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 [email protected] 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)
Has there ever been a
Has there ever been a response to this?
There was a debate on the
There was a debate on the subject here about a day after the article came out:
which included a link to a rebuttal in Spanish (machine translation), also a day later.
I don't know the situation
I don't know the situation with regards El Libertario but prima facie, that roarmag response looks dodgy as fuck.
Flava O Flav wrote: Has there
Flava O Flav
In this Reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comments/6aa9nk/a_call_from_venezuela_to_the_anarchists_of_latin/), the ROAR article was posted, and several articles that criticise the ROAR article were posted in response:
George Ciccarrello-Maher is a
George Ciccarrello-Maher is a strong supporter of Bolivarianism.
Cheers will have a read of
Cheers will have a read of those.
So it's little different from
So it's little different from when anarchists and communists criticised the the USSR, the Cuban revolution, the Hanoi government, the ANC, the Sandinistas, the Mujahadeen Khalk, Colonel Ghadaffi and the IRA that we were all somehow in cahoots with the CIA, Ronald Reagan, Thatcher, the Brits... and were also "middle class".
Serge Forward wrote: So it's
It's pretty much always a variation on this same argument.
El Libertario have two dudes
El Libertario have two dudes (afaik) identifying themselves as working for a Human Rights NGO called Provea, funded by USAID, Ford Foundation and Soros. I know it sounds weird but they're doing a job inside left antagonist worldwide movement. But go to the text: a) Maduro's government is shit b) insurrection. They're calling us to support them for being anarchist, an identity.
All right. But, what's the alternative? a new right-wing movement linked to paramilitaries, drug lords and fascists with a socialdemocratic face (MUD). In Spain this Opposition had its demo last week, chanting things like Franco Franco, and chasing immigrants in streets.
In my opinion all this stuff is smelly and I see a parallelism to Ukraine, with all kind of political groups (liberals, nazis, anarchists) participating in the riots. This is a Shock Doctrine. And the situation is quite similar to Chili 1972. Which side to take?
I prefer to support the +1700 bolivarian communes than these upper town hardcore-punk-gig-organisers of El Libertario.
Quote: I prefer to support
Yeah, because they ended up working really well for all working class people. Venezuela is a mess. But carry on in your ostrich cosplay.
The jury's out on how dodgy
The jury's out on how dodgy El Libertario may or may not be, as well as the authenticity of their proletarian credentials. What's not in doubt however is the fact that anyone who supports the governments of Chávez and Maduro and cheerleads the "Bolivarian revolution" has 100% dogshit pro-capitalist politics.
Salvoechea wrote: El
Yawn at the Red-Brown, antisemitic "Soros" bullshit.
Parallels with Ukraine? I agree. Both sides are anti-working class, ultra-nationalist scum. Internationalist communists, unlike the left-wing of capital, do not take sides in conflicts involving different nationalist factions. Unfortunately, there are some confused leftists who consider Milošević-supporting, neo-Chetnik, Serbian nationalists to be "antifascist fighters":
However anarchist-communists in Ukraine and Russia oppose all sides of the war. See, for example, Autonomous Action.
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 is democratist nonsense. The existing state apparatus can never be "useful" to the proletariat, the overthrow of the existing state apparatus is the necessary first step along the road to communism. Democratisation of the capitalist state *in no way* takes us a step closer to communism, it doesn't alter the function, or the anti-proletarian nature of the state, as a part of the machinery of capitalism. In capitalist society, the state (democratic or otherwise) is always subordinated to the interests of national capital, and subject to its domination.
Mere forms of organisation (e.g. councils or communes) are not, in themselves, revolutionary or communist in nature. A council or commune is possessed of a revolutionary character only if it emerges from a period of struggle and is self-organised by proletarians in the course of that struggle, and therefore embodies the collectively-heightened state of conscioussness and will to fight of its proletarian constituents. But the fact that the state has organised its citizens into "communes" means nothing, and is simply a means of controlling/dominating them.
So you think that members of the Bolivarian regime are not involved in organised crime, drugs, trafficking, etc.?(!) Hell, the cops in Venezuela are involved in kidnapping/ransoms, and there's even evidence that the Vice President of Venezuela was involved in drug trafficking.
As for "fascist", I think the current govt. is rather fascistic. You've even got state-sponsored militia intimidating journalists:
As with other examples of failed national, state capitalism, the economic problems of the Bolivarian state are more likely due to inner value deformation as a result of the state's (mis)management of the economy than economic attrition from without (the US), or a faction of the bourgeoisie.
The state cannot indefinitely violate the underlying laws of capitalism. The attempted violation of the law of value leads to the emergence of alternative ("black") markets, scarcity of consumer goods, etc. At a certain point in time, crisis generates social backlash, the proletariat revolt when conditions become unbearable - supermarkets are empty, hospitals lack medicines, therefore the anger of the class explodes onto the streets.
It's worth bearing in mind that a large section of proletarians on this planet are politically apathetic - they do not take sides in bourgeois faction fights (elections, etc.), or when they do, it is often unenthusiastic. But everytime crises of a certain magnitude emerge, new sets of struggles erupt, in the context of which apathy is weaponised, transformed into antipathy. The proletariat are brought out onto the streets, in open struggle against the state, in response to their dire material conditions.
The only alternative is the communist alternative. And this involves a total rejection of the inter-bourgeois faction fights or power struggles.
The communist alternative is to completely destroy the state: smash the police and military (which, incidentally, are almost always the bases of coups), and see the working-class armed and self-organised in councils (soviets) or committees, that is the first step of revolution, and this is what all anarchists and anti-state communists want.
Whenever leftists suggest that the primary cause of a large scale, working-class action is some conspiracy of the American-friendly bourgeoisie, they deny the agency of the proletariat, in response to its material conditions. For such leftists, geopolitics matter more than class struggle.
In my opinion, it is more
In my opinion, it is more likely that a coup would take place against Maduro from within the Bolivarian regime.
El Libertario newspaper by
El Libertario newspaper by Venezuela: Right-wing "anarchism" at the service of the bourgeoisie and interventionism
Periódico El Libertario de Venezuela: El “anarquismo” de derecha al servicio de la burguesía y el intervencionismo
Are there Communes in
Are there Communes in Venezuela?
From the same guy, a radiography of protests:
Yes yes... it may or may not
Yes yes... it may or may not be the case that El Libertario is right wing, bourgeois or it could be that such claims are all just a load of black propaganda. Whatever. But can someone please explain why anarchists and communists should jump to the defence of the Chávez and Maduro governments with such enthusiasm? That's something I find infinitely more troubling than whether one particular small anarchist group has iffy politics.
Any anarchists who
Any anarchists who objectively align themselves with the capitalists and rightwing are not anarchists but rightwing libertarians. If anarchists are not going to defend the Bolivarian revolution that is one thing, but the least they can do is not join sides with the CIA-funded opposition. This is essentially a call to do just that.
ronj1955 wrote: Any
Hmm... I must have missed that bit, ronj1955. Could you please point out where in the above document El Libertario actually calls to join forces with the CIA-funded opposition. Oh, and when you say "If anarchists are not going to defend the Bolivarian revolution that is one thing," could you just clarify if that means you think anarchists should be defending the so-called Bolivarian revolution (i.e. the governments of Chavez and Maduro)? Thanks in advance fella.
Do these confused leftists
Do these confused leftists (Ragnar, Salvoechea, ronj1955) also think that anarchists in Russia/Eastern Europe should have rallied to the defence of the USSR and Eastern bloc states in the years 1989-1991?
Well, if Ragnar, Salvochea
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.
So many "anarchists" with a
So many "anarchists" with a soft spot for fascists, foreign interventions and liberals around here.
I'm sure the venezuelan "opposition" will designate a special mass grave for anarchists away from those filthy statist chavistas once they take power.
Stones, glass houses.
Stones, glass houses.
Sooo...I read this statement.
Sooo...I read this statement.
-It quickly rejects the "socialist" Maduro state and the right-wing/"democratic" opposition.
-It expresses disappointment that anarchists outside of Venezuela have been mostly silent, allowing these two wings of capital to dominate the narrative of what is happening and what is at stake
-It links both the "socialist" government and "democratic" opposition to atrocities and corruption.
-It says the "socialist" government has a shrinking base after the death of Chavez and is corrupt and repressive.
I don't see anything controversial with this. Certainly nothing to warrant snitchjacketing El Libertario, which seems common.
Also, I have a hard time buying what George Ciccarrello-Maher has to say, as he is pretty much an apologist for the Venezuelan state who has defended mass deportations of migrants in Venezuela on Twitter.
Yep, specially for
Yep, specially for "anarchists" trying to curry favors with fascists.
Juan Conatz wrote: -It links
Yet, every El Libertario article is a verbatim quote from all the the opposition talking points.
Then again, as a venezuelan, I shouldn't expect much from middle class "anarchists".
I mean, after all, you are supporting a rag that is in favor of working "middle class" people atacking other "low class" workers, which is what most of this "protests" are.
It is quite ironic how absent some of you are when it comes to discussing more repressive regimes and situations, like that of the Mapuches in Chile.
Quote: Then again, as a
Your computer and internet must be fucking amazing considering how you are able to what class other people online belongs to. I guess the Boliviarian government got something right!
Orocai, So the opposition
So the opposition talking points include rejecting the opposition, as well as the Chavista government? Strange.
I have no idea if El Libertario is accurately representing the facts on the ground. However, all I've seen in response is accusations of fascism, CIA payoffs, comments about class background and links to thinly veiled anti-semitic conspiracy theorists and American academic Chavez supporters. Do you have something better to offer?
Khawaga wrote: Quote: Then
Well, here I have a group of foreign "anarchists" telling me that the "middle class" people threatening to kill woking people is actually just "working class people revolting against the government". You tell me how that comes across...
It comes across as people
It comes across as people from mainly English speaking countries not necessarily knowing the full picture; not that they are middle class.
If I were to ask you about the situation in Canada or Norway, would you be able to give me the ins and out?
And in any case, whether El Libertario is middle class, CIA stooges or not, doesn't change the fact that both the opposition and the government are two sides of the same capitalist coin.
Juan Conatz wrote: Orocai, So
For someone who "rejects the opposition too" they certainly seem to have a lot of meetings and group photos with some of the most notorious spokepersons, like Melanio Escobar, human rights "activist" who at point has made helicopter ride jokes.
I mean, what kind of anarchist are you when you are "against the rupture of constitutional continuity" of the bourgie state you supposedly want to overthrow?
Rafael Uzcategui "anarchist" speech changes to support traditional liberal democracy "values" in pretty much every news article, specially when he is talking as PROVEA
As for the money, ask them yourself
which includes the Ford Foundation
Okay, I get that there are
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?
Bumped back to page one. So
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.
I found this interview
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.
Thought I'd come back to this
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.
Serge Forward wrote: Well, if
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.
The AF hosted El Libertario
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.
I can't read Spanish, so had
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'.
craftwork wrote: And
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
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.
The regime set up structures
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
Wanted to post here in case
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.