Venezuela and the ‘Bolivarian revolution’: Beacon of hope or smoke and mirrors?

Shawn Hattingh looks beyond the figure of Hugo Chavez and analyses Venezuelan style ‘Socialism for the Twenty First Century’.


The War on Democracy (Documentary)

The War On Democracy was John Pilger's first for cinema. It explores the current and past relationship of Washington with Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile.

Using archive footage sourced by Michael Moore's archivist Carl Deal, the film shows how serial US intervention, overt and covert, has toppled a series of legitimate governments in the Latin American region since the 1950s.

Venezuelan prison occupation

1000 friends and family members of inmates are currently occupying a prison in Venezuela. This in protest against the judicial system, and prison conditions and brutality. The Venezuelan government believes the occupation to be part of a CIA backed plot to destabilise the country.

Around one thousand friends and family members of inmates held within Venezuelan prisons, have today entered the Yare prison near Caracas, and have refused to leave. They are made up of around 800 women, 150 children, and a handful of men.

Manifesto of the Federación Anarquista Revolucionaria de Venezuela

Manifesto of the newly formed Federación Anarquista Revolucionaria de Venezuela (FARV), an anarchist political organization based in Venezuela.

1) The Federación Anarquista Revolucionaria de Venezuela is a collective that adopts the ideology of Libertarian Communism, a system where both capitalism and the bourgeois State that supports it are abolished, where the people as the producers of goods and services have control of what is produced in the form of collective ownership, where such production is distributed according to the principle

Book review: "Venezuela - Revolution as Spectacle" by Rafael Uzcátegui

In times of global austerity and reduced means, the concept of ‘revolution’ is once again in popular discourse, with recent events in North Africa being feted throughout the West. However, Rafael Uzcátegui’s engaging new book – packed, as it is, full of assertion supported by meticulously-sourced fact - stands as a stark reminder of the semantic vacuity of the term, in one Latin American country at least, and the similarities between the self-professed ‘revolutionary government’ of Venezuela and the capitalist economic model.

Uzcátegui, a key organiser in the independent Venezuelan human rights group, PROVEA, as well as a co-editor of the nation’s sole anarchist newspaper, El Libertario, states his thesis clearly in the introduction: Hugo Chávez’s regime in Venezuela is neither the socialist paradise of his own government’s pro

The Bolivarian government against union autonomy - FAI

From the Iberian Anarchist Federation's Tierra y Libertad website, an article describing and criticizing the government of Hugo Chávez and its attempts to co-opt the Venezuelan labor movement.

Anarchism in Venezuela, past and present

This is a brief outline of the libertarian footprint in the history of Venezuela, prepared by members of the Collective Editorship of El Libertario. We hope that this serves as a useful point of reference for those who are interested in the subject.

The profile of anarchism in Venezuelan history has been less pronounced than in other parts of Latin America, where it has vigorously manifested itself through collective struggles, publications, personalities and ideological debate. It is, however, worth pointing out that it has also influenced our social and cultural evolution

Venezuela: the Curious Tale of Rubén González, the imprisoned then liberated union activist

Just days after being sentenced to seven and a half years' imprisonment for supporting a strike, Rubén González, General Secretary of the Ferrominería miners' union, has seenting his custodial sentence annulled and his freedom partially restored.

Below is a translated version of the El Libertario statement on González' release:

Venezuela’s Social Movements: Autonomy’s Difficult Path

On November 2010, in the Spanish city of Cordoba, during the celebrations of the Centennial of the historical anarcho-syndicalist union, the Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), a Round Table discussion about Latin America’s social movements took place. A representative of El Libertario was present and delivered the following report.

The modern history of social struggles in Venezuela is associated with the across-the-board transformation of the country brought about by large-scale oil exploitation beginning in the 1920s. This became evident after the death of Dictator J.V. Gomez, who ruled Venezuela with an iron fist from 1908 until December 1935.

Venezuela: an election lost is an army gained

As his party loses unilateral control of parliament for the first time since his election, President Hugo Chávez looks to assimilate the working class via military service.

Last month saw a tight photo finish in Venezuela’s parliamentary elections, with President Hugo Chávez’ PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) gaining a 48% of votes cast to the rightwing opposition MUD (Democratic Unity Table) coalition’s 47%.