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Venezuela: Socialism for the 21st Century


World  (tags: Venezuela, revolution, democracy, socialism, proletariat, working class, HumanRights, humanrights, GoodNews, goodnews, media, corporate media, capitalist media, corruption, conflict, terrorism, abuse, propaganda, lies, dishonesty, capitalism )

Simon
- 3602 days ago - zmag.org
Since the people of Venezuela began their revolution in 1998, poverty & income inequality have declined sharply. Indicators of health & access to education have substantially improved, as have access to water & sanitation. & they are building people power



   

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Comments

Carolyn T (234)
Friday August 7, 2009, 9:31 am
Very interesting and thought-provokiing story. The people of Venezuela have shown great courage. Thank you, Simon.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Friday August 7, 2009, 9:50 am
You're very welcome, Carolyn : )

I am happy to see you noting this article and commenting under it. : ) I think the article is an educational introduction to the great achievements the people of Venezuela have made over the past 11 years of their revolution, with statistics, to make it clearer. : )
 

Carolyn T (234)
Friday August 7, 2009, 9:51 am
Simon, I wanted to add that you always post articles that invite us to think deeply and broadly about the topic and I appreciate that so very much. Thank you for another story of that same ilk.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Friday August 7, 2009, 9:52 am
Good on you everyone who has noted this article! : )

Please read what it says, if you haven't read it : ) If you don't know the great things that the people of Venezuela have achieved in their revolution, this article explains it well : )
 

Simon Wood (207)
Friday August 7, 2009, 9:54 am
Thanks, Carolyn : ) You are very kind to say that! : D

By the way, I can see the first comment you made on this webpage now - the one that did not show up before. ; )
 

Fiona O (562)
Friday August 7, 2009, 10:10 am
Would you like to know where the inspiration for all Latin American socialism started? I recommend that you read "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire. of Brazil. Betsy
 

Simon Wood (207)
Friday August 7, 2009, 11:47 am
Betsy, the roots of resistance to white rule (and its oppression and exploitation) began when Europeans first invaded the Americas. E.g. Tupac Amaru led an Inca rebellion to Spanish colonialism hundreds of years ago.

Jose Marti, Jose San Martin and Simon Bolivar, and their independence movements fought for independence from Spain, and for increasesed equality, in the 1800s.

Women were campaigning for women's rights in Latin America hundreds of years ago.

And the working class movement began in Latin America in the 1800s.

All of those things, and more, are inspirations for socialism in modern Latin America, and are the beginnings of the socialist movement in Latin America. "The Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire is a more recent development in socialism. Good on you for promoting it, but please put it in perspective.
 

Anne T (180)
Friday August 7, 2009, 2:24 pm
A very informative article. :)
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday August 7, 2009, 2:46 pm
I wonder why Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is so kind to po9or families in the U$A who can't afford heatin goil in the winter time -- Venezuela "donates" heatin goil to poor Americna families; unlike Bu$h and Cheney who ju$t take money out of everyone's pocket$!
 

Rocio C (38)
Friday August 7, 2009, 3:49 pm
Wow, I consider Venezuela an amazing country, although I haven´t been there yet but this article is so interesting. I forwarded it to my husband too. Thank you Simon ♥ Hugs ♥
 

Yvonne White (229)
Friday August 7, 2009, 10:19 pm
Viva Chavez!:) And more power to the people of Venezuela!:)
 

pete O (242)
Saturday August 8, 2009, 6:29 am
I second That Yvonne viva Chavez 8@)
 

Olufunke Olise (0)
Saturday August 8, 2009, 1:12 pm
Socialism works! People are "hard wired" to live and work together. Once that can been accepted the group as a whole can move forward. Societal "casts" oppress those below them and impede the whole society from goign forward. Now...if the United States could learn this we might not have people homeless and starving in the streets while others dine in extream modes and live in masons that could house 100 when currantly housing 2. Blessings Venezuela. Long live Socialism!
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday August 8, 2009, 1:15 pm

Venezuela to Provide Children With 50,000 Mini Laptops
Portugal has agreed to send a total of 350,000 computers to Venezuela as part of an oil trading agreement between the two countries. Venezuela also hopes to set up its own assembly plant for the mini laptops as part of a technology transfer agreement.
 

Christoph Wuth (72)
Saturday August 8, 2009, 2:58 pm
I wonder why in real life not everything appears as rosy as described in above article. Freedom of expression is muzzled and thousands are emigrating in their quest for a better future. Or is that just some inevitable byproduct of socialist reform? Is Chávez actually following Bólivar's example when he assists Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Nicaragua and Honduras with their own socialist agendas? What is Chávez expecting to gain by supporing Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel policies as he disregards the real magnitude of the Holocaust? It is obvious that Venezuela is arming itself for a big battle and that Chávez mantains delusions of grandeur. Is Chávez really qualified to conduct Venezuela's transition into 21st Century Socialism?
 

Frank Lornitzo (8)
Saturday August 8, 2009, 4:31 pm
The article is very informative as to the layout and spoken plans of Chavez' administration. It also points to the problems related to dependency on oil as its greatest export (while the US dependency on oil is as its greatest import). Getting past the irony my real question is why the article makes no reference to any taxation policy. It would seem that somehow government revenue is gained by the massive inflation though it would take some analysis to track it down. Rather than the consumer goods and essentials being systematically devalued in relation to the Bolivar would not taxation after the manner of the Scandnavian countries be better? They have 30 percent taxation but no inflation.

Sincerely
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 8:59 am
Cristoph Wuth wrote: "I wonder why in real life not everything appears as rosy as described in above article."

Did you read the article? The article did not say that things are "rosy". The article mentioned major problems and explains that the people of Venezuela still have a long way to go in order to eliminate poverty, etc.. However, it also shows how much they have achieved. If you don't believe it, then please learn more about it - not from the capitalist media, though, because they only give us the lies of the capitalist class, for their profit-hoarding agenda. I'd recommend the non-capitalist media, or you could even go there yourself, as long as you are willing to get away from the privileged classes (who are worried about losing their power to exploit workers, as well as other privileges), and spend time with the working class majority, instead.

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "Freedom of expression is muzzled"

The only "freedom of expression" that is "muzzled" in Venezuela is the vicious far right media, which is owned by the megarich capitalist class, wilfully lies to the public, and is racist, pro-coup, pro-corporate-exploitation, anti-worker, etc.. The megarich capitalist class still owns the majority of Venezuela's media, and propagate their rightwing beliefs, but only if they act responsibly, by paying their fees, giving accurate information, not supporting coups against Venezuela's democratically-elected government, etc..

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "and thousands are emigrating in their quest for a better future."

I have not heard that from the non-capitalist media before. However, if it is true, then so what? If privileged people want to hold onto their privileges so badly, that they won't participate in the democratization and increased equality in Venezuela, then they are free to leave. Good riddance! Selfishness and ideologies of privilege cause harm.

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "Or is that just some inevitable byproduct of socialist reform?"

Yep, probably. People who want to continue to exploit other people will have less and less opportunity to do so in Venezuela, as the working class majority of Venezuela develop their revolution. : )

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "Is Chávez actually following Bólivar's example when he assists Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Nicaragua and Honduras with their own socialist agendas?"

Of course. Simon Bolivar tried to unite and liberate Latin America from foreign domination and exploitation, and increase equality within Latin America. Those are the things that Bolivar is famous for. And that is what Hugo Chavez and the other leaders and leftwing movements in Latin America are now doing.

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "What is Chávez expecting to gain by supporing Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel policies as he disregards the real magnitude of the Holocaust?"

Modern Israel is a colony on Palestinian land, and all rational people who see the evidence want the millions of Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to their land, and to have a viable, independent (UNOCCUPIED!) nation. Hugo Chavez agrees with Iran (and billions of other people in the Middle East and elsewhere), in that regard.

And Chavez cooperates with other countries, such as Iran, without endorsing their oppressive policies.

I have read hundreds of articles about Hugo Chavez and the revolution in Venezuela, and Hugo Chavez has never denied the nazi holocaust against Jews, to my knowledge. In fact, he has engaged in respectful dialogue with Venezuelan and international Jewish organisations.

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "It is obvious that Venezuela is arming itself for a big battle"

No. Venezuela actually spends LITTLE on its military, especially compared with the USA (which spends about as much on its military as the rest of the world combined), and compared with first world nations, and compared with Latin American powers, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia. However, the U.S. capitalist media makes a big hype about normal defence when it looks at Venezuela - because Venezuela, because the people of Venezuela are taking away the power of the capitalist class, and sharing out the wealth and power there - obviously against the interests of capitalist corporations.

However, the people of Venezuela are developing their people power, by developing their capacity to defend guerrilla-style, against any U.S. invasion.

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "and that Chávez mantains delusions of grandeur."

You have no evidence for that claim. You are just throwing libelous insults around now. This is what passes for "debate", when people have no evidence: they use insult words, and such behaviour is not consctructive at all.

Cristoph Wuth wrote: "Is Chávez really qualified to conduct Venezuela's transition into 21st Century Socialism?"

Chavez is not "conducting" Venezuela's transition into 21st Century Socialism. However, as the leader who the people of Veneuzlea have elected in multiple elections (declared free and fair by the Carter Center and other independent organisations), for the past 10 years or more, Chavez has been very popular, has done what the working class majority want, and in cooperation with the mass-movement activism of millions of Venezuelans, he and the government and people have achieved alot in terms of ensuring health care, education, and increased democratic power for the poor (who were marginalised under previous governments), economic development, and other victories, as you can read in the articles that I have posted. : )
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 10:01 am
Hi Frank : )
you wrote: "The article is very informative as to the layout and spoken plans of Chavez' administration. It also points to the problems related to dependency on oil as its greatest export (while the US dependency on oil is as its greatest import). Getting past the irony my real question is why the article makes no reference to any taxation policy. It would seem that somehow government revenue is gained by the massive inflation though it would take some analysis to track it down. Rather than the consumer goods and essentials being systematically devalued in relation to the Bolivar would not taxation after the manner of the Scandnavian countries be better? They have 30 percent taxation but no inflation."

I bet the Scandinavian countries have SOME inflation. I would look it up tonight, but "internet friends" have sent me so many little internet gimmicks ("tags", "winks", "luv", etc.) that my dial-up internet connection and I can't fend all of them off PLUS do something constructive today, like research economics. If you ask me to do it later, then I will make time for it later. For now I am telling people to stop sending me those time-wasting internet gimmicks.

As for tax, I know the article is long, but if you look near the end, you will see some mention of tax. As I think is true of many Third World countries, because most people's incomes are close to poverty level, income tax is either non-existent, or is only a small part of the government's revenues. There is a sales tax (not mentioned in the article) of about 15%, I think. But much of the government's revenue comes from state corporations, especially PDVSA (the state oil corporation), but also some smaller corporations which were nationalised in recent years, in strategic industries, such as steel, aluminium, cement, telecommunications and banking.

Also, the article does recommend a progressive income tax system, or an income tax only for people with high incomes.

One more thing that I want to say, and which is relevant: Venezuela is developing its economy at a rapid rate, whereas the Scandinavian countries are not. Economic development results in increased inflation. Yes, there are things that governments can do about it. However, my point is that Scandinavia's low inflation (or zero inflation, according to you) is partially due to slow economic growth - which the people of Venzuela are not willing to have, because they want a developed economy, like what the Scandinavian countries already achieved a long time ago.

And inflation is not necessarily the most important thing for the working class majority of Venezuela. Inflation could be reduced at the expense of the working class majority. This is not an option for socialists (such as the man who the people of Venezuela elected: Hugo Chavez). Our priority is whatever maximises the development of democratic socialism: sharing out the wealth and power amongst all people in Venezuela, while also ensuring that the revolution survives amidst local and international dangers (which would be exacerbated by rapid revolution).
 

Frank Lornitzo (8)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 10:51 am
Thanking Simon Wood for his response to my comment. The data in the lead article indicate gains that may not have been achieved by policies restricting inflation. History has given inflation a bad rap; the classic example is post ww1 Germany and our most recent bad time was during the Carter administration. In both cases the government was weak so that one can see reasons for the measures Hugo Chavez has taken such as extending his term of office and weakening the opposition by other legislative means.
 

Christoph Wuth (72)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 11:14 am
There's nothing wrong with socialism per se, but there are different kinds of socialism, including the humane kind, as practiced by Chile, or Sweden. Socialism means something quite different to primitive, uneducated masses than it does to a developed and educated society. I have lived through several régimes and Chavez reminds of dictators like Hitler, Stalin and others of their same ilk. I've been in Venezuela, Cuba and the former German Democratic Republic and witnessed first hand what their sort of socialism does to its people. Of course, there are always the capitalists and the Gringos to be blamed for the past and present failures of socialism. At least people in Venezuela [still] can get out, while those in Cuba must risk their lives each time they attempt to obtain freedom, in the same way many East Germans used to escape [or were murdered in the process]. It seems moot to argue over which system is better, when those not happy with the injustices of capitalism are entirely free to walk out and settle in a country governed by a sociopolitical system of their own choice.
 

Frank Lornitzo (8)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 11:31 am
Thanking Chrsitoph Wuth for his advocacy of "socialism with a human face" . It would be of interest to hear in what capacity he has lived in the countries he mentioned. Has he some kind of journal; is that what he has done or planning? I agree to the extent that the situation in Venezuela deserves a warning especially when so much seems to depend on one person.
 

Marcia E (54)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 3:56 pm
Spread some Socialism in the US. Put HR 676 single-payer in large letters on construction paper in your front window. Do It NOW!!!!
 

Simon Wood (207)
Monday August 10, 2009, 7:12 am
Frank Lornitzo wrote: "Thanking Simon Wood for his response to my comment. The data in the lead article indicate gains that may not have been achieved by policies restricting inflation. History has given inflation a bad rap; the classic example is post ww1 Germany and our most recent bad time was during the Carter administration."

Yep. But democratic socialism (sharing out wealth and power, and democratically directing the economy towards a decent living standards for everyone) would have solved those economic crises in Germany and the USA, peacefully, and with human rights for everyone living there.

"In both cases the government was weak so that one can see reasons for the measures Hugo Chavez has taken such as extending his term of office and weakening the opposition by other legislative means."

Hugo Chavez is not the sole participant in the revolution in Venezuela. Those things that you described sound authoritarian. But in Venezuela, the people have increased their democracy, by creating and approving a new consitution by referendum. The people chose to give themselves the right to elect a person in as many elections as they want, instead of only 2. This is an INCREASE in democracy, which allows the people to get more of what they want....

And as for "weakening the opposition", the opposition is the capitalist class, who own the private corporations (2/3 of Venezuela's economy), including the corporate media (the majority of the mass media), and whose supporters have many management positions in the state-owned industries and government bureaucracy.

When the people try to nationalise and democratise the economy, to share out the wealth and power amongst everyone, the opposition tries to stop them, to conserve capitalist inequality and capitalist exploitation of workers. Just look at those rich university students protesting against the government reforms which allow working class people study at their universities, for example! And rich university students protesting against the government reforms which will reduce the huge spending per student on the rich kids universities, and increase the currently meagre spending on the new universities (where most of the working class students go)!

The local capitalist class, and the U.S. government fund those political organisations of the privileged classes, whose main actions are to oppose egalitarian changes in education, in land redistribution (from rich to poor), in nationalisation and democratisation of industries, etc.. And a significant minority of those rich students and other oppositionists use false-propaganda and fascist-style violence to intimidate and assault egalitarian activists, and to damage property (and to make a failed coup in 2002). Their actions are not constructive for humanity. We, the supporters of the working class's revolution in Venezuela, are often calling on the opposition to participate in the revolution democratically and honestly.

So yeah, Chavez AND the millions of other revolutionaries in Venezuela are weakening the opposition, because democratisation, and increased equality directly conflicts with the continuance of inequality and a ruling class - the capitalist class.
 

Frank Lornitzo (8)
Monday August 10, 2009, 8:20 am
What I'm hearing in this discussion is that the opposition is lead by capitalists. However
are there people who are in the opposition not capitalists? Stating the converse all people in the opposition capitalists or think like capitalists? In other words, is there such an entity as a"loyal
opposition?" Is the opposition like the Republicans in the US after Nixon and Reagan or before Nixon and Reagan? Is the opposition like the Tories in the British parliament or like the opposition that overthrew Allende in Chile?
 

Simon Wood (207)
Monday August 10, 2009, 8:37 am
Christoph Wuth wrote: "There's nothing wrong with socialism per se, but there are different kinds of socialism, including the humane kind, as practiced by Chile, or Sweden."

I would say that the kind practiced in Cuba and Venezuela is more humane than that practiced in Chile and Sweden. In Chile and Sweden, there are homeless people, and in Chile at least, there is quality private school education for privileged classes, while working class children get lower quality government school education, and poor people live in slums and Indigenous people are persecuted.

In Cuba, everyone has a home, free quality health care, equal access to all levels of education, and a guaranteed job or income. Plus Cuba sends more volunteer workers (doctors, technicians, educators, engineers, etc.) overseas than ANY other country does. In Venezuela, the revolution is about increasing human rights, especially the rights of the long-oppressed Indigenous people. And in Venezuela, the people (participating in the communal councils), in democratic cooperation with the government, are building more and more quality housing, providing free health care to everyone, providing free and equal access to all levels of education, providing free food to all poor school children to encourage them to continue school, and so on.

Christoph Wuth wrote: "Socialism means something quite different to primitive, uneducated masses than it does to a developed and educated society."

Everyone wants food, clean water, quality health care, housing, sanitation, electricity, equal access to education, etc., plus democratic control over their own lives. This is what socialism is.

And by the way, the people of Cuba are one of the most educated populations in the world, and the people in Cuba and and Venezuela know more about socialism in theory and practice than most people in capitalist countries.

And the people of countries where they have built large socialist movements, such as Nicaragua, El Salvador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, etc., know enough about socialism and capitalism to know that socialism is the way of increased democracy, equality, human rights, and the other things that they want, and so they are building their movements.

Christoph Wuth wrote: "I have lived through several régimes and Chavez reminds of dictators like Hitler, Stalin and others of their same ilk."

Hugo Chavez is a famous and charismatic leader, and the capitalist class and their mass media make plenty of propaganda about Chavez. That is pretty much where the similarities end. Hugo Chavez is not a dictator. He was democratically-elected in each election he ran in, and those electipons were all declared free and fair by the Carter Center and other independent election monitoring organisations. And he and the revolutionary movement of Venezuela are INCREASING DEMOCRACY in Venezuela. Haven't you ever heard of the new Venezuelan constitution's recallability of politicians, the communal councils, the democratic worker cooperatives, decrease of elite-owned media corporations, growth of community non-profit media, growth of labour unions that are independent of bosses, etc.?

Christoph Wuth wrote: "I've been in Venezuela, Cuba and the former German Democratic Republic and witnessed first hand what their sort of socialism does to its people."

The former German Democratic Republic was stalinist: authoritarian, undemocratic. Venezuela and Cuba are very different to that: much more egalitarian and democratic. People can pretend to be anyone and pretend to say anything, true or false, on the internet. Please show evidence for your claims. I will show evidence for my claims, if people ask for evidence.

My friend from Australia, Tamara Pearson, who is a comrade of mine in the same activist political party (the Socialist Alliance), lives and works in Venezuela, and writes journalism and a blog about her revolutionary participation and life in general in Venezuela, and what she writes about agrees with the above article. Here is her blog:

http://gringadiary.blogspot.com

Here is the website where she publishes many of her less-personal articles:

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com

My friend Jo Williams married a man who has family in Cuba, and they both support the Cuban Revolution, they both say the kinds of positive things that I post about it, and Jo Williams has been there to study the education system as her Masters Degree thesis. I think she would be happy for you to read her thesis, so please ask me if you want to read it and I will ask her to check. Also, here is an article about Cuba that she wrote that is a kind of summary of her thesis:

http://www.greenleft.org.au/2002/498/27992

I trust the political words of my friends (who I am sure share my socialist goals, and who give evidence), much more than I trust what a stranger of unknown political ideology says on the internet without giving evidence.

Christoph Wuth wrote: "Of course, there are always the capitalists and the Gringos to be blamed for the past and present failures of socialism."

With one sentence, Christoph Wuth tries to dismiss more than 120 years of continuing U.S.-supported coups, U.S.-supported brutal regimes, U.S. military invasions, U.S.-supported military invasions, U.S.-supported civil wars, U.S.-supported terrorists, U.S. blockades, U.S. economic exploitation of Latin America, etc., and the fact that the U.S. governments and the capitalist class openly state that they is doing action against socialism. (Their justification for the embargo against Cuba, for example.)

You can close your eyes - but ignoring the truth does not make the truth go away.

Christoph Wuth wrote: "At least people in Venezuela [still] can get out, while those in Cuba must risk their lives each time they attempt to obtain freedom, in the same way many East Germans used to escape [or were murdered in the process]."

East Germany and Cuba were/are very different, as I said above. East Germany was authoritarian and oppressive. Cuba is democratic and is generally not oppressive.

People from Cuba can leave, if they get permission from the country they are going to. Most do so for economic reasons, and/or to join other family members. Some choose to risk their lives to cross the Caribbean Sea into the USA, because the U.S. government has a punishing blockade against the people of Cuba, and sends lying propaganda that makes the U.S. capitalist system look like a happy place, and the U.S. government has been accepting less Cuban immigrants than the agreed quota with Cuba (which raises expectations and frustrations even higher than already), and the U.S. government has a special law of privilege for people from Cuba, which encourages dangerous behaviour by Cubans who want to immigrate. You see, if the U.S. Coast Guard catch boat people, they tow them out to sea again - but if boat people get onto dry land in the USA, then they are allowed to stay. If you think about it, you will realise that this means that boat people from Cuba try to use the smallest, most dangerous craft, to travel across the Caribbean Sea, to avoid detection by the U.S. Coast Guard. The danger is caused by the U.S. actions and the choices of people to risk their lives in unsafe craft on the sea. In Germany, the German Stasi or border guards shot people for trying to leave. But Cuba's authorities don't do such things - they try to save people's lives from a dangerous sea crossing, and make them to get permission from the country they are trying to go to, before leaving.

Christoph Wuth wrote: "It seems moot to argue over which system is better, when those not happy with the injustices of capitalism are entirely free to walk out and settle in a country governed by a sociopolitical system of their own choice."

Ok, then don't argue anymore, if you think it is moot. But I for one, am encouraging people to nationalise and democratise all corporations, and take back our wealth from the rich and give it back to the working class who produced it in the first place. Besides which, capitalist countries generally close their borders to people who want to enter, and for many other reasons, such as poverty, it is difficult to leave capitalist countries, especially for most people in the world, who live in Third World capitalist countries. We socialists are helping them to democratise their economies, to make their societies equal.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Monday August 10, 2009, 8:41 am
Frank Lornitzo wrote: "Thanking Chrsitoph Wuth for his advocacy of "socialism with a human face" . It would be of interest to hear in what capacity he has lived in the countries he mentioned. Has he some kind of journal; is that what he has done or planning? I agree to the extent that the situation in Venezuela deserves a warning especially when so much seems to depend on one person."

The people of Venezuela are making a revolution, and they elected Hugo Chavez as president for now. The revolution does not depend on him.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Monday August 10, 2009, 8:42 am
Actually, Frank, what did you mean by "a warning"?
 

Simon Wood (207)
Monday August 10, 2009, 9:10 am
Frank Lornitzo wrote: "What I'm hearing in this discussion is that the opposition is lead by capitalists. However
are there people who are in the opposition not capitalists?"

That depends on what you mean by "capitalists". The opposition represents the capitalist class, and could be said to be mainly led by the capitalist class (owners of capital, major shareholders). However, the rank-and-file supporters of the opposition are not capitalist class. The rank-and-file of the opposition are mainly middle class, and a few working class people. They are, however, generally capitalist in IDEOLOGY.

Frank Lornitzo wrote: "Stating the converse all people in the opposition capitalists or think like capitalists? In other words, is there such an entity as a"loyal
opposition?"

Hmmm... from what I have seen in hundreds of news articles and a few things on TV and DVD, plus anecdotes from my friend Tamara, etc., the opposition is generally not loyal, not cooperative, not constructive to the revolution.

However, there is an "endogenous rightwing" in the revolution. They are the bureacrats and capitalist-minded people in the revolution who want the changes to slow down or stop. E.g. they are the bureaucrats who are against giving up their power to workers in a change to worker-management in state-owned industries.

Frank Lornitzo wrote: "Is the opposition like the Republicans in the US after Nixon and Reagan or before Nixon and Reagan?"

I don't understand your question. I think the answer would be neither. But I can say that the opposition are like the monarchists in the American Revolution and French Revolution. I.e. they are opposed to the revolution.

Frank Lornitzo wrote: "Is the opposition like the Tories in the British parliament or like the opposition that overthrew Allende in Chile?"

Ah yes. That Chile example is a very close analogy. Yes, the opposition is like the opposition that overthrew Allende in Chile. (By the way, in case anyone doesn't know, the opposition, led by Pinochet, which made a coup in Chile in 1973, imposed dictatorship, murdered thousands of people for their political beliefs, and imprisoned and tortured tens of thousands more, in order to then reverse progressive and egalitarian reforms, and in order to crush the workers' movement, and maximise exploitation.)

The opposition in Venezuela already famously made a U.S.-supported military coup against democratically-elected President Chavez in 2002, and installed a rich businessman as dictator, but within 47 hours, huge numbers of working class Venezuelans wnet into the streets, and in alliance with soldiers loyal to democracy, they reversed the coup.

With all the violence and machiavellian propaganda done by the current opposition in Venezuela, before the 2002 coup, during the coup and after the coup, we can reasonably assume that Venezuela's capitalists would do similar atrocities to what Pinochet's capitralists did in Chile, in order to stay in power. Thus the people's mass uprising that reversed the coup in 2002 saved many lives and prevented much suffering.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Monday August 10, 2009, 9:13 am
Good on you for promoting socialist health care, Marcia! : )
 
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