By the Communist Party of Venezuela
February 5, 2021
With foundations in its ideological, political and organisational autonomy and independence, the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) is committed to confronting US-European imperialist aggression. It is also committed to confronting the economic, labour and agricultural policies which President Nicolas Maduro has been applying in favour of capital and landowners.
It is from this perspective that the PCV assesses the discourse and communications policy of the government, in particular when it comes to the Executive’s responses to positions which openly question the policy of handing over popular gains to local and transnational capital. These positions have been expressed by the revolutionary popular movement, including currents of the revolutionary left and Marxist-Leninist political organisations, such as the PCV.
In response, repeated statements from the government lacking arguments and self-criticism have been seen, as well as lacking a willingness to hold a frank national debate. In general, these responses and public statements, which are generally expressed by the President himself, are characterised by cynicism, inconsistent repetition, insults and media advantage.
In recent months, the actions of President Nicolas Maduro have increasingly tended to become more aggressive and threatening. This has intensified since the PCV and other currents of the revolutionary and left-wing popular movement decided to build the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) and not participate in the new “oligarchic-bourgeois pact” imposed on the Venezuelan working people (the neo-liberal adjustment plan that was forged in Santo Domingo as part of the “Dialogue Roundtable” between the government and the opposition).
During the last election campaign, this practice was evident and brutal. At first, it sought to hide and block the PCV-APR’s access to public and private media. It then developed to the extremity of President Maduro himself covering the PCV’s electoral card with his hand during a televised presidential address, in which he called on people to vote for PSUV candidates or those from the right.
Now, political criminalisation is back on the agenda, which may develop into personal attacks and even physical liquidation of communist organisations and members. This criminalisation may also target those of the revolutionary popular movement, the steadfast left and all of us who have a divergence with the pro-capital policies of President Maduro’s government and who demand the implementation of policies in favour of the working class and the working people of the city and the countryside.
The PCV and APR are conscious that we are the central targets of this plan. Other targets include the revolutionary and critical currents of academia, the class conscious worker and trade union movement, peasants, communards and the popular movement in general, as well as the mid-range and broad nuclei of popular Chavista bases, which, from the patriotic, anti-imperialist and revolutionary left stands up for the original project of Chávez which pointed to national liberation of an anti-imperialist character. These are sectors which have expressed deep and massive discontent at the right-wing deviation of the government’s higher sectors, and we hold the President responsible for any physical or psychological aggression against any revolutionary militant.
It is very grave that President Nicolas Maduro has dug up old concepts (for example, using the phrase “the out-dated left”) which were coined by the Right in the 1960’s to try to stigmatise and ridicule those of us who did not abandon our steadfast, anti-imperialist and class conscious positions and fought for national liberation and socialism-communism
The PCV is aware of the reactionary and anti-communist content of such epithets, but we have tried not to get hooked on this criticism, which seeks to distract us from our central political objectives at this stage, which is to “confront, distance, regroup and accumulate forces to confront and defeat imperialist aggression and the reformism” that controls the government and the state apparatus.
However, at an event at Miraflores Palace for the anniversary of January 23 and subsequently at the meeting of the national leadership of the PSUV-JPSUV (using the public media as if they were his property), President Nicolas Maduro made statements with a high degree of arrogance in which, in addition to promoting dollarisation and dealing with other issues, he directly referred to the “Marxists-Leninists”.
Such statements are extremely serious, both because of their content and because of the person making them. For now, we only refer to this part where he said: “…Beware of those who try to divide us, who try to call themselves Marxist-Leninists and who consider themselves to be more Chavista than Chavez. Be careful because the hand of US imperialism is behind them. Watch out for divisionism. Red alert in shantytowns, factories, universities, the streets, careful with divisionism. I alert you for the first time. I have plenty of information.”
It is possible that these statements are aimed at containing the ideological, political and mass-based class struggle which are sharpening within the multi-class ruling party, but this still remains unclear. Nonetheless, the comments do not validate this struggle, because they contravene the method of honest and frank collective, open, fraternal, democratic, critical and self-critical debate that revolutionaries have learned and which, it seems, is being replaced by insult and demands for unconditional subordination.
However, by making reference to “Marxist-Leninists”, the PCV considers itself to be directly alluded to in this speech, since our organisation backs this scientific conception of the world. The PCV’s Program, Political Line, Revolutionary Practice and Statutes expressly state: “Article 1. The Communist Party of Venezuela, founded on March 5, 1931, is the political party of the working class, its avant-garde, its superior form of organisation, which consistently and doggedly defends its interests and those of the working people of the city and countryside, which are founded with the Venezuelan nation. It is the voluntary and organised union of communists based on the interests and historical mission of the working class. It is guided by the scientific conception of Marxism-Leninism, the emancipating, anti-imperialist and integrationist ideal of Simon Bolívar and the principles of proletarian internationalism, international solidarity with peoples fighting for their national liberation, for popular democracy, socialism and communism. (…)”
This direct reference to Marxist-Leninists compels us to demand the following from President Nicolas Maduro:
1) To openly clarify to the country and the world, if his accusations against those he denounces as “the divisionists who try to call themselves Marxist-Leninists and who consider themselves to be more Chavista than Chávez” and who have “the hand of US imperialism” behind them, includes the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV).
2) To immediately publicise the evidence he claims to have of citizens who consider themselves Marxist-Leninist, and, as denounced, have ties, commitments or any kind of dealings with imperialism, which led him to affirm that they have “the hand of US imperialism” behind them. The PCV considers it to be very serious that false flags are being constructed against critical activists and revolutionaries.
3) That the “plenty of information”, which he claims, to have be shown to the Venezuelan public. Also, that all organisations or individuals named in it are guaranteed the right to public reply and self-defence in the same media in which he presents such “information” and under the same conditions. Also, that open and transparent public debate replace the unilateral and manipulative attacks of which the PCV is victim to by those who abuse their political power.
4) To rectify his policy, which benefits capital, and to restore the rights of the working people as a basic condition for restoring revolutionary anti-imperialist and popular unity. To rectify the path taken in favour of the old oligarchy and the so-called “revolutionary bourgeoisie”, whose commitment is expressed in a new “elite pact” and in the implementation of a brutal neoliberal adjustment plan. It is this, his politics and governance, that divides patriotic forces and produces the distancing of the revolutionary popular movement, the steadfast left and the Marxist-Leninist political organisations, such as the PCV.
5.) To correct this call of intolerance, hatred, persecution and disrespect for the exercise of political and democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. When we should have a creative and unifying debate, what is imposed is a practice without reflection, which is very similar to the order given by former Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt in the 1960s to persecute, isolate, segregate and assassinate members of the PCV, MIR and anyone on the left of the URD. It is also similar to the “shoot first and find out later” policy, which is an incitement to hatred, clearly violating constitutional rights which must be rejected by all authentically democratic, progressive, patriotic, anti-imperialist, popular and revolutionary forces at the national and international levels, because that path can lead to fascism: the reactionary dictatorship of large capital.
President Maduro, the real dilemma is whether you are with the working class or with the capitalists
To the above, which is very serious in itself, is added the pretence of wanting to condition our right to take the floor in the plenary sessions of the National Assembly (AN) on attaching ourselves to one of the two majority parliamentary blocs (the one headed by the PSUV or the opposition one). This problem was correctly addressed with firmness and dignity last Thursday 21/01/2021 by the deputy of the PCV and the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) at that time, Luisa González.
In his address, the AN president states that there are “256 Great Patriotic Pole deputies and 21 opposition ones” in parliament. He also states that “there is no way to be a centrist” and then uses the popular saying “you are either milkshake or you are lemonade” to make the ideological argument that seeks to justify the existence of a false polarisation between the government bloc and that of the “opposition” in Parliament.
The empirical evidence and the President of the Republic’s own public statements, however, have clearly shown how close the alliance is, and how much ground is shared, between these two supposedly “antagonistic” political fractions. One example can be seen when we look at the newly named chair of the AN Foreign Policy Commission, by decision of the senior management of the PSUV, who is an opposition right-wing deputy closely linked to the US Democratic Party and State Department. Equally, the government here has even talked about building a “government of national unity” with those same opposition forces.
In this regard, the PCV reiterates its rejection of this ideological and political manipulation which seeks to keep the working people deceived under the false dichotomy of a superficial political polarisation which is abstracted from class struggle. In politics, since society was historically divided into antagonistic classes, and in the dependent and rent-based Venezuelan capitalist society, the heart of the problem is one and the same: either you are with the working class or with the capitalists. Political parties exist as an expression of the interests of social classes. As such, their political actions either benefit the working people or the interests of the bourgeoisie and landlords. On this issue, Mr President, there is no real middle ground or “centrism.” Neither is there in the superficial dilemma proposed by you. The PCV defends the rights of the workers of the city and the countryside and, with the constitutional principal of political pluralism, it defends its legitimate right to speak in the National Assembly in the legitimate voice and in representation of the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) in all of the debates and affairs which are discussed in the body.
As such, the PCV ratifies and clarifies to those who preside over the parliament that it does not belong to either of the two apparently “antagonistic” blocks. This is because the policies proposed by these two groups of upper-strata politicians do not identify with the exercising of a committed line of action in defence of the interests and aspirations of the Venezuelan working class and working people. We will not allow these maneuvers to be used to close off the legitimate right which the parliamentary bloc of the PCV/APR has to speak and take a position on the all of the points on the agenda in the sessions.
The policies of the government and the opposition only serve the interests of private national and international capital. Both are co-aligned in the defence and strengthening of a bourgeois-liberal economic policy which shifts the weight of the capitalist crisis and the illegal imperialist sanctions onto the shoulders of the working class and, in general, all of the people. As has been publicly seen, no upper strata spokespersons from either bloc have shown any interest in discussing the grave problems which the Venezuelan people suffer from, especially the destruction of salaries, pensions, social coverage and other rights the working class have. Equally, they have ignored the situation of the Venezuelan peasant families and national production.
It would be beneficial for the country and the Venezuelan people for the diversity of parties and social sectors represented in the parliamentary block of the Great Patriotic Pole to evaluate the inconsistencies of the government’s economic policy from a critical perspective. We call on them to reflect and act before it is too late to take correcting measures. Every day, the contradiction between a Constitution which offers sacred progressive rights in favour of the great majority of our people and the openly regressive, liberal and neoliberal policies which only benefit Capital, transnational’s and imperialism is ever clearer.
Let us be direct President Nicolas Maduro and especially for the revolutionary people. Not being in the parliamentary fraction of the Great Patriotic Pole today is not the determining factor which decides whether a political force is on the right or is allied with imperialism. We reject the grotesque manipulation which looks to generate false flags against the PCV’s members and leaders, as well as against those from the revolutionary popular movement and other left-wing sectors. One must ask, why was this malice not used against the violent right-wing henchmen of 2014 and 2017 or US imperialism’s agents in Venezuela, who have administered the economic blockade, stolen assets from the Republic and promoted foreign attacks? Why are these people given pardons and allowed to openly conspire against the Venezuelan people?
We alert the Venezuelan workers, the communist and workers’ parties of the world and the progressive and anti-imperialist forces here and abroad about the possible preparation of plans to persecute and attack communists with despicable setups.
Today, the government is executing an economic policy in contra to the working class and national interests. Its current economic policy can be summed up by inconceivable concessions in favour of private capital’s profit margins on the one hand, and the freezing of wages and pensions, the elimination of collective contracts and increasingly flexible working conditions on the other. The government is struggling to cover up its rightward shift, and is thus deploying its arrogant fury against every force which shows itself and confronts its reformist economic policy.
The PCV has been, is, and will always be on the side of the interests of the working class, the peasants and the working people without caring about the consequences. This has always made us a strategic enemy of imperialism and internal reformism. The allies of imperialism can only be those who show their intentions to abandon and negotiate away the national interests and the interests of the working people to monopoly capital. The PCV has no doubt that this path of intolerance to criticism and class conscious action will only set off a new wave of anti-communist hatred, censure, and persecutions. The PCV is willing to confront and defeat this new wave with revolutionary worker, peasant, communard and popular organisation, unity and mobilisation.
As Comrade Argimiro Gabaldon once said:
The way is hard, very hard, but it is the way!
For the continued construction of the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR)!
To resist, struggle, organise, regroup, unite forces and win with the workers in power!