With the voting of July 30 on the fraudulent Constituent Assembly, the Maduro administration took one more step on his anti-democratic and repressive turn, of denying the most basic democratic rights of the Venezuelan workers and people.

By UST-Venezuela.

 

If there was something missing on the list of the repressive and reactionary measures – like the suspension of regional elections (governors), military courts trying civilians, the disregarding of Amazonas’ deputies at the beginning of 2016, and the disregarding of the National Assembly; and in the present the destitution of Mayors, of which 8 are in jail, plus the repression to the protests that left over 100 dead from April to the present; the attacks on workers’ organizations like suspension of Union elections without a new date in major companies like Sidor and PDVSA; the ban to mobilize and protest; the more than 5000 detentions and over 500 political prisoners – now we have to add the establishment of an illegal Constituent Assembly, formed by leaders of the PSUV like Iris Varela, Cília Flores, Delcy Rodríguez, Diosdado Cabello, Isturitz, Willis Rangel, and a long list of unpresentable ones, who did not even make a campaign explaining what they would change of the Constitution of 1999, and leaving outside all those who did campaign but are not part of the PSUV apparatus.

As we already denounced in several articles, the fraudulent NCA will have free hands to attack popular conquests and rights. On the same election day, more than a ten of deads crowned the “party of the people”. Before the establishment of the NCA, the government carried out the house arrest of Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledesma. On Sunday 30, in the evening, Maduro announced that “the first measure of the Constituent will be to restructure the Public Ministry to have justice again.” Diosdado [Cabello] has already announced that “the days of the National Assembly are numbered,” confirming that the Constituent of the PSUV is not proposed to solve the problems of misery, hunger, or medicine shortage. From the UST, we call to the broadest unity to confront this anti-democratic monstrosity that proposes to preserve Maduro and the PSUV in power indefinitely and attack the people’s rights.

The MUD and Its “Democratic” Mask

The MUD of bourgeois opposition parties “climbed” over the popular outrage, trying to lead the protests. In fact, it appears as the only political leadership the government polarizes against, trying to cover up the real polarization in Venezuela, which is between a government only supported by its friends of the Boli-bourgeoisie, the Bolivarian Armed Forces, and the State bureaucracy, on one side, and the workers, students and youth, and a broad popular segment of the population on the other.

The fact that a bourgeois leadership, with a neoliberal economic program, anti-workers and anti-popular, which has relied on coups and repression, to now be relying on the protests and “democratic demands” of the people is not by its own merit or because the masses “turn to the right,” but because of the sad role of the so-called “left”, which unconditionally supported Chavism and its bourgeois government for years. This is why, before the most dreadful crisis that affects the people, there is no strong alternative to the polarization MUD-regime.

The MUD is a bourgeois leadership, counter-revolutionary and pro-imperialist, which does not even pose to defeat the government through popular mobilization. Despite a minority of it showing to be “strong”, the majority sectors –like Democratic Action now, affirming that they would run for governor– push for a dialogue and agreements with the government. Thus, the civic stoppages have little incidence among the important factories or workplaces, because they are called only through social media; its Union leaders do not dare to organize assemblies. This is why the Guevara or the Borges try to put limits to the mobilization: to not lose control of it. And, in fact, the mobilization intensity decreased.

All of them follow the policy dictated by imperialism: to push harder each time for an electoral consensual outcome. The “interfering” measures of imperialism are nothing more than a strong pressure and “sanctions.” The puppets of the OAS, like Almagro and other reactionary presidents like Temer, Macri, and Peña Nieto, follow the same imperial orders.

While the MUD waits for a stronger intervention of the US and its puppets in the crisis, the socialists of the UST denounce that nothing good will come out of this rotten pan. Workers can only trust our own independent organization, and know that our strength resides in the mobilization and methods of struggle that we have learned over the years: stoppages and a General Strike organized from our work and study places.

The Shameful Role of the “Left”

The Great Patriotic Pole and most part of the Latin American and the world left, raise the defense of Maduro and its Constituent. They argue that the government and regime of the “Socialism of the XXI Century” are being attacked because of its anti-imperialist policy, and to take the oil reserves from them. Maduro, then, could use the Constituent to defend the sovereignty and independence, and to radicalize the measures against imperialism, attacking the “economic war” against Venezuela, according to the statements of the President himself.

However, over all these years and despite the speeches, there was no rupture with the bourgeoisie nor with imperialism. On the contrary, Chavism deepened the oil rent model: today, the oil income represents 96% of the oil export dollars. Chavism consolidated and increased the dependence of the oil export to the US, which is an income of 30 million a day.

By the way, the oil multinationals like Chevron have granted over 40% of the oil extraction by the “mixed” companies, which are not even audited. Over all these years, the country was de-industrialized, and far from “spreading” petroleum, this measure favored the speculation with cheap dollars. Today, the industry represents only 14% of the GDP (in 1998 it was 18%). The basic industries are bankrupted and almost completely paralyzed, as denounced by the workers. The fall of oil production is alarming: almost 1 million less of oil barrels per day, and refineries like Puerto La Cruz’s have been paralyzed for months. But the Venezuela’s dependence of imperialism is clearly seen in the huge debt with imperialist banks and vulture funds; the bonds sale at extremely low prices, with relief of up to 70%; and the punctual payment of the fraudulent external debt, which keeps our people from eating and heal because of lack of dollars to import food and medicines. Compared to 2014, there is a 65% less of food, medicine, and consumables imports. Will the NCA break with imperialism? Will it expropriate the multinationals that steal our oil and natural resources? Will it imprison the ones that, from the government, carry out an “economic war” to the people? The numbers speak clearly: in 2012, workers had a minimum wage equivalent to US$400; in the present, the minimum wage represents $10-$30 dollars (depending on if it is the official or parallel dollar). The catastrophe for the working people is evident. Childhood and women mortality during births has increased (according to the official numbers by the Ministry of Health, 29% and 65% respectively, between 2015-2016). By defending the government of Maduro, the Chavist and Latin American left is an accomplice of its brutal adjustment.

The “Left” Supports the Fraud and Lies to the Venezuelan People

Maduro and the CNE [National Electoral Committee] announced, on Sunday evening, “a great voting of the Venezuelan people,” affirming there were “over 8 million” voters, and according to Jorge Rodríguez, Chavism “recovered and surpassed its historical number of votes.” Those numbers, made-up by the CNE, have just been denied by the company Smartmatic, technology and software provider for elections since 2004, for being “manipulated information.” The voting centers, pretty empty, confirm the manipulation regarding the number of voters. With the pressure and threatens, as well as with the participation of bureaucrats and the “hard-core of Chavism,” the estimate of voters is 3 to 4 million, no more than that. A series of denunciations by several candidates became public today, including some of the PPT [Patria Para Todos – Fatherland for All], part of the GPP, as well as little transparency, and they demand an “auditing.” The regime first used and then betrayed its own base and Chavist left candidates, calling to vote for the leaders of the PSU dependence of, and leaving the rank and file candidates out. Will the world left support this fraud that they call “popular will”?

But, beyond the numbers, what has been happening for a long time now is the abandonment of the people by this government and regime. The misery wages, the shortage, the hunger, the lack of medicines and gas, the price-release of products, together with all the other evils, generated the mobilization and protests of more than just the “middle-class segments.” It is the popular neighborhoods, like Valle del Chuy, Catia, and January 23, in Caracas, among others, and Táchira, Maracay, Anzoátegui, and San Feliz in Ciudad Guayana (Bolivar), etc., who are mobilized.

The “Coups” that the “Left” Denounces and the Ones that It Does not See

As we said above, the polarization, fed year after year by the bourgeois opposition of the MUD as much as by the Chavist government, has changed: it is the workers, the popular segments, and the youth and students who joined the protests and confront the government in several ways. There is a people rebelled against the regime and the government. Today, most Venezuelans want to government to leave, and a majority does not support either bourgeois pole politically.

Maduro responded to all protests with repression. The National Guard, a sector of the “groups” that are armed and many times supported by the repressive forces, attacked the protests, generating acts of violence that left over 100 deads. According to the Public Ministry, around 65% of those deads were caused by official bodies or by those groups. There are hundreds of young people and students being tried by military courts, something that is forbidden by international agreements.

This bourgeois government defends the bourgeoisie’s businesses, be it the traditional or Boli-bourgeoisie’s, or the oil and mining multinationals’. As a way to preserve itself, after losing the elections for the National Assembly, in December 2015, it dismissed 3 deputies of the state of Amazonas who guaranteed the absolute majority to the opposition, and then the Supreme Justice Court held the NA in contempt and disregarded it [as a power].

This “left” who denounced a “coup” or “parliamentary coup” to Dilma in Brazil now supports Maduro and his Constituent, as well as the repression to the “right”. This left is abandoning the traditional flags of the left of defending the democratic rights under any bourgeois government, to raise the flags of the world right instead, accusing the acts of students and popular sectors of “terrorist and vandals” when they mobilize and confront the GNB repression [Bolivarian National Guard]. This left is an accomplice of a bourgeois government that, to stay in power, imposes a fraudulent Constituent, represses, and kills without any consideration.

We Must Reject and Confront the Fraudulent Constituent: Out with Maduro!

From the UST, we say this government has to leave because it has destroyed the country, and the workers’ and poor people’s lives. Thus, we have no doubt that the “Out with Maduro!” is not only the will of the majority of the Venezuelan people, as it is a necessity to start solving the serious problems in the country. To confront the Constituent –if it is established– and its resolutions will be part of the struggle to end Nicolás Maduro’s government.

Thus, we pose the broadest unity of action against the government. We call to support all struggles of our people, in unity and with a program that expresses a workers’, popular, and peasants’ solution for the crisis. We defend the full independence of workers from the MUD or any other bourgeois, military, or bureaucratic leadership. We propose assemblies, meetings, and all form of organization that allows voting the actions and methodology for the different protests and struggles. The UST will participate in unitary struggles, with a program that poses:

Out with Maduro! For a General Strike, voted in assemblies and meetings in factories and work and study places, to unify all struggles in a “Venezolanazo” until this government falls!

Let’s confront the fraudulent, illegal Constituent!

Free and Democratic General Election!

Freedom to every political prisoner!

To end hunger and misery, we propose:

Immediate suspension of the external debt payments: money for food and medicines!

Health and education for our people!

For a dignified wage! Automatic wage increase according to the inflation rate!

Price freezing, controlled by workers and consumers!

State investment in food and medicine production!

Social Auditing of all State movements of money: reserves, loans to FONDEM, external debts, money sent abroad, and national banks for government’s businessmen and agents!

Confiscation of all goods and funds of the corrupt ones! Repatriation of capitals! Jail to the corrupt ones!

100% Venezuelan oil! End of mixed companies!

Nationalization of all multinational companies!

No to the Miner Arch! Mining Plan discussed and agreed with the communities!

Expropriation of the Boli-bourgeoisie companies, enriched through fraud!

Recovery of basic, national industries!

Neither Maduro and PSUV nor the MUD! For a Socialist Workers’ Government!

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Translation: Sofía Ballack.