On Venezuela

February 2005

Saturday 5 March 2005

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Venezuela is experiencing a revolutionary process characterized by partial break with the former regime in the political, economic and social spheres, as well as a partial break with imperialism. Venezuela is on the path towards social transformation, with the hope of linking this project to other transformations across Latin America.

The development in recent years of very significant public health projects, literacy and school enrollment campaigns, the prioritization of forming cooperatives, agricultural reform and reforms to the commercial fishing system are all important signs of the social priorities driving this process.

In the international realm, Venezuela has decided to confront US imperialism (rejection of Plan Colombia, rejection of FTAA, refusal of US soldiers on its territory, closer ties with Cuba, condemnation of imperialist wars). Venezuela is becoming more and more of a point of reference for the global justice movement.

Popular mobilization is a decisive element that has made these political breaks possible: whether fighting the coup d’Etat in April 2002, or carrying out the community organizing that makes all the social programmes (education, health, housing, water, etc.) possible.

The process is unfolding within a framework of repect for bourgeois democratic institutions. Despite the efforts to transform the state, the institutions remain marked by clientelist and corrupt practices, which are an obstacle to the policies decided by the government.

The revolutionary process has not yet become a revolutionary victory for the oppressed classes. The resistance has come from the Venezuelan right, but also from certain sectors of the ‘Chavist’ majority. The process is still disputed between revolutionary dynamics and tendencies oriented towards loyally managing capitalism.

- Undertake a campaign of information and solidarity with the Venezuelan revolutionary process: open a web page dedicated to Venezuela on our FI sites; political and trade union exchanges; publicity for the positive results in terms of social transformation; importance of the Venezuelan experience that we can distinguish from the social-liberal option; and the fundamental importance of popular mobilization, if one is willing to confront the ruling classes.

- In the context of our solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution, we support the sectors that make the radicalization of the revolution the central axis of their political intervention. We will make contact with these sectors in order to plan political co-operation, to invite them to our international meetings, and to discuss with them our conception of party-building and the role of an international.

- The World Social Forum in 2006, which will hold one of its parts in Venezuela in January 2006, will be a key moment for the global justice movement to strengthen its links and express its solidarity with the popular organizations in Venezuela.

- Our comrades should get involved in activities linked to the Bolivarian process, like the Congress of People’s Power and the World Festival of Youth (August 2005).
We intervene in our trade unions to promote the new trade union federation, the UNT, and trade union solidarity actions including where possible inviting trade unionists to solidarity activities.

- We propose to contribute to the Venezuelan process our best experiences in participatory democracy, in particular through collaboration with our Brazilian comrades.