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The loneliness of Bolivar

2. January 2003

Resolution of the Anti-imperialist Camp on the situation in Venezuela

The president of Venezuela facing a nation split into poor and rich

Since one month the those political and social forces that had failed in their reactionary coup d´à©tat in April, have been mobilizing again to bring down the elected government of Hugo Chavez. In the streets of Caracas and other mayor cities there is a united front of the bourgeoisie and the oligarchy of the country represented by the traditional parties AD and COPEI, a big part of the middle classes, the workers aristocracy from the petrol sector, some elements of the old state bureaucracy and the military hierarchy that fear for their privileges and, last but not least, the mass media. Imperialism seems to be still waiting for the right moment to intervene actively against the “antidemocratic government”. But US also hesitate in order to avoid a second front when they soon will start the war of aggression against Iraq.
The method of the reactionary opposition unified in the so called “Democratic Coordination” reminds Chile 1973: a general strike of the bosses, mobilisation of the middle classes, constant disinformation to create a climate of chaos and political decay, combined with violent actions to provoke the impression of a pre-civil war situation. The main “domestic” weapon of the opposition is the sabotage of the oil industry as the country largely depends on the income of petrol production and sells. The opposition knows that the government is forced to intervene in order to reactivate to oil export. This will be the moment where they call for the help of imperialism against an “dictatorial and violent regime”. The intervention of the OAS chief Gaviria “in order to mediate”, after the occupation of some reactionary mass media by a group of popular pro-Chavez activists, is a first sign of this imperialist “defence of democracy and liberty”. But the opposition has declared that they do not want to negotiate, but they will continue until the Chavez government falls.
Chavez is in a crucial situation. A compromise is becoming increasingly difficult. If the government counterattacks mobilizing the “Bolivarian Circles”, the poor masses of the popular quarters and the loyal military forces, imperialism will probably intervene directly to defend “legality”. If Chavez will not mobilise his followers to fight, the opposition will go on sabotaging the petrol industry as the primary economic basis of the country knowing that no government in the world could tolerate this for al long time. The nation is spilt deeply between poor and rich, its unity is definitely broken. Any hesitation of Chavez – being blinded by the illusion of a united fatherland – to organize and mobilize the poor classes that are waiting for the call to fight, could end in a disaster like Chile 1973 when Allende also hesitated to long and gave a tactical advantage to the reactionary forces to destroy him and the organized poor classes.
International correlation of forces are of course adverse and Chavez has already lost the best possibility to fight against the opposition, the moment after the fail coup d´à©tat in April when he was strengthened by their defeat. But in this moment probably there is a second possibility. The coming imperialist intervention in Iraq seems to restrict US-support to the reactionary forces in Venezuela at them moment to a low intensity intervention: a hidden economic blockade by some imperialist petrol enterprises like Exxon, political and financial support to the opposition. But facing the war, it is improbable the USA dare to intervene openly. But the opposition on its own is incapable to win this open and active imperialist support for a real civil war. Imperialism knows that such a civil war will be an adventure that could have impacts in the whole region and that there is no guarantee for success as the support for Chavez is still strong. Imperialism will try to avoid by any means a defeat like in April while he is engaged in the conflict in the Middle East against Iraq. A resolute counter-mobilisation against the reactionary groups by the poor classes that support Chavez could therefore not only deliver an important defeat to the opposition, but would also help the international anti-imperialist resistance opening a second front when US-imperialism tries to avoid it. Today the slogan of “two, three, many Vietnam” is of utmost importance for any peoples´ resistance against imperialist aggression, for any revolutionary possibility. An international anti-imperialist front is a key question to resist and win against imperialism.
Will Chavez use this possibility or will he be paralysed by his illusions of the unity of the nation and even try to clam the will of his followers among the poor classes to fight against the reaction? We fear that Chavez hopes that time will help him and that he is afraid that any mobilization of the poor classes could definitely split the nation and unleash uncontrollable revolutionary energies among the poor classes. If the imperialist support for the opposition will not get stronger, Chavez could have good luck and time will weaken the opposition. But this will be again only a short ceasefire, that will not avoid the final clash: As Berthold Brecht once said: A battle you can loose, but a battle that you do not fight is already lost!
If modern bolivarianism do not want to finish like Simon Bolivar 180 years ago, alone, isolated and abandoned not only by the rich that fear every minor change to their privileges, but also by the poor who strive for a radical change, blinded by the illusion to conciliate and unite the antagonistic interests within the nation, it most become an anti-imperialist, revolutionary and anti-capitalist movement of the poor classes.

Down with the reactionary and pro-imperialist opposition!
Against the reactionary forces with the organized fight of the poor classes!

Anti-imperialist Camp, 28th of December 2002