VENEZUELA : DEMOCRACY
Venezuela - Between Revolution and Empire13 Aug 2004 17:00 GMT
Chavez was first voted to office by an overwhelming majority after leading a coup attempt against the corrupt leader Carlos Andres Pérez, who among other atrocities, brought the nation under the rule of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'austerity measures.' The popular uprisings that occured as a result were crushed with military force, resulting in thousands of deaths. While skepticism still exists among dissident leftists in Venezuela about certain of Chavez' policies, many in Venezuela view the opposition's attempt to oust him as an attempt by the capitalist classes to reassert fascist rule over the country. This confrontation will not be decided solely by ballots, but by popular struggle in the streets and the countryside.
Various popular revolutionary movements in Venezuela believe beyond doubt that Chávez is supported by the overwhelming majority of the Venezuelan population. Should the results of the referendum, official or otherwise, show a loss for Chávez, millions of Venezuelans will consider them fraudulent and immediately take to the streets--not waiting until the scheduled elections a month later. The intention of the popular movements who are preparing for an imminent uprising is not only to neutralize an opposition fraud, but to take the "Bolivarian revolution" to what they consider the next logical step: popular control of the means of production and communication through the exercise of direct democracy in assemblies.
Independent media activists currently working in and around Caracas have outlined three possible scenarios for a fraudulent outcome of the national referendum: (The question posed in the referendum is about overriding Chávez´s government—The Bolivarians vote for the “No” while the Opposition for the “Yes”)
1) Apparent victory of the "yes" through official channels.
There is a general consensus amongst the popular movements that no fraud will be accepted, even if legitimized by the “revolutionary” bureaucracies. If a fraud takes place, revolutionaries will immediately activate, autonomously, a radical offensive against the capitalist ruling class and invite President Chávez to command this process of insurgeny.
Contingency action plans are being prepared across all of Pachamerica (all the countries of the Western hemisphere) as well as Europe, by autonomous affinity groups and Bolivarian circles in dozens of cities. Revolutionary activists in Venezuela are urging international vigilance as the referendum nears, and actions in front of embassies, petrol stations and other appropriate targets in solidarity with the Bolivarian struggle as the situation develops.
Monday, August 16th has been declared an day of intercontinental solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution, and Global Day of Action, as decided upon by the Peoples Global Assembly, on October 12th.Ongoing coverage posted by media activists in Venezuela on Puerto Rico IMC