A call from Venezuela to the anarchists of Latin America and the world: solidarity is much more than a written word

A call from Venezuela to the anarchists of Latin America and the world: solidarity is much more than a written word

El Libertario call on all "real anarchists" to wake-up about the situation in Venezuela. Events in Venezuela are genuine expressions of working-class frustration, against a corrupt and dysfunctional state-capitalism, no longer able to sustain itself given the sharp fall in global oil prices.

Editorial Collective of the anarchist newspaper El Libertario

We address all the expressions of the libertarian movement, particularly those of this continent, not only to draw their attention to the situation we are living in Venezuela since April 2017, but by what we understand as urgency for the international anarchism expresses more emphatically on these dramatic circumstances, with positions and actions consistent with what has been the preaching and practice of the anti-hierarchic (actual word used here is “Ácrata”.^N.delT.) ideal in its historical walk.

It is deplorable that, while on the one hand the Chavista government -today headed by Maduro- together with its sounding boards from the outside and, on the other, the opponents from the right and the social-democracy, are in disgusting campaigns for selling to world opinion their equally biased visions and charged with interests of power, many anarchist voices outside of Venezuela have maintained a mutism that is in some way tacit acceptance of what one or other of the hungry contenders for state power want to impose as “truth.” We know that sympathetic voices do not have the access to most media, as it sits ready at the order of statists, and that comrades face complex realities where there are issues and problems that, due to their proximity, demand their immediate concerns, but we understand that this difficulty should not be an obstacle so that, in some modest way, attention, interest and solidarity are expressed both for what happens in Venezuela and for what the anarchism in this region divulges.

In a rundown of what local anarchism says today, the present juncture shows the fascist nature of the Chávez regime -and its sequence with Maduro-, reactionary militarist governments that we have denounced forever in El Libertario. It has been a regime linked to crime, drug trafficking, looting, corruption, imprisonment of opponents, torture, disappearances, apart from the disastrous economic, social, cultural and ethical management. Chávez managed to impact with his messianic and charismatic leadership, financed by the rise of the price of oil, however after his death and with the end of the bonanza, the so-called Bolivarian process deflated, being supported by weak bases. This “revolution” followed the historical rentist tradition initiated at the beginning of the 20th century with the dictator Juan Vicente Gómez, continued by the militarist Marcos Pérez Jiménez, and did not cease in the later representative democratic scheme.

There are those at the international level (Noam Chomsky, the best example), that rectified their initial support for Venezuelan authoritarianism and today they denounce it in a clear way. However, we note with great concern the silence of many anarchists of this and other continents about the events in Venezuela. It says an adage: “the one who is silent grants”, which is perfectly fulfilled when people are starved and criminally repressed and who should protest for it say little or nothing. We call on those who embrace the libertarian banners to pronounce, if they have not, on our tragedy. For indifference, there is no justification if one has an anti-hierarchic (actual word used here is “Ácrata”.^N.delT.) vision of the world. The opposite is to cover up the government farce, forgetting what the anarchists of all time have said about the degradation of authoritarian socialism in power. Perhaps in the past the “progressive” mirage of chavismo might have deceived even some libertarian people, but being consistent with our ideal it is impossible today to continue to hold that belief.

We are in the presence of an agonizing, delegitimized and repressive government that seeks to perpetuate itself in power, repudiated by the vast majority of the population, who murder through their repressive and paramilitary forces, which also promote looting. A corrupt government that blackmails with boxes of food, sold at black market dollar price, that participates in all kinds of capitalist business negotiations, a government of “bolibourgeois” (a portmanteau of the Bolivarian and bourgeois words.^N.delT.) and militarists enriched by the oil rent and ecocide mining. A government that kills with starvation and murders, while applying a brutal economic adjustment agreed with the transnational capitalism, to which punctually pays a criminal external debt.

It is time to dismantle the pseudo-informative maneuvers of those who pretend to use it at an international level for those who control, and those who aspire to control, the Venezuelan State, and in this we hope to count on the active support of individualities and libertarian groups in both Latin America and the rest of the world. Any sign of anarchist solidarity will be welcomed by the Venezuelan anti-hierarchic movement (actual word used here is “Ácrata”.^N. del T.), certainly small and moving among many difficulties, but at the present juncture will be grateful to know that we somehow have the support of people from the rest of the globe, either by reproducing and spreading the information disseminated by the anarchists of Venezuela, generating opinions and reflections that dismantle the visions in this issue that try to be imposed by authoritarians from the right and left, and -which would be much better- promoting or supporting action initiatives in your respective countries that denounce the circumstances of hunger and repression that are now present in Venezuela. Now more than ever it is necessary your presence and voice in all the possible scenarios where the tragedy in which the Venezuelan people is submerged gets denounced.

El Libertario‘s final note: More comprehensive and detailed analyzes and information on what is happening in Venezuela, on the blog of El Libertario. In particular, we recommend these posts which briefly outline our vision and position regarding the recent and current Venezuelan conjuncture (all in Spanish.^N.delT.):

– Buenos Aires: Radio interview with El Libertario http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/01/buenos-aires-interview-radial-el.html

– Cartography of chavomadurista failure: A tour of the current map of Venezuela http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/02/cartografia-del-fracaso-chavomadurista.html

– Crisis in the “critical thinking”, or jumping off a sinking ship http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/02/crisis-en-el-pensamiento-critico-o.html

– Outcome of the Venezuelan crisis http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/desenlace-de-la-crisis-venezolana.html

– Declaration of El Libertario: Surpassing the political parties to face the crisis and build a new Venezuela http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/declaracion-de-el-libertario-sobrepasar.html

– Venezuela Today: The dictatorial errors http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/venezuela-hoy-los-errores-dictatoriales.html

– A slogan of 2014 to resume today: IMMEDIATE DISSOLUTION OF THE GUARDIA NACIONAL BOLIVARIANA http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/04/una-consigna-de-2014-retomar-disolucion.html

– The constituent fraud http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/05/The-fraud-constituent.html

Original post in Spanish on their blog: https://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2017/05/llamado-desde-venezuela-ls-anarquistas.html

[Nota de El Libertario: Muchas gracias a l@s compas de Insurrection News por esta traducción al inglés. El original de la misma está en https://raddit.me/f/anarchism/281.]

(via El Libertario)

Posted By

Craftwork
May 12 2017 21:05

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  • we note with great concern the silence of many anarchists of this and other continents about the events in Venezuela"

    El Libertario

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Comments

Flava O Flav
May 15 2017 13:36
Rob Ray
May 15 2017 14:08

There was a debate on the subject here about a day after the article came out:

http://libcom.org/forums/general/el-libertario-venezuela-fake-anarchists-where-get-info-venezuela-29032014

which included a link to a rebuttal in Spanish (machine translation), also a day later.

Serge Forward
May 15 2017 14:59

I don't know the situation with regards El Libertario but prima facie, that roarmag response looks dodgy as fuck.

Craftwork
May 15 2017 15:15
Flava O Flav wrote:
Has there ever been a response to this?

https://roarmag.org/essays/critique-libertario-venezuela-anarchism/

In this Reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comments/6aa9nk/a_call_from_venezuela_to_the_anarchists_of_latin/), the ROAR article was posted, and several articles that criticise the ROAR article were posted in response:

"This article from Ciccariello-Maher gets posted or mentioned ad nauseam in almost every anarchist-leaning post regarding Venezuela or El Libertario, it has been widely discussed, generating some responses to it, here are a few of those responses (directly or indirectly):

- Beware of the Anarchist Police (In Spanish) - https://venezuelaconspiracytheories.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/beware-of-anarchist-police.html
- True and False in Venezuela (In English) - https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/charlatan-stew-true-and-false-in-venezuela
- Of the imperialist and colonialist attack to El Libertario (In Spanish). - https://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/sobre-el-ataque-imperialista-y.html"

Craftwork
May 15 2017 15:15

George Ciccarrello-Maher is a strong supporter of Bolivarianism.

Flava O Flav
May 15 2017 15:33

Cheers will have a read of those.

Serge Forward
May 15 2017 15:33

So it's little different from when anarchists and communists criticised the the USSR, the Cuban revolution, the Hanoi government, the ANC, the Sandinistas, the Mujahadeen Khalk, Colonel Ghadaffi and the IRA that we were all somehow in cahoots with the CIA, Ronald Reagan, Thatcher, the Brits... and were also "middle class".

Craftwork
May 15 2017 16:40
Serge Forward wrote:
So it's little different from when anarchists and communists criticised the the USSR, the Cuban revolution, the Hanoi government, the ANC, the Sandinistas, the Mujahadeen Khalk, Colonel Ghadaffi and the IRA that we were all somehow in cahoots with the CIA, Ronald Reagan, Thatcher, the Brits... and were also "middle class".

It's pretty much always a variation on this same argument.

Salvoechea
May 15 2017 17:29

El Libertario have two dudes (afaik) identifying themselves as working for a Human Rights NGO called Provea, funded by USAID, Ford Foundation and Soros. I know it sounds weird but they're doing a job inside left antagonist worldwide movement. But go to the text: a) Maduro's government is shit b) insurrection. They're calling us to support them for being anarchist, an identity.

All right. But, what's the alternative? a new right-wing movement linked to paramilitaries, drug lords and fascists with a socialdemocratic face (MUD). In Spain this Opposition had its demo last week, chanting things like Franco Franco, and chasing immigrants in streets.

In my opinion all this stuff is smelly and I see a parallelism to Ukraine, with all kind of political groups (liberals, nazis, anarchists) participating in the riots. This is a Shock Doctrine. And the situation is quite similar to Chili 1972. Which side to take?

I prefer to support the +1700 bolivarian communes than these upper town hardcore-punk-gig-organisers of El Libertario.

Khawaga
May 15 2017 18:26
Quote:
I prefer to support the +1700 bolivarian communes than these upper town hardcore-punk-gig-organisers of El Libertario

Yeah, because they ended up working really well for all working class people. Venezuela is a mess. But carry on in your ostrich cosplay.

Serge Forward
May 15 2017 18:44

The jury's out on how dodgy El Libertario may or may not be, as well as the authenticity of their proletarian credentials. What's not in doubt however is the fact that anyone who supports the governments of Chávez and Maduro and cheerleads the "Bolivarian revolution" has 100% dogshit pro-capitalist politics.

Craftwork
May 15 2017 20:18
Salvoechea wrote:
El Libertario have two dudes (afaik) identifying themselves as working for a Human Rights NGO called Provea, funded by USAID, Ford Foundation and Soros. I know it sounds weird but they're doing a job inside left antagonist worldwide movement.

Yawn at the Red-Brown, antisemitic "Soros" bullshit.

Salvoechea wrote:
In my opinion all this stuff is smelly and I see a parallelism to Ukraine, with all kind of political groups (liberals, nazis, anarchists) participating in the riots. This is a Shock Doctrine. And the situation is quite similar to Chili 1972. Which side to take?

Parallels with Ukraine? I agree. Both sides are anti-working class, ultra-nationalist scum. Internationalist communists, unlike the left-wing of capital, do not take sides in conflicts involving different nationalist factions. Unfortunately, there are some confused leftists who consider Milošević-supporting, neo-Chetnik, Serbian nationalists to be "antifascist fighters":

However anarchist-communists in Ukraine and Russia oppose all sides of the war. See, for example, Autonomous Action.

And parallels with Chile 1973? No. What happened in Chile was that the Allende promoted Pinochet and helped disarm the working-class in the form of the 1972 arms-control law, and then was overthrown from within, by his own armed forces and his own police.

Salvoechea wrote:
I prefer to support the +1700 bolivarian communes than these upper town hardcore-punk-gig-organisers of El Libertario.

This is democratist nonsense. The existing state apparatus can never be "useful" to the proletariat, the overthrow of the existing state apparatus is the necessary first step along the road to communism. Democratisation of the capitalist state *in no way* takes us a step closer to communism, it doesn't alter the function, or the anti-proletarian nature of the state, as a part of the machinery of capitalism. In capitalist society, the state (democratic or otherwise) is always subordinated to the interests of national capital, and subject to its domination.

Mere forms of organisation (e.g. councils or communes) are not, in themselves, revolutionary or communist in nature. A council or commune is possessed of a revolutionary character only if it emerges from a period of struggle and is self-organised by proletarians in the course of that struggle, and therefore embodies the collectively-heightened state of conscioussness and will to fight of its proletarian constituents. But the fact that the state has organised its citizens into "communes" means nothing, and is simply a means of controlling/dominating them.

Salvoechea wrote:
what's the alternative? a new right-wing movement linked to paramilitaries, drug lords and fascists with a socialdemocratic face (MUD). In Spain this Opposition had its demo last week, chanting things like Franco Franco, and chasing immigrants in streets.

So you think that members of the Bolivarian regime are not involved in organised crime, drugs, trafficking, etc.?(!) Hell, the cops in Venezuela are involved in kidnapping/ransoms, and there's even evidence that the Vice President of Venezuela was involved in drug trafficking.

As for "fascist", I think the current govt. is rather fascistic. You've even got state-sponsored militia intimidating journalists:

As with other examples of failed national, state capitalism, the economic problems of the Bolivarian state are more likely due to inner value deformation as a result of the state's (mis)management of the economy than economic attrition from without (the US), or a faction of the bourgeoisie.

The state cannot indefinitely violate the underlying laws of capitalism. The attempted violation of the law of value leads to the emergence of alternative ("black") markets, scarcity of consumer goods, etc. At a certain point in time, crisis generates social backlash, the proletariat revolt when conditions become unbearable - supermarkets are empty, hospitals lack medicines, therefore the anger of the class explodes onto the streets.

It's worth bearing in mind that a large section of proletarians on this planet are politically apathetic - they do not take sides in bourgeois faction fights (elections, etc.), or when they do, it is often unenthusiastic. But everytime crises of a certain magnitude emerge, new sets of struggles erupt, in the context of which apathy is weaponised, transformed into antipathy. The proletariat are brought out onto the streets, in open struggle against the state, in response to their dire material conditions.

The only alternative is the communist alternative. And this involves a total rejection of the inter-bourgeois faction fights or power struggles.

The communist alternative is to completely destroy the state: smash the police and military (which, incidentally, are almost always the bases of coups), and see the working-class armed and self-organised in councils (soviets) or committees, that is the first step of revolution, and this is what all anarchists and anti-state communists want.

Whenever leftists suggest that the primary cause of a large scale, working-class action is some conspiracy of the American-friendly bourgeoisie, they deny the agency of the proletariat, in response to its material conditions. For such leftists, geopolitics matter more than class struggle.

Craftwork
May 15 2017 20:31

In my opinion, it is more likely that a coup would take place against Maduro from within the Bolivarian regime.

Ragnar
May 16 2017 07:32

El Libertario newspaper by Venezuela: Right-wing "anarchism" at the service of the bourgeoisie and interventionism
https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alasbarricadas.org%2Fnoticias%2Fnode%2F29092&sandbox=1

Periódico El Libertario de Venezuela: El “anarquismo” de derecha al servicio de la burguesía y el intervencionismo
http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/node/29092

Salvoechea
May 16 2017 08:26
Serge Forward
May 16 2017 11:34

Yes yes... it may or may not be the case that El Libertario is right wing, bourgeois or it could be that such claims are all just a load of black propaganda. Whatever. But can someone please explain why anarchists and communists should jump to the defence of the Chávez and Maduro governments with such enthusiasm? That's something I find infinitely more troubling than whether one particular small anarchist group has iffy politics.

ronj1955
May 16 2017 11:54

Any anarchists who objectively align themselves with the capitalists and rightwing are not anarchists but rightwing libertarians. If anarchists are not going to defend the Bolivarian revolution that is one thing, but the least they can do is not join sides with the CIA-funded opposition. This is essentially a call to do just that.

Serge Forward
May 16 2017 12:08
ronj1955 wrote:
Any anarchists who objectively align themselves with the capitalists and rightwing are not anarchists but rightwing libertarians. If anarchists are not going to defend the Bolivarian revolution that is one thing, but the least they can do is not join sides with the CIA-funded opposition. This is essentially a call to do just that.

Hmm... I must have missed that bit, ronj1955. Could you please point out where in the above document El Libertario actually calls to join forces with the CIA-funded opposition. Oh, and when you say "If anarchists are not going to defend the Bolivarian revolution that is one thing," could you just clarify if that means you think anarchists should be defending the so-called Bolivarian revolution (i.e. the governments of Chavez and Maduro)? Thanks in advance fella.

Craftwork
May 16 2017 16:28

Do these confused leftists (Ragnar, Salvoechea, ronj1955) also think that anarchists in Russia/Eastern Europe should have rallied to the defence of the USSR and Eastern bloc states in the years 1989-1991?

Serge Forward
May 16 2017 21:40

Well, if Ragnar, Salvochea and ronj1955 could just answer whether they think anarchists should be defending the "Bolivarian revolution" then I'll settle for that, never mind the USSR.

Orocai
May 17 2017 00:28

So many "anarchists" with a soft spot for fascists, foreign interventions and liberals around here.

I'm sure the venezuelan "opposition" will designate a special mass grave for anarchists away from those filthy statist chavistas once they take power.

Khawaga
May 17 2017 02:15

Stones, glass houses.

Juan Conatz
May 17 2017 02:44

Sooo...I read this statement.

-It quickly rejects the "socialist" Maduro state and the right-wing/"democratic" opposition.

-It expresses disappointment that anarchists outside of Venezuela have been mostly silent, allowing these two wings of capital to dominate the narrative of what is happening and what is at stake

-It links both the "socialist" government and "democratic" opposition to atrocities and corruption.

-It says the "socialist" government has a shrinking base after the death of Chavez and is corrupt and repressive.

I don't see anything controversial with this. Certainly nothing to warrant snitchjacketing El Libertario, which seems common.

Also, I have a hard time buying what George Ciccarrello-Maher has to say, as he is pretty much an apologist for the Venezuelan state who has defended mass deportations of migrants in Venezuela on Twitter.

Orocai
May 17 2017 03:41

Yep, specially for "anarchists" trying to curry favors with fascists.

Orocai
May 17 2017 03:50
Juan Conatz wrote:

-It links both the "socialist" government and "democratic" opposition to atrocities and corruption.

Yet, every El Libertario article is a verbatim quote from all the the opposition talking points.

Then again, as a venezuelan, I shouldn't expect much from middle class "anarchists".

I mean, after all, you are supporting a rag that is in favor of working "middle class" people atacking other "low class" workers, which is what most of this "protests" are.

It is quite ironic how absent some of you are when it comes to discussing more repressive regimes and situations, like that of the Mapuches in Chile.

Khawaga
May 17 2017 03:56
Quote:
Then again, as a venezuelan, I shouldn't expect much from middle class "anarchists".

Your computer and internet must be fucking amazing considering how you are able to what class other people online belongs to. I guess the Boliviarian government got something right!

Juan Conatz
May 17 2017 03:58

Orocai,

So the opposition talking points include rejecting the opposition, as well as the Chavista government? Strange.

I have no idea if El Libertario is accurately representing the facts on the ground. However, all I've seen in response is accusations of fascism, CIA payoffs, comments about class background and links to thinly veiled anti-semitic conspiracy theorists and American academic Chavez supporters. Do you have something better to offer?

Orocai
May 17 2017 04:45
Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
Then again, as a venezuelan, I shouldn't expect much from middle class "anarchists".

Your computer and internet must be fucking amazing considering how you are able to what class other people online belongs to. I guess the Boliviarian government got something right!

Well, here I have a group of foreign "anarchists" telling me that the "middle class" people threatening to kill woking people is actually just "working class people revolting against the government". You tell me how that comes across...

Khawaga
May 17 2017 05:03

It comes across as people from mainly English speaking countries not necessarily knowing the full picture; not that they are middle class.

If I were to ask you about the situation in Canada or Norway, would you be able to give me the ins and out?

And in any case, whether El Libertario is middle class, CIA stooges or not, doesn't change the fact that both the opposition and the government are two sides of the same capitalist coin.

Orocai
May 17 2017 05:04
Juan Conatz wrote:
Orocai,

So the opposition talking points include rejecting the opposition, as well as the Chavista government? Strange.

I have no idea if El Libertario is accurately representing the facts on the ground. However, all I've seen in response is accusations of fascism, CIA payoffs, comments about class background and links to thinly veiled anti-semitic conspiracy theorists and American academic Chavez supporters. Do you have something better to offer?

For someone who "rejects the opposition too" they certainly seem to have a lot of meetings and group photos with some of the most notorious spokepersons, like Melanio Escobar, human rights "activist" who at point has made helicopter ride jokes.

I mean, what kind of anarchist are you when you are "against the rupture of constitutional continuity" of the bourgie state you supposedly want to overthrow?

Rafael Uzcategui "anarchist" speech changes to support traditional liberal democracy "values" in pretty much every news article, specially when he is talking as PROVEA

http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2016/06/12/nota/5629635/dos-principales-problemas-son-pobreza-impunidad

As for the money, ask them yourself

https://www.derechos.org.ve/cooperantes

which includes the Ford Foundation