Marta Harnecker is a Chilean-born socialist activist and intellectual. A former advisor to Venezuela’s late revolutionary president Hugo Chavez, she has written dozens of books on popular struggles and socialist theory.
The new US administration of President Donald Trump publicly declared it will seek regime change in Venezuela. The call, disguised in “transition to democracy” rhetoric, was made by Trump’s proposed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“If confirmed,” the ex-Exxonmobil CEO told Latin America Goes Global, “I would urge close cooperation with our friends in the hemisphere, particularly Venezuela’s neighbours Brazil and Colombia, as well as multilateral bodies such as the OAS, to seek a negotiated transition to democratic rule in Venezuela.”
The government of Hugo Chavez, who was first elected in 1998, helped lead the Bolivarian revolutionary process that made impressive social gains by redistributing oil wealth and promoting participatory democracy.
Since Chavez’s death in 2013, the Bolivarian government led by President Nicolas Maduro has faced mounting problems. In recent times, a worsening economic crisis has undermined the revolution’s gains and, along with political gains by the counter-revolutionary opposition, has raised questions about the survival of the revolution.
The announcement from Venezuela's electoral authority on October 20 that it would head a court ruling and not proceed with a recall referendum has unleashed yet another wave of critical articles and opinion pieces throughout the English-speaking media, labeling Venezuela government as “authoritarian” or even a “dictatorship.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced his proposal for the country’s federal budget for 2017 on October 14 — indicating that a staggering 73.6% would be dedicated toward social investment. It comes in a context of an economic crisis, including shortages of some goods.
In the days leading up to the announcement, the governing Untied Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) held street assemblies with thousands of Venezuelans to discuss and debate the proposed budget.
“In a democracy like ours, the budget is debated by the people,” Maduro said on October 12.
Thousands marched in Venezuela’s capital of Caracas on October 12 to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance — previously known as “Colombus Day”. The march also sought to counter opposition mobilisations in favour of the recall referendum against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
Oppose the coups in Latin America! Solidarity with the people of Venezuela and Brazil!
We, the undersigned, condemn the destabilisation plan underway in Venezuela against President Nicolas Maduro. We send our solidarity to President Maduro and the Venezuelan people who are resisting attempts by right-wing opposition forces to oust a democratically-elected government by violent means in violation of the democratic vote of the people and the country’s constitution.
Caracas, September 7.
Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas and other major cities across the country on September 7, calling for peace in their country and rejecting right-wing opposition plans to destabilise the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
The march was called by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and joined by civil society groups and grassroots movements.
Violent opposition protest. Caracas, September 1.
Thousands of Venezuela's right-wing opposition took to the streets in Caracas on September 1 in a menacing march labelled “the taking of Caracas”.
The demonstration aimed to prod election officials to speed up the legal process for a recall referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office before the end of this year.
Pro-revolution march on August 30. Photo via TeleSUR.
The statement below was released by the Philippines-Venezuela Solidarity Network (PhilVenSol) on August 31. It comes after calls from Venezuela for international solidarity against new US-backed destabilisation against the elected government and revolutionary movement.