialista. Sin embargo, la
Revolución Mundial, que comenzó en octubre de 1917 y que colapsó con la “caída
del muro de Berlín”, no ha tomado el rumbo pronosticado por Marx y Engels. Es
evidente que dentro de la “teoría de la revolución” Marxiana no puede haber un
modelo de revolución generalmente válido y pragmático. Tampoco existen
revoluciones “clásicas”.

Un factor común de todas las revoluciones es que las condiciones sociales
explotadoras se han vuelto tan insoportables para las masas de la gente
trabajadora, que la mayoría de ellos están dispuestos de poner en juego sus
vidas, en rebeldía contra los gobernantes, que ya no son capaces de resolver los
ardientes problemas sociales. Precisamente esto pasó en Venezuela: la lucha
obrera contra el puntofijismo y el “neo-liberalismo”, es decir, contra el
Fascismo Mundial.

El único factor claro es, que con la Revolución Bolshevique de 1917 comenzó la
época de la revolución social entre el capitalismo y el socialismo, en otras
palabras, comenzó el proceso de la revolución mundial, y que ahora este continúa
con la Revolución Bolivariana.

Esta Revolución Mundial que se refleja en la severa crisis internacional actual
del capitalismo corporativo a escala global, tiene como elementos importantes la
revolución tecnológica científica, el desarrollo rápido de los medios de
producción y de las fuerzas productivas y la lucha emancipatoria de las naciones
a escala global, las cuales han llegado a ser socialmente conscientes de los
peligros inminentes del capitalismo-imperialismo para su propia existencia y la
sobrevivencia de la humanidad.

La relevancia de lo anteriormente dicho para la Revolución Bolivariana dentro
del contexto de la Revolución Mundial, ya la había enfatizado Lenin cuando dijo:
sin teoría revolucionaria no hay revolución social. Y no dijo sin ideología, a
pesar de la temprana confusión sobre ideología “socialista” o “proletaria”. La
corrupción del mejor siempre es la peor corrupción, por eso son muy necesarios
la precisión de los conceptos científicos Marxianos y nuestra propia cosmovisión
en nuestro tiempo. Lo mismo vale para conceptos diarios como “socialismo”,
“democracia” y “revolución”.

Sin embargo hay una contradicción principal, que muchas veces se olvida con el
calor político y el polvo revolucionario de la lucha de clases, la contradicción
entre la Naturaleza y la Sociedad. Ya el “joven” Marx enfatizó la necesidad de
la verdadera naturalización del Hombre y la Humanización de la naturaleza. Si no
alcanzamos esto - que tiene que ser uno de los objetivos principales de la
Revolución Bolivariana - entonces nunca lograremos el salto dialéctico, la
transcendencia cualitativa del “reino de la necesidad” al “reino de la
libertad”, donde el homo sapiens sapiens puede volver a sí mismo, es decir, al
dios en realidad, que para tantos miles de años había sido proyectado hacia los
cielos, como una simple fantasía humana sagrada y un sueño diurno utópico.

Después del 15 de agosto de 2004, en Venezuela, la Revolución significa la
Práxis-Teoría, significa: “¡La Lutta continúa!”.
 
http://www.aporrea.org/dameletra.php?docid=9466



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Venezuela Electronic News
Jutta Schmitt: What's wrong with Venezuela's 1999 Bolivarian ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 3 Aug 2004
University de Los Andes (ULA) lecturer Jutta Schmitt writes: Once again, what is wrong with the Bolivarian Constitution ... why ...
Please hand the opposition the silver bullet ... so it may finally ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 15 hours ago
University de Los Andes (ULA) lecturer Jutta Schmitt writes: In the wake of the Presidential recall referendum and as soon as the preliminary results had been ...
Venezuela: Interview with Black Op Radio, Canada
CMAQ, Canada - 7 Aug 2004
By Jutta Schmitt. It is imperative to recollect what happened over the last six years in Venezuela, to understand the political show-down on August 15 next. ...
On the eve of a continental social revolution taking place in ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 3 Aug 2004
... political dinosaurs like COPEI, AD and other degenerated relics in social decomposition. Jutta Schmitt calls them "rancid Zombies.". ...


  New! Get the latest news on Jutta Schmitt with Google News Alerts.

Franz JT Lee: Venezuela's opposition coupsters and CNN, BBC, DPA ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 14 hours ago
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz JT Lee writes: We thank David Sheegog for his kind comments on my article about Revolution in Venezuela in ...

Franz JT Lee: Now the corporate fox is guarding our electoral ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 15 Aug 2004
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz JT Lee writes: Today, in Venezuela, as emancipatory paradigm for the world, we are all celebrating ...

Venezuela Electronic News
Franz JT Lee: Venezuela ... Alienation and Emancipation
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 13 Aug 2004
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz JT Lee writes: What is really behind the mass manipulation of the huge mass media in Venezuela? ...
Franz JT Lee: The emancipatory quintessence of the Bolivarian ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 8 Aug 2004
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz JT Lee writes: The quintessence of the Bolivarian Revolution is determined by the trans-historic reality of its ...

Venezuela Electronic News
The bitter fruits of fraud ... they drink the hemlock of tyranny ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 17 Aug 2004
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz JT Lee writes: The Battle of Santa Ines was victorious ... in fact, we really expected ...
On the eve of a continental social revolution taking place in ...
Venezuela Electronic News, Venezuela - 3 Aug 2004
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz JT Lee writes: Once upon a time, a weird monk hurriedly rushed across the central place of Wittenberg, heading ...
The Bolivarian Revolution - An Emancipatory Paradigm
CMAQ, Canada - 1 Aug 2004
... Dr. Franz JT Lee to the Forum convened by the Students Movement Utopía 78, titled: “The Current Situation of the Social Economy and Alternative Media in ...
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VHeadline.com

Sunday, August 22, 2004
8:01:20 PM (Caracas time

http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=22542
Commentary  

Published: Sunday, August 22, 2004
Bylined to: Jutta Schmitt

Please hand the opposition the silver bullet ... so it may finally rest in peace

 University de Los Andes (ULA) lecturer Jutta Schmitt writes:  In the wake of the Presidential recall referendum and as soon as the preliminary results had been announced by the National Elections Council (CNE) in the early morning hours of Monday, August 16, the four, private Venezuelan TV stations opened their first post-election transmission round with heavy artillery fire, directed at the very referendum outcome, the CNE and the international observer groups including the Organization of American States (OAS) and Carter Center ... with the latter ones having testified to a free and transparent election process and categorically having confirmed the official referendum results as given by the CNE.

Besides the insults and defamation that have come firing incessantly from the four television stations, the ammunition employed by Venezuela's private mass media consisted of countless calls for civil rebellion and insurrection against a "dictator" that had just been ratified by 59% of the Venezuelan population in free and transparent elections.


Mary Pil Hernandez

The political "leadership" of Venezuela's rancid "opposition" has not only torpedoed the truly unique and historical Presidential recall referendum ... the first ever celebrated in the entire hemisphere and promoted in the first place by the same President, whose mandate was submitted to recall or ratification ... but also assaulted the moods and minds of their unfortunate supporters with the most formidable weapon they possess: the cameras and microphones of RCTV, Venevision, Televen and Globovision -- the outstanding and uncontested spinmeisters in Venezuela's and perhaps even the world's communications spectrum.

The opposition's post-referendum declarations predictably rejected each and every aspect of the referendum process, claiming "fraud" ... after having accepted the rules of the game prior to referendum day and in absence of another unconstitutional perspective to effectively oust Chavez from power.


Communications & Information Minister Jesse Chacon

The fraud card the opposition has played ever since the first official results were published, is part and parcel of their ongoing big lie strategy, spearheaded by the private media and happily endorsed by their international counterparts like CNN en Español.

In a series of acts that amount to political suicide (of a rotten corpse anyway), the leading figures of the opposition (after publicly having assured they would only accept referendum results when confirmed by the international observers from OAS and Carter Center), retracted from their position when, in fact, these did confirm the results.

 The opposition, which prior to the referendum had participated in each and every audit of 


CNE Jorge Rodriguez

each and every thinkable aspect of the referendum process, from the voting machines' soft- and hard-ware to paper receipts and the data transmission, then called for an additional, post-referendum audit, and from which they retracted as soon as the CNE agreed!

Once again, hundreds of international observers, including OAS and Carter Center watched as the audit was realized and the results published yesterday, Saturday.

In the meantime, we keep seeing the leading figures of the opposition ranting on TV and revealing their strategy, that neither will they accept the referendum outcome, nor under any circumstance acknowledge the authority of the "discredited" CNE in the upcoming September elections for Mayors and Governors!

In the face of a final, electoral defeat at the ballot, somebody please hand these guys the silver bullet ... so they may finally rest in peace.

Jutta Schmitt
jutta@aktionspotenzial.de

JUTTA SCHMITT, M.A., Political Science, Philosophy & Sociology is an Assistant Lecturer (ad honorem) in Political Science at the University de Los Andes (ULA) in Merida. 
You may email Jutta Schmitt at jutta@aktionspotenzial.de






MORE CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING JUTTA'S  "SILVER BULLET" ARTICLE.

----- Original Message -----
From: Antonio Chusho
To: jutta@aktionspotenzial.de
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:56 AM
Subject: too bad

Jutta, as I read your bitter comments on the final results of the Referendum in your country (?) Venezuela, I could see you must be a really overwhelming lecturer, but at the same time, un implacable contender to any one who might dare disagreeing with your own point of view. You're probably right in your reasoning, but you are definitely missing a great opportunity to intelligently lead the minds of your countrymen towards an effective, peaceful start in their social and political recovery.
Sorry, for the comments, but I think we, as philosophers, have a higher and more responsible place in our societies.
 
Best wishes,
Antonio Chusho
Peru.
******************
From: Jutta Schmitt
To: Antonio Chusho
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: too bad / thoughts on Venezuela

Dear Antonio,
 
thank you for your sincere comments, which I take as a constructive critique! You are right; in my article, I have definitely failed in making an effort to include those, who are on the other side of the political spectrum, and who reject president Chávez, the new constitution and the project for the nation.
 
Having witnessed and lived through April 2002's brief and ugly coup d'état, the lock-out and sabotage of the petroleum industry from December 2002 to January 2003, and many another unconstitutional and brutal effort of the "opposition" to oust a democratically elected and perfectly legitimate president, and having witnessed the 24-hour-a-day relentless, merciless media campaign which has caused a psychological damage of unsuspected proportions (and yet to be analysed in its magnitude and range) to its viewers and audience, I must admit I have been forced by these very factors to categorically take sides, without consideration for the other part that makes up Venezuela's "opposition".
 
For the past forty years, the vast, impoverished majority of Venezuelans have been trampled upon, been economically exploited, politically oppressed and socially discriminated, and have never been given a chance of recovery, neither as far as their integrity as human beings was concerned, nor as active participants in the economic and political decisions that affected their very lives. The coming to political power of Hugo Chávez is but an expression of these circumstances, and the country's economic and political elite (today's "opposition"), backed by the private, national and international media, has not woken up to this reality until today. A reality, that constitutes a proper time bomb - deactivated in Venezuela through the new, Bolivarian constitution and the inclusive model of political participation (yet with the economic model still waiting to be truly humanized) and still ticking in all of Latin America and much of the world, for that matter.
 
I don't ignore the fact, that many of the supporters of the Venezuelan "opposition" have been misled by their "leadership" with lies and deceit, but when the moment of the falling masks had come in the form of April 2002's coup d'état, their "innocence" and "ignorance" was gone with one stroke - just as was the Bolivarian constitution, the president, the attorney general, the ministers, the parliamentarians, the governors, the justice court, the electoral power, the moral power and the democratic rights of the people - that vast majority of humble folks who never had a voice and face before they elected Chávez their president, and who would come to his rescue, defeating the very coup.
 
Can you, in the name of freedom, reconcile with exploitation? Can you, in the name of equality, reconcile with oppression? Can you, in the name of justice, reconcile with discrimination?
 
If we want to give ourselves, in Venezuela and hopefully else- and everywhere in the world, a peaceful and effective start for our social, political and human recovery, we have to go well beyond Chávez and the "opposition", we have to go to the very roots that have brought them both about: a world, where economic interests and profit walk over human beings - dead and alive.
 
By the way, my Spanish teacher at Frankfurt University in Germany, was Juan Gamarra, from Chiclayo/Peru. An outstanding personality, combining sharp critique of our contemporary society with a warm and open character and a good deal of humour, he lived for some years in an apartment of a four story building, in one of the best quarters of Frankfurt city. The owner of the building, a very old lady, decided to devise the building to him in her testament, because of all the persons she knew, including her own family, Juan was the most human, humane to her. Juan rejected the offer, because he felt that going back to Peru, teaching his countrymen about his experiences in the "First World" for the equivalent of a couple of dollars monthly, was a fortune worthier than anything else in this world.
 
This is the true Peruvian, the Venezuelan, the Latin American spirit, the ALBA of which president Chávez likes to speak, that we need to come closer to a truly human horizon.
 
Warm regards, 
Jutta Schmitt
Mérida / Venezuela  
 
**********
 
For more, please listen to my interview with Len Osanic on:
http://www.blackopradio.com. Go to Archived Shows - The Archived 2004 Shows  - Show Nr. 184, "Jutta Schmitt; Venezuela Situation Update".
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: FSharaff@aol.com
To: jutta@aktionspotenzial.de
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 8:44 AM
Subject: Elections

Hello Jutta,
 
I have read your article in Vheadline. As someone who has traveled to Venezuela and was actually in Caracas during the attempted coup in the early 90's I continue to be surprised by the bitter divide between the two factions in the country and the way this divide has grown over the years. Your article implies that the current opposition gets its support from international institutions as well as some of the local media.
 
What is the main cause of the animosity and how can some of it be reconciled?
 
Farhan Sharaff
New York.
 

***************

----- Original Message -----
From: Jutta Schmitt
To: FSharaff@aol.com
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 2:12 PM
Subject: Re: Elections

Dear Farhan,
 
thank you for your interest in my article. The roots of the division of Venezuelan society into two radically different factions - those who support president Chávez and those who fiercly oppose him -, can be found in the dire reality imposed by a model of economical, political and social exclusion, that had been operating here for decades, leading to the impoverishment of the vast majority of Venezuelan people, that constitute today´s supporters of president Chávez. It is, in one word, a division along class lines, with the current "opposition" mainly embodying the interests of Venezuela´s former politically corrupt elite, backed by and intertwined with the country´s economic elite.
 
The new, Bolivarian constitution, written and approved in 1999, enshrines a politically protagonic and economically more inclusive model for all social classes of Venezuelan society, especially addressing and assisting the formerly excluded as were the poor, the landless and the indigenous peoples, and has therewith provoked the wrath and ire of the former political elites and the powerful economic interest-holders of this country, who have showed themselves to be unwilling to even cede a minimum of their obscene economic and social privileges.
 
Unfortunately, the private media in Venezuela have taken on the role of the political "opposition" and have contributed a lot to stir up feelings of fear, hate and animosity among their audience, directed (often in openly racist and degrading terms) against president Chávez and the millions of mainly poor and humble people, who support him in their common quest for social justice. In turn, president Chávez has not been moderate in his discourse either, given the ferocity of attacks against his government and his project for the nation, which has been villified by his opponents.
 
I think if the media refrained from painting a completely distorted picture of the president, the constitution and the millions of people who have approved, with their vote, the new course of the country, the level of conflict could be considerably lowered. The true eradication of the conflict, however, can only be achieved through true, social justice, which is a thorny path to go, conflictive per se, because it is the very path of class struggle.
 
Kind regards,
Jutta

****************
----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Van Guelder Waring
To: jutta@aktionspotenzial.de
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:19 AM
Subject: Stand firm

Dear Jutta,

Please know that as far away as California we are in fact watching the process of democracy in Venezuela.  In fact, your "Silver Bullet" editorial was on the top of the Google News, a good sign.  It is indeed a cynical time when communication is hijacked by powerful media, and turned into very self-serving propaganda that incites large groups to riot or worse.

History has shown us that when enough people are tired of lies and self-aggrandizing elites, the masses will prevail.  Obviously, the media elite in Venezuela did not prevail.  Now it is time for the opposition to begin to question their own leaders.  Some probably will, since they didn't deliver on their promise to overthrow Chavez.

There is no chance that Bush will tell the opposition to shut up and take their medicine (which, as you point out, they asked for) because he has no respect for free and independent democracies in the the western Hemisphere, or anywhere else in the world beyond the G-7 countries.  Of course, that has been consistently US policy since the Monroe Doctrine.  We can safely predict that Bush will begin some sort of ruthless plan to economically isolate Venezuela, perhaps along the lines of Chile and Allende.  What will make it difficult, however, is that we have that model to refer to and we can take steps to protect Venezuela if and when it happens.

Anyway, I am keeping my hopes alive for Venezuela's bold path toward economic and social justice.  Fortunately for Venezuela, Bush's plans for world hegemony are faltering.  

¡Arriba con Chavez y arriba con el pueblo venezueleño!  Les tengo en mis esperanzas mas profundas.  ¡Que siguen adelante!

Thank you for your editorial,


Robert
3rd grade teacher, northern California
Robert V. Waring

"If an administration of whatever political persuasion ignores scientific reality, they do so at great risk to the country," said Stanford University physicist W.H.K. Panofsky, who served on scientific advisory councils in the Eisenhower, Johnson and Carter administrations. "There is no clear understanding in the (Bush) administration that you cannot bend science and technology to policy."

**************

----- Original Message -----
From: Jutta Schmitt
To: Robert Van Guelder Waring
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 12:17 PM
Subject: Re: Stand firm

Dear Robert,
 
thank you for your encouraging words! It is good to know that there are people in the USA who resist to subscribe to the unilateralist world view as imposed by the political ruling elite that has hijacked the White House, and as hammered into the brains of millions of North Americans through the most letal of weapons of mass destruction, that are the world´s big media corporations.
 
Fortunately and thanks to president Chávez and his conscious political leadership, the vast majority of Venezuelans is well aware, that it is not the North American people as such, who have been meddling in Venezuela´s internal affairs, but the political caste married to economic, geostrategic and energy interests in Latin America and the world.
 
The hearts of the Venezuelan people go out to the people of North America, with hopes and aspirations that they will be able to retake their destiny into their own hands, and to dare walk a path beyond the two political faces of  Corporate America!  
 
¡Los pueblos, unidos, jamás serán vencidos!
 
Un saludo caluroso,
Jutta
Mérida / Venezuela


*******************

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Mellor
To: jutta@aktionspotenzial.de
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:50 AM
Subject: thank you for your report

Thanks for your informative report on the Venezuelan elections, "Please hand the opposition the silver bullet ... so it may finally rest in peace"  I forwarded it to many of the lists I monitor as well as to an e mail list of my former co-workers. The media here in the U.S. is perhaps the worst in the so-called free world.  I am thankful for the internet.

Richard Mellor.
Check out our website at: http://www.laborsmilitantvoice.com

"The ones who are most prone to lose their identity in the opportunistic milieu are yesterday's ultimatists"  Leon Trotsky

Richard Mellor
Member, AFSCME Local 444
Oakland CA
********************


----- Original Message -----
From: Jutta Schmitt
To: Richard Mellor
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 11:48 AM
Subject: Re: thank you for your report

Richard,
 
thanks for your kind words. As far as the Venezuelan "opposition" is concerned, an international observer from Uruguay sharply remarked, that (s)he, who is uncapable of losing, will never be capable to win.
 
Visit our website at: http://www.franz-lee.org/venezuela00001.html
 
Best regards,
Jutta Schmitt
Mérida / Venezuela

***********

----- Original Message -----
From: R. Michael Humiston
To: jutta@aktionspotenzial.de
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:22 AM
Subject: Regarding your opinion article.

     Dear Jutta,

  I've just finished reading your article entitled   " Please hand the opposition the silver bullet ... so it may finally rest in peace"  .   My question for you is this:  What are the details of the allegation?  You state that the major news outlets are claiming fraud yet I cannot find (in your article) the basis for their charge.  Was it intimidation at the polls?  Was it tampering with the results?   Otherwise  I do find your  piece interesting.

     Thank-you, and have a great day,

R. Michael Humiston
Maine, USA
 
*****************

----- Original Message -----
From: Jutta Schmitt
To: R. Michael Humiston
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 11:39 AM
Subject: Re: opinion article / allegations of fraud

Dear friend,
 
thanks for your interest in my article. The allegations of fraud brought forward by the Venezuelan "opposition" consisted of pointing to the exit polls conducted by organizations supportive of the opposition during referendum day (Penn, Schoen & Berland in cooperation with Sumate), that showed a 59 percent in favour of withdrawing the mandate of Chávez, and only  a 41 percent favouring his ratification. The actual referendum outcome showed these figures in reverse, that is, the no-vote in the lead with 59 percent.
(For more details: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4433912,00.html)
 
Furthermore, the "opposition" claimed that voting machines were secretly programmed in order to establish a ceiling for the yes-to-the-recall votes, beyond which all "yes" votes got converted into "no" votes. (For more details: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1259)
 
Thanks again for your interest,
kind regards,
Jutta Schmitt.




VHeadline.com

Sunday, August 22, 2004
7:46:11 PM (Caracas time)
http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=22545

Published: Sunday, August 22, 2004
Bylined to: Franz J. T. Lee

Franz J. T. Lee: Venezuela's opposition coupsters and CNN, BBC, DPA, AP lies

University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz J. T. Lee writes:  We thank David Sheegog for his kind comments on my article about Revolution in Venezuela in particular, and, in general, on a world scale, within the context of globalization, that daily is unveiling itself as world fascism.

Surely, I agree that making a revolution, creating an emancipated world, is not only an academic issue, rather it is a practical, theoretical necessity.

Precisely this was verified here in Venezuela, in a ferocious class struggle  ... between April 11 and 14, 2002 ... millions have created the concrete revolutionary "miracle" of Caracas; and only afterwards, they were alphabetized, were taught to read and to write.

Furthermore, soon thereafter, on August 15, 2004, they painted


CNE Jorge Rodriguez

their overwhelming "NO" on the walls of Venezuela and the world, that is, the "writing on the wall," the "menetekel" of Cassandra for Bush, and his aggressive policies towards Venezuela.

Also, like how President Chávez always underlines, we are trying to introduce social justice, just oil prices,  just redistribution of national income, "a just society," ... however, we should not forget what "justice" is in a class society; in colonial, capitalist, imperialist, corporate society, it is just accumulation of capital, just profits, just exploitation, just domination, just discrimination, just militarization, just alienation.

The hungry peasant mothers they hang for stealing a loaf of bread for their starving kids, the big sharks go scot-free, they live in Miami, in that haven of corruption and conspiracy.

At the moment, we see what a few golpistas, the opposition, understand by social, democratic and electoral justice. And, the whole galaxy of international news agencies ... including CNN, BBC, DPA, AP, etc. ... tune in to the lies of this carefully produced spearhead of reaction and counter-revolution in Venezuela.


Mary Pil Hernandez

This is why we underline a revolutionary exodus towards something completely new, original and authentic, a new mode of creativity, creation and emancipation. Work, Labor, the process of production, by their very exploitative and dominating nature, are not just, can never produce any just society.

Why think, why theorize, why philosophize about the future, about our permanent revolution?

Simply, because we are not Yankee Cowboys, who first shoot and then ask questions, first invade Iraq, and then look for arms of mass destruction that cannot be found anywhere in Iraq ... because Bush already has stacked them up at home, and in Israel.

Precisely, "the roots of cosmopolitanism and the crowding of the planet" are to be found in the bourgeois, democratic, capitalist Revolution, the whole process of the French Revolution. This revolution only allows justice of Reason alias Capital, it attacks fiercely any "just economic organization" of the ALBA, of Mercosur, of a continental TV for the South, of a "South Bank", of Petro South, of the Revolutionary Unity of the so-called "Third World."

Hence, we cannot make progress within the intra-systemic "dialectical jump" ... there is only one way left: Exodus, out of the exploitative, dominating production process, towards Human Creativity, Creation and Emancipation. This the missions and projects of the Bolivarian Revolution are currently trying to launch, to achieve, to materialize.

Franz J. T. Lee
franzjutta@cantv.net

Franz John Tennyson Lee, Ph. D (University of Frankfurt), Author, Professor Titular & Chairholder of Philosophy and Political Science, University of The Andes, Merida (Venezuela) -- http://www.franzjutta.com ; http://www.franz-lee.org ; http://www.geocities.com/juttafranz/publications00001.html

 

David Sheegog: The future is being written in Venezuela as we speak

Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 19:24:42 -0500
From: David Sheegog davidsheegog@hotmail.com
To: Editor@VHeadline.com
Subject: Franz Lee & Revolution

Franz J.T. Lee's nice essay on the history of revolution notwithstanding, the task of building a just society in Venezuela will not be accomplished within the context of any academic understanding of either the current or historic definition of revolution.

Better to understand the roots of cosmopolitanism and the crowding of the planet -- how those two factors must be accounted for to achieve a just economic organization of the world -- if we are to make progress in the "dialectical jump...from the 'reign of necessity' to the 'reign of freedom'" which Sr. Franz wishes for "homo sapiens sapiens."

I have spent a good part of the last 40 years, since graduating in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma, trying to learn/find/create a way to escape the idea and practice of markets.

It finally became apparent to me that since the dawn of agriculture, about 8,000 years ago, that markets were inevitable and here to stay. That understood, one can ask the question: Is there an escape from the capitalistic organization of markets?

Perhaps, but "socialist" organization of states has not shown a way ... yet.

One country in all the world has given us a glimmer, a hope, that such may be possible ... that would be modern Sweden ... they have made the world's most successful adaptation of markets to a social welfare system of any country in Earth's history. They have done it with massive redistribution schemes that probably dampen, but do not destroy, entrepreneurial capitalism ... they tax greed, heavily. The Swedish system deserves more studious attention than it gets.


President Hugo Chavez Frias

Does Sweden offer a lesson for Venezuela? Perhaps.

Sweden is unique in one of the same ways as Venezuela -- rich in natural resources. This is important. A country rich in this way has options that other countries do not. The Nicaraguan revolution might not have failed if the Sandinistas had had abundant oil wealth with which to build redistributive institutions of change for their society.

There's a warning here ... several in fact ... first that the Reagan administration did not hesitate to sponsor a contra war to cripple, destabilize and bankrupt the revolutionary government of impoverished Nicaragua, and secondly, that a "democratic revolution," to be successful over the long haul, has to establish institutions that will be self-sustaining when the mineral wealth runs out.


President Hugo Chavez Frias

An interesting point of conjecture is whether President Chavez would have been able to win a recall referendum in February when the opposition first wished to have it when oil was still in the $20 dollar range and the country was still so economically crippled by the "strike."  Chavez and his very able government have had just enough time (and luck with the price of oil) to show his constituency that he deserves their support.

The Venezuelan government has the resources to build the institutions for permanent change that could to some extent be a model for the southern hemisphere of the Americas.

The recall has focused the Chavez government on the immediate tasks needed, but the larger tasks are ahead.

As I wrote on these pages over a year ago, 'The future of the western hemisphere is perhaps being written in Venezuela as we speak.'

David Sheegog
davidsheegog@hotmail.com

Paoli, OK