Venezuela - Between Revolution and Empire


On Sunday, August 15th, a national referendum is scheduled to take place in Venezuela to decide whether democratically-elected president Hugo Chávez should remain in office. The outcome of this referendum, while significant, is only a fragment of a much larger and longer tale of class struggle in Venezuela, where 80% of the population lives in poverty and the richest 20% control the majority of country's natural and human-produced resources. Far from being simply an electoral process determining the destiny of a leader, many in Venezuela understand the current struggle as a confrontation between the popular movements of the Bolivarian revolution against the Capitalist Empire. Media activists on the ground in Venezuela describe the situation as a potential brink of class war. The organized poor are prepared to protect, by any means necessary, the revolutionary processes they have been building at the grassroots level even before Chavez took office.

For More Information:

Venezuela Analysis [en] [es] UK-IMC [en] Brasil-IMC [pt] El Libertario [es] El Libertario [en] Contrapoder [es]

LISTEN: Live election day coverage on Pacifica, Sun. Aug 15 4:00-6:00pm PST

Continuous coverage posted by media activists in Venezuela on Puerto Rico IMC

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.

2) A technical tie between the "Yes" and "No," which would lead to negotiations between competing beauracracies and, many believe, a halt to revolutionary processes.

3) A unilateral announcement of victory of the "yes" by the opposition controlled media before official results are given. Then, once the Electoral Council recognizes Chávez´ victory, an aggressive media campaign will point to the “chavista fraud” to try to take the middle class to the streets. They would immediately deploy a plan of unprecedented violence (suggested by the presence of Colombian paramilitary elements all over Venezuela, in addition to the recent theft of explosives and weapons) in order to create chaos and provoke massacres that could justify a coup d`Ètat or multinational “peacekeeping” forces in Venezuela.

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.

For More Information:

Venezuela Analysis [en] [es] UK-IMC [en] Brasil-IMC [pt] El Libertario [es] El Libertario [en] Contrapoder [es]

Ongoing coverage posted by media activists in Venezuela on Puerto Rico IMC

add a comment on this article

what's next, communist capitalism

Justin 13.Aug.2004 01:29

" ... 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."

Come on. Fascist capitalism?

Is that what it comes down to? Throwing adjectives in front of words to discredit ideas.

Couverture en français // French-language coverage

simms 13.Aug.2004 11:00

Un dossier spécial sur le référendum au Vénézuela a été ouvert sur (a.k.a. -- on peut le consulter et faire des ajouts au

German Coverage / @ Justin

s.o. from germany 13.Aug.2004 18:42

German Coverage:

@ Justin: A.Pérez said that he will establish a dictatorship and Chavez has to die (like a dog)..

Public Good

Yes We Will 14.Aug.2004 11:51

I heard of Indymedia about a little over a year ago and didn't pay too much attention to it and just glanced at it and then went on to other things. Then when I started to listen to the radio this year I heard a few things that were happening!! Then I happened to remember to go back to Indymedia and Really Look at what was happening. You Folks Sure Have It Together. I Love the Way you have organized the Main Homepage and then section it off into Countries and then cities of the World!! Every single person who is doing his share of activism, around the World, I have such Warm Feelings in my Heart 4 YOU!!! I Feel my Spirit is With Your Spirit!
Now about the comments that are typed under the main headings. A few of them are inflammatory and put there on Purpase to put you down. So far in the last 3 months I have kept up and read almost every single main heading(article) on the HomePage. Almost all the time in every main heading there are those that say something against what we are doing. Now I see a lot of you aren't Replying to these kind of guys/gals, in the last month or 2!!! Keep up the GOOD work!! I'm NOT going to respond to their comments anymore. I have tons to do to Right this World. Let them sit at the keyboard WASTING THEIR OWN TIME and let us NOT reply to their replies because then we get sucked in a vortex of going back and forth, back and forth and Wasting OUR Time. You maybe think because you are young you have a minute or 2 to try and change his/her mind, but its Hopeless?!! Because that is what they are doing here(trying to persuade the newcomers to Indymedia to Give Up or even the ones who have been doing it for longer). Trying to suck us into their evil dealings and its MUCH Better if we DO something or think of ways to do activities around the world or in your own city to Improve things. Theres Lots to do!! Theres feeding the homeless and animals that are hungary and need a home and the list goes on and on. Even wildlife are going into cities looking 4 Food because of the fatcats clearcutting the Forests so the animals Don't have a Home or Food either. Forget what they say about not feeding the wildlife because then you are feeding one of GOD's Creations. Now when you go hiking I wouldn't feed the bears out in the Wilds, but the ones that come into the cities I'd help. I read a story of one woman that did and the wolf prospered and brought forth cubs and one of her cubs came to the woman and got Food too. Just use your descression(wrong spelling).
Well, in Canada, the fatcats have made it so they are going to "control" our resources etc. etc. - they have NO Right - you know who I mean: Big Oil & Fish Farms & Mining Execs & Last but NOT least Logging Interests. Do NOT let them take over or you might as well die. Protect yourself and loved and Dear Ones and Mother Earth!! From what I've read you are all SO Courageous!! Love to All! Whether you are discreet about what you do or are right there in the thick of things; each and Every Person must decide what you are going to do. What is right for one of you may NOT be right for another. But on the other hand circumstances Change and then the person decides - yes - now I can do a bit of direct action. Just try to keep SAFE. My Heart goes out to my companero's down in South America!
I Know We Will Win, but Not in the Way You Expect. At the end it'll Look Like everything is Lost, but then it will turn around and WE WILL WIN. Just like maybe in your Life or someone else's Life: everything looks so Dreary and Hopeless, then One Door Opens and THEN ANOTHER and then even ONE More!!! That very thing has happened to me!! Its NOT as hopeless as it Seems. PLEASE Remember That! Because I Sure WILL. I thought my situation looked Very Very Bleak, even though I know that there was a way out and I couldn't take it now. But doors Opened and are still opening for Improvement.
Thak you 4 Listening!

david walker

david walker 14.Aug.2004 20:55

I am afraid there will be caos and suffering. The US wil use this as a excuse to come in and destroy people Chavez and his armies with long distance missles uranium etcetra.
The Us gets 15% of its oil from Venezuala If this is cut off for more than 4 months, it is over for the US pig economy.
I am getting a little info in english and it appears if people are to have power Chavez is the man.
I wish sustanable agricultural (permaculture) success to the rural people of Venezuala. That you have food for yourselves in abundance. This coming from a US citizen.
david walker

Venezuela poor vs US economy

john welch 15.Aug.2004 00:11

Veezuela oil is important to the US economy. I am afraid the US wants a uprising to crush.