Izmir-Turkey, October 20, 2023 (Tribuna Popular Newsroom):
The Communist Party of Venezuela denounced this Saturday the neoliberal adjustment programme and the anti-worker policies of the government of Nicolás Maduro at the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties being held in Izmir, Turkey.
The Secretary of International Relations of the PCV, Héctor Alejo Rodríguez, gave details – in front of more than 120 delegates from 68 parties from all over the world – about the policy of wage destruction and criminalisation of workers’ and popular struggles that the government of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is implementing.
Rodriguez also denounced before the conclave of the international communist movement the judicialisation of the PCV; the theft of its legal personality and the handing over of the electoral card to a handful of mercenaries at the service of the PSUV.
The following is the full text of the PCV’s speech at the 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties:
First of all, we want to convey to you the solidarity greetings of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) to all the delegations of the Communist and Workers’ Parties present at this important meeting, and very particularly, to greet and thank the comrades of the Communist Party of Turkey for their hospitality and for their efforts for the successful organisation of the 23rd EIPCO.
We are holding this meeting in very complex times for our struggles. The intensity of the capitalist crisis is taking the contradictions between the capitalist powers and countries to their limits. In short, war, armament, sanctions, border tensions and armed conflicts on different scales are the most violent and open manifestation of the competition between capitalist nations for the control of markets. Imperialist aggressiveness is also marked by the resistance of traditional powers such as the United States, the European Union and its armed wing, NATO, to their increasing loss of hegemony.
These clashes of interests are also reflected in the development of groupings of emerging capitalist countries pressing for changes in the rules governing post-war political and trade relations. What really underlies the appearance of the clash between supposedly “antagonistic” poles is the international struggle between national expressions of global capital for more equitable conditions for the exploitation of the world’s labour force and the distribution of global wealth.
We therefore warn against the resurgence of the illusion of capitalism with a human face, the product of a change in the power relations between capitalist nations.
While progressivism distracts the people with these geopolitical games and the hope for a more democratic and humane capitalist order, the harsh reality is that global capital is accelerating its international crusade against the rights of the working class.
The capitalist states in general are deepening anti-worker policies aimed at placing the full weight of the crisis on the shoulders of the workers. Historic gains are destroyed, retirement ages are increased, wages are frozen, labour deregulation policies are advanced, fundamental rights are privatised, and regressive taxes are passed.
In each country, the Communist Parties and the class-conscious workers’ movement participate and lead important struggles of resistance against the application of these anti-popular policies. However, the absence of a common world strategy and the international fragmentation of the struggles weaken the capacity of our movement to defeat the international onslaught of capital.
The situation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Latin American and Caribbean region reflects the changes in power relations that are shaking the world. The United States has lost a considerable part of its economic hegemony, although it retains its threatening military presence and maintains its policy of interference.
The region is currently experiencing a new wave of so-called progressive governments. Certainly these electoral victories are related to an awakening of popular struggles in the region, but most of these governments come in the framework of very broad political-electoral alliances that give them a clearly more conservative profile. After 20 years, Latin American progressivism has demonstrated its class limits. In some countries, they have gone from being the expression of social reforms to personifying the application of aggressive anti-popular adjustments. In others, the alternation between progressivism and the traditional right in government, with their anti-popular policies and inability to fulfil their promises of change, have created conditions for the rise of dangerous ultra-liberal and ultra-nationalist forces.
What is happening in Venezuela?
In Venezuela the liberal and anti-worker tendency of Nicolas Maduro’s government is deepening. On the basis of a pact of elites and the implementation of an anti-popular economic adjustment tailored to national and foreign private capital, a process of flexibilisation and progressive lifting of imperialist criminal sanctions is advancing.
From the PCV we have been firm in our condemnation of the sanctions and imperialist interference. Both yesterday and today, we demand their immediate lifting without any conditions, and we continue to call on the parties to sustain the campaigns of denunciations and the exercise of solidarity with the people of Venezuela.
The anti-worker and anti-popular measures
It is the working people who ultimately pay the consequences of the crisis and the imperialist sanctions; not the bourgeoisie, nor the ruling elite.
The neo-liberal turn of the government has at its core the destruction of the rights of the working class. Since the last wage increase 18 months ago, the purchasing power of real wages has been destroyed by 90%. The legal minimum wage and pensions barely reach 3 dollars a month, due to the criminal policy of freezing wages in the midst of a year-on-year inflation that exceeds 400 %. In its absolute subordination to the interests of business, the government has deepened the policy of bonusing the income of the workers. By replacing wages with bonuses, rights such as social benefits and savings have been practically eliminated, widening the profit margins of capitalist enterprises. This anti-worker wage policy also has an impact on the advancement of labour market deregulation, favouring the imposition of conditions of overexploitation of the labour force.
The destruction of the rights of the working class in Venezuela is not accidental, it is a condition of the economic recovery plan of the government and business federations.
The government has responded to the awakening of the workers’ and trade union struggles with selective persecution, repression and prosecution. There are more than 100 cases of workers who have been prosecuted for fighting for labour rights, and many of them are still unjustly detained.
The prosecution of the PCV
The onslaught against the working class has also meant the imposition of restrictions on trade union freedoms and on the exercise of their democratic right to organise in legal political parties. The judicial intervention of the Communist Party of Venezuela, carried out last August 10 through the illegal sentence No. 1160, corresponds to this objective of disarming the working class of its instruments of struggle in the midst of the brutal offensive against their rights.
About the legal assault on the PCV, it is important for the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the world to know the following:
1. The PCV has not been divided. Rather, the government PSUV party has created a set-up with false members in order to justify the judicial assault;
2. The judicial sentence 1160 is totally illegal because it is based on a lawsuit introduced by a group of people who, not being members of the PCV, have no legal standing to act on behalf of our organization, and therefore violates the Laws and Constitution of Venezuela;
3. The Constitutional Chamber of the Court denied the Communist Party of Venezuela the constitutional right to defence, ignoring the defence brief and evidence that we presented, flagrantly violating the rule of law and due process;
4. Finally, the Court appointed an interventionist leadership composed of seven (7) persons who are not members of the PCV, illegally ignoring the Central Committee elected by the XVI Congress of the PCV.
As can be seen, sentence 1160 is a complete legal aberration. We are faced with an authoritarian exercise of state power that responds to the plan of anti-communist forces in the government aimed at destroying the Communist Party of Venezuela.
The outlawing of the PCV has a clear aim: to destroy the class resistance of the workers to the anti-popular adjustment, to weaken the struggles for wages and labour demands, and to prevent the strengthening of a revolutionary alternative to the two blocs of the bourgeoisie who are responsible for the national disaster; those who have now just signed a pact with the blessing of US imperialism.
By assaulting the PCV, the PSUV government also intends to violate our democratic right to participate in the presidential elections of 2024 and the parliamentary elections of 2025. The bourgeoisie intends to hijack future electoral processes for the exclusive participation of its parties, denying alternatives to the Venezuelan working class.
We want to thank the Communist and Workers’ Parties for their expressions of solidarity, and we invite them to support an international campaign to demand that the illegal sentence No. 1160 be revoked and that the legal and democratic rights of the real members of the Communist Party of Venezuela be restored.
Finally, we want to express our solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people, for their right to self determination, the return of the Palestinian refugees to their lands, and the end of the Zionist occupation.
Long Live Free Palestine!
Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!