No. 1051


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By  Franz J. T. Lee. VHeadline.Com.

*** Cooperative Solidarity.

*** Nader’s The One

Are you an authentic human being
or a brainwashed media-controlled robot?

by John Kaminski.

*** Venezuela: Hacer y Pensar la Revolución Bolivariana

Por Franz J. T. Lee.

*** Venezuelan Opposition and Government Find Ways to Compromise on the Media Law.

*** Those Who Toppled Columbus Statue Must Bear Responsibility For Their Act.

Entrevista a Celia Hart Santamaría
*** "Hacer la revolución es la manera más económica de ser feliz"

Mercedes Petit y Guillermo Pacagnini
Alternativa Socialista-

*** Hay que seguir tumbándose a todos los Colones

Carta enviada desde Lima-Perú en solidaridad con los camaradas presos.
Por: Luis Lazo Valdivia.

*** Venezuela: entre vanguardia popular y avanzada burguesa
Por: Heinz Dieterich /Rebelión.

*** The Zombie State.

*** Bush or Kerry? No Difference.

Published: Monday, October 25, 2004
Bylined to: Franz J. T. Lee

Franz J. T. Lee: World terrorism and fascism ... QUO VADIS?

University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz J. T. Lee writes: What really is World Terrorism? Who are the current Global Fascists?

Let the historic, historical “facts” speak for themselves! We're not studying them with formal logic ... that is, because they are “true” or “false,” “right” or “wrong,” because we “agree” or “disagree” with them ... but simply and objectively because they reflect neither the one nor the other, since they transcend contemporary "full spectrum dominance," lies, ideology, "double-think," "newspeak," “wars of ideas,” disinformation campaigns and info-war ... in nuance, they concern the abominable consequences of current global terrorism and fascism...

They indicate a specific, horrendous Quo Vadis? for Humanity, for Life on this planet.

The true terrorists and real fascists go scot free; on TV, clad in expensive white collars and silk ties, they give global "democratic and civilized" speeches when, in reality, they are the worst war criminals the world has ever experienced.

Physical and mental terrorism are not new “discoveries” of our age; they are simply millennia-old, inherent realities of our world system of labor and capital, that exploits, dominates, discriminates, militarizes and alienates whole continents, whole nations.

Hence, within this context, practically and theoretically, the immediate tasks of any world revolution concern the detonation of all the myths around world “terrorism” and "fascism," must logically be aimed at the unraveling of the age-old mental holocaust that simply erased the very autochthonous ideas, indigenous thoughts and natural existence of millions and millions of slaves, serfs, peasants, workers and intellectuals, especially of the so-called "Third World" ... in brief, these revolutionary endeavors concern the eradication of all global, objective, subjective and "transjective" master-slave relations.

The above, in general, concerns the myths of the “Happy End,” of the “best democracy, constitution or laws” in the universe, of the “civilized nature” of Europeans and Americans, of the inexorable “forward” march towards “development.” “progress,” of “humanity,” “human rights,” freedom, equality, fraternity, patriotism, justice, peace, nirvana, heaven, etc.

In the last analysis, the historic truth is, that across the last millennia, billions of chattel and wage slaves never ever enjoyed any one of them. Current Afghanistan and Iraq reveal the fascist, terrorist reality of the world capitalist system across the ages.

In reality, if things develop further along their current course, like anything else in the "homeland," in the "fatherland," then, as a result of competition, monopoly, concentration, corporatism, especially of new world wars, we all will find ourselves on the Genocidal Highway, on the Via Crucis towards Galactic Golgotha!

If we really and truly, scientifically and philosophically, want to know anything about the current Quo Vadis? of Humanity, then, we just need to activate our historic class consciousness, to study very carefully our own global, slave-holding, feudalist and capitalist labor history, across the last millennia, that is, we just need to become conscious of its perverse, fascist essence and its terrorist, violent social existence.

Hence, Venezuela and Latin America, only in this way it will become as clear as broad daylight what is happening now ... and what will soon occur on planet Earth. Also, what we could expect from Washington in the near future.

In reality, within the world alienated labor process in "democracy," ever since the Conquest, the French and American Revolutions and even long before, conspiracy, sabotage, murder, corruption, bureaucracy, theft, fraud, lies, character assassination, all happened so many times already; nowadays, in capitalism in agony, they have just become more open, bare-faced, blatant and brutal, more contradictory and violent ... that is, more Orwellian, more fascist and terrorist.

  • Of course, there are some "nice" things to enjoy in capitalism, especially for consumer-bees ("drones") ... but these are rather the exceptions that prove the golden rule of global, merciless exploitation of billions of toiling "worker-bees."

Any serious study of real, true political history could verify the above very easily.

All serious social revolutionary attempts to change this state of affairs were heinously nipped in the bud -- see Algeria, Vietnam, Chile, Guinea-Bissau, Yugoslavia, etc. Currently, among a few others, mainly Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, are bravely resisting fascist world terror with all their human might.

Concerning the above, let us just refresh our historic memory a little.

We do not need much scientific evidence, to prove that the ancient slave-owning ruling classes of the Mediterranean region, from Egypt to Hellas, were socially terrorizing their “speaking-tools” and “barbarians.” Also we know about the ancient slave and colonial revolts, and how brutally they were suppressed, “pacified.”

We need not repeat the ruling class horror and terror meted out by Nero, Caligula, the arrogant nobility and ignorant clergy against the women, heretics, serfs and “scientists”; the Inquisition, the burning at the stake, exorcism by the Dominican Order, the Thousand Years’ War, the Crusades against Bin Laden’s forefathers, etc.; that was the Quo vadis?, the “future” of Pericles’ “Golden Age”!

Furthermore, we should not forget Robespierre, Danton, Marie Antoinette, the guillotine, the “Reign of Terror,” to verify how this bourgeois world order was born. It is not necessary to explain how Europe treated the “Blackamoors,” the Palestinians, the Jews, the African slaves, the pagans, natives, savages, indigenas of the colonial world.

According to Marx, in his major work "Capital," referring to the original accumulation of capital, this is how capitalism, its fascist, terrorist essence, was born: "dripping from head to foot, in blood and dirt." Togliatti said it: "It concerns the system." This was the “future,” the Quo vadis? of the absolutist, feudalist “Dark Ages”!

Finally, we should just recollect all the intra-imperialist wars of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the horror and terror that resulted ... the millions who had to believe in “civilization” and “christianity,” in “real socialism,” “national socialism,” “fascism,” in liberal and monopoly capitalism. This was the “future,” the Quo vadis? of the “French Revolution,” the "American Revolution" and the “Industrial Revolution!"

What we explained above is the trans-historic algebra of the "American Dream," of the “Happy End,” of the “Great Society,” of the “Classless Society,” of “Democracy,” of “Globalization,” of “World Peace.”

In reality, it is the historic, macabre reflection of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of "gulags" and "concentration camps," of Workuta and Auschwitz, of the genocide in Vietnam and Indonesia; more recently, of Afghanistan and Iraq; of AIDS, of HAARP, of the mother of all bombs of depleted uranium, of arsenals of weapons of mass destruction.

All these already now launch the future Quo Vadis? of either Bush or Kerry, of the identical imperialist twins of Corporate America.

Now, we have a slight notion what fascism and terrorism are all about, but Venezuela and Latin America, "What is To Be Done?" (Lenin). Such a question can only occur to someone who is doing nothing.

The arch-imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes, sitting somewhere on the Matopo Hills, near current Harare, before his death, exclaimed: "So much to do, so little done ... if I could, I would annex the planets!"

Well, especially here in Venezuela over the last five years, we have reached out for the stars and planets ... not only did we, Venezuelans, discover "Jayú," a small planet revolving at the outskirts of our solar system, beyond Pluto, between April 11 and 13, 2002 ... we have also defeated Yankee fascism and terrorism, aided by local lackeys, within 47 hours.

Hence, we have to continue deepening our revolution, to globalize it, to make it a permanent world revolution, to carry forward the revolution in the revolution, against global fascism.

Franz J. T. Lee

Franz John Tennyson Lee, Ph. D (University of Frankfurt), Author, Professor Titular & Chairholder of Philosophy and Political Science, University of The Andes, Merida (Venezuela) -- ; ;

Cooperative Solidarity







Nader’s The One

Are you an authentic human being
or a brainwashed media-controlled robot?

by John Kaminski


I consider it one of the clearest indications that Americans are completely brainwashed and anesthetized in a consumeristic, media-induced coma that Ralph Nader, a man who has accomplished much for the actual benefit of many Americans, is regarded as the illegitimate presidential candidate who can't even get on the ballot in many states, while George W. Bush and John Kerry, two privileged patricians who have never even held a job that wasn't handed to them by their rich friends, and certainly have never done anything significantly positive for humanity, are widely recognized as the only realistic choices for voters in the upcoming election.

Could there be a clearer indication that the majority of the American population is simply incapable of holding a conversation on their own without depending on the slyly deceptive media misconceptions they have been forcefed all their lives?

Could there be a clearer example of how Americans are narcotized by the avalanche of consumer images that dog their every step and can’t even make an authentic decision based on what is good for their own well-being?

I don't think so, although there are many other possibilities for the best example of this — to name just one, sending your children to war in Iraq for reasons you know in your heart to be blatant lies. Rephrasing that: sending your children to die for lie.

I keep wondering what Nader would have done, imagining he were president right after 9/11 happened. Can you just imagine him siccing legions of Nader's Raiders on the World Trade Center rubble to check for anomalies in the steel core columns to determine why they broke and allowed the building to fall? And scrutinizing fires that burned underneath the debris for many weeks? Those reports his Public Citizen troops would surely have written would have been very interesting. Overly analytical type that he is, you can be sure there would have been a very detailed investigation.

It's an interesting thing to think about, considering we have had absolutely no investigation at all into the greatest crime in American history, a stupefying insult to our intelligence that has changed the entire character of political discourse throughout the world based on a bald-faced lie that no one seems to have the courage to confront. A stupefying insult to our intelligence that significantly lessens the chances of every person on the planet that they will live their lives without being blown up by their own government.

And yet it's exactly the kind of thing Nader has confronted every day of his adult life.

Can you imagine Nader deploying an army of psychiatrists and (non-fundamental) clergymen on the soldiers returning from Iraq and requiring them to explain why they would have raped young Iraqi children in front of their imprisoned mothers in order to extort tactical military information from clearly innocent civilians upon orders from Donald Rumsfeld?

Of course, of course. 9/11 and the Iraq butchery likely never would have happened had Nader been president. To my knowledge Nader is not intimately and perversely connected to the petroleum-producing elitists who desire to see American landmarks in a heap of rubble to increase their already obscene income stream.

He’s the only candidate I know who talks about the danger of corporate power. He’s the only candidate I know who talks about the influence of Israel on the American government.

I don’t need much more information than that to know that puts him head and shoulders above Bush and Kerry, who are squarely in the pocket of both corporate power and Israel, the two greatest threats to the well-being of everyone on earth.

How much more do you need to know? And how brainwashed are you?

I find it very instructive to compare the achievements of Ralph Nader with the resumés of George W. Bush and John Kerry.

For all the information Nader has compiled to help average consumers, Time magazine once called him “America’s toughest customer.”

Though I don’t have matching Time quotes for the other two politicians, you can just imagine what they might have said. Bush? “Was never successful at any job he ever had.” Kerry? “Bogus war hero who Admiral Elmo Zumwalt once said needed to be watched carefully because of his penchant for killing Vietnamese civilians unnecessarily.”

Nader has been called one of America's most effective social critics. His well-documented criticism of government and industry has had a tangible effect on public awareness and bureaucratic power. His actions have motivated thousands to become consumer advocates who in turn have established their own organizations throughout the country.

Nader first made headlines in 1965 with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a scathing indictment that lambasted the auto industry for producing unsafe vehicles. Not many of you remember the Corvair, a gasoline bomb on wheels. The book led to congressional hearings and a series of automobile safety laws passed in 1966.

Since 1966, Nader has been responsible for at least eight major federal consumer protection laws, according to his campaign literature: the motor vehicle safety laws, Safe Drinking Water Act; the launching of federal regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and Consumer Product Safety Administration; the recall of millions of defective motor vehicles; access to government through the Freedom of Information Act of 1974; and for many lives saved.

All these years later Nader is still on the rubber chicken circuit preaching about the "imperialism" of multinational corporations and of a dangerous inbreeding of corporate and government power. With the passage of autocratic trade treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the new General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), this merger of corporate and government interests is escalating. A magazine founded by Nader in 1980, the Multinational Monitor, tracks the global intrusion of multinational corporations and their impact on developing nations, labor, and the environment.

Nader has always talked about empowering citizens to create a responsive government sensitive to citizens' needs. The top of Nader's agenda has been detoxing the U.S. civil justice system, particularly in the areas of product liability, securities fraud, and medical negligence.

So just compare that impressive record with Bush and Kerry.

Bush? Military deserter, covered up by his father’s political connections. Cocaine addict, arrested in Houston, 1972, trial records made to disappear. Shady character in Central America, working for his father, who had an oil company as a cover for drug smuggling. Then somebody bought him a baseball team, and he turned a tidy profit. Then somebody put him on the board of an oil company, whose stock he illegally sold at a hefty profit just before it collapsed. Suddenly he’s governor of Texas, signing death warrants at a record pace. Then bingo, he’s president, put there by a stolen election in which the pivotal state was run by his little brother, who devised a scheme to deprive tens of thousands of people who would have voted for his opponent of their right to vote.

Then, bingo again, New York City is attacked and we have endless wars all over the world. Now that’s what I call a resumé. No wonder the American media are so impressed.

Kerry? Member of same disgusting and secretive college fraternity as George Bush who just recently discovered his name was not Kerry but Kohn, Jonah Kohn. Jewish on both sides of his family, but he let people think he was Irish for years and years in order, one might allege, to get elected in Irish Massachusetts. Campaigns as a war hero but his Army buddies felt the need to write a book about what a reckless faker he was, putting himself in for medals for minor incidents he himself precipitated and killing hapless Vietnamese civilians who couldn’t fight back. Faked being an anti-war type in the ’70s to get publicity, but later, after being elected senator, denied he ever meant it.

But the topper for Kerry is what Sherman Skolnick reported: Kerry was on the plane that took Poppy Bush and his evil Republican retinue to Paris in 1980 to bribe the Iranians to keep the American hostages in prison until Reagan had won the election. Yes, the famous October Surprise. Let’s hear it for the Democratic Party, Lori! You too, Frank!

So, when you put these three resumés side by side, and calculate that both the media and the American public consider Bush and Kerry to be the legitimate major candidates, and Nader to be the perennial inauthentic pretender, what do you conclude?

If you reach any other conclusion that the vast majority is a braindead, manipulated, unconscious herd that doesn’t hear a thing that is actually being said, then you are probably a member of this majority yourself.

Now, I am not advocating that you vote for Nader, because I am urging — because we all know the vote count is being manipulated by the fascist companies that control the electronic voting machines, and your vote won’t count in any circumstances — that you do not vote at all.

And even if I were going to vote, I would not say that Nader is the best of the alternative candidates, although I’m not saying he’s not, either.

The Green Party recently dumped Nader for one of its own, and more recently the
California Peace and Freedom Party instead nominated jailed American Indian activist Leonard Peltier at its convention. Were I to vote this time I could easily vote for either of those candidates, or any of several others who are running with alternative philosophies. The point is that they are ALL more legitimate — and will do far less damage to both us and the world — than the two major candidates who are being stuffed down our throats by the cabal of mainstream media mannikins who wouldn’t recognize the truth of this rant if it were stuffed up their noses — and if they were allowed to attempt to speak the truth by their Zionist/CIA/banker controlled corporate bosses, which they are not.

It’s just that of three candidates I focused on — Nader, Bush, and Kerry — Nader is by far the more authentic human being and the less dangerous person than either of the two anointed perverse patricians that are being shoved down our throats by journalists who are really propagandists for tyrannical criminals.

That virtually the entire American populace actually thinks this is not so is a crystal clear indication of what mindwashed and manipulated morons — willing to countenance the unjust mass murder of both its own citizens and innocent people around the world — the U.S. population has become.

John Kaminski is the author of “America’s Autopsy Report,” a collection of his Internet essays seen on hundreds of websites around the world. More recently he has written “The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn’t Believe the Official Version of What Happened on September 11, 2001.” Soon to be released is his new collection of essays, titled “The Perfect Enemy.” For more information go to

Enviado por: franzjutta el Lunes, 25 de Octubre de 2004 - 06:22 AM GMT
En Venezuela

Venezuela: Hacer y Pensar la Revolución Bolivariana

Por Franz J. T. Lee

A pesar de que todos los grandes revolucionarios de la historia parecen haber enfatizado el “hacer”, el actuar la revolución, esto no implica que pensar la revolución es un factor social insignificante. Por cierto, en sus famosas “Once Tesis” sobre Feuerbach, el “joven” Marx resaltó: “Los filósofos sólo han interpretado el mundo de varias maneras; sin embargo, el punto es cambiarlo”.

También Ché Guevara expresó categóricamente: “La tarea de un revolucionario es hacer la revolución”. Desde la victoriosa batalla electoral de Santa Inés, a lo largo y ancho de Venezuela los Bolivarianos hablan de la “profundización de la revolución” y sobre la “revolución dentro de la revolución”. En todo el país surgieron varios grupos de estudio para dedicarse a la educación “ideológica”, para analizar y penetrar la esencia histórica de la Revolución Bolivariana. Sin embargo, muy temprano, mucha gente descubre lo que el filósofo alemán Ernst Bloch formuló: “ ...algo falta”.

Como habíamos comentado hace un tiempo atrás, los principales problemas que confrontan los jóvenes periodistas y revolucionarios bolivarianos en Venezuela y América Latina, Marx los ha explicado en su "Dieciocho Brumario de Louis Bonaparte": no sólo es el hecho de que “todos los acontecimientos y personajes de gran importancia en la historia del mundo ocurren dos veces, la primera como tragedia, la segunda como farsa”, sino incluso enfatizó que “la tradición de todas las generaciones muertas pesa como una pesadilla sobre el cerebro de las vivas”.

Esto es la razón por la cual, “cuando parecen comprometidos en revolucionarse y revolucionar a las cosas, en crear algo que jamás ha existido - precisamente en este tipo de periodos de crisis revolucionarias - ansiosamente evocan a los espíritus del pasado a su servicio y les prestan nombres, gritos de batalla y vestidos para presentar a esta nueva escena de historia mundial en este venerable disfraz y este lenguaje prestado”.

Es precisamente esto lo que está pasando aquí en Venezuela. La pregunta es ¿cómo hacer y pensar nuestra propia revolución en la aurora globalizada de nuestros tiempos tan problemáticos? es decir, ¿cómo generar una "práctica" permanente, más preciso, una práxis revolucionaria? y ¿cómo formular una “ideología” correspondiente, más preciso, una teoría revolucionaria, que sería capaz de reflejar y relacionar con precisión nuestras tareas emancipadoras transhistóricas contemporáneas? En otras palabras ¿cómo hacer algo que nunca antes hemos hecho, cómo pensar, pensar sobre sociedad y naturaleza, sobre historia, de manera como nunca antes lo hemos hecho? es decir, en el espíritu revolucionario de per aspera ad astra, de cómo alcanzar a las estrellas y al inmenso e inmediato Horizonte de la Emancipación Humana, de cómo introducir lo Nuevo, lo Original, lo Auténtico y cómo introducir una posible Era futura de Creatividad y Creación Humana.

Así que hacer la revolución, en primer lugar es pensar la revolución. Esto es la razón por la cual Lenin advirtió: sin teoría no hay revolución.

Si aquí en Venezuela está ocurriendo una revolución social real y verdadera, es decir concreta, que niega el capitalismo y el imperialismo, entonces definitivamente tiene que tener una práxis científica que a su vez tiene que ser el resultado dialéctico de una teoría filosófica y a su vez va a generar nuevos niveles, grados y dimensiones tanto de una lucha de clases histórica como de una conciencia social global.

Así que individual y colectivamente, a través de toda América Latina y el globo entero, hay que dirigir nuestros propios hechos y pensamientos, nuestros ardientes esfuerzos humanos, al descubrimiento de nuestra verdadera revolución global permanente, para encontrarla, pensarla, vivirla y realizarla victoriosamente. No hay revolución social sin práxis natural y teoría social, de manera similar no existe una práxis concreta sin teoría abstracta y vice versa.

Por esas razones, todas las “Misiones” Bolivarianas son de suma importancia estratégica para hacer y pensar la revolución. De hecho, también es de suma importancia de no sólo alfabetizar a las masas, enseñarles a leer, escribir y sumar, sino más bien ayudarles a pensar de, por y para sí mismos, de hacer y pensar su propia revolución. Si no eliminamos toda la ideología colonial capitalista imperialista de nuestros libros de estudio, nosotros mismos echamos a perder nuestra propia revolución.

El sueño fascista más grande de Hitler era el control total de las masas nacional-socialistas nazi en Alemania y luego en todo el Tercer Reich, diciendo que “para controlar a un pueblo, basta controlar su educación”; sueño, que Bush actualmente adopta en sus políticas de la “dominación de pleno espectro” para establecer su Cuarto Reich.

De la misma manera, la Revolución Bolivariana puede convertir en una pesadilla fatal para Washington lavadora de cerebros este sueño, es decir, utilizando esta misma divisa a favor de la Revolución Bolivariana globalizada, en el sentido de convertirla en un instrumento revolucionario para iniciar una “guerra de ideas” a escala global, una “guerra de información”, para contrarrestar los efectos desvastadores de la educación del sistema capitalista.

A muchos de nosotros no les gusta pensar, teorizar o filosofar, sencillamente lo consideramos una perdida de tiempo valioso. No obstante, no encontraremos otra vía para liberarnos, para emanciparnos, salvo si comenzamos a aprender a hacer, pensar y sobrepasar de, por y para nosotros mismos. Aquellos de nosotros que ya se encuentran "libres", que están viviendo en una sociedad liberada y opulenta, disfrutando el capitalismo y que sólo propagan los “cambios reformistas dentro del sistema imperialista corporativo”, claro que ya no tienen ningún tipo de problemas más. Sin embargo, como sabemos, billones de “miserables de la Tierra” no pueden “disfrutar” esos privilegios globalizados de las clases dominantes.

Una de las condiciones existenciales, la conditio sine qua non para crear ideas revolucionarias - no palabras sin contenido óntico alguno, que es ideología burguesa - es, formular el pensamiento, el pensar y la teoría, es la filosofía emancipadora. Esta es la tarea transhistórica para la Venezuela revolucionaria; los Venezolanos, Latinoamericanos, Caribeños, Africanos, Asiáticos etc., todos tienen que desarrollar su propia Práxis Científica, su propia Teoría Filosófica, tienen que hacer su propia Historia Emancipadora.

Para poder entender las ideas revolucionarias que son el pensar y la teoría, uno tiene que ser no un ideólogo reformista obsoleto, no un conformista lamentándose eternamente, no una fábrica corrupta de politiquería, sino un filósofo viviente, es decir, en cualquier nivel, grado o dimensión del esfuerzo humano. Los niños al rededor del globo son excelentes filósofos. Si incluso fallamos en entender nuestros propios métodos en nuestra propia “locura”, entonces ¿cómo sabríamos lo que hacemos, pensamos y sobrepasamos? Y más que todo ¿Cómo podríamos entender a otros?

En la ausencia del auto-pensamiento, de la auto-creatividad y de la auto-conciencia de las masas - como lo fue el caso en gran parte aquí en América Latina durante los últimos siglos - necesariamente tendrían que pensar para nosotros las palabras vacías, otros nos dirigirán e inundarán nuestros cerebros con sus propios intereses de clase e ideas reaccionarias. Si no tenemos cuidado, como ya ha pasado tantas veces, el Kinder, las escuelas y las universidades someterán a nuestros cerebros a la cirugía del control mental, nos eliminarán nuestras columnas vertebrales y al fin nos volcarán como esclavos asalariados en el epicentro del caldero hirviente del Moloch capitalista globalizado, decorados con los laureles académicos summa cum laude.

¡Bolivarianos del Mundo! Aquí y ahora termina de empezar la próxima batalla feroz, la más peligrosa de todas: la emancipación de una mentalidad esclavista, de cuatro décadas de pensamientos, deseos y veneno oligárquicos de estilo puntofijista, de adoctrinación feudalista, de manipulación absolutista, de racismo discriminador y, al fin y al cabo, de siglos de control mental religioso.

Venezuelan Opposition and Government Find Ways to Compromise on the Media Law
Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 Print format
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By: Gregory Wilpert –

Caracas, October 23, 2004—On Thursday the opposition and the pro-government parties in Venezuela’s legislature, the National Assembly, decided to suspend their fight over the new law for Social Responsibility in Television and Radio and to instead find areas of compromise. For the past week the National Assembly has been discussing and gradually approving the controversial law, against the embittered opposition parties, which had been arguing that the law would allow the government to censor the media. Pro-government lawmakers, however, have said that the law merely provides regulations for protecting children from sex and violence on television and other common regulations that exist in most countries in the world.

Until now the law has been passed article-by-article, with the opposition vehemently opposing it almost every step of the way. So far, eight of the law’s 36 articles have been approved. This week, however, the opposition agreed to skip discussion of articles 6 and 7, two of the law’s most controversial articles, which deal with types of programming that is to be restricted and the broadcast schedules of when such programming would be allowed or prohibited. The articles are being skipped so that the two sides would have more time to find ways to compromise on this article, while proceeding with the approval of less controversial articles. According to opposition leaders, this section of the law is one of those that is most likely to be misused by the government for censorship, something that government supporters have repeatedly denied.

Articles 5, 8, and 9 were approved under a broad consensus because pro-Chavez legislators agreed to include some of the amendments that the opposition had proposed. “the changes we made by consensus. I must highlight the participation of all deputies in this process. We all brought in ideas,” said Desirée Santos, one of the law’s sponsors. These articles deal with the definition of the types of programs (article 5) and the scheduling and types of advertising that would be allowed (articles 8 and 9).

Pro-Chavez lawmakers have already removed one of the more controversial elements in the law, which is the section that would have punished broadcasters for “disrespect” of public officials.

Next week, the National Assembly will discuss numbers 10, 11, and 12, of the law, which deal with the state’s right to use the airwaves, subscription channels such as cable, and the rights of radio and television viewers and listeners. According to deputies, these articles will not present major controversies.

The media regulation law has been one of the government’s most controversial legal projects because government supporters feel that the Venezuelan media is operating under practically no regulations, which has allowed them to turn into a defacto opposition organization. Also, the broadcast media’s complicity in the April 2002 coup attempt proved to government officials that the media has been acting with impunity in Venezuela. The opposition, however, is convinced that the government intends on using the law to stifle free speech.


Those Who Toppled Columbus Statue Must Bear Responsibility For Their Act

Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 Print format
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By: Dawn Gable

Editor's Note: generally tries to stay out of issues such as the one discussed below because we feel that the site's main function is to inform, analyze, and contextualize the news coming from Venezuela. As such, debates about how to best conduct solidarity with the people of Venezuela is best left for websites dedicated to that, such as the sites of the Bolivarian Circles or In this case, however, I have decided to make an exception because the article below does provide important contextual information about the complexities of engaging in solidarity work. In the near future we hope to have a section for debates such as these.

For more background information, see: Columbus Statue Toppled in Venezuela on Day of Indigenous Resistance

The entire controversy in Spanish at:

- Gregory Wilpert

Based on the account of the October 12 destruction of the Columbus statue that was written and disseminated world-wide by the organizers (some of whom do not live in Venezuela) and based on the fact that this was a pre-planned theatrical show, it appears that those arguing for the amnesty of those detained are either misinformed about what took place, or do not understand the danger of the act or of the damage it has done to the Bolivarian government.

All Revolutionary activities must be done with not only with the symbolism of the act, or the motivation for the act in mind but also with the end result in mind. While it is certainly understandable to take out ones anger on a statue of the symbol of 500 years of cruelty and injustice, the fulfilling of this impulse at the expense of the only government in the history of the world to ever make any REAL attempt at returning rights to indigenous peoples is unjustifiable. Especially when, at the same moment in another area of Caracas, the mayor Freddy Bernal was signing an agreement to take down ALL of the Columbus statues in the city and replace them with statues of Chief Guaicaipuro (although Bernal admitted that the enforcement of this agreement was not solely up to him).

The participants of the action could have been satisfied with symbolism of knocking down the statue. But they were not. They were looking for response. So they dragged the statue down to the Teresa Carreño Theater where the day’s formal celebration was happening. The National Guard of course, protected this event. Bringing the statue to the theater resulted in also bringing the Metropolitan Police who are run by the opposition and who are often in conflict with the National Guard. This was a dangerous and careless thing to do. Creating a disturbance while positioned between two rival armed forces is not only irresponsible but it would have been unforgivable if an exchange between the two would have broken out.

Luckily this did not happen and after some discussion between the organizers, the National Guard, and the police, the statue was confiscated by the police. At this point the participants surely had made their point AND have gotten a response. But this was not enough either. The small crowd began to taunt the police who responded, as one would expect of this notoriously trigger-happy group, with tear gas and rubber bullets. In the end a hand full of participants were detained.

At this point it would have made sense to wait for the situation to calm and then send a few people to talk to the police who may have released the detainees. But instead this group escalated their self-made confrontation by going to the mayor’s office expecting him to intervene and get them off the hook. Here is the worst part of the whole mess.

Regional elections are the end of this month. The last thing the government needs right now is fighting among the ranks, especially over an act that had no objective in the first place aside from the venting of a little rage. Pleading that Freddy Bernal save them from the law is not only cowardly, but is patently an expression of a fourth republic mentality. Expecting special treatment from the government for expressing a government held sentiment through illegal means is exactly the kind of favoritism and corruption of power that the Chavez government is fighting against and it is expressedly forbidden by the rules of the Fifth Republic.

While the perpetrators continue to claim that they are willing to take responsibility for their actions they have on the other hand continually attacked Freddy Bernal’s loyalty to the Bolivarian Revolution for not tossing aside the rule of law and coming to their rescue. Freddy Bernal is a strong supporter and friend of Hugo Chavez, and he is the mayor of a very important part of Caracas. The protesters have put both of these men in an impossible situation forcing them to take action against their own constituents. The turmoil that this fiasco has created within the Chavista camp must be making the opposition laugh with satisfaction and has undoubtedly left them wondering why they didn’t think of perpetrating such an event themselves. In fact, this has been so beneficial to their cause; it makes one wonder if the hands of saboteurs were not involved.

On this same day, in many countries around the world there were protests against governments that are still perpetuating the oppression and misery imported by the colonialists 500 years ago. This makes sense. Protesting against current colonial tendencies is valid. Protesting against colonialism in Venezuela at this time when the government itself is fervently fighting it, is not. However, demonstrating in favor of the current government’s steps to correct the atrocities of the past is. The day would have been better spent celebrating the advances of the indigenous cause brought about by the Chavez government. Or better yet, the organizers could have spent their organizing energy doing something constructive for the indigenous community such as volunteering in the Missions.

Many of the arguments both in support of and against this action have centered on the person of Columbus. This has nothing to do with Columbus. These arguments only serve to illuminate the immaturity and lack of political preparation of those arguing. The real question here is about tactics. Revolutionaries must not act out of pure emotion, but instead must weigh the utility of their actions in respect to the effect it will have on strengthening and advancing the Revolution. Any act that results in a weakening of the Revolution is unacceptable. Above all, Revolutionaries must know WHO their enemy is and must stay focused. This kind of deviation from the goal can and will destroy the Revolution.

Entrevista a Celia Hart Santamaría
"Hacer la revolución es la manera más económica de ser feliz"

Mercedes Petit y Guillermo Pacagnini
Alternativa Socialista

Celia tiene 41 años y es hija de dos dirigentes históricos de la revolución cubana, Armando Hart y Haydée Santamaría. Celia es física, escritora y miembro del Partido Comunista de Cuba, impulsora actualmente del comité de solidaridad con Palestina. Se define como \"trotskista por cuenta propia\". Acaba de culminar una visita a Buenos Aires. La entrevistamos para que nos contara como llegó a Trotsky desde la ciencia, buscando una explicación a la caricatura de socialismo impuesta por el stalinismo. Más allá de las lógicas diferencias políticas que tenemos con Celia, es apasionante conocer las opiniones de esta cubana internacionalista y enemiga mortal del \"socialismo en un solo país”.

¿Cómo conociste la obra de Trotsky, que tenemos entendido que se estudia y difunde muy poco en Cuba?

En 1982 fui a terminar la carrera de Física a la República Democrática Alemana. Yo tenía una formación muy fuerte desde niña con Martí y el Che. Y los compañeros me decían que ir a la RDA, sería como viajar en la máquina del tiempo, vería el futuro de mi revolución. Encontré un país muy desarrollado, con su economía planificada, con gente con alto nivel de vida, pero que era un país mustio, sin juventud, paralizado ideológicamente, no les interesaba las cosas del Che, lo que ocurría en Nicaragua... era un sistema triste... Y esa quietud me empezó a mortificar y creó una crisis en 1985 donde yo no entendía que ese fuera el sistema.

Fue un cambio grande para vos...

Cuando volví a Cuba estaba en que me iba a ir del país o iba a promover una reforma... No conocía a Trotsky. Me habían enseñado que era un desertor de la revolución rusa, un traidor. Yo me enganchaba con Martí y con el Che en el aspecto internacionalista. Mi papá me dio, sin decirme nada, los libros de Isaac Deustcher. Leí \"El profeta desarmado\", \"Stalin\" y \"La revolución inconclusa\". Fue un renacimiento, una felicidad, los entendí inmediatamente y me di cuenta que había habido una gran traición y que yo fui víctima también de esa traición. Se convirtió en mi profeta porque me salvó para la causa del proletariado. De allí en adelante fue una cosa muy lógica... Los libros de Trotsky que tuve oportunidad de conseguir los leí con gran facilidad. Me parecía una cosa que yo sabía, que intuía... Llegué a Trotsky a partir del pensamiento de Martí y el Che. Yo pensaba que la única trotskista en el mundo era yo... En noviembre de 2003 escribí mi primer artículo sobre Trotsky. Empecé a recibir cartas de todo el mundo, de Cuba ninguna. Allí no me publican... Soy algo así como trotskista por cuenta propia. Ahora me hicieron optar entre la Física y la política. Por eso me fui de la universidad. Milito en el comité nacional cubano de solidaridad con Palestina, que se está desarrollando.

¿Cómo ves el panorama actual de América Latina?

Muy estimulante. Un reverdecimiento de todas las fuerzas que han estado apañadas por toda la década de globalización, caída del muro, fin de la historia. Se vive un momento diferente. Es muy importante lo que ocurre en Venezuela, el papel de Chávez, no se le extiende un cheque en blanco a nadie, pero sí creo que aunque no es un gobierno socialista clásico, creo que hay intención de reformas radicales y lo más importante, el movimiento de masas, los trabajadores, se ha fortalecido y ha crecido en meses tomando una cultura política impresionante, son los que podrán conducir a Chávez a tomar las mejores medidas. Por eso no tanto confiar en Chávez, sino en esas masas... el espíritu de los bolivarianos trasciende incluso lo que pueda decir el gobierno, que como todo gobierno tiene sus márgenes de conservador. Lo que se ha generado después del referéndum que convirtió una campaña en una lucha de clases, el NO fue de los obreros, de los humildes...

¿Y la situación en Cuba hoy?

Somos una referencia más allá de las diferencias que se tengan con el gobierno, es una revolución que logró sobrevivir al derrumbe del campo socialista. Fidel dijo “socialismo o muerte”... Yo tengo una guerra total con el concepto de \"socialismo en un solo país\", en Cuba no existe el socialismo, lo que hay es revolución socialista. Esta se tiene que dar en muchos países para ir a un sistema socialista, pero no simultáneamente...Muchos se confunden... En Cuba existen los problemas del socialismo en un solo país, que no se puede hacer. Hay una revolución socialista que se está defendiendo en un medio hostil. Fidel no incorpora la revolución permanente a su discurso, no se por qué, pero no me importa porque él lidera la revolución. Por supuesto hay sectores que han burocratizado muchas cosas del país. Y está el problema de la posibilidad de una restauración capitalista dada la dolarización. El burocratismo y la restauración tienden a hacer alianza, en la ex URSS fue así...

Desde el punto de vista trotskista de la revolución permanente, ¿cómo ubicás el proceso revolucionario cubano?

La Revolución Permanente como yo la entendí es en dos sentidos. Hacia adentro de las fronteras, no para de cambiar. A mí me decían “ya triunfamos, tranquilícense” No, no hay tranquilidad, es a contracorriente, la revolución permanente es estar contra esa tendencia al status quo que hay. Y hacia fuera de las fronteras, eso que antes se decía de exportar la revolución, que ahora no se puede decir... Lo que hizo el Che, defender la revolución permanente, ya triunfamos aquí pero no es suficiente, hay que hacer muchos Vietnam. El Che es el paradigma de la revolución permanente. Fue el alumno más aventajado de Trotsky por intuición, aún criticándolo... y murió con un libro de él en la mochila. Es lo contrario a lo que ahora nos dicen de \"no injerencia en los asuntos internos de los países\". Tomar el poder es un trámite hacia el socialismo, no es su triunfo, hay que seguir haciendo la revolución estando en el poder, revolucionando constantemente...

Después de la caída del muro y la URSS, muchos hablaron de \"muerte del socialismo\" ¿vos cómo lo ves?

La caída del Muro ojalá se hubiera dado antes. Porque el Muro, la URSS, el stalinismo, nos retrasaron mucho el camino, no sólo en el tiempo, también en la conciencia. Muchos se volvieron reformistas, otros burócratas. A los obreros le extirparon su conciencia de clase. Fue un engaño colosal. Pero la caída del muro permitió salir de la amnesia. Se liberaron las condiciones objetivas de la revolución. Se coloca la vigencia de Trotsky, que empieza a ser muy necesario. Se demostró la claridad de Trotsky: la revolución permanente, el internacionalismo y también la lucha contra la burocracia. Ahí está el problema de Cuba que tenemos que resolver, el de la burocracia, si no nos va a comer el problema de la dolarización. La revolución atorada es un problema. La revolución vivirá mientras se reproduzca.

¿Qué opinás sobre los que dicen que no van más la toma del poder, el partido revolucionario y la lucha del proletariado?

Es una tontería. Sin lucha de clases no hay toma del poder. El poder nadie lo regala. Pero a los que decían que era el fin de la historia, hoy el desastre que es el mundo demuestra la incapacidad del capitalismo. No es que un mundo mejor es posible, es que si no cambiamos al mundo, el que hay hoy, el peor, no va a quedar, va al fin de la civilización. La única alternativa es el sistema socialista que aún no ha triunfado. Y los que dicen que el error no fue Stalin sino el propio Lenin se equivocan.

Para ello es fundamental construir el partido revolucionario...

Es imposible que los movimientos sociales puedan sustituir el rol de las vanguardias políticas. Los partidos son fundamentales para que los movimientos sociales tengan una dirección, un rumbo. Es la gran tarea de la izquierda. Que no se resuelve sólo con este o aquél partido. Es necesaria la unidad de la izquierda comunista, es decir trotskista, para organizar.

¿Y la necesidad de construir una internacional?

Ah... para mí eso es el sueño. Para lograr lo de “proletarios de todos los países uníos”. Una Internacional. Hay que restablecer esa maravilla del marxismo. Empezando por unir alrededor de temas específicos, para movilizar, para juntar a América Latina, para ayudar a romper las fronteras. No sé cómo se puede hacer.

¿Qué le dirías a los luchadores que buscan una alternativa para superar la miseria capitalista?

La revolución socialista es la única alternativa. Esto no quiere decir que no luchemos contra las injusticias concretas por las que tenemos que ser los primeros en dar la vida. Pero les digo a los jóvenes que la revolución no es solamente el fin más hermoso. Hacer la revolución es la manera más económica de ser feliz.

Entrevista: (Alternativa Socialista, MST de Argentina)


Hay que seguir tumbándose a todos los Colones  -- Carta enviada desde Lima-Perú en solidaridad con los camaradas presos
Por: Luis Lazo Valdivia
Publicado el Miércoles, 20/10/04 10:43pm

Con atención los pueblos latinoamericanos hemos visto el accionar de un grupo de bolivarianos venezolanos tumbarse un Colón, que bueno que ya se empezó, o al menos que bueno que se haya hecho público, pues tengo entendido que ya el Presidente Chávez, lo viene haciendo desde hace algunos años.

Fíjense es el primero, y ya lo más rancio de la oposición y pseudo-revolucionarios se rasgan las vestiduras: ¡Horror! ¡Como es posible tanta malcriadez! ¡Denles con palo y odio, por semejante afrenta!

Que bueno que se empezó, pues faltan varios colones por tumbarse, desde los simbólicos monumentos de piedra o hierro, hasta los colones y sus descendientes colonizados de los medios de comunicación, los de la propiedad privada y las opulencias y desigualdades, los colones defensores del orden establecido de explotación y marginalidad, y ni que decir de los colones burócratas metidos en el gobierno que resultan funcionales a la economía colonizadora del Banco Mundial y el FMI

He leído algunos artículos, y se habla y critica esta acción popular. La critica y pone fuera de la ley a la muchachada eufórica, alegando aspectos de ilegalidad e inoportunidad de sus acciones, pues a ese colón legal también hay que derribarlo. Denle al pueblo el poder, a ver si en una semana no se tumban mil y un colones. ¿La ley?, pues la ley se hace y sirve a los intereses del pueblo, si la ley no se ajusta, cambien la ley.

También he leído, lo “hermoso” que es haber visto en un solo balcón, bandera roja bolivariana y cacerola abucheadora, como si fuera posible mas allá de la picaresca familiar que lo permitió, sentar a los colones contemporáneos y a los colonizados a departir y repartir los bienes de la patria, cual si por tener la sartén por el mango, se pueden llevar la carne y dejarnos el tizne.

También hay quienes defienden al Colón y los demás colones, y colonialismos, por ser parte de nuestra cultura y en forma burlona, dicen que también, para entendernos deberíamos hablar dialectos nativos y quizás vestir plumas, esto no merece mas comentario que el ser un desvergonzado racismo.

Los revolucionarios de sillón y pupitre también se escandalizan de ver en peligro el avance de sus obras revolucionarias, por la impertinencia de estos muchachos que azuza a los medios opositores “dándoles más pretextos y razones para atacar la revolución”. De que se asustan, verdaderamente del retroceso que puede tener la revolución, o posiblemente el que no puedan ya ser vistos con ojos bonitos por los burgueses y clase media arribista, que observan su mediatizada actitud. Que confusión, como si la revolución solo esta siendo desarrollada por quienes están en esos cargos, justamente por encargo del pueblo. Que confusión, y no reconocer que la revolución esta dada por todos los actos del pueblo, todos, absolutamente todos, los que están dentro y fuera de los parámetros del marco legal vigente. Veremos si mas adelante esos actos constituyen delitos, eso es relativo. O no reconocen los revolucionarios de sillón que justamente las misiones son las que están dando capacidad y vuelo a los mil y un pensamientos libertarios del pueblo sojuzgado por décadas y siglos.

La observación de estos actos voluntarios y voluntariosos, solo permite reconocer que en Venezuela, el pueblo crece gracias a la revolución que se desarrolla y con su crecimiento el pueblo y sus acciones revolucionarias, o se le da mas cause legal a todas sus manifestaciones, o simplemente el pueblo se desborda, y el desborde llevará a que se cambie la superestructura del marco legal que la limita, o se produzcan cientos y miles de estallamientos sociales. Cada vez tumbándose a un nuevo colón.

Que bueno que se hayan tumbado a un colón, que bueno que se critique y discuta las formas de desarrollar la revolución, que bueno que se manifieste en todas esas formas. Pero que eso no sirva para mutuas acusaciones inútiles, donde el único que saca provecho será la burguesía venezolana en representación de los intereses imperialistas.

Es necesario establecer, canales que el pueblo organizado desarrolle, y donde los revolucionarios que por el azar están en el gobierno, ocupando un puesto burocrático, permitan las múltiples manifestaciones de ese pueblo anticipando y canalizando la voluntad popular, mas no la suya. Cuanto se hubiera ahorrado, si los burócratas de la cultura y la educación y autoridades “pertinentes” hubieran canalizado quizás lo que ahora a todas luces es de total simpatía popular, que es el haberse tumbado a un colón.

Se requiere, tal vez, una misión para los burócratas para que observen con mejores ojos el quehacer cotidiano del pueblo que representa y al que se debe, que se ligue a su organización y aspiraciones, o sino indefectiblemente serán arrasados por esa gran ola llamada pueblo. Que haya discusión, debate, crítica y autocrítica, unidad y lucha, que permita el avance, el desarrollo organizativo del pueblo, en una real democracia participativa, donde haya coherencia entre el gobierno con el devenir organizado de su pueblo.

Amigos bolivarianos, faltan mas colones que tumbarse, que no flaquee la mano, que no se intimide el animo. Estudio, organización y compañerismo. Quizás dentro de algún tiempo nos daremos cuenta que el grave error de esta vanguardista juventud tumbacolones haya sido el no haber echo polvo, el granito, que con vergüenza algún escultor haya brindado su arte lacaya a idealizar a quien simboliza todos los colonialismos antiguos y vigentes.

¡Vivan la revolución bolivariana!
¡Vivan las luchas de los pueblos latinoamericanos!


Venezuela: entre vanguardia popular y avanzada burguesa
Por: Heinz Dieterich /Rebelión
Publicado el Jueves, 21/10/04 04:52pm

La lucha transformadora por el poder y el futuro venezolano ha entrado en una nueva fase: los planes de guerra, las armas y el campo de batalla han cambiado. Descifrar el nuevo teatro de operaciones de la revolución es vital para el triunfo de las fuerzas progresistas.

Un modelo apropiado para pronosticar el futuro de la revolución tiene que tener por concepto clave la categoría "poder" y, al menos, cuatro referentes explicativos: 1. el Presidente, 2. la elite económica, 3. las instituciones y, 4. las masas. En la interacción de esos sujetos de poder se decidirá el futuro de la revolución bolivariana y, probablemente, de América Latina.

1. En cuanto al Presidente Hugo Chávez hay pocas incógnitas: sigue siendo el principio rector subjetivo del proceso. Su capacidad de movilización de masas, sus dotes de vinculación comunicativa y carismática, su creatividad para acuñar nuevos conceptos y su talento táctico han conservado su posición de hegemón de esa transformación ininterrumpida desde hace cinco años.

Las ovaciones de pie de amplios sectores del empresariado venezolano, argentino, brasileño y colombiano, que han suscitado sus últimas reuniones con los representantes del capital latinoamericano ---preparadas silenciosa y diligentemente por el Ministro de Producción y Comercio, el expiloto de combate Wilmar Castro Soteldo--- han generado entre algunos revolucionarios de la Patria Grande un debate acerca de una posible desviación del rumbo popular del proceso.

Y preocupados se preguntan: ¿El retorno de la manada empresarial al rebaño del buen pastor Hugo Chávez significa que la revolución morirá asfixiada por la táctica del abrazo del oso?

Los primeros indicios empíricos después del 15 de agosto no indican que el Comandante esté en peligro de perder el rumbo o de flaquear ante el gran poder económico. Mientras en Lula vemos la tragedia de un líder popular -y el concepto más adecuado para entenderlo no parece ser "traición", sino "tragedia"- siendo destruido por el poder y la vorágine de la razón de Estado y los representantes de ella en su entorno, nada indica que Hugo Chávez va por ese camino.

Él camina, por supuesto, sobre un piso lleno de metras (canicas) que, teóricamente lo podrían hacer caerse en un momento dado. Sin embargo, la estrategia de optimización del triunfo del 15 de agosto que observamos, no parece haber perdido direccionalidad ni audacia, de tal manera que en este momento no se observa ninguna desviación en la programática ni en la personalidad del principal poder subjetivo en Venezuela.

2. El segundo factor de poder, las elites económicas venezolanas, a su vez, parecen haber decidido en su mayoría, que la política económica del "New Deal" venezolano no sólo no es peligrosa para sus intereses, sino que más bien es el modus vivendi normal del empresariado burgués en todo el Primer Mundo.

En la economía mixta -o, dicho sin condón semántico, en el capitalismo de Estado que, dicho sea de paso, es el único que ha existido en este mundo- la coexistencia entre capital y Estado es beneficioso para ambos. Desde el punto de vista de su interés de clase es, por lo tanto, absurdo, que el empresariado se enfrente al Estado en una guerra sin cuartel, como la que ha habido en Venezuela.

¿Cómo se explica, entonces, la "anomalía" de sus cinco años de subversión anti-gubernamental? La respuesta está en el paso de la monarquía absoluta a la monarquía constitucional que significaba para ellos el advenimiento del gobierno Chávez.

El control plutocrático de FEDECAMARAS (Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela) sobre el Estado y la sociedad venezolana en la era pre-Chávez era total y absoluto. De hecho, existía un teléfono rojo entre los Presidentes de turno y los Presidentes de FEDECAMARAS, a través del cual el Presidente plutocrático dirigía al Presidente político.

Los nombramientos de los ministros y altos funcionarios de la burocracia civil, incluyendo los altos puestos en las universidades, siguieron las indicaciones del poder oligárquico, al igual que los ascensos de los coroneles y generales en las Fuerzas Armadas y la policía, teledirigidos desde la "Comisión de Seguridad y Defensa" que el organismo mantiene hasta el día de hoy.

Resistirse violenta y subversivamente al proyecto del bolivarianismo era, por lo tanto, una reacción casi orgánica de un estamento feudal de poder absoluto ante el peligro de democratización del proyecto de Chávez. Nada tenía que ver con la supuesta amenaza del "Castrocomunismo" y demás "paja ideológica", con la cual los barones del capital y los aristócratas del dinero inundaron y pervirtieron la mente de muchos ciudadanos.

La aceptación de ser un poder limitado en un Estado moderno, conforme a la norma de los países avanzados, se mantendrá vigente entre esa mayoría empresarial, mientras la recuperación y el desarrollo económico le garantice sus intereses de acumulación. La actual tregua política con el gobierno es una función de esa garantía.

En el momento que el proyecto económico de la revolución, que es esencialmente keynesiano (desarrollista), no pueda garantizar más las tasas de ganancia respectivas, esa mayoría tratará de regresar a la monarquía absoluta, reunificándose con el sector empresarial antagónico al gobierno que pretende destruirlo al costo que sea.

3. La tercera variable de poder que decide sobre el futuro, reside en el control de las instituciones más importantes. La distribución estadística normal del poder en un sistema social moderno consolidado muestra una alta concentración en la cúpula del Estado, particularmente en el gabinete militar, económico y político; una concentración media en las instituciones y una densidad casi cero entre los ciudadanos.

Todo grupo que pretende llegar al poder del Estado en una sociedad contemporánea, tiene que optar por una o varias de las cuatro estrategias que tiene a su disposición: a) la vía electoral; b) la vía insurreccional; c) el golpe de Estado y, d) la acumulación de poder a través de la ocupación gradual de las instituciones.

La opción "d" es la preferencial de los grupos de poder que dentro del oficialismo tratan de posicionarse para heredar o tomar "el trono". Dado que las grandes instituciones son burocracias, los métodos de la guerra burocrática son los más empleados: las cábalas, el abuso de poder, el sabotaje a la productividad y eficiencia del otro, el cerco, la tergiversación de la información, las amenazas, la coima y la monopolización de los accesos al poder central, el Presidente, para excluir a las demás corrientes y grupos que son considerados rivales en la lucha por la apropiación y monopolización de un producto escaso: el poder central.

Tres motivos principales nutren esa dinámica, que es muy dañina para construir una democracia real: el acceso al dinero, incluyendo por la vía de la corrupción; la ambición del poder en múltiples formas y las diferencias en torno al carácter político-social del futuro venezolano.

En todas las instituciones venezolanas importantes existe esa lucha subterránea de corrientes y grupos, que tratan de expandir su control sobre los puestos y presupuestos burocráticos con métodos que a veces parecen ridículos, pero que pueden ser eficientes para liquidar a los rivales, aunque pongan en peligro la unidad de las fuerzas de transformación y también, la eficiencia de gestión del proceso.

El nombramiento de un nuevo ministro, por ejemplo, que no pertenece al grupo que controla ese ministerio, puede ser motivo de obstaculizaciones de ese grupo que dejan al novato en situaciones de ridiculez o "ineficiencia" pública que merman el apoyo presidencial y pueden llevar a su destitución y sustitución por un representante del grupo original.

Lo que corresponde al instinto de territorialidad en los depredadores salvajes que defienden su coto de caza a muerte, es en el proceso social esta fragmentación y feudalización de las instituciones públicas en beneficio de los intereses particulares de los delfines del poder y en detrimento del proyecto como totalidad transformadora.

Dentro de esta lógica sucede, por ejemplo, que un general patriótico bolivariano no cumpla con su presencia protocolaria en un acto público del Presidente, porque por "un error" no fue invitado. Los medios de la derecha y los medios coludidos con los conspiradores inician inmediatamente una campaña que "explica" a los ciudadanos que el General tiene diferencias con el Presidente y que por eso no asistió.

Poco después tiene que acudir a otro evento público del Mandatorio en un pueblo X. Dos horas antes del evento recibe una llamada de autoridades superiores que le indican que el evento del Presidente Hugo Chávez se ha cambiado al pueblo Y, y que tome de inmediato un helicóptero para acudir a ese pueblo.

Al investigar la "información" descubre que es una mentira. Si hubiera caído en la trampa, hubiera quedado nuevamente mal con el Presidente. Su sustitución o renuncia forzada abriría el cargo y el control de la institución al grupo de los conspiradores que habrían removido a un militar bolivariano insobornable, sin cuya actuación durante el golpe de Estado la revolución bolivariana hoy día posiblemente ya no estaría en el poder.

4. El último subsistema trascendental, las masas populares, también participa en la lucha por el poder que es, en el fondo, la lucha por la nueva institucionalidad. Al igual que el sistema en su totalidad, este subsistema se encuentra en una fase de transición: está dejando atrás su estado sólido de masas y metamorfosea hacia el estado fluido de la vanguardia.

Tal proceso que en la física se llama "transiciones de fase" y que implica la posibilidad de un salto cualitativo del sistema hacia un estado cualitativamente diferente, choca con las estructuras verticales estatales, sociales, partidistas y mentales, tanto heredadas como nuevas.

Este choque entre lo nuevo y lo viejo, lo participativo y lo vertical-vicioso, es frecuentemente presentado por los dueños del acceso al Palacio de Gobierno como un proceso de insubordinación o indisciplina de las bases sociales, es decir, de manera distorsionada, con el objetivo de lograr la intervención presidencial en su favor.

Un ejemplo de dicho conflicto es el nombramiento de los candidatos a las elecciones municipales y regionales de noviembre del 2004. En la alcaldía de Páez, Estado de Portuguesa, por ejemplo, la candidata del oficialismo, Zenayda Linares, es de formación socialcristiana (copeiana), pero fue nominada desde Caracas por el partido "Podemos" y avalada por el Partido Quinta República del chavismo.

Los cinco candidatos alternativos, de los cuales cuatro pueden considerarse chavistas, decidieron no aceptar la imposición de Linares y han acordado con las bases sociales organizadas (Unidades de Batalla Electoral, UBE) medirse en unas elecciones primarias. Los que pierdan, apoyarán al ganador. Habrá, por lo tanto, una candidata oficial "chavista" y otro candidato chavista nombrado por las bases del movimiento.

Muchos de los aspectos del proceso bolivariano reseñados aquí son sociológicamente normales en toda sociedad y todo proceso de transición. Pero no todo proceso de transición tiene la importancia trascendental para los pueblos latinoamericanos, que la Revolución Bolivariana.

Es vital para el futuro de este proceso que la vanguardia popular avanza y se constituya en un auténtico centro de poder, que en igualdad y alianza con el Presidente pueda garantizar la construcción de la democracia participativa y la destrucción de la Doctrina Monroe.

La autoasimilación de las masas como vanguardia en alianza estratégica con el Presidente, pasa necesariamente por la concretización de los contenidos de la revolución.

Esa tarea teórica y la organización resultante de ella decidirán el futuro de la Revolución Bolivariana y de la Patria Grande.


The Zombie State
Am Johal, Wednesday, 20/10/2004 - 19:32
Analyses | Culture | Government | Opinion

As the combat continues, maybe it's time to take a
look at ourselves

Am Johal

For the two years following September 11th, the Western public was inundated with propaganda to such a vociferous degree that to be a critical voice was to be heretical and be considered a traitor - we citizens became passive consumers lodged in a 'Zombie State.' This period did not do justice to the idea of a free and civil society, at least not one that involves a critical citizenry. The idea of the 'Unconscious Civilization' put forward by John Ralston Saul still holds very true. This period showed how vulnerable free societies are to centralized power even in democratic societies and the role that an uncritical mainstream media plays in perpetuating myths and stereotypes.

Will this be the age of Bush, Saddam, Enron, Martha Stewart, Halliburton, Bin Laden, Hamid Karzai and Aaron Brown on CNN with the towers in the background?

We were all duped into hating Arabs and believing in a war that didn't have to happen. We were fed images we hadn't seen before of what came across as savage, backward societies - exotic, from a different world. We didn't know enough, but we were being taught to hate. And so we all got aboard the American train thinking that bombing our way to peace was the answer. Thousands of innocent lives were lost in the haste to pass judgement. Instead of cultivating our better selves, we showed how primitive we can be.

This will be known as a backward time in human history, one that showed not only the worst excesses of Muslim fundamentalism, but that Western societies are constructed to be passive and uncritical. Through this trauma, hopefully it will mean that American hegemony and its implications will be deconstructed by its own citizens.

In the end, we allowed the most public critics of the war to be vilified. We didn't ask the most important questions until it was too late.

Now that the American election campaign is only a few weeks away, the differences don't seem very large. The grappling for the public mind is taking on an eery familiarity. It's as if we've seen this all before - it's a rerun. Why shouldn't the public feel disenfranchised, disinterested and exiled from the public sphere? Why not vote Nader or just stay at home on election day?
Submitted by Anonyme

Bush or Kerry? No Difference
John Pilger, Tuesday, 19/10/2004 - 22:30
Analyses | Democracy | Government
A myth equal to the fable of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is gaining strength on both sides of the Atlantic. It is that John Kerry offers a world-view different from that of George W Bush. Watch this big lie grow as Kerry is crowned the Democratic candidate and the "anyone but Bush" movement becomes a liberal cause celebre.

While the rise to power of the Bush gang, the neoconservatives, belatedly preoccupied the American media, the message of their equivalents in the Democratic Party has been of little interest. Yet the similarities are compelling. Shortly before Bush's "election" in 2000, the Project for the New American Century, the neoconservative pressure group, published an ideological blueprint for "maintaining global US preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests." Every one of its recommendations for aggression and conquest was adopted by the administration. One year later, the Progressive Policy Institute, an arm of the Democratic Leadership Council, published a 19-page manifesto for the "New Democrats," who include all the principal Democratic Party candidates, and especially John Kerry. This called for "the bold exercise of American power" at the heart of "a new Democratic strategy, grounded in the party's tradition of muscular internationalism." Such a strategy would "keep Americans safer than the Republicans' go-it-alone policy, which has alienated our natural allies and overstretched our resources. We aim to rebuild the moral foundation of US global leadership . . ."

What is the difference from the vainglorious claptrap of Bush? Apart from euphemisms, there is none. All the Democratic presidential candidates supported the invasion of Iraq, bar one: Howard Dean. Kerry not only voted for the invasion, but expressed his disappointment that it had not gone according to plan. He told Rolling Stone magazine: "Did I expect George Bush to f*** it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did." Neither Kerry nor any of the other candidates has called for an end to the bloody and illegal occupation; on the contrary, all of them have demanded more troops for Iraq. Kerry has called for another "40,000 active service troops." He has supported Bush's continuing bloody assault on Afghanistan, and the administration's plans to "return Latin America to American leadership" by subverting democracy in Venezuela. Above all, he has not in any way challenged the notion of American military supremacy throughout the world that has pushed the number of US bases to more than 750. Nor has he alluded to the Pentagon's coup d'état in Washington and its stated goal of "full spectrum dominance." As for Bush's "preemptive" policy of attacking other countries, that's fine, too. Even the most liberal of the Democratic bunch, Howard Dean, said he was prepared to use "our brave and remarkable armed forces" against any "imminent threat." That's how Bush himself put it.

What the New Democrats object to is the Bush gang's outspokenness – its crude honesty, if you like – in stating its plans openly, and not from behind the usual veil or in the usual specious code of imperial liberalism and its "moral authority." New Democrats of Kerry's sort are all for the American empire; understandably, they would prefer that those words remained unsaid. "Progressive internationalism" is far more acceptable.

Just as the plans of the Bush gang were written by the neoconservatives, so John Kerry in his campaign book, A Call to Service, lifts almost word for word the New Democrats' warmongering manifesto. "The time has come," he writes, "to revive a bold vision of progressive internationalism" along with a "tradition" that honors "the tough-minded strategy of international engagement and leadership forged by Wilson and Roosevelt . . . and championed by Truman and Kennedy in the cold war." Almost identical thoughts appear on page three of the New Democrats' manifesto: As Democrats, we are proud of our party's tradition of tough-minded internationalism and strong record in defending America. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry Truman led the United States to victory in two world wars.... [Truman's policies] event-ually triumphed in the cold war. President Kennedy epitomized America's commitment to "the survival and success of liberty."

Mark the historical lies in that statement: the "victory" of the US with its brief intervention in the First World War; the airbrushing of the decisive role of the Soviet Union in the Second World War; the American elite's nonexistent "triumph" over internally triggered events that brought down the Soviet Union; and John F Kennedy's famous devotion to "liberty" that oversaw the deaths of some three million people in Indo-China.

"Perhaps the most repulsive section of [his] book," writes Mark Hand, editor of Press Action, the American media-monitoring group, "is where Kerry discusses the Vietnam war and the antiwar movement." Self-promoted as a war hero, Kerry briefly joined the protest movement on his return from Vietnam. In this twin capacity, he writes: "I say to both conservative and liberal misinterpretations of that war that it's time to get over it and recognize it as an exception, not as a ruling example of the US military engagements of the 20th century."

"In this one passage," writes Hand, "Kerry seeks to justify the millions of people slaughtered by the US military and its surrogates during the 20th century [and] suggests that concern about US war crimes in Vietnam is no longer necessary . . . Kerry and his colleagues in the ‘progressive internationalist' movement are as gung-ho as their counterparts in the White House . . . Come November, who will get your vote? Coke or Pepsi?" The "anyone but Bush" movement objects to the Coke-Pepsi analogy, and Ralph Nader is the current source of their ire. In Britain, seven years ago, similar derision was heaped upon those who pointed out the similarities between Tony Blair and his heroine Margaret Thatcher – similarities which have since been proven. "It's a nice and convenient myth that liberals are the peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers," wrote the Guardian commen-tator Hywel Williams. "But the imperialism of the liberal may be more dangerous because of its open-ended nature – its conviction that it represents a superior form of life."

Like the Blairites, John Kerry and his fellow New Democrats come from a tradition of liberalism that has built and defended empires as "moral" enterprises. That the Democratic Party has left a longer trail of blood, theft and subjugation than the Republicans is heresy to the liberal crusaders, whose murderous history always requires, it seems, a noble mantle.

As the New Democrats' manifesto rightly points out, the Democrats' "tough-minded internationalism" began with Woodrow Wilson, a Christian megalomaniac who believed that America had been chosen by God "to show the way to the nations of this world, how they shall walk in the paths of liberty." In his wonderful new book, The Sorrows of Empire (Verso), Chalmers Johnson writes: With Woodrow Wilson, the intellectual foundations of American imperialism were set in place. Theodore Roosevelt . . . had represented a European-driven, militaristic vision of imperialism backed by nothing more substantial than the notion that the manifest destiny of the United States was to govern racially inferior Latin Americans and east Asians. Wilson laid over that his own hyper-idealistic, sentimental and ahistorical idea [of American world dominance]. It was a political project no less ambitious and no less passionately held than the vision of world communism launched at almost the same time by the leaders of the Bolshevik revolution.

It was the Wilsonian Democratic administration of Harry Truman, following the Second World War, that created the militaristic "national security state" and the architecture of the cold war: the CIA, the Pentagon and the National Security Council. As the only head of state to use atomic weapons, Truman authorized troops to intervene anywhere "to defend free enterprise." In 1945, his administration set up the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as agents of US economic imperialism. Later, using the "moral" language of Woodrow Wilson, John F Kennedy invaded Vietnam and unleashed the US Special Forces as death squads; they now operate on every continent.

Bush has been a beneficiary of this. His neoconservatives derive not from traditional Republican Party roots, but from the hawk's wings of the Democratic Party – such as the trade union establishment, the AFL-CIO (known as the "AFL-CIA"), which received millions of dollars to subvert unions and political parties throughout the world, and the weapons industry, built and nurtured by the Democratic senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson. Paul Wolfowitz, Bush's leading fanatic, began his Washington political life working for Jackson. In 1972 an aberration, George McGovern, faced Richard Nixon as the Democrats' antiwar candidate. Virtually abandoned by the party and its powerful backers, McGovern was crushed.

Bill Clinton, hero of the Blairites, learned the lesson of this. The myths spun around Clinton's "golden era of liberalism" are, in retrospect, laughable. Savor this obsequious front-page piece by the Guardian's chief political correspondent, reporting Clinton's speech to the Labour Party conference in 2002: Bill Clinton yesterday used a mesmerizing oration . . . in a subtle and delicately balanced address [that] captured the imagination of delegates in Blackpool's Winter Gardens . . . Observers also described the speech as one of the most impressive and moving in the history of party conferences. The trade and industry secretary, Patricia Hewitt, described it as "absolutely brilliant." An accompanying editorial gushed: "In an intimate, almost conversational tone, speaking only from notes, Bill Clinton delivered the speech of a true political master . . . If one were reviewing it, five stars would not be enough . . . What a speech. What a pro. And what a loss to the leadership of America and the world."

No idolatry was enough. At the Hay-on-Wye literary festival, the leader of "the third way" and of "progressive internatio-nalism" received a long line of media and Blair people who hailed him as a lost leader, "a champion of the center left." The truth is that Clinton was little different from Bush, a crypto-fascist. During the Clinton years, the principal welfare safety nets were taken away and poverty in America increased sharply; a multibillion-dollar missile "defense" system known as Star Wars II was instigated; the biggest war and arms budget in history was approved; biological weapons verification was rejected, along with a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, the establishment of an international criminal court and a worldwide ban on landmines. Contrary to a myth that places the blame on Bush, the Clinton administration in effect destroyed the movement to combat global warming.

In addition, Haiti and Afghanistan were invaded, the illegal blockade of Cuba was reinforced and Iraq was subjected to a medieval siege that claimed up to a million lives while the country was being attacked, on average, every third day: the longest Anglo-American bombing campaign in history. In the 1999 Clinton-led attack on Serbia, a "moral crusade," public transport, nonmilitary factories, food processing plants, hospitals, schools, museums, churches, heritage-listed monasteries and farms were bombed. "They ran out of military targets in the first couple of weeks," said James Bissett, the Canadian former ambassador to Yugoslavia. "It was common knowledge that NATO went to stage three: civilian targets." In their cruise missile attack on Sudan, Clinton's generals targeted and destroyed a factory producing most of sub-Saharan Africa's pharmaceutical supplies. The German ambassador to Sudan reported: "It is difficult to assess how many people in this poor country died as a consequence... but several tens of thousands seems a reasonable guess."

Covered in euphemisms, such as "democracy-building" and "peace-keeping," "humanitarian intervention" and "liberal intervention," the Clintonites can boast a far more successful imperial record than Bush's neocons, largely because Washington granted the Europeans a ceremonial role, and because NATO was "onside." In a league table of death and destruction, Clinton beats Bush hands down.

A question that New Democrats like to ask is: "What would Al Gore have done if he had not been cheated of the presidency by Bush?" Gore's top adviser was the arch-hawk Leon Fuerth, who said the US should "destroy the Iraqi regime, root and branch." Joseph Lieberman, Gore's running mate in 2000, helped to get Bush's war resolution on Iraq through Congress. In 2002, Gore himself declared that an invasion of Iraq "was not essential in the short term" but "never-theless, all Americans should acknowledge that Iraq does, indeed, pose a serious threat." Like Blair, what Gore wanted was an "interna-tional coalition" to cover long-laid plans for the takeover of the Middle East. His complaint against Bush was that, by going it alone, Washington could "weaken our ability to lead the world in this new century."

Collusion between the Bush and Gore camps was common. During the 2000 election, Richard Holbrooke, who probably would have become Gore's secretary of state, conspired with Paul Wolfowitz to ensure their respective candidates said nothing about US policy towards Indonesia's blood-soaked role in southeast Asia. "Paul and I have been in frequent touch," said Holbrooke, "to make sure we keep [East Timor] out of the presidential campaign, where it would do no good to American or Indonesian interests." The same can be said of Israel's ruthless, illegal expansion, of which not a word was and is said: it is a crime with the full support of both Republicans and Democrats.

John Kerry supported the removal of millions of poor Americans from welfare rolls and backed extending the death penalty. The "hero" of a war that is documented as an atrocity launched his presidential campaign in front of a moored aircraft carrier. He has attacked Bush for not providing sufficient funding to the National Endowment for Democracy, which, wrote the historian William Blum, "was set up by the CIA, literally, and for 20 years has been destabilizing governments, progressive movements, labour unions and anyone else on Washington's hit list." Like Bush – and all those who prepared the way for Bush, from Woodrow Wilson to Bill Clinton – Kerry promotes the mystical "values of American power" and what the writer Ariel Dorfman has called "the plague of victimhood... Noth-ing more dangerous: a giant who is afraid."

People who are aware of such danger, yet support its proponents in a form they find agreeable, think they can have it both ways. They can't. Michael Moore, the filmmaker, should know this better than anyone; yet he backed the NATO bomber Wesley Clark as Democratic candidate. The effect of this is to reinforce the danger to all of us, because it says it is OK to bomb and kill, then to speak of peace. Like the Bush regime, the New Democrats fear truly opposing voices and popular movements: that is, genuine democracy, at home and abroad. The colonial theft of Iraq is a case in point. "If you move too fast," says Noah Feldman, a former legal adviser to the US regime in Baghdad, "the wrong people could get elected." Tony Blair has said as much in his inimitable way: "We can't end up having an inquiry into whether the war [in Iraq] was right or wrong. That is something that we have got to decide. We are the politicians." March 5, 2004

John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He has been a war correspondent, filmmaker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism's highest award, that of "Journalist of the Year," for his work in Vietnam and Cambodia. This article originally appeared in The New Statesman.