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 The following text is a statement of the Plataforma del Pueblo en Lucha y el Chavismo Crítico (in which the UST participates) to reject President Maduro’s call for a Constituent Assembly. In our opinion, this statement is a step to raise a workers’ independent flag before the “constituent” farce by the government and the PSUV. As Socialists, we will continue to defend that it is necessary to prepare a general strike to take out this government.

 

The Plataforma del Pueblo en Lucha y el Chavismo Crítico strongly rejects the attempt by Maduro’s government to impose a “Constituent” fraud without any true popular sovereignty.

The first thing we want to make clear as the Plataforma del Pueblo en Lucha y el Chavismo Crítico is our absolute conviction that the constituent issue is not a merely legal matter, and much less one restricted to constitutional “experts”; it is essentially a political issue, whose authentic protagonist should be the working people. This is the reason why the aforementioned “proposal” is an absolute contradiction. On the one hand, because it is not a proposal but an imposition of Maduro’s government, who is taking the initiative and not consulting with the original power – the people, if we agree or not with the “constituent”. On the other hand, because Maduro’s is a delegitimized government with a high popular rejection, which lacks leadership skills and the necessary confidence to be in charge of a genuine constituent process; which also applies a brutal package of adjustment; represses and kills us by starvation. He is the one that represents the bone of contention in the terrible social tragedy we live in. His roguery and nerve are so limitless that he tries to impose a restrictive, corporative constituent, imposing also its unilateral electoral base, to guarantee more than a half of the delegates in his favor, turning this constituent into a vulgar copy of the PSUV’s Congresses and “the homeland”, managed according to the leaders’ will.

Through this “proposal for a Constituent,” the government tries to avoid its responsibility in the catastrophe that the Venezuelan people is living. It is a maneuver to distract the attention from our real problems such as starvation, lack of food, inflation and misery wages. Besides, a true Constituent is a process of Permanent Revolution whose decisive role is exercised by the people on a daily basis through the debate of fundamental matters of the country, not in epileptic events desperately created by the leaders that relegate this process, and to which democracy is only an empty phrase and the people is an instrument for their manipulation. Also, we should ask ourselves if the main problem that we live is because of the Constitution of the 99 or because of a terrible and shameless administration in favor of capital.

The Constituent is not a “superior” instrument for “peace” either, nor to develop “a new productive model”. Strictly, the government seeks to advance in totalitarian measures to continue to restrict the democratic freedoms; to change the rules of the game to perpetuate themselves in power through a tailor-made “Constituent”, and not to carry out any electoral process -not even in unions- because they know they will be defeated.

We claim the right to protest and we bet on people’s mobilization

We categorically claim the right of the people to protest and mobilize for their own interests and separated from both leaders’ sides, as this dramatic situation affects the people and has a daily impact on their daily life, which is what makes it victim of the lack of food and medicines, of insecurity, corruption and its increasingly precarious living conditions, under the absolute responsibility of this famine-causing, corrupt and repressive government.

We affirm that a popular rebellion has been growing –which emerges without any ties or political identity with the MUD– as a genuine result of the despair, [feeling of] orphanhood and popular indignation; a result of people’s accumulated rage before the political fraud of which it has been a victim at the hands of those who call themselves “sons of Chávez”; because of their recurring lies and the terrible adjustment by Maduro’s government.

There is evidence that the people have been gradually losing their fear and getting out of the tight control and blackmail by different mechanisms planned by the government (the Claps, Carnet de la Patria, etc.). This is confirmed by the demonstrations made in Cumaná, Ciudad Bolívar, Puerto La Cruz, Maturín, Maracaibo, Merida, Valera, San Cristóbal, Maracay, Valencia and La Vega, occurred in Caracas during 2016, and, more recently in 2017, El Valle, San Martín, La Vega, El Paraíso, Barrio 5 de Julio in Petare, Mérida, San Cristóbal, Valencia, Los Teques, Guarenas, Altos Mirándinos, Catia, San Bernardino, as well as other expressions of rebellions and demonstrations that are becoming a constant.

We defend the right of the protests that are taking place in the country. We encourage the Venezuelan people, including the MUD and the PSUV-GPP’s bases, not to serve as “cannon fodder” in disputes over the control of oil incomes and the political power for its own interests, maintained by two pro-capitalist, corrupt and servile leaders, which have no connection or accordance with the interests and expectations of the working people. It is not worth to spill a single drop of Venezuelan blood for these leaders!

We categorically refuse to disqualify these social outbreaks as “vandalic actions”, “terrorist acts” or “pro-coup”, like the government has been doing from the official media, falling into the reactionary and hypocritical discourse of those who also called “delinquents” and “subversive” to the people who took the streets on February 27, 1989.[1] Even the MUD takes distance from the protests and lootings –which are the result of the anger and frustration of the poor ones– exposing their anti-popular character.

A social outbreak is a process that reflects the people’s despair, caused by starvation, unemployment, and uncertainty, which leads millions of workers, youth and popular segments to loot, to access in any way they can the food that is being snatched from them every day by businessmen. This is a fact that does not limit to legal, political or moral formalities because it is a difficult and dramatic expression of the popular frustration and outrage.

Any other interpretation of these facts is a falsehood, and it corresponds to a bourgeois idealization of history. We do not make exegesis to death or human tragedy, but these social outbreaks confirm through its strength and harshness, without any hypocrisy, Marx’s phrase: “Violence is the midwife of history“.

Before the rebellion and popular demonstrations, the revolutionaries could never choose to calm down or attempt “to send the people back home”, because to be mobilized is the only way to guarantee that the leaders will not relegate the people from vital decisions on the country’s future, of which only the people is the true owner.

Lastly, we call the Plataforma de Defensa de la Constitución, the Plataforma por la Nulidad del Arco Minero del Orinoco, the Plataforma por la Auditoría Pública y Ciudadana, the leftist organizations, the unions, and the popular and student organizations, to unitarily call for a picket-press conference at the Prosecutor’s Office, rejecting the farse of the Constituent Assembly.

We consider necessary to organize –at the core of these organizations and driven by them– rank and file assemblies, meetings, and forums, to discuss the actions to be taken in a unitarily way, to express our rejection, to prepare a national struggle against this fraudulent and bureaucratic “call”, and to face the adjustment that is affecting the poor people.

In the name of La Plataforma del Pueblo en Lucha y del Chavismo Crítico:

Sirtra Salud Dtto Capital

Unidad Socialista de Trabajadores (UST)

SINATRA –UCV

PARTIDO SOCIALISMO Y LIBERTAD

Programa “Tripalium, Memorias de la Clase”

Marea Socialista

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Translation: Misty M.

Notes:

[1] Date of the “Caracazo”, massive popular revolt against the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez, who imposed a brutal neo-liberal adjustment to the Venezuelan people.