Venezuela’s Grassroots: “We Need to Lead the Revolution”

Venezuela Commune A man painting a mural in the Ataroa commune (Voces Urgentes)

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim for Venezuela Analysis. Venezuelan grassroots activists say the upcoming National Constituent Assembly (ANC) could be a major step forward for the country’s commune movement and could deepen the Bolivarian revolution. Called by President Nicolas Maduro, the ANC will have broad powers to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution following the election of delegates in July. When Maduro called the assembly on May 1, he argued it could be an avenue for overcoming the country’s current political and economic crisis. The initiative has been welcomed by much of Venezuela’s left, with activists from progressive social movements viewing the assembly as a way to deepen the country’s Bolivarian revolution. Jesus Silva is one such activist. This week, he registered as a pre-candidate for the ANC elections. Speaking to venezuelanalysis.com, he said he hopes to represent his movement, the Alexis Vive Patriotic Force, at the ANC later this year. “Enough of impositions, of finger pointing, of the habits of the old political culture of imposition; enough of corruption, of bureaucrats, we believe that we [the grassroots] need to lead the revolution,” he told VA.

World Ignores Opposition Violence At Venezuela Protests

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By Sharmini Peries and Abby Martin for The Real News. I was very surprised to see that the reality was vastly different than what we are being told, Sharmini. I mean, yes, you hear all these horrific stories, right, from on the ground, amidst these protests, and you keep hearing 60 dead, Maduro kills 60 protestors, Maduro’s forces. And what you realize when you get there is, the country is pretty much split in two. It’s heavily divided between Chavistas and the opposition, and of course, amidst such economic, such a horrible economic crisis, people are going to have really strong opinions, but there are certainly huge marches on the ground on both sides. Tens of thousands of people marching for the government, for the opposition, and these are peaceful marches, jubilant atmosphere. Things are very calm, and then what you realize is, when you see these violent statistics and casualties and the death toll that’s rising, and the harsh quote unquote “repression” from government forces, it’s not happening at these marches. It’s happening at something called guarimbas.

Venezuela Resists U.S. Sabotage

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By Berta Joubert-Ceci for Worker’s World – These criminal acts have been directed with surgical accuracy against people identified as pro-Chavista. The reactionaries have targeted state establishments, too. The criminals have burned or destroyed everything — from entire fleets of public buses and offices of the government party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), to maternity and children’s hospitals. They recently burned down Chávez’s childhood home. These terrorists have already killed about 60 people. Their cruelty is unimaginable, as is their terrible racist character. After identifying a young Afro-Venezuelan as a Chavista, the criminals set him on fire, chased him and then stabbed him. When some women from the wealthy sector of Altamira in Caracas saw an Indigenous woman, a well-known artist, they shouted at her, insulted her, and kicked and hit her with flag poles. Paid criminal gangs and Colombian paramilitaries are also involved in these terrorist acts. The Venezuelan government denounced the use of children in these attacks to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is important to emphasize that although the corporate media present these terrorist acts as chaos at the national level…

US Begins Military Exercises Off Venezuelan Coast

From telesurtv.net

By Staff of Tele Sur – In April, Kurt Tidd, US Southern Command chief submitted a report to the senate warning that Venezuela could be a “destabilizing” element for the region. The United States Southern Command began military exercises Tuesday with 18 other nations and about 2,500 soldiers on the island of Barbados, 670 miles from Venezuela’s coast. The military organization reported that the so-called “Tradewinds 2017″ is a “multinational exercise of security and response to maritime disasters in the Caribbean,” with the participation of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana , Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as military personnel from the US, Canada, France, Mexico and the United Kingdom. According to the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command Kurt W. Tidd these military maneuvers ensure the security of the region. However, the military force has been accused of intervening and threatening governments in the region, such as Venezuela. In April, Tidd submitted a report to the U.S. Senate warning that Venezuela could be a “destabilizing” element for the region.

Los Angeles Forum On Venezuela Proceeds Despite Right Wing Protests

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By Mike Wang for PSL – On June 2 the Party for Socialism and Liberation held a forum in Los Angeles featuring PSL member Mike Prysner who gave an eye-witness report on his recent trip to Venezuela. The event was a solidarity event supporting the Bolivarian Revolution against the attacks by the Venezuelan right wing—attacks which have included racist self-proclaimed lynchings carried out by ultra-rightist elements of the Venezuelan opposition. Prysner and Abby Martin of TeleSur’s The Empire Files recently visited Venezuela to gather research and interviews for the show, which Prysner produces. Since that trip, both have been receiving death threats from the rightwing opposition, which has composed a whole saga of rumors, slanders and outright lies about Martin and Prysner. Despite a complete lack of evidence of any sort, the main slander is that Martin and Prysner are paid employees of the Venezuelan National Guard (GNB) tasked with infiltrating and reporting on the opposition to the Venezuelan authorities. Jose Vicente Carrasquero Aumaitre, a professor of political science in Venezuela and a prominent rightist, was the first to make the accusation, claiming on Twitter that Martin and Prysner “infiltrate opposition protests in order to collect intelligence for the GNB.”

Right Wing Venezuelans Threaten Reporters Abby Martin & Michael Prysner

Abby Martin and Mike Prysner

By Ben Norton for AlterNet – Prominent members of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition, including professors and journalists, are spreading blatant lies about U.S. journalists, inciting violence and subjecting them to a torrent of extreme death threats. As the price of oil has plummeted, Venezuela has seen growing inflation and goods shortages. The South American nation’s right-wing opposition — which has long been backed by the United States government, and which in 2002 briefly carried out a coup, with U.S. support — has exploited this crisis to launch a borderline insurgency against the democratically elected socialist government. For months, the right-wing opposition has been engaging in large, often bloody demonstrations. Protesters have lynched three Afro-Venezuelans, whom they accused of being “infiltrators”; two of the men were burned alive. Right-wing demonstrators have also set fire to government buildings and buses, and even thrown explosives and molotov cocktails at police. In response, Venezuelan security forces have cracked down on the violent protests. Dozens of people have been killed, on both sides. Some academic experts have suggested that the opposition is intentionally provoking a violent response, in hopes of attracting international media attention.

Right-Wing Terrorism In Venezuela

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By Frederick B. Mills and William Camacaro for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Venezuela – One May 20, the 21 year old vendor from the shanty town of Petare, Orlando José Figueras, was beaten, stabbed, doused with gasoline and set on fire by opposition militants in the middle class neighborhood of Altamira during an anti-government demonstration reportedly because they took him for a Chavista or a thief. This atrocity has sent tremors throughout the popular barrios and raised the profile of terrorism from the right in Venezuela. The horrific scene was captured on video and by professional photographer, Marco Bello, and described in testimonies of the victim and his parents. Other demonstrators at the scene reportedly urged the attackers not to kill Figueras as he pleaded for his life.

Script For Plans To Destroy Bolivarian Revolution Was Written In Washington

Protests in Venezuela have become more violent and better organized as projected in non-conventional warfare strategy. Photo: AVN

By Sergio Alejandro Gómez for Granma – The U.S. doctrine of non-conventional war is based on manipulating citizens to encourage confrontations with authorities, to achieve the strategic objectives of a foreign power without having troops on the ground BREAKING the law, creating a parallel government, organizing alternative economic institutions, harassing public officials, destroying property, hoarding of goods, marching, obstructing social events, boycotting elections, disrupting schools, using false identities, seeking arrests, launching hunger strikes, and overwhelming the state administrative systems – are only a few of the 198 methods to overthrow governments proposed by CIA coup expert Gene Sharp, more than 40 years ago. Finding just one of these techniques that has not been used against Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is difficult. These last several years, President Nicolás Maduro’s administration has faced particularly intense attacks and the implementation of so-called Non-Conventional War, based on psychological manipulation, social protest, coups, and irregular armed struggle.

US Has Budgeted $49M For Venezuelan Right-Wing Since 2009

U.S.-funded violent opposition protests continued into their seventh week. | Photo: Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – The funds have now become a mainstay of the U.S. State Department congressional budget for foreign operations. Since at least 2009 the U.S. Department of State has budgeted at least US$49 million in total to support right-wing opposition forces in Venezuela who are now in their seventh week of violent protests to oust democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro. According to the 2010 budget justification, which designated US$6 million that year to Venezuela’s “Economic Support Fund” the budget “will support efforts to preserve and expand democratic space through programs that strengthen and promote civil society, citizen participation, independent media, human rights organizations, and democratic political parties.” In a more detailed breakdown of the 2011 US$5 million budgeted for Venezuelan economic support, the budget indicates that US$1 million was designated specifically for the support of “political competition and consensus building.”

Venezuelan Revolutionaries Demand ‘Truly Communal State’

A pro-government supporter wears a T-Shirt with image of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez, as he waits for results during congressional elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim for Venezuela Analysis – Puebla, Mexico, May 13, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas this week to rally in support of the country’s commune movement. Socialist revolutionaries from across the country joined the march, calling on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to endorse a proposal to provide constitutional recognition of communes. Currently, the commune movement has broad legal recognition, but isn’t included in the country’s constitution. However, commune supporters are optimistic that could soon change, with Maduro recently calling for constitutional reform. “The commune is the essence of the people,” said Frank Corrales from the Guerrero JiraJara Socialist Commune. Speaking to Venezuelanalysis during a rally on Tuesday, Corrales said, “We know what we really need [and] … it is in us to truly prepare, from the grassroots, the transformation of this state into a truly communal state.” “We have to keep transforming the state, into a socialist state, where the largest possible amount of happiness is brought to all of the people. The commune or nothing!” he said.

Standoff In Venezuela

From links.org.au

By Staff of LINKS – There is no better indication of the deceptiveness of the mainstream media’s narrative than the spatial nature of the anti-government protests in early 2014 known as the “guarimba” and again this year. The protests are centred in the middle and upper class areas whose mayors belong to the opposition. The strategy behind the protests is for the mass civil disobedience, confrontation with security forces and widespread destruction of public property to spread to the poorer areas. Certainly, the popular sectors have a long tradition of street protests, particularly over deficient public services. But the popular sectors have remained largely passive, although with more exceptions now than in 2014. Obviously the opposition is banking on greater active popular support than in 2014. Along similar lines, the Chavista United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has been more damaged by electoral abstention among disenchanted Chavistas than those who end up voting for the opposition. Such electoral behaviour is what explains the Chavista defeat in the December 2014 elections for the National Assembly. But the Chavista leaders still have an impressive degree of mobilisation capacity, as was demonstrated in two recent marches, one on Venezuelan Independence Day on April 19, and the other on May 1.

Take Action! Dialogue, Not US Interference In Venezuela – No To S-1018

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By Staff of Alliance for Global Justice – The bill claims there are 108 political prisoners, naming a number of opposition figures including some found responsible for deaths during the violent demonstrations following the 2015 presidential election won by President Maduro. While US-dominated financial institutions block international loans to Venezuela, the bill reverses the reality and “calls on Venezuelan President Maduro to permit humanitarian assistance, immediately release all political prisoners, and seek assistance from international financial institutions.” The bill authorizes $10 million for the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide “humanitarian assistance” which is code for funding the opposition, including the violent opposition. It backs OAS General Secretary Almagro’s campaign to invoke the OAS Democratic Charter against Venezuela as a means to directly intervene to allegedly “restore democracy.” Almagro’s campaign has failed to pass the OAS General Assembly and has resulted in Venezuela’s announcement to withdraw its membership from the OAS.

Who Is Behind The State Department’s Coup Plot In Venezuela?

These actions led by the United States lead toward one final aim: intervention by financial and preventive military means. | Photo: teleSUR

By Misión Verdad of Tele Sur – The Council on Foreign Relations, or CFR, is a think tank founded in 1921 with money from the Rockefeller Foundation. It is aimed at creating a group of experts to shape U.S. foreign policy and its leadership positions, including the president and the State Department, which does not act for its own reasons but rather according to the interests of these lobbyists. Since it was created, the council, which is made up of 4,500 members, has placed a number of senior officials in positions to implement CFR strategy. These include Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, responsible for the war in Vietnam, Yugoslavia and Iraq respectively, and in the case of Powell, a major player in the April 2002 coup. Moreover, an honorary member and ex-vice president of the think tank was David Rockefeller, the former owner of Standard Oil Company who has great interests and influence in Venezuela. His penetration in the country’s national political life reached such a point that he was one of the sponsors of the Punto Fijo pact that gave rise to the Fourth Republic.

The Latin American Left Today Global Center For Resistance

Anti-imperialism grafitti in Latin America

By Staff for Telesur. From Brazil to Venezuela there have been radical shifts in the geopolitical landscape of the region. However, Latin America remains a global center for creativity and resistance. Torn between right and left – and dealing with the significant pressures of imperialism and a colonial legacy – popular forces have been fighting for their social rights and progress, making significant strides and remaining vital despite setbacks. Amid this complicated scenario, teleSUR takes a look at the Latin American left of today – from the Indigenous councils to the national assemblies, the urban centers to the rural villages – which continues to stand strong and fight for an integrated, united and socialist future.

Mass Protests In Venezuela, On Both Sides

Protests against Nicolas Mduro in Caracas April 20, 2017

By Lucas Koerner for Venezueal Analysis. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of the capital Wednesday in massive pro and anti-government rallies marking the country’s independence day. Thousands of red-clad supporters of President Nicolas Maduro mobilized in four separate marches that culminated in a mass rally along Bolivar Avenue in downtown Caracas. “I am here to support the Revolution… because I love my country, I’m a Chavista in the flesh and I support Chavez and Maduro, and I want that to be heard in the US, Europe and the rest of the world so they can’t say this is a show, that we don’t have numbers, that we’re paid to be here. No, this is real,” one marcher told Venezuelanalysis.