From En Marcha
Organ of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador
February 1-7, 2002

Who wants to overthrow Hugo Chavez?

U.S. imperialism is constantly intervening in the internal affairs of Venezuela, in order to impose its mandates.

Every day and on all the media there is evidence of the campaign that, on the international plane and with ever greater strength, has been unleashed in Venezuela against the government of Col. Hugo Chavez, to create the political conditions for his downfall.

There is a campaign orchestrated by U.S. imperialism and the Venezuelan reactionary big bourgeoisie, to which – in that country – they have added the Episcopal Conference and the big means of communication such as the newspapers El Universal, El Nacional, El Mundo, Tal Cual, the chain Globovisión and Radio Caracas (these latter of Colombian capital), seeking the support of sectors of the middle classes. According to accusations, this conspiracy is being carried out by a Task Force made up of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the State Department and the Pentagon, coordinated and supervised by the Director of the National Security Council, who reports to President Bush on the steps being taken.

As has happened in the past, when someone refuses to follow the script written by the United States, they are demonized with the ghost of communism. To that old strategy they have added the tales about the government of Chavez.

A few months ago, the Yankee daily "The Washington Times" published a communiqué of the so-called "National Emergency Board" which spoken specifically of a supposed " communist invasion and intervention, concealed by the Government, using an employment plan that destroys the Venezuelan worker, replacing him by Chinese and Cuban agents to the detriment of Security and National Defense," and further accusing it of manipulation "of the history and symbols of the Fatherland, in favor of the pseudo-Bolivarian revolution, by the President, placing figures such as Che Guevara and Mao Tse Tung ahead of our historic national leaders...". The communiqué of this Board ended by asking Col. Chavez to resign. The statement closely resembles those regularly put out by the Cuban gusanos in Miami.

But what is happening in Venezuela?

In various aspects of national and international politics, Hugo Chavez has distanced himself from the axis defined by the United States. And not just that, from time to time it has taken opposite positions.

The U.S. has made the establishment of the FTAA [Free Trade Association of the Americas] an urgent economic and political proposal for the region, which the Venezuelan president has openly opposed, to the point that in a recent meeting of Caribbean countries he asked them to adopt a similar position. In response to the imperialist aggression which is Plan Colombia, the Venezuelan leader has also expressed his disagreement, as he also did regarding the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan; he has also criticized the evil work of the International Monetary Fund. Moreover, while the United States has been trying to isolate various Arab countries such as Iraq and Libya, Chavez made a trip through these countries in order to strengthen the bonds and coordinate actions regarding oil politics. Of course, none of this pleases the Yankees or the more reactionary sectors of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie.

Does Chavez act this way because he is at the head of a revolutionary government? In no way. There has been no revolution in Venezuela. Chavez represents a faction of the bourgeoisie itself; but it is a less powerful sector, a group which formerly was not directly involved in the management of the state administration but which, for decades, have been displaced and today feel affected, therefore they were interested in ousting the government. We can definitely say that this is not a classical government of the bourgeoisie.

Chavez has assumed an anti-oligarchic discourse; in his electoral campaigns he has targeted that sector of the bourgeoisie that has dominated that country for decades. In his actions we find nationalist attitudes of resistance to foreign domination, and this is very important; that is what we support, because these positions contribute to the struggle of the people against imperialist domination. However, one must be sufficiently objective to see that, in his politics, Chavez has also approved laws to protect the interests of the banks; his policies have also included the adoption of privatizations in certain areas, which does not exactly make him an opponent of neo-liberalism. That is the contradiction in Chavez's politics.

It is because of what we have just mentioned that many problems that affect the popular sectors have not been addressed, much less resolved. Poverty and hunger are growing in Venezuela, unemployment and corruption are continuing, the crisis is getting sharper and the social effects are not greater only due to the great production and export of oil, which last year benefited from the increase in the price of oil on the international market. If we look at it as a whole, the Venezuelan economy is among those that experienced the lowest growth in the year 2001. All this has been used to justify the campaign unleashed by the oligarchy to overthrow Chavez.

In fact, as we said earlier, that politics of resistance and independence that Chavez has taken up in various forms is of great use for the development of the revolutionary movement, not only in Venezuela but also on the international level.

In Venezuela the crisis is sharpening, but it has specific connotations. There is the activity of imperialism and the oligarchic sectors that want to put an end to the Chavez government and, on the other hand, there is an important sector of the population that supports him and is mobilizing for him. Confronted with this reactionary attack, Chavez has radicalized his discourse. When the bosses' lockout took place at the end of last year, they correctly pointed out that "the revolution has been peaceful, but we are the ones who have the arms," which shows that Venezuela can become the scene of a civil war. In this case, the question is: can we be on the side of imperialism? For us the matter is clear, our main enemy is imperialism and we will stand in solidarity with those actions that resist the action of the imperialist powers.

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