From Octubre
January 2005

Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations

The X Plenary Meeting of the Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations met in Ecuador, which has undertaken a heavy agenda. In a fraternal atmosphere, in which the Ecuadorian comrades have displayed an extraordinary activity and created optimum conditions, plenary sessions were held to discuss and analyze political-ideological problems both on a national level for each organization, as on an international level.

Having discussed and examined the balance sheet of the tasks carried out since the previous plenary meeting, we moved to discuss the situation in Venezuela and the opportunist role in all aspects carried out by the organization Red Flag, which in the whole process of convulsions and struggles has gone over to the side of reaction. Organizational measures were presented toward that organization, which at the right moment will be made public. For the moment, we are bringing to light the document approved, document which we want to be spread widely. Thus, we will not only delineate ourselves from opportunism which once again, we make clear to certain sectors determined to link us to BR that our organization and the International Conference have always been clear about the situation and the need to fight against those positions.

Thus has been done, with a great deal of patience and more firmness, in various bilateral and multilateral meetings until this Plenary of December 2004.

Finally a new Coordinating Committee was elected and set the site of the next Conference and resolutions were adopted on the situation in Iraq, Palestine, the war in the Ivory Coast, against the European Constitution, the FTAA and the Sahara…

During the stay in Ecuador, the parties and delegations present placed a plaque on the statue erected in memory of comrade Jaime Hurtado, murdered by assassins of the oligarchy. This was an emotional act in the plaza of the city where Jaime was born, Esmeraldas, with offerings of flowers and emotional speeches of various political organizations. Raúl Marco spoke in the name of the present delegations.

On the Situation in Venezuela

Within the International Conference of Marxist-Leninists Parties and Organizations there has been taken up, in the context of the debate on other questions, the situation of Venezuela and the positions and actions of the Red Party Flag.

That treatment of the problem has led us to the analysis of the political situation in Venezuela so well as the relations among the fraternal parties and the Norms of the Conference themselves.

That discussion, until now, was not carried out in a specific way, focusing on the phenomena in a multilateral way and to arrive at conclusions.

Meanwhile, the events in Venezuela have been developing at great speed and their importance goes beyond the borders and affects international politics, particularly in Latin America.

For these reasons the X Plenary of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninists Parties and Organizations assumes the responsibility to dealing with this question and taking positions.

I. In Venezuela a social and political process is developing that involves to millions of the popular masses, the working class, the peasantry, the youth; all social classes, various parties and social and political organizations.

That process has been taking place for years, but recently, its intensity and development have had massive dimensions and a high degree of conflict. That situation calls on us the revolutionary proletarians, the men and women of the left, the democrats, the patriots, the social fighters to take part, to express our point of view and above all, to manifest solidarity and support to the progressive forces that are confronting U.S. imperialism and the Venezuelan oligarchy.

II. The sharpening of the crisis of every kind that Venezuela experienced had as results, in little more than ten years, the political break and the confusion of the traditional political parties and large expressions of the popular mobilization against exploitation and imperialist- bourgeois oppression.

The COPEI and AD (Social-Christians and Social-Democrats) that alternated in power were shaken by the crisis, decomposed to the bone by corruption and displaced from government by populist expressions, originating from the oligarchic sectors themselves.

The neo-liberal policies promoted by imperialism and its allies, the Venezuelan big bourgeoisie, have sharpened the crisis and accentuated the dependence.

The policies of privatization, repression and deceit, the deindustrialization of the country have provoked an increase in unemployment, a greater impoverishment of the workers and have promoted discontent and yearning for change among the popular masses and the youth.

III. Since the so-called "Caracazo" in February of 1989, through the military uprisings of 1992, there has taken place an important development of the struggle of the laboring masses and the youth in Venezuela that aimed at the defeat of the government and aspired to social change.

The struggle of the Venezuelan people had social and political expressions of great importance: this was manifested in the strikes of the workers, in the street battles of the youth, in great mobilizations against corruption, in actions for freedom and democracy, in the search for political alternatives, in the formation of blocs and alliances in the popular sphere, in the participation in the elections with their own alternatives.

We can affirm without making a mistake that Venezuela is undergoing a general increase in the struggle of the masses, that the cities and countryside were the scene of confrontation between the yearnings for freedom of those at the bottom and the anti-popular and anti-national policies of the bourgeoisie and imperialism.

IV. In 1998 an important sector of the Venezuelan people, of the democratic political and left-wing parties and organizations took part in the electoral process with a different alternative. They supported the candidacy of Colonel Hugo Chávez and an alternative proposal to those of the traditional political parties.

In 1992 Hugo Chávez led a military uprising against the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez, was persecuted and imprisoned for several years; he represented for a good part of the Venezuelan people the military rebel who rose up against corruption and the hunger-producing politics of the oligarchy, who meant hope and an expectation of change.

Chávez put forth a combative discourse against corruption and privileges, of open confrontation with the traditional parties; he emerged with a proposal of change, he proposed to put an end to social inequalities and to confront the great problems of Venezuela and its people.

The yearning for change of the popular masses, the exhaustion and discredit of the bourgeois parties, the increase in the social struggle were channeled toward the alternative electoral proposal by Chávez and he won the elections in the first round.

That victory awoke great hopes and expectations in Venezuela and beyond its borders, in particular in Latin America.

V. In Government, Chávez proposed some political changes; he called for the Constituent Assembly and in that way institutionalized some social gains for the laboring masses, some democratic norms and, to some degree, new roads for changes in the economic and social life emerge.

That new Constitution does not change the social order, the capitalist institutions are consecrated as are the political norms, but evidently this means important advances in the Venezuelan legislation, in the force of democratic political rights, of the public liberties.

VI. The government of Chávez had and counts on important material resources coming from the international price of the petroleum.

With those means it has promoted deeds that benefit of the most impoverished sectors of Venezuelan society and has succeeded in increasing its social base.

It is carrying out a campaign to eliminate illiteracy, strengthen the public schools and allow access to these by millions of Venezuelans who did not have it, provided the popular sectors with access to health care, promoted a new agrarian reform that affects State and unproductive lands and those of the large landlords.

VII. Chávez organized a political party (the Bolivarian Movement of the V Republic) that allowed it, in alliance with other organizations, to win the elections. That party is not an instrument of the government and of the leadership of the masses. It is drowned in ideological dispersion and in the webs of corruption.

Other parties and political organizations of the left that take part in the government have little meaning and scarce capacity for carrying out the social and political process that is developing in great dimensions.

Chávez has achieved a good level of communication with the people and the youth, he is the indisputable leader of the process.

VIII. The government of Chávez has not changed the nature of the economic and political regime of Venezuela, but it is affecting, to some degree, the interests of the big bourgeoisie and imperialism and is favoring the most impoverished sectors of society.

It has been firm in opposition to Plan Colombia, to the FTAA, to the war against Iraq and it is playing an important role within OPEC, in defense of the interests of the oil producing countries.

Regarding the designs of imperialism and in spite of the eagerness of the oligarchy and the Venezuelan reactionaries, it holds high the contribution and mutual aid with the Cuban revolution.

These facts have provoked the rage of the U.S. monopoly groups, of the Yankee government, of the oligarchy and the traditional political parties, of the reactionaries who have been developing from the start of the Chávez government, a ferocious attack that is trying to oust it.

For that purpose, they have managed to involve in anti- Chávez activity a good part of the middle layers of the population, the professionals and a sector of the working class. Those social sectors long for security, they fear the rise of the oppressed, and they are feeding their discontent due to the manifestations of the crisis that is shaking Venezuela.

The actions of imperialism are being carried out by all means, legal and illegal.

A great part of these policies are created by the big media, the press, radio and television that hour after hour, fabricated events and attacked Chávez, his government and its work.

It is instigating and penetrating the barracks in the search of soldiers who will openly take up opposition to Chávez and utilizing them like a spearhead; it is trying to subvert the armed forces and organize a blow against Chávez.

It is forming, destroying and reconstituting social and political alliances in order to unify all the right-wing and reactionary forces.

The visible head of the Opposition is the Chamber of Commerce which represents the guilds of businessmen and bankers and the upper hierarchy of the Catholic Church. It also involves the traditional parties, the trade union bureaucracy; the renegades from the political formations of the left; some formerly left-wing and revolutionary political organizations.

The Bush government, the U.S. Embassy and, the CIA are the puppet masters who handle and direct the actions of the Venezuelan reactionaries. The Cuban exiles, the Colombian paramilitaries also form part of the forces that are intensely active against the government of Chávez.

On the other side are the popular masses, the working class, the peasantry and the underemployed, the oppressed and broad layers of the youth who are taking as their own the work of the government.

In Venezuela there is now taking place a profound and general social and political process that is polarizing society. The struggle expresses itself on all fronts: in the sphere of ideas, in political confrontation, in the streets and plazas.

IX. This social and political confrontation has been developing since 1998 and is taking place in different fronts and levels.

In the electoral plane the Government of Chávez has called 6 elections which have each shown the support of the Venezuelan people for his government.

He has called a Constituent Assembly and elaborated a New Political Charter.

He was subjected to a new presidential election and was ratified by a majority of the population. He is organizing the population into Bolivarian Circles and in that way he is building popular support for his government.

The opposition has participated actively in these processes and each time they have been defeated at the polls.

Organized by the U.S. government and the CIA, by the church hierarchy, by the Chamber of Commerce and with the complicity of a group of officers, a coup d'etat took place in April of 2002 that arrested Chávez and formed a new government. The poor of Caracas and the ranks of the Armed Forces restored the government and defeated the intended coup.

In December of 2002 and January of 2003 a bosses lockout was organized that tried to bring down the Venezuelan economy and this to oust Chávez. It failed in its attempt.

Using a constitutional recourse the Opposition pressed by all means for the convocation of a referendum recalling the mandate of President Chávez. That took place in August of 2004 and, once again, Chávez was ratified by an overwhelming majority.

The reactionary forces did not yield in their attempts to defend the interests of the oligarchy and imperialism and they will continue in their work.

The popular, patriotic, democratic, left-wing and revolutionary forces will continue forward, pushing the process and defending it.

In Venezuela one of the great battles against imperialism is being waged and we the proletarian revolutionaries use this situation to support the workers and the youth, the government of Chávez to the extent that he perseveres on a patriotic and democratic line.

X. The government of Chávez is opposed to the United States and its imperialist policies. It is evident that that confrontation is circumscribed to specific spheres of dependence and that questions exist that are not touched upon and in which the proposals of the international monopolies are continuing in force.

In any case, by its attitude towards the national interests one can characterize the government of Chávez as patriotic nationalist.

It is a government that has been legitimized in seven electoral processes, ratified by the will of the majority of the Venezuelan people.

We Marxist-Leninists are clear that in Venezuela a revolution is not developing much less a social revolution of the proletariat. The government of Chávez is not a revolutionary government. It is a matter of a democratic revolutionary process. It is a democratic and patriotic process that is mobilizing millions of people which could develop toward a social revolution. For that to occur one must develop the subjective conditions, particularly the political and ideological leadership of the party of the proletariat on the revolutionary process to the seizure of power.

XI. The Venezuelan process is unfolding in an international situation characterized by the recovery and development of the revolutionary movement of the working class and peoples, by the sharp crisis of imperialism.

In Latin America in particular, the events in Venezuela have a significant importance. The ruling classes, the reactionaries and the opportunists characterize Chávez as a "communist," as a puppet of Fidel, as anti-democratic and authoritarian. We the peoples, the workers and youth, the progressives and democrats, the revolutionaries and communists, understand the struggle of the Venezuelan people as part of ours fight for freedom.

XII. In this process, the Red Party Flag has taken an active part.

It has characterized the government of Chávez as an instrument of the finance capital and proponents of neo-liberal policies.

It maintains that it is social resentment that raises the revanchism of the impoverished sectors and is provoking clashes among Venezuelans.

It claims that is a anti-democratic, pro-fascist government that is utilizing demagogy, populism, paramilitary groups of the masses (the Bolivarian circles), and the armed forces for repression.

It participated in the presidential elections in which Chávez was ratified, supporting Arias, the candidate of the Yankees, the right wing and reaction.

It played an important role in the coup of April of 2001, forming part of the conspiracy that tried to oust Chávez.

It was allied with Democratic Action and the bureaucracies in the union elections.

It was present and active in the bosses’ lockout of 2003.

It worked actively in the collection of signatures and in the referendum to revoke Chávez.

It is part of the National Coordinator of the Opposition. In all these activities, it objectively coincides with the policies and actions of imperialism, of the CIA and the U.S. Embassy, of the oligarchy, the Chambers of Commerce and bankers, the top layers of the Catholic Church, the Social-Christian party and social-democracy. It is on the side of the enemies of the people.

XIII. We the proletarian revolutionaries have the responsibility to organize and make the revolution. In that activity we endeavor to organize the working class, the other working classes, by educating them politically and leading them to the social and political struggle, in an uninterrupted process that allows us to accumulate forces and victoriously confront imperialism and capitalism, to defeat them and build socialism.

The process of the accumulation of forces is not a simple question. It demands that we communists involve ourselves actively in social and political life, to keep in mind the social movement and the relation of forces, to establish a policy of unity with all classes and social and political sectors interested in the revolution, to form agreements and commitments with other forces with the objective of confronting the main enemy. In all these activities we proletarian revolutionaries start from the interests of the working class and people, from Marxist-Leninist positions and we take care not to mistake the road and the target of our actions. Under no circumstances can we place ourselves on the side of imperialism against the masses, on the side of the ruling classes against the peoples.

XIV. It is clear to everyone and every organization that U.S. imperialism, the government of Bush, its apparatus of control and espionage are conspiring openly against the government of Chávez and that they are utilizing all kinds of resources and methods.

Likewise it is sufficiently clear that the Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of the big bourgeoisie; that the traditional parties, the COPEI and AD, are instruments of the ruling classes.

Red Flag not only fights the government of Chávez but is explicitly united with the activity of the reactionary and pro-imperialist forces. It is part of the National Coordinator of the Opposition.

XV. The international nature of the working class, the struggle against imperialism and capitalism, the immediate, medium-range and strategic objectives of the revolutionary proletariat make the Communist Party a detachment of the world revolution in each country, in which they are waging a revolutionary struggle.

The Marxist -Leninist Party is the firm and persistent fighter for proletarian internationalism.

The class nature of the revolutionary party of the proletariat demands its right to actively participate in the analysis of the international situation, to take part in the cause of the working class and peoples in all countries, to express its support and solidarity with the fighters for freedom and democracy, of joining its forces and those of the working class and peoples in the respective countries and on an international scale for the fight against imperialism.

We, the parties and organizations which make up the International Conference, are fundamentally fulfilling this responsibility.

In the concrete case of Venezuela, the voice of the proletarian revolutionaries has strongly condemned the aggression of imperialism, its attempts to oust by force the democratic government of Hugo Chávez; it has saluted and supported the people of Venezuela in their heroic struggles for self-determination and the defense of their sovereignty.

XVI. The fulfillment of its internationalist responsibilities by the Marxist-Leninist parties does not in any way mean intervening in the authority of each of them to elaborate the revolutionary policy in their own country. If points of view differ from the opinions and resolutions of the party in its country, frank and fraternal discussion is necessary that will help in the clarification of the problems.

One cannot impose a policy on the parties in their respective countries, but in the same way, one cannot reject outright the opinions of other organizations and parties. We communists can and should debate our appreciations, we are obliged to defend Marxism-Leninism and its application in the revolutionary struggle, to demarcate positions from those of revisionism and opportunism. This is also one of the consistent practices of proletarian internationalism.

In this respect, the Norms of the Conference indicate:

"Things are clear: Our Movement and the general Conference respect and should be respected by the rules of each member party. Likewise our parties and organizations recognize and respect the rules of the each one and at the same time they should recognize and respect the rules of the others. But it should also be clear that the formation of opinions, both on the international situation and on that of an individual country, the expression of an opinion on the situation and the work, to formulate criticisms or take collective decisions, is not wrong. On the contrary, it should be considered a right and a responsibility. In the same way, each party can criticize the work of another in its own country and observe how it applies the collective decisions. These are the minimum conditions for an international movement and this cannot be considered an interference in its internal matters".

XVII. Regarding the situation in Venezuela and the political activities of Red Flag, there have been discussions of a bilateral, multilateral and regional character and even at the level of the Conference. Those debates have allowed us to understand better that reality.

The X Plenum of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninists Parties and Organizations, on discussing this problem, expresses its solidarity with the people of Venezuela in defense of their sovereignty and self-determination and rejects the intervention of U.S. imperialism and the reactionary policy of the oligarchy; it expresses its conviction that the working class and people will find the certain road of national and social liberation and, they will be endowed with their vanguard, the revolutionary party of the proletariat.

X Plenum of the Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations

Ecuador, December of 2004

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