Re: [OPE] Venezuela again

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 09:10:38 EST

**Venezuela is the one country in Latin America that best exemplifies the transition from oligarchic electoral politics to democracy. During the preceding 40 years (1959-1998) the country was ruled by a two-party elite (Democratic Action and Social Christian – COPEI), which competed to represent the petrol-rentier oligarchy, powerful importers, and the real estate-financial speculative elite. The two parties were dominated by a predator political class, which pillaged the public treasury. The economic collapse during the infamous decade of 1989-1998 resulted in a 10-fold increase in poverty, which led to the mass uprising and state massacre of 1989 known as the ‘Caracazo’. This, in turn, paved the way for the election of President Chavez in 1999. President Chavez took the first steps toward reforming the authoritarian electoral system through a referendum and subsequent new constitution. Chavez’s opposition to Washington’s imperial ‘War on
 Terror’ was part of a foreign policy designed to end US tutelage and affirm Venezuela’s national sovereignty. The colonial oligarchy sought to regain power and return the country to its authoritarian past via a US-backed civil-military coup in April 2002.** James Petras   If this oligarchy instituted such a cruel regime, how is it possible that Chávez arrived to the presidency competing in democratic elections? The comprehension and analysis of liberal democracies on the part of some Marxists is so simplistic, that this even turns out to be hilarious!   A serious analysis has to start explaining the socioeconomic foundations of the evolution of the two-party system in a regime that doesn’t have formal entry barriers in the electoral competition. The absence of these barriers explains how Chávez became president and cast doubt on Petras’ argument.  A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: "" <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: miércoles, 28 de enero, 2009 14:21:08 Asunto: [OPE] Venezuela again A very important political event will take place in Venezuela next Feb,15: a constitutional referendum to allow the indefinite re-election of the President. James Petras has produced an important analysis of this event, of which I quote the first paragraph and the conclusion. I don’t agree with his interpretation of the nature of Chavez’ regime, but I think his analysis of the political meaning of the referendum and of the importance its approval is essentially correct. comradely, Claus. Article at First paraghaph: “On February 15, 2009, Venezuelan voters will go to the polls in order to vote on a constitutional referendum, which would allow for the indefinite re-election of the President. The vote on the constitutional amendment has raised fundamental questions about the relation between electoral politics and democracy. The proposed constitutional change, and specifically the constitutional amendment allowing for the indefinite re-election of the President requires an examination of two basic concepts: electoral systems and democracy. The distinction between these two concepts dominates the political conflict between the supporters (pro-Chavez) and opponents (anti-Chavez) of the amendment.” Conclusions With the onset of the world recession/depression, the collapse of the neo-liberal model and the incapacity of capitalist economists to offer any viable alternative, there is all the more reason to re-elect President Chavez who backs a socialist, publicly directed and controlled economy, which protects and promotes the domestic market and productive system. At a time of Israel’s genocidal war, backed by the US and at a time when newly-elected Obama doubles military spending and troops for wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and possibly Iran, the world looks to President Chavez as the world’s foremost humanitarian leader, the outstanding defender of freedom, peace and self-determination. The approval of the re-election amendment is not only a vote for Venezuelan democracy but equally a vote in defense of the billions of oppressed Third World people who regard President Chavez as their principled leader: The only President who refuses to support Bush-Obama’s imperial ‘war on terror’. The only President who ousted Israel’s ambassador in righteous repudiation of Israel’s genocidal assault on the people of Gaza. Much more is at stake on February 15, 2009 than a constitutional amendment and the re-election of a president. With the outcome rides the future of democracy and socialism in Venezuela and the hopes and aspirations of hundreds of millions who look to President Chavez as an example in their revolutionary struggle to overthrow militarists and depression-racked capitalist states. January 8, 2009 >> In what way is this relevant? >> What new processes did he contribute to inventing? > > Paul C: > > What Soros, or any capitalist, buys ownership in a firm they thereby > have a role in firm decision-making and that includes the types of > technologies which will be bought or developed by the firm.  His > 'contribution' is his money - without which the process of invention > couldn't continue. > > It is relevant to your claim that Soros is parasitic and Ford was > not. > > In solidarity, Jerry > _______________________________________________ > ope mailing list > > > _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

ope mailing list
Received on Wed Jan 28 09:12:29 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Jan 31 2009 - 00:00:04 EST