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We say NO in the recall referendum on Chávez

14. August 2004

by Bolivarian Liberation Forces – Liberation Army (FBL-EL)

“Without an awaken, conscious people on the move revolution is impossible. There is no Messiahs, no leader which could lead a revolutionary process, but only the people which is the conditio sine qua non of the revolutionary process. [……] The people is the tide but the tide does not stay high forever. Like the sea the people raise and fall. If we disappoint it, if we do not help it to organise itself, if the people does not develop a conscious historical orientation we are also lost.” (Hugo Chávez, April 19, 1999)

The Venezuelan people is preparing itself for another battle in its untiring struggle for a decent, just and sovereign nation. On August 15 the dispossessed will show that a conscious people is invincible. By voting NO they will defend their driving role which the bureaucratic and corrupt elites, entrenched in the state apparatus, want to snatch from them.

For the “Bolivarian Liberation Forces – Liberation Army” (FBL-EL), as people in arms, as a political and social force, August 15 is a key moment of the revolutionary Bolivarian process which despite its mistakes and shortcomings is a mighty hope not only for our people but for all of Latin America. The imperialist strategy combines all possible forms of sabotage, international pressure, terrorism, media campaigns etc to depose president Chávez. The omissions, the incapacities and the open treason of sectors of the state, who are reconciling with the enemy behind the back of the people, allowed the enemy to transform all its defeats into victories. This has become clear in the way the referendum was set up and continues in the planned fraud in which the media apparatus, the electoral commission as well as the command of the military is implicated.

We are convinced that in the final instance the only guarantee against the imperialist aggression and/or the attempt of the elite to surrender is popular insurrection. It is clear that the institutional power intends to sell out a victorious referendum, surrender the already achieved gains for the popular masses and thus abort the hope which is incarnated in the Bolivarian revolution and the leadership of president Chávez.

As never before the slogan “Only the people can save the people” is in vigour. The vote for NO must be accompanied by the readiness to mobilize against a fraud organized by imperialism and its lackeys and to demand the continuation and radicalisation of the Bolivarian changes. This basically means the stronger participation of the people in the state affairs, the construction of people´s power and a revolutionary state, the nationalisation of the banks etc.

While our mobilisation for the referendum is directed against the imperialist North American plans and the opposition of the oligarchy we have also to take care about those sectors of the government who want to negotiate a transition and thus avoid a radicalisation of the Bolivarian process which would end their privileges. They only want to reform the state without eradicating the structural reasons of poverty and social exclusion inextricably linked to capitalism. They want to give only a very small part of the cake to the people while the new bourgeoisie and political caste wants to keep the biggest share for themselves. The popular and revolutionary movement must not allow that our secure victory will be misused by those reformist forces to keep in power and to get new oxygen. This would mean to once again transform a victory into a defeat. We have to neutralize those sectors by following the words of our president: to mobilise ourselves in order to rectify the Bolivian process and to clean it from the those infiltrates.

We warn of a plan by parts of the army´s high command against president Chávez to eliminate him. The FBL-EL will contribute by its modest forces to the victory of the NO. We are not only participating in the electoral campaign but also organizing the people to defend the Bolivarian process in the streets, its hopes as well as the leadership of commander Chávez. While the victory of the NO is sure we call upon the people to mobilise as the enemy is preparing to not recognise the results of the referendum soliciting an international intervention or one by the armed forces. It is not enough to vote NO but we have to deepen the struggle by permanent mobilisations, by popular assemblies and with increased organisation both in the political as well as in the military field. On August 15 we will gather in the streets. Organised the people can and must convert the Bolivarian revolution into a authentic process towards popular power. At the same time we call to maintain the electoral patrols and to convert them into rank and file organs of the Chavist movement that is to say into organs of people´s power.

After August 15 the Bolivarian revolution and its leadership will be obliged to undergo profound strategic rectifications on the military, political and ideological field in order to carry the process to its final consequences. It is a pressing need to formulate a new security and defence strategy. We cannot continue to follow a line of national defence laid down in the manuals of our main enemy, the North American empire. The strategic security is much more fragile then we have foreseen it. After the referendum the imperial aggression will be stepped up and will show its real face: the counterrevolutionary paramilitary violence. These plans are already much more developed than we would suppose while our organs of intelligence and defence do not have the necessary capacities to effectively respond. All the intelligence institutions must be cleaned and the functionaries replaced by people who are true to our cause.

To think to be able to confront imperialism and their war designs with classical schemes which are being taught to our armed forces is nothing less than suicide. The regular war must be combined with the irregular one integrating the entire people.

On the political field it is necessary to give the revolution a strategic leadership which will lead it together with the maximo lider Chávez. Therefore all revolutionary popular forces, social and political organisations alike, must be drawn in. The political parties are not enough as they have shown in the past their inclination to corruption, bureaucracy and an utilitarist vision of the people which serves only to vote and to second these parties.

We, the FBL-EL, ratify our support to the Bolivarian revolution and to the leadership of president Chávez. We say NO and this NO is a NO of hope, of happiness, of love and rebellion. It is a NO of unrestricted support but also a critical one, it is a NO to deepen and rectify the revolutionary path.

No to the North American empire!
No to being a colony!
No to the opposition which is selling out the nation!
No to treacherous reformism!

Neither imperialism nor reformism – people´s power
Bolivarian Liberation Forces – Liberation Army

strongly abbriviated