The Venezuelan Opposition is Not Against The Government – it Opposes the Democratic Process

[Online Commentary]

Following the recent unrest and protests occurring in Venezuela, reports are alarming. The spate of “violence over the last 18 days is shocking – schools have been ransacked, a Supreme Court building has been torched, an air force base attacked, while public transport, health and veterinary facilities have been destroyed. At least 23 people have been left dead, with many more injured.” [1] A maternity hospital bearing the name “Hugo Chavez Frias” was attacked threatening women and infants.

That is despicable and unforgivable. Those responsible should be brought to justice. But even more so should those responsible for two crimes committed in cold-blood reported by Telesur. “Trade union leader, Esmin Ramirez, was killed Sunday in the state of Bolivar after being kidnapped in an act that people close to him claim was driven by political motives.” [2]

A second community leader, Jackeline Ortega, was murdered in the greater Caracas area in Santa Lucia del Tuy. Ortega was a leader in the Local Committee on Supply and Production, known as CLAP, a government-created alternative food distribution program.

Both leaders were active members of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – PSUV), and they surely paid the highest price because of that. These are not just random crimes against two individuals. These are targeted crimes, allegedly and credibly carried out by the Venezuelan so-called opposition, motivated by an unreasonable hatred towards the Bolivarian revolutionary project.

Hugo Chavez, who became its first president, envisioned the founding process of the PSUV in December 2006. The party was finally established in March 2008 and it has today close to 8 million members. The first article of the party statutes says, “The party advocates unity and ethics, in politics and in the permanent action that characterizes the revolutionary, anti-imperialist and socialist action.” [3]

Article 2 more explicitly says, “The fundamental purpose of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is the construction of Bolivarian Socialism, anti-imperialist struggle, anti-capitalist struggle and the consolidation of Bolivarian democracy, participatory and protagonist, through the recognition and strengthening of People’s Power. In its anti-imperialist essence it has an internationalist vocation and therefore of unity and alliance with the exploited peoples of the world and its popular and progressive movements, in order to put an end to capitalism. The party assumes the task of strengthening South-South relations, with the peoples of Our America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.” [3]

The PSUV has empowered workers and labour unions with its affirmation to fight “together with the working people, sharing their struggles, their victories and defeats.” The Venezuelan working class has contributed enormously to the social gains in Venezuela. They have been part and recipients of those gains.

The struggle of the working class everywhere is to achieve their rights against, and towards the elimination of capitalism. As a consequence of that commitment, whenever workers gain their rightful status or interfere with the capitalist class they are relentlessly attacked, muzzled and killed. In this case we are certain who the perpetrators are. They are the same right wing treasonous forces emboldened by the support of the U.S. government and the likes of Luis Almagro, infamous Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Be it in government like in Honduras with the killing of environmental activist and indigenous leader Berta Caceres, or in the “opposition” like in the case of Venezuela, the right wing forces use violence as an act of terrorism against the people.

The killing of two outstanding members of the PSUV in Venezuela is a criminal manifestation of rejection to the fundamental principles that legitimately govern Venezuela today.

The small right wing Venezuelan “opposition” has chosen a violent path. Their opposition is not against the government anymore; their actions oppose the democratic process. They have repeatedly refused the government invitation – to this day – to sit down in dialogue.

In the meantime the Venezuelan people have shown a great deal of restrain to prevent escalation of violence but they will not remain idle.

This Tuesday [April 25], the Bolivarian working class gathers on the occasion of a great mobilization, as part of the Working Class Chapter of the [parliamentary group] Congreso de la Patria [Congress of the Homeland]. The workers will go to the Miraflores Palace in support of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.” [4]

Venezuelans have too much at stake not to defend their Bolivarian Revolution.

[1] https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13070

[2] http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Chavista-Trade-Unionist-Kidnapped-and-Murdered-in-Venezuela-20170424-0011.html

[3] http://www.psuv.org.ve/psuv/estatutos/

[4] http://www.psuv.org.ve/temas/noticias/este-martes-clase-obrera-se-moviliza-apoyo-al-presidente-maduro/#.WP-d1VKZP-Y



Nino Pagliccia

Nino Pagliccia has two Master’s Degrees from Stanford University and is a retired researcher on Canada-Cuba collaborative projects at the University of British Columbia. He has published many peer-reviewed journal articles and has contributed chapters to books on topics about Cuba, the Cuban healthcare system and solidarity. He has been a long-time activist and has organized groups to do voluntary work in Cuba for almost 15 years.


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