Rakesh's musing on Venezuela ("Left-wing Communism ...")

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 09:59:34 EDT

Rakesh's energy re Venezuela is spent on one individual Chavez, Chavez,
and then again Chavez, not what U.S. imperialism is doing in the concrete
in Venezuela; not on the day-to-day maneveurs of the opposition; not on
the day-to-day actions of supporters or qualified supporters of the
government.  In the final analysis Chavez is not that important.

Placing Chavez as government leader in context of a very wealthy,
extremist opposition could lead one to think that the opposition may
believe it has lost a lot from the current government.  Their acts speak
much louder than Rakesh's words from afar, who digs up, for this list, an
article more than a year old that Chavez is nothing more than a

Just yesterday I happened to speak with a woman who knows the daughter of
one of five wealtiest in Venezuela who flies around at the touch of a
button.  We're talking about opposition with real hatred. We're talking
about Ku Klux Klan type-mentality, we're talking about racism at its core,
we're talking about money big-time, and we're talking about such people
wanting governmental power.

As to the SIDOR strike, I happened to have visited that plant many years
ago in a very memorable visit (including spending a night among its some
workers migrating, at the time, from places like Spain).  I've have been
trying to understand it now, but I'm not running to this list with
wholesale judgement of its current strike activity (although, frankly, my
credentials to do so would exceed Rakesh's).  Unlike Rakesh, I would be
asking of people on the scene what's going on.  Maybe the workers are
angry with Chavez, but maybe not (Michael reports that no one in Venezuela
is blaming Chavez personally; Michael may be in error, but maybe not, and
if not, Rakesh obviously doesn't know what he is talking about). Maybe the
workers are, rather, angry at their managment and also at their union
leadership.  One thing I'm confident of: the opposition blames Chavez for
anything and are as fixed on Chavez as Rakesh.

The Venezuelan government must be placed in context, just as we must place
Aristide in context, Lula in context, Gandhi in context, etc.  Does the
context of American military defeat in Iraq (but inability to so
acknowledge) mean that the American empire is ready to fall and thus give
an opening to genuine and immediate socialism/communism in Venezuela? If
not, what are progressive steps available within the actual Venezuelan
context?  Is the current government taking none of those steps, or can we
acknowledge that they have taken some?  If some, could it move faster, or
is it already moving too fast?

Paul z.

Vol.21-Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Zarembka/Soederberg, eds, Elsevier Science
********************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

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