A call from Venezuela to the anarchists of Latin America and the world: solidarity is much more than a written word

A call from Venezuela to the anarchists of Latin America and the world: solidarity is much more than a written word

El Libertario call on all "real anarchists" to wake-up about the situation in Venezuela. Events in Venezuela are genuine expressions of working-class frustration, against a corrupt and dysfunctional state-capitalism, no longer able to sustain itself given the sharp fall in global oil prices.

Editorial Collective of the anarchist newspaper El Libertario

We address all the expressions of the libertarian movement, particularly those of this continent, not only to draw their attention to the situation we are living in Venezuela since April 2017, but by what we understand as urgency for the international anarchism expresses more emphatically on these dramatic circumstances, with positions and actions consistent with what has been the preaching and practice of the anti-hierarchic (actual word used here is “Ácrata”.^N.delT.) ideal in its historical walk.

It is deplorable that, while on the one hand the Chavista government -today headed by Maduro- together with its sounding boards from the outside and, on the other, the opponents from the right and the social-democracy, are in disgusting campaigns for selling to world opinion their equally biased visions and charged with interests of power, many anarchist voices outside of Venezuela have maintained a mutism that is in some way tacit acceptance of what one or other of the hungry contenders for state power want to impose as “truth.” We know that sympathetic voices do not have the access to most media, as it sits ready at the order of statists, and that comrades face complex realities where there are issues and problems that, due to their proximity, demand their immediate concerns, but we understand that this difficulty should not be an obstacle so that, in some modest way, attention, interest and solidarity are expressed both for what happens in Venezuela and for what the anarchism in this region divulges.

In a rundown of what local anarchism says today, the present juncture shows the fascist nature of the Chávez regime -and its sequence with Maduro-, reactionary militarist governments that we have denounced forever in El Libertario. It has been a regime linked to crime, drug trafficking, looting, corruption, imprisonment of opponents, torture, disappearances, apart from the disastrous economic, social, cultural and ethical management. Chávez managed to impact with his messianic and charismatic leadership, financed by the rise of the price of oil, however after his death and with the end of the bonanza, the so-called Bolivarian process deflated, being supported by weak bases. This “revolution” followed the historical rentist tradition initiated at the beginning of the 20th century with the dictator Juan Vicente Gómez, continued by the militarist Marcos Pérez Jiménez, and did not cease in the later representative democratic scheme.

There are those at the international level (Noam Chomsky, the best example), that rectified their initial support for Venezuelan authoritarianism and today they denounce it in a clear way. However, we note with great concern the silence of many anarchists of this and other continents about the events in Venezuela. It says an adage: “the one who is silent grants”, which is perfectly fulfilled when people are starved and criminally repressed and who should protest for it say little or nothing. We call on those who embrace the libertarian banners to pronounce, if they have not, on our tragedy. For indifference, there is no justification if one has an anti-hierarchic (actual word used here is “Ácrata”.^N.delT.) vision of the world. The opposite is to cover up the government farce, forgetting what the anarchists of all time have said about the degradation of authoritarian socialism in power. Perhaps in the past the “progressive” mirage of chavismo might have deceived even some libertarian people, but being consistent with our ideal it is impossible today to continue to hold that belief.

We are in the presence of an agonizing, delegitimized and repressive government that seeks to perpetuate itself in power, repudiated by the vast majority of the population, who murder through their repressive and paramilitary forces, which also promote looting. A corrupt government that blackmails with boxes of food, sold at black market dollar price, that participates in all kinds of capitalist business negotiations, a government of “bolibourgeois” (a portmanteau of the Bolivarian and bourgeois words.^N.delT.) and militarists enriched by the oil rent and ecocide mining. A government that kills with starvation and murders, while applying a brutal economic adjustment agreed with the transnational capitalism, to which punctually pays a criminal external debt.

It is time to dismantle the pseudo-informative maneuvers of those who pretend to use it at an international level for those who control, and those who aspire to control, the Venezuelan State, and in this we hope to count on the active support of individualities and libertarian groups in both Latin America and the rest of the world. Any sign of anarchist solidarity will be welcomed by the Venezuelan anti-hierarchic movement (actual word used here is “Ácrata”.^N. del T.), certainly small and moving among many difficulties, but at the present juncture will be grateful to know that we somehow have the support of people from the rest of the globe, either by reproducing and spreading the information disseminated by the anarchists of Venezuela, generating opinions and reflections that dismantle the visions in this issue that try to be imposed by authoritarians from the right and left, and -which would be much better- promoting or supporting action initiatives in your respective countries that denounce the circumstances of hunger and repression that are now present in Venezuela. Now more than ever it is necessary your presence and voice in all the possible scenarios where the tragedy in which the Venezuelan people is submerged gets denounced.

El Libertario‘s final note: More comprehensive and detailed analyzes and information on what is happening in Venezuela, on the blog of El Libertario. In particular, we recommend these posts which briefly outline our vision and position regarding the recent and current Venezuelan conjuncture (all in Spanish.^N.delT.):

– Buenos Aires: Radio interview with El Libertario http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/01/buenos-aires-interview-radial-el.html

– Cartography of chavomadurista failure: A tour of the current map of Venezuela http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/02/cartografia-del-fracaso-chavomadurista.html

– Crisis in the “critical thinking”, or jumping off a sinking ship http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/02/crisis-en-el-pensamiento-critico-o.html

– Outcome of the Venezuelan crisis http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/desenlace-de-la-crisis-venezolana.html

– Declaration of El Libertario: Surpassing the political parties to face the crisis and build a new Venezuela http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/declaracion-de-el-libertario-sobrepasar.html

– Venezuela Today: The dictatorial errors http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/venezuela-hoy-los-errores-dictatoriales.html

– A slogan of 2014 to resume today: IMMEDIATE DISSOLUTION OF THE GUARDIA NACIONAL BOLIVARIANA http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/una-consigna-de-2014-retomar-disolucion.html

– The constituent fraud http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/05/The-fraud-constituent.html

Original post in Spanish on their blog: https://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/05/llamado-desde-venezuela-ls-anarquistas.html

[Nota de El Libertario: Muchas gracias a l@s compas de Insurrection News por esta traducción al inglés. El original de la misma está en https://raddit.me/f/anarchism/281.]

(via El Libertario)


Serge Forward
May 17 2017 06:40

Okay, I get that there are these allegations against El Libertario but asking once again... even if El Libertario were right wing, CIA-backed, middle class and cruel to small furry animals, why should anarchists be supporting the Bolivarian state and what is basically the left wing of capital in Venezuela?

Serge Forward
May 17 2017 14:14

Bumped back to page one.

So Orocai, Ragnar, Salvoechea and ronj1955, there's no need to be shy and go all quiet on us. Please tell us whether you think anarchists (and communists) should be supporting Maduro, Chavismo and the "Bolivarian revolution". Cheers.

May 17 2017 14:41

I found this interview informative.

Roland Denis: "Chavez Didn't Dare to Do What He Had to Between 2002 and 2003”


Its from a generally pro-Chavez solidarity website venezuelanalysis.com. Roland Denis, is a self-described revolutionary anarchist, and I take it somewhat well-known on the Venezuelan Left. Maybe kind of a CohnBendit-Chomsky-Graeber-type figure. He briefly joined the Chavez government as a planner.

What is interesting to me is that this interview shows someone on the pro-Chavez Left (however critical) describing the new corrupt state-capitalist-mafia emerging out of the "Bolivarian Revolution".

For me, this points to the need for revolutionaries to maintain independence from both the old-guard bourgeoisie and their imperialist allies AND the new state-capitalist elite and their gangster/corporate allies. The Right has hegemony over the opposition because those on the Left are too tied into the regime

Whatever El Libertario's shortcomings - to their credit, they seem to have staked out an independent position.

Serge Forward
May 25 2017 17:50

Thought I'd come back to this as the pro-Maduro lot have still not come back with any reasons to explain why anarchists and communists should suddenly start supporting the left capitalist "Bolivarian revolution". Apart from telling us we're all middle clarse fascist sympathisers and El Libertario are CIA-backed, right wing posh buggers... blah blah...

Blimey, it's as if the whole Stalin thing never happened! Fucking leftoid lightweights with rubbish politics.

Flava O Flav
May 29 2017 10:29
Serge Forward wrote:
Well, if Ragnar, Salvochea and ronj1955 could just answer whether they think anarchists should be defending the "Bolivarian revolution" then I'll settle for that, never mind the USSR.

The way I look at it, it's really difficult to decide which competing version of reality is closer to the truth from my computer screen in Ireland. I agree anarchists should not be backing up the Maduro regime - but my genuine question is are there actual communes within the Bolivarian revolution that pose some revolutionary potential - if so IMO that's where anarchists should be trying to win over those who are becoming disillusioned with petroleum funded state capitalism.

I've seen so many competing views of El Libertario at this stage, all plausible, I've given up trying to figure them out, which is shit if they are genuine.

May 29 2017 16:04

The AF hosted El Libertario comrades on a British speaking tour at least a decade ago, and they were sound comrades. Unless the personnel has somehow drastically changed and with it their politics, I see no reason to revise that opinion.

Mike Harman
Aug 1 2017 08:12

I can't read Spanish, so had to rely on google translate, but these two articles were critical of El Libertario without supporting Maduro, both from a couple of years ago:



It would be good if the discussion on this could break out of 'fascist apologists' vs. 'nothing wrong with them'.

Mike Harman
Aug 1 2017 09:35
craftwork wrote:
And parallels with Chile 1973? No. What happened in Chile was that the Allende promoted Pinochet and helped disarm the working-class in the form of the 1972 arms-control law, and then was overthrown from within, by his own armed forces and his own police.

This looks like a quite poor paraphrase of Point Blank's Strange Defeat, lacking the nuance of the original article (here: https://libcom.org/library/strange-defeat-chilean-revolution-1973-pointblank).

Strange Defeat talks about how not only did Allende undermine the militant working class (to the point where they couldn't defend themselves, or Allende, against Pinochet), but that this was also a failing of the revolutionary workers in that they weren't able to defend themselves against Allende. In other words that we can't just talk about CIA coups or the betrayal of left wing governments, but must also focus on how these things are allowed to happen by the working class.

Collapsing that down to 'the coup against Allende was all Allende's making' is not really useful.

David Jacobs, one of the authors of Strange Defeat, left this comment on libcom talking about the context the piece was written in and its limitations.

David Jacobs - Point Blank wrote:
One comment about Strange Defeat:
It was written quickly, just after the coup against Allende took place.
It was an attempt to show that the success of Pinochet's murderous plans
was not entirely due to CIA machinations, but also due to Allende's own
kind of counter-revolution, his disarming of workers, etc..
We did not mean to suggest that there was no CIA role. In retrospect,
this should have been made more clear.
But the entire situationist milieu was quite uninterested in questions having to
do with the National Security State, a major failing on its part.

On the one hand you have Chavistas and western (usually) tankies trying to blame everything that goes wrong on the CIA and local fascists and implying anyone that doesn't support Maduro is aligned with them, but people going out of their way to downplay any CIA/far right role in the opposition protests doesn't help either.

Jan 29 2019 23:26

The regime set up structures that were promoted as being independent from the State though relying on its infrastructure and finance. Hence there was no autonomy while the set up structures allowed the regime to used the neighborhood assemblies as propagandists of the State cause and as militias against decent.

The aim was nicely wrapped as "People's Power" but as it was developed top down (subsidies, fat posts,...) corruption was prone and instead of empowering communities the populist militias serve to defend not popular sovereignty but state oppression.

If Chavez had not set up these structures bottom up initiatives might have grown strong and could have overtime threatened state capitalist dominance.

Statement by Uruguayan anarchists

Feb 26 2019 21:51

Wanted to post here in case anyone finds themselves re-reading old Venezuela threads as they attempt to both keep pace with what is happening on the ground there in 2019, and try and put it in the context of recent history (like me!).

Can say that having met a number of latin American anarchists, they all thought el libertario were 'sound', as in you know, actual real anarchists trying to do anarchism. Flawed like all us I'm sure, with a few dodge folks mixed in to the organisations (like every organisation or group i've ever seen) perhaps, but on the whole accurate and trying to 'fight the good fight'. In fact folks from Mexico, Chile, and especially Brazil, were very protective over El Libertario over what they see as attacks on it from ill formed outsiders (the strongest criticism online being from north american and european socialists, though ofc also present from pro-state groups in latin america) following an overly simplistic 'all the governments that are or say they are left are the good guys' line, which you'd hope would've died by '56 if not before.

Couldn't say for sure, on mostly second hand information (tho i have met at least one person from el libertario, and they seemed alright like), but generally if groups of anarchist comrades agree with a position it takes more than the kind of all over the place rant that was posted in ROAR magazine to put me off them.