Analysis of the Current Situation in Venezuela
President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, leader of the Bolivarian Revolution passed away on March 5, 2013. Since then the US Empire in collaboration with Venezuela’s opposition leaders, corporate sector, and mass media have attempted to sabotage the Bolivarian Revolution. Yet, despite such attempts, on April 19, 2013, Venezuelans chose to continue the Bolivarian Revolution by electing President Nicolas Maduro Moros who President Chavez had proposed lead the Bolivarian Revolution after his death. Despite being democratically elected, the opposition has used conventional and unconventional routes to sabotage the Maduro government.
(above) protesters install metal wires (below) protesters burn tires and trash
At the start of 2014, newspapers that historically opposed the Bolivarian government generated public anxiety by blaming the government for the scarcity of primary goods. The newspapers misinformed the public despite the well known historical trend of big corporations halting production during periods of collective bargaining with unions. To further exacerbate the scarcity, the corporate sector hoarded goods and then lied that the scarcity was due to “conditions [that] did not incentivize production.”
To generate further uncertainty and instability for the Chavista[ref]Chavista refers to those that align themselves with the direction and philosophy of the late President Chavez and who support President Nicolas Maduro Moros.[/ref] government and the Venezuelan people, on February 12, 2014, the most radical elements of the Venezuelan right-wing, which included Maria Corina Machado and Leopoldo Lopez, called for the ousting of President Maduro through “the Exit.” They created zones, called “Guarimbas,” where armed people installed metal wires across streets, burned trash on the streets, committed vandalism, and intimidated people with gun shots. The purpose of these zones was to destabilize the government by disrupting community life, schools, transit, and intimidating people into remaining cloistered in their homes.
Despite the deaths (the majority of them Chavistas) of state security personnel and citizens that defied the Guarimbas and continued their daily work for the homeland, the opposition was defeated. As the Venezuelan people’s understanding of their historical moment and responsibility to future generations to continue the revolutionary process expanded and deepened, they refused to join the rightwing leaders’ calls for a National Strike.
With the complete failure of “the Exit,” the corporate elite channeled its efforts to hoarding basic necessities. Not only did this create long queues in the local and regional level, it also impeded President Maduro’s efforts at reducing poverty. Nonetheless, President Nicolas Maduro noted, “The war continues over there [in various sectors, especially the economic]. It is crude. It has not affected the levels of employment due to our milimetrics [precise measures]. Despite it all, we maintain our obsession to reduce poverty.”
On April 10, 2015, a year after the Guarimbas, the opposition attempted to publicly discredit the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the Summit of the American in Panama. Lilian Tintori, wife of Leopoldo Lopez, took stage and denounced the “human rights violation” against her husband Leopoldo Lopez who was being detained at the Ramo Verde jail for encouraging the Guarimbas. Her media charade was exposed when families of the victims of the Guarimbas confronted her with the consequences of Leopoldo Lopez’s calls for violence. In one instance, a woman confronted Lilian Tintori on Leopoldo Lopez’s call for violence which led to the murder of her husband. Lilian Tintori’s attempts to corrupt the summit’s various forums (the Youth, Business, Dean’s, and Civil Society Forums) were countered by the victims and families of victims of the Guarimbas. Despite her efforts, at the end, all the participating countries – except the United States and Canada – supported President Maduro by demanding repeal of Obama’s March 9th executive order that labeled Venezuela “a national security threat.” This was also supported at the parallel event – the People’s Summit – which brought together 2,000 representatives from labor unions, feminists, environmentalists, student groups, and other social movements.
Amidst these destabilizing strategies against the Chavista government, it is important to highlight the phenomenon of “Dolar Today.” Based in the Republic of Colombia, the website creates great inflationary pressure by speculating on the price of the dollar against the Bolivar. In response, the national government announced actions against people that manipulate the parallel market: “A central element that we will develop in order to dismantle this structure is to petition for the extradition of fugitive bankers in Miami that have created this technological platform to generate a false financial bubble that is greatly hurting Venezuela.”
On December 8, 2013, President Hugo Chavez already predicted such economic war would occur in reaction to his health condition: “There will be many who will try to take advantage of difficult situations to restore capitalism, neoliberalism, and destroy the homeland. But they will not succeed, regardless of how great our difficulties, because of all the patriots, revolutionaries, and those that feel our homeland in our innermost selves. As Augusto Mijares would say it is unity, struggle, battle, and victory.”
It’s precisely because of this, that the Bolivarian government has kept its eyes fixed on the prize: to provide the greatest amount of happiness to its citizens. To accomplish this, it has doubled its efforts investing beyond the Economic War by: guaranteeing quality education and access to technology, distributing Canaimitas (computers designed to support the educational system) and electronic tablets to students and teachers, building homes through its Grand Mission Livelihood Venezuela to provide a dignified and complete life to the most disadvantaged, and eliminating extreme poverty through its missions.
In short, the Bolivarian government, led by the President Nicolas Maduro Moros, continues the legacy of the Eternal Commander Hugo Chavez Frias to fight for social justice. Despite the national and international sabotage, President Maduro has not and will not be distracted from his vision – as pronounced by the Liberator Simon Bolivar on February 15, 1819: “The most perfect system of government is that which produces the greatest total happiness, the greatest social security, and the greatest political stability.”
written by Luz Maria Escarra Gil[ref]Luza Maria Escarra Gil is a Venezuelan lawyer, wife of Erich and mother of Ernesto, and Coordinator of Asia and Oceania to the Youth of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (JPSUV). Currently, she is the Legal Consultant for Venezuela’s Ministry of People’s Power for Education. From 2012 to 2013, she served as first secretary in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s Embassy in the Republic of Korea. [/ref]