Venezuela and Chavez

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Volin
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Aug 25 2005 17:50
Venezuela and Chavez

What are peoples thoughts on the Bolivarian Revolution , the reforms being made and Chavez himself?

Especially, what do anarchists advocate in response to it?

Anarchism in Venezuela;

http://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario/seccioningles.htm

http://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario/

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Lazy Riser
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Aug 25 2005 19:25

Hi

I like the cut of his jib, but he better start doing something to convince his detractors of his democratic principles, or it’ll end in tears.

Love

Chris

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 25 2005 19:38

As far as I know, the 'Bolivaran revolution' has resulted in higher living standards and a degree of greater state control over industry.

Anarchists in Venezuela should be taking advantages of the opportunities offered by these developments -- organising an independent working class movement.

However, it's possible that Chavez, like many other state-based populists, doesn't want any rivals for the support of the poor. In that case, anarchists may find themselves in confilc with the 'radical' state (again).

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Steven.
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Aug 25 2005 20:39

I get annoyed when anarchos spunk in their pants about him.

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JDMF
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Aug 25 2005 22:06

I am one of the Chavez fans grin

Nah, not a fan really, but for fucks sake things do look exiting in Venezuela!

I mean this just from the capitalist media:

Chavez calls for democracy at work

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4155936.stm

Venezuela to seize 'idle' firms

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4692165.stm

Venezuela ignores IMF advice on oil money

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4035787.stm

The policies of the what can be called nationalist left have created great improvements in the material conditions of the working class of venezuela. That is something that can't just be ignored because it didn't take place in the way we would have wanted it to happen.

Also, the measures to actually empower the working class with various initiatives to strenghten local and workplace democracy are also something to celebrate.

The role of anarchists the way i see it is to keep pushing the libertarian viewpoint and warn of the dangers if direct democracy and workwers control are not strengthtened. It would be foolish to just dismiss everything whats happening there outright.

l'agité
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Aug 26 2005 14:39
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Also, the measures to actually empower the working class with various initiatives to strenghten local and workplace democracy are also something to celebrate.

Yes.... but....

if "workplace democracy" is in the same way that selfmanagement their was in Algeria or Tchecoslovia or in the actual Cuba... where "workers councils" were a means to state power to control better workers and create new hierarchy....

redtwister
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Aug 26 2005 15:55

Chavez is an interesting character. I don't think he's much of a threat to capital directly, but in the face of neo-liberalism, he certainly causes problems and maybe opens spaces in Bolivia,and that is a good thing.

I would think that defending the changes from the Right while critiquing him from the Left and using the opportunity to our advantage would be a roughly correct approach. However, I wonder how much Chavez is on Bush's "Next Place to Invade" radar? Prolly less so as Iraq has made it hard for the US to involve itself outside the Middle East on an "invasion" scale and Chavez is much, much more popular than any Middle East regime.

More likely is regional intervention at some point, but since the 2000-01 events in Argentina, and the ongoing situation with the EZLN, that may not be so easy either. And besides, Chavez may also create negotiating room for people like Lula later on.

The main thing I think is not to turn up our noses, while also not having any illusions or losing our critical edge.

BTW, narconews.com is very informative, if a bit fawning.

cheers,

chris

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 27 2005 15:20

Anyone got info on what libertarians in Venezuela think? Has he attacked independent organisation? Did any lefties support the bosses' general strike?

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Steven.
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Aug 27 2005 15:40
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Anyone got info on what libertarians in Venezuela think? Has he attacked independent organisation? Did any lefties support the bosses' general strike?

Volin posted a link to the CRA. They're pretty cool - IWA friends. They fucking hate him! Unfortunately in their writings they take a lot of detail as known, then rant about Bakunin a bit embarrassed

http://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario

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Volin
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Aug 27 2005 23:55

they're my best fwiends from Venezuela. 8)

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 28 2005 15:41
John. wrote:
Volin posted a link to the CRA. They're pretty cool - IWA friends. They fucking hate him! Unfortunately in their writings they take a lot of detail as known, then rant about Bakunin a bit

Is there anything published by them in English? Are they basically an anarcho version of teh ICC?

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Volin
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Aug 28 2005 21:50

http://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario/seccioningles.htm

...or where it says "english section" on their site. roll eyes

Toxictears
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Aug 31 2005 00:39

Im not pro or anti-Chavez myself, but what hes going a bit awol I think. I was reading some news article a little while ago saying that Chavez is threatening to cut off the oil supplies to the US. Then about 3 days after, I read another article saying some US Republican Christian was calling for Chavez's assasination. And a few days ago I read that Chavez is planning on giving the US poor cheap fuel by selling it dirt cheap via Venazuala's gas stations in the US - Citron (?). I think hes starting to bite off more then he can chew. I speak to a Venazualan girl online and she always tells me crime is very high, their are alot of anti-chavez riots and Chavez doesnt let many (if any) international reporters into the country. I dont know whethter to make heads or tails of him :/

PS. Sorry if my post doesnt make mmuch sense. My concentration is going crazy!

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Aug 31 2005 07:42

if chavez didn't let reporters in, don't you think we wouldn't hear about it all the time? They are dying to get dirt on him - he is not exactly the sweetheart of the global capitalist class at the moment!

I know one anti-chavez campaigner, and she is such a pro rich bastard. Like things were so much better before chavez was in power, much have been so nice to have cheap maids and servants running after you and people knew their place and oil money was used properly to make the stinking rich even ricker roll eyes

Toxictears
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Aug 31 2005 13:47

Yea JFDM, I know what you are saying, I understand that capitalist class wants dirt on him. But what I was told that he lets very select news groups in the country and makes sure they report the good stuff and not the bad. I dont know whether thats true or not, was just what I was told. I suppose it makes a litlte bit of sense when you have news companies like FOX that would go to countries like Ven and stir up a whole heap of trouble back in the US.

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pingtiao
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Aug 31 2005 14:19

Well, Chavez certainly knows to attract one section of the elite while attacking another- Saturday's Economist points out that the GDP has grown a fucking massive 11.1% in the last year, and industrial production is up by 10.4%.

So, whilst he has done very good things in attacking the landed elite, and has pushed solidarity and intra-Barrio organisation (look at some of the education and health facilities that have opened up in the Barrios) which may have some interesting and unpredictable side-effects in independent w/c organisation- this is all within a framework of increasing productivity.

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Aug 31 2005 22:28
pingtiao wrote:
Well, Chavez certainly knows to attract one section of the elite while attacking another- Saturday's Economist points out that the GDP has grown a fucking massive 11.1% in the last year, and industrial production is up by 10.4%.

that can probably be explained with two simple reasons: firstly, the country was crippled with the strikes and lockouts the year before, so comparisons to that would not be accurate?

Also, the price of oil has been shooting up which is filling the Ven coffins nicely...

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Aug 31 2005 22:45

Isn't he doing exactly what all leftie politicians have always done? Granting reforms which were basically forced by the workers/peasants anyway, and thus coming into conflict with the more hardline wing of capital?

I don't see what the big deal is.

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pingtiao
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Sep 1 2005 13:09
JDMF wrote:
pingtiao wrote:
Well, Chavez certainly knows to attract one section of the elite while attacking another- Saturday's Economist points out that the GDP has grown a fucking massive 11.1% in the last year, and industrial production is up by 10.4%.

that can probably be explained with two simple reasons: firstly, the country was crippled with the strikes and lockouts the year before, so comparisons to that would not be accurate?

Also, the price of oil has been shooting up which is filling the Ven coffins nicely...

...and it is also a quite classic Keynesian wages-productivity deal: the poor are starting to do much much better, in exchange for constantly rising productivity...

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Sep 1 2005 13:32

ah of course: improvements in working class living standards have always boosted domestic consumption more than similar GDP increase in the wealthy classes who tend to buy imported goods more than domestic ones.

This is of course just speculation in this case, but whats more fun than theoretical economics grin

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Volin
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Sep 1 2005 15:19

I'm agreeing with most people on the thread; the reforms made by the Chavista government are welcomed, even inspirational, but should not be seen as a solution or alternative to radically changing society from below. The real place for anarchists is in the mass movment of people outside of government and corporations working for their own control and future.

Incidentally is not now law that;

"anything

portrayed as anarchist is punishable from three to

five years in jail"?

Anarchoneilist
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Sep 3 2005 15:00

Seems to be basically implementing social democratic policies

which basically piss of the upper middle classes.

Maybe we should look at his social other than economic policies.

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Sep 8 2005 02:05
John. wrote:
Isn't he doing exactly what all leftie politicians have always done? Granting reforms which were basically forced by the workers/peasants anyway, and thus coming into conflict with the more hardline wing of capital?

I don't see what the big deal is.

It seems that the big deal is that the reforms granted were caused by the large social movements that had developed in Venezuela through the nineties. There is a potential that the interplay between the social movement's demands and the top's granting them gets out of control of the ruling class and goes beyond this. Of course the stale Left turns everything into "worship our new hero the wonderful Chavez" which is very offputting.

I have no idea what to make of the situation in Venezuela - a friend has just returned from there and was very impressed with the "revolution"... it's clear that there are elements that want to take things further (though some are Leninoids).

It would be worth researching the development and scope of these social movements - something I'll try and do over the next few weeks.

Anarchoneilist
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Sep 10 2005 14:32

What in the left is a Leninoid tongue ?

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JDMF
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Sep 11 2005 18:46

http://venezuelanalysis.com/

redtwister
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Sep 12 2005 15:13
Anarchoneilist wrote:
What in the left is a Leninoid tongue ?

From Redtwister's Quick and Easy Leftist Dictionary of Terms

1. Adj. Leninoid - subscribing in some fashion to some version of Lenin's ideas and practices or to a varied "Leninism". Kim was in a one of the many Leninoid organizations participating in the demonstration pushing their newspaper and claiming to be THE party of the working class.

2. N. Leninoid - Leninist android. Wow, Kim is such a Leninoid.

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Sep 12 2005 19:16

Hi

Quote:
Venezuela Increases its Aid to U.S. by Another $1 Million

This is wicked. I liked Cuba's offer of a 1000 doctors too.

Love

Chris

Anonymous
Sep 13 2005 18:38

well, this could be a good opportunity for revolutionary groups to make an impact.

i'm thnking of argentina and the failure of revolutionary organizations to take control of the crisis of the state. maybe things would have gone fruther in argentina and not gone into reaction like they are now if workers, etc. movements from the economics collapse were organized more....

is the situation in venezuela a crisis of the state revolutionaries could take advantage of? like someone said an opportunity for organizing independent working class organization, which likewise could have happened in argentina on a larger scale....

i definitely don't have a solid opinion formed.

alibadani
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Sep 15 2005 18:47

The Chavez capitalist government, that is to say one which maintains the extraction of surplus value from the working class, independently of its 'revolutionary' verbiage, has followed the same road as the Caldera and Carlos Andres Perez governments: the systematic and unrestrained attack on the living conditions of the working class:

· the great majority of the public employees' collective contracts have been frozen during the period of the Chavist government;

· the pay rises that have been ordered have not matched the accelerating growth in prices;

· the level of open unemployment has reached 22-25% of the workforce of around 12 million, of which 57%, i.e., nearly 7 million live by means of semi-employment and in the so-called 'informal economy';

· the tax on bank debt and VAT (16%);

· the highest rate of inflation in Latin America (30% for this last year) which is devaluing workers' wages;

· nearly 85% of the population live in conditions of poverty;

· the official minimum wage is 321.235 Bolivars (around $160 according to official figures) does not cover the cost of the basic basket of food of about 545.361;

· the deterioration of public services: health, education, transport etc., cannot be hidden, despite the government's media campaigns;

· the levels of delinquency are producing weekly figures of more than 100 killings;

· the pauperisation of society is expressed through the growth in child begging, malnutrition and prostitution.

This is the crude reality that Chavismo, which shamelessly calls it the "beautiful revolution", and the whole of the opposition bourgeoisie in its struggle for power, daily subjects us to.

from : http://en.internationalism.org/wr/277_venappeal.htm

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 15 2005 21:11

Fair enough, but how much of that is because of the 'bolivarian revolution', rather than despite it? The Venezuelan capitalist class is responsible for most of the problems you metnion, apart from the freezing of public sector wages. Any more info on that?

Caiman del Barrio
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Sep 19 2005 11:13

I read a news report a week or so ago accusing Chavez of playing his role in breaking an Ecuadorian oil workers' strike by selling the Ecuadorian government cheap oil. I wish I could find the article.

I think it's quite likely he'll act as a catalyst for better things to come. I'm just always suspicious of how far to the left he actually is...I'm really wary of these trendy "anti-globalisation", anti-war on terror "new leftists" who are actually just liberals in disguise.