Venezuela’s socialist revolution in crisis

May 5, 2013 | Pratirodh Bureau
With cold calculation, the counter-revolutionary command ordered the murder of nine people and numerous acts of violence and destruction since early April 15. The United States is testing out a new way to defeat the Bolivarian Revolution: the creation of a classic fascist movement.
A week before the election victory of Nicolás Maduro on April 14, referring to the attack on artists committed to the revolution, I pointed out the differences between McCarthyism and Nazism-fascism in an article published in the *Correo del Orinoco*.
McCarthyism“operates within a balance of forces favourable to the system which it defends from above through a totalitarian ideology”, while fascism “appears as the last resort of a social order under attack by the masses, to which capital also aims to respond, trying to organise the poorest, most disorganised, those with a lack of consciousness, accompanied by [sections] of the middle classes.”
From there we could see what was coming next: “as such this McCarthyism (the aggression direct towards these artists) has a limited dimension. But its metamorphosis into harsh Nazi-fascist behaviour, not against artists, but against the masses that drive the revolution is inevitable.” That\\\’s what happened after the election.
Unlike lots of supporters of the Venezuelan revolution, the US State Department correctly assessed the meaning of the revolutionary victory at the polls, supported by a mass mobilisation of unprecedented magnitude and duration. Accordingly, it prepared its response in advance: confront those demonstrations with a scrawny replay of fascism, backed by foreign
mercenaries and money in order to persuade marginalised sectors.
*Strategic dispute*
That line of action was defined in advance. But it is important to stress its experimental nature. Given the kind of unprecedented pro-revolution demonstrations organised between December 9 and April 11, and the relationship of forces among the classes that it established, the counterrevolutionary command discarded a final offensive after the elections. It sought to put its mercenaries in motion and measure the response of the revolution. It was a step in an attempt to build a fascist movement. In addition, there was a possibility that a wrong reaction by the Bolivarian government might have detonated uncontrolled acts of violence, which could have led to foreign intervention in the internal conflict.
If the government failed, the bourgeoisie would have transformed its strategy into a military intervention, falling into the trap the government would have left a space for the bourgeoisie to act with impunity to harass the forces of the revolution and prevent a counterattack, no matter what the internal consequences.
This is the point. And this is where we come to a crossroads, to know if grafted fascism will sprout or not in Venezuela. That is, does the counterrevolution have or not an organised social base to confront the revolution.
Here is where the election results matter. The bold and aggressive intervention of imperialism in the election campaign in the absence of Chávez managed, in a higher degree than expected, to win away sectors of the petty bourgeoisie and disorganised parts of the dispossessed masses.
Explaining the fall away in support from these sectors as the result of errors and foolishness on the part of the revolution is like finding moisture in the rain. Such attitudes often reveal an inclination to oppose the rain so as not to suffer the moisture. These sectors of society continue to be in dispute, but in different conditions. This represents a challenge for leadership of the revolution.

All prominent members of the government and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), starting with Nicolás Maduro, have reiterated that there will be no impunity for the perpetrators and masterminds of the nine deaths, nearly 100 wounded and countless acts of vandalism. This position is supported by *Chavistas*and undoubtedly legal action will be taken against Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo López, Carlos Ocariz, Armando Briquet, among others who called for violence. When this occurs in the coming days, the extreme right-wing will try intensifying their terrorist actions.
In an interview published by *El Mundo* of Spain and *La Nación* of Argentina, Capriles announced his line of action. When the audit of the National Electoral Council (CNE) is completed, he will demand new elections and justify the continuity of terrorist actions.
The essential prosecution and conviction of those responsible for the violence is only one aspect of the problem. The biggest challenge is to confront the continuation of violence led by local and foreign mercenaries.
The goal of the project that began after the first week of terrorist actions is clear: to assess the behaviour of the government and the revolutionary forces.
It is still necessary not to respond with violence against the extreme right provocations. At the same time, it is essential to prevent the continuation of killings and destruction, as this will have a double effect. On the one hand, this will demoralise and sow seeds of division in the ranks of the revolution. On the other hand, it would encourage the development of the extreme right wing and its progress towards a fascist movement, that is a mass-backed force that perpetrates violent actions against the masses.
Calls for peace and reflection are necessary but insufficient. It is necessary to develop the power of persuasion and self-defence. The state has the tools to protect property and people at risk and, if necessary, to demolish ultra-right commandos: the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and militia.
However, the real instrument at this stage of the confrontation is primarily political: the PSUV and its ability to multiply its intervention through the communal councils and other mass organisations.
Contrary to valuable opinions that play down or condemn the PSUV, I have defended the view that the PSUV has provided the necessary strength that has allowed for the continuity of the government and the revolution during the prolonged illness of Commander Hugo Chávez, as well as the formation of the Polo Patriótico (Patriotic Pole), the presidential election victory on October 7, win control of governorships in 20 states, and the increasing mass mobilisations prior to Maduro’s presidential win on April 14.
But the new stage is more demanding. The PSUV’s founding concepts, as well as the practice developed in its short existence, enabled it to meet this historic challenge. Its leadership is called on to revitalise the internal life of the largest and most important party in Latin America, to organise the debate, inform the membership and organise daily line of action. The PSUV needs a media that informs, instructs, educates, organises and takes the necessary political action for self-defence, essential to defeating the fascist movement promoted by Washington.
It is up to anti-imperialist forces in Latin America and the world to counteract and defeat the misinformation and slander campaign launched by an international fascist network and the media at its service. We should all strive to win this great strategic battle.