From the news we receive about the turbulent events in Venezuela by the Australian media one would think that the Bolivarian Government is a dictatorship which, understandably, is being resisted by their people.
It has become fashionable for the mainstream media to regularly bleat their dismay over the rise and proliferation of "fake news"; however, they're as guilty themselves of spreading false and misleading information about movements and governments that don't submit to the Western bloc, in particular to US Imperialism.
This is certainly the case with violent street protests, or what the Venezuelans call the "guarimbas", that have been going on since April this year. From the time Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution won government in the late 1990s Venezuela's political atmosphere has been dangerously explosive.
The Western media have played their part in "faking the news" about Chavez, Maduro and the Bolivarian movement as being solely responsible for the political and economic chaos in Venezuela. Whereas the Anti-Chavista opposition's malevolent behaviour is mitigated by Western mainstream media, for they are presented as archetypes of human rights and democracy.
Numerous attempts at overthrow
The progressive, although limited, political and economic policies of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) have been relentlessly attacked and sabotaged at every opportunity by the Venezuelan rich and comprador capitalist class. From the attempted military coup of 2002 against Chavez, the PDVSA (Petroleum of Venezuela) oil strike, the failed 2004 recall referendum against Chavez to the current murderous street battles carried out by the reactionary opposition, each of these momentous events reflect class warfare by the US-aligned wealthy and their hatred of the poor gaining political power.
This rich, reactionary class are not interested in accepting the will of the majority, nor democracy, and at every turn refused to negotiate a settlement in the interest of the nation. They have plotted economic disruption, all-out hoarding of essential commodities and food, stage-managed black-market currency operations, and run corporate contraband activities.
The continual destabilization saw a dip in support for the Bolivarian cause, when Nicolas Maduro narrowly won the presidency by 50.62% and the opposition, United Democratic Roundtable (MUD), won a majority in the National Assembly in 2015. Undaunted, the MUD, not interested in passing legislation or governing, pronounced that their only intention was to get rid of Maduro.
Since then the wealthy opposition have committed arson on public buildings - such as a crowded maternity hospital; a police helicopter launched grenades at Venezuela’s supreme court building; closed highways and attacked commuters; assailed, lynched and burned to death black youths for supposedly being Chavistas (see photo above). The murderous leadership and supporters of MUD are drenched in rabid classism and racism against the poor and are effectively in the pay of US State authorities and big foreign oil corporations.
The recent street battles in Venezuela that have been reported by the Western media emanate from the struggle over what to do with the current gridlock between the Maduro presidency and the MUD majority-controlled National Assembly. To break this impasse Maduro called an election of a Constituent Assembly to reform the nation's constitution, something the MUD controlled National Assembly could have done (given their hostility to the current constitution) but didn't .
The purpose of this National Constituent Assembly (ANC) is to examine reforms to the constitution and put these to a referendum. Of the 545 delegates elected to the ANC 346 will be elected on a territorial basis and 173 from social sectors such as workers in the oil and mining, industrial, construction, services and public sector; self-employed workers; peasants; commune councils; students; pensioners; Indigenous and business owners etc.
Despite the Anti-Chavista opposition's boycott of the 30 July ANC election a massive turnout of 8,089,320 people, 41% of the population voted on the day. This number of votes exceeds the 7,587,579 votes received by Maduro in the 2013 election victory and nearly matches Hugo Chavez's 2012 re-election figure of 8,191,132.
See-saw power struggle continues
Whilst this is positive news for the Bolivarian movement the problem of see-sawing claims to power will continue. Though the comprador (dependent on US Imperialism) capitalist class has lost government at times through the electoral system their economic power of private industries, media, agriculture, banks, food businesses etc has allowed them to continually undermine the "socialist experiment".
The old electoral system and parliament is still heavily under the sway of the capitalist class. Essentially the National Assembly is a forum for bickering with the wealthy ruling class, as opposed to an institution for mass worker democracy.
The Chavista constitution from 1999 gave rise in a limited form to "popular power and participatory democracy", where the formation of co-management of state-owned factories, communal councils, socialist communes, and various social missions have emboldened the conviction of the working class.
What has been described as a "Pink Tide" sweeping through Venezuela and South America is an anathema to the capitalist class and Anti-Chavista opposition who are intent on carrying out a Ukrainian style overthrow of Maduro, PSUV and the Bolivarian movement.
The US-backed street violence by the opposition which has seen the killing of over a hundred people and two more coup attempts, will now receive an added boost with Trump calling for regime change in Venezuela.
The time has come for the Bolivarian/Chavista movement to go on the offensive and strike a blow by eliminating the capitalist class’s economic and political power through the mass involvement of the working class and the peasantry. Nationalisation and socialisation of their industrial, agricultural, financial and media assets needs to be undertaken and turned over to workers control and management.
New forms of political power need to be established, where socialist governing institutions run the country and capitalists and their bureaucracy cease to exist as a class. If a "Red Tide" is not undertaken and the Bolivarian movement hesitates the Anti-Chavista opposition certainly won't, and with the help of the US will stop at nothing to overthrow Maduro and the PSUV.
This moment in Venezuelan's history calls for a dedicated Communist Party to carry out this historic challenge. Alliances and United Fronts have an important place in the struggle for liberation; nevertheless transformation of a country's economic base and political superstructure calls for sweeping revolutionary changes otherwise there is the perennial danger of reactionary retrogression - capitalism and or fascism.
If this did happen the Western mainstream media would obviously go berserk with massive amounts of "Fake News" about the Venezuelan Revolution to shock the world's peoples. This is something we ought to expect because the capitalist media is the enemy of the world's workers and toilers.