BY LUWEZI KINSHASA
Since former President Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999, his leadership made Venezuela one of the key centers of national liberation struggles in the world. Over 16 years later, his policies succeeded in shaping a new vision of Venezuela and of what is referred to as “Latin America.”
One of the first things Chávez and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela did was to take back control of Venezuela’s oil resource, upon which the entire economy of Venezuela depends.
All statistics converge on the rapid improvement in the lives of the most trodden people of Venezuela, as shown by Carles Muntaner, a nursing professor. Muntaner found that during the last 10 years of Chávez’s rule, the government increased spending by 60.6 percent (a total of $772 billion).”
He led the struggle of the people of Venezuela to recapture their resources from U.S. imperialism and their puppets in the country.
Muntaner states further that Chavez’s government has eradicated illiteracy in Venezuela, making it the third-highest literate population in the region. There is also tuition-free education, from daycare to college.
Roughly 72 percent of children attend public daycares and 85 percent of school age children attend school. There are thousands of new and refurbished schools, including 10 new universities.
The Constituent Assembly Versus the National Assembly
Since the opposition gained control of the National Assembly in December 2015, their sense of entitlement to exercise power grew exponentially. So is the support and belief from the U.S. for regime change in Venezuela.
Three things made it possible for the opposition to take control of the National Assembly. The high rate of abstention among Venezuela’s toiling masses, the sharp drop in oil revenues that shook the economy of Venezuela and the country’s settler bourgeoisie who took this opportunity to engage in food shortage manipulations to discredit and destabilize the government.
The food shortage is not as exaggerated as bourgeois media would want you to believe, but it affects the Venezuelan working class and peasant classes. Let’s not forget that a majority of Venezuelan media is privately owned and in the hands of the local bourgeoisie and the United States.
The imperialist New York Times reminds us how the opposition took control of the legislative branch.
“When the opposition got the National Assembly, they said there would be food, and now it’s even worse,” said Juan Carlos Hernández, a 43-year-old government employee who said he supported President Nicolás Maduro.
The opposition is dominated by white settlers and neo-colonialists who openly work for the U.S. ruling class. One sector of this settler bourgeoisie openly calls and works for a violent overthrow of Maduro’s government.
The high level of deaths, including of police officers, are due to these U.S. puppets. They do not restrict themselves to electoral tactics; they are prepared to use all means to regain power.
They attack voting centers and military barracks, they carry out targeted assassinations of anti-imperialist activists, terrorize people in working class areas, raid shops, and in short, they work to create a climate of insecurity to advance U.S. imperialist interests. They know they have the support of imperialist traditional media.
The call for a National Constituent Assembly, ANC, is Maduro’s response to this reality. Elections for the body were held on July 30. An ANC by definition has a short life span and ends when its mission is completed.
This ANC will review the 1999 revolutionary constitution and propose a new one in two years. They have the power to change institutions.
The opposition boycotted ANC elections and organized a counter proposal consultation on July 16 without the approval of the National Electoral Council, the body responsible for organizing elections.
Since the presidential elections are set for next year, there are many struggles in the months ahead.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called Maduro a “dictator” despite the fact that there have been over 15 elections in Venezuela since the Chavistas came to power. You cannot compare that with Saudi Arabia, the friend of the U.S. in the Middle East.
In February 1989, in what is known today as the Caracazo, a pro-U.S. government slaughtered over 500 demonstrators opposed to the price hike of transportation costs, food and other basic necessities.
This is not to say that there are no problems in Venezuela or that all things that have happened in recent years have been a success. This is far from ignoring the struggles that the Bolivarian government has been experiencing as the whole world has its eyes on Venezuela.
Chávez represented a ray of hope for oppressed people around the world. His access to power has undermined U.S. influence in Venezuela and in the region. He was able to politicize the army and win patriotic forces inside the army to support the Bolivarian Revolution, making it difficult for the U.S. to easily launch a coup that would capture power for the benefit of the U.S. and its Venezuelan puppets.
It is clear that regardless of contradictions within Chavista leadership, the opposition-aligned settler colonialists, compradors and bureaucrats from Europe and elsewhere must be crushed to allow the Revolution to move forward.
The U.S. Agenda in Venezuela is Aggression and Looting
The announce of a new round of U.S. sanctions against leading members of Maduro’s leadership was predictable in contrast to the swift U.S. condemnation of Venezuela’s government as well as Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. These are all members of the leftist Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, or ALBA.
“Our people seek harmony, integration and here we have a declaration of total unconditional support for Venezuela’s democracy, it’s democratically-elected president and to the people who have been valiantly defending their rights and sovereignty,” ALBA Secretary General David Choquehuanca told reporters after the condemnation.
This is just the latest example of U.S. aggression in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the theft of half of Mexico in 1848, the overthrow of Guatemala’s Jacobo Árbenz in 1954, the overthrow of Chile’s Salvador Allende in 1973, the training and funding in the 1980s of right-wing death squads to destroy revolutions in Central America, the failed coup attempt against Chávez in 2002, the overthrow of Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004 and the overthrow of Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya in 2009.
All these show that it is the U.S. that is a strategic threat to freedom and all peace loving people of Central and South America.
Note: This article was originally published by The Burning Spear on Sept. 12, 2017.