Yvonne (Cuba Solidarity Campaign) and Giles (CPGB-ML)
Another successful meeting was held in Bristol, in a series of such meetings hosted by CPGB-ML across the country to mark the great contribution Comrade Chavez has made to the progressive movement. The meeting, held on Thursday 14 March, attracted a range of people including some from Poland and Spain as well as local Bristol residents.
The local organiser of Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Yvonne, spoke first recounting the solidarity and camaraderie between Cuba and Venezuela and also personally between Fidel and Chavez. Yvonne echoed the sadness that had been felt in Cuba at the loss of Chavez at such a young age and remarked that it had only been a couple of years ago that Fidel was fighting illness and Chavez had been the one to visit his hospital bedside.
She also highlighted the benefits that had been brought to the region through the creation of ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean, and CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Following Yvonne’s contribution, Comrade Giles of the CPGB-ML gave a well-informed speech explaining the context that lead to Chavez getting elected in 1998, the attempted coup against him in 2002 and the development and achievements of the Bolivarian revolution, with statistics and commentary about how the lives of the majority of Venezuelans have been positively affected.
Giles also showed Chavez’s international solidarity and his courage in standing firm in support of the countries who are defending their sovereignty against the might of imperialism. Giles spoke of Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad in Iran, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Al Assad in Syria, and Gaddafi in Libya, all of which typified his determination to stand on the side of the oppressed.
A lively discussion followed the presentation with additional comments made about how the media is used to create a false impression of these leaders. An example from Spain was of the paper El Pais constantly referring to Chavez as a dictator and carrying misinformation about the advances made in Venezuela. It was agreed that this the same as happens in the newspapers in Britain and is done deliberately to try and deflect peoples’ attention away from the idea that there is an alternative to capitalism.
The conclusion of the meeting gave its full support to Venezuelan government as it stands firm to defends the gains that have been made over the last 14 years. Imperialism will no doubt be working hard to attempt to roll back these achievements and will use any trick it can to get back control of the wealth of Venezuela. It is therefore our internationalist duty to stand strong and vigilant in opposing any such attempts by imperialism.
Just as Comrade Hugo Chavez was a staunch defender of those who stood on the axis of resistance in the face of imperialist hegemony, we must learn from this great example and also stand firm in solidarity with our comrades, brothers and sisters in Venezuela.
A final red salute to our comrade Hugo Chavez.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Bristol CPGB-ML will be hosting another public meeting Fighting for communism: the future that works! on Thursday 4 April, 7.30pm at Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY. The meeting will be a short film showing followed by discussion. All are welcome, we hope to see some more new faces.
For more details click here: http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=events
To: Comrade Nicolás Maduro
To: The leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)
To: The people of Venezuela
It was with feelings of deep and inconsolable grief that we learned the news that Comrade Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, the respected and beloved leader of the Venezuelan revolution and the Venezuelan people and the true friend and comrade-in-arms of working and oppressed people everywhere, passed away after a long and tenacious battle against illness.
Please accept our most heartfelt condolences, which we offer to Comrade Chávez’s comrades, his family and loved ones and to all the Venezuelan people who are standing in their place, defending the gains of the revolution that Commandante Chávez has led with such distinction.
Comrade Chávez will be remembered forever as a towering figure in humanity’s fight for liberation. Thanks to him, millions of his compatriots were lifted out of poverty and were accorded their human dignity for the first time in history. Moreover, he proclaimed the goal of building a socialist society and set out on the road to achieve that.
Comrade Chávez was also a thoroughgoing internationalist. He stood in the vanguard of the struggle to win national liberation and social progress for the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean and through his leadership of such bodies as ALBA and Petrocaribe turned what had long been the strategic backyard of US imperialism into a beacon of hope for a new world free of imperialism.
A tireless fighter, he extended his utmost support to every country and every people fighting against US imperialism and its lackeys and for national liberation, social progress and socialism.
Comrade Chávez was a supremely brave individual. Imprisonment or the threat of death could not deter him. Indeed, he turned them into political weapons to advance the struggle. From the time when he was first diagnosed with cancer, he waged that final battle with the same bravery, determination and resilience with which he lived his entire life.
Comrade Chávez has left us too soon. He had so much more to give. But like all great revolutionary leaders he is more than an individual. As Comrade Evo Morales has said, at this moment Hugo Chávez is more alive than ever and he will always be with us.
The revolutionary people of Venezuela are the great people brought up by Commandante Chávez! We are confident that they will continue the struggle he led and will march forward towards the bright socialist future.
Comrades, at this moment in particular, we want to assure of our full support and solidarity for the Venezuelan revolution and your anti-imperialist struggle for socialism. All our sympathies are with you.
ETERNAL GLORY TO COMRADE HUGO RAFAEL CHÁVEZ FRIAS!
CPGB-ML, 7 March 2013
President Hugo Chavez
Statement of the PCMLV on the death of Commandante Chávez
The Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Venezuela, PCMLV, expresses its grief and solidarity at the physical loss of Commandante President Hugo Chávez Frias to all the workers, peasants, students, women’s organisations, revolutionary, anti-imperialist, socialist and Bolivarian parties and organisations of the masses.
We also express our condolences to all his family, friends and to the national government for the loss of a great humanist, a patriotic, progressive and consistent revolutionary statesman, as President Hugo Chávez proved to be until the last days of his existence.
We call on the working class, which knows how to rise to the challenge in the revolutionary struggle in the most pressing moments of history, to prepare to resist and defeat the reactionaries who will not hesitate to take advantage of this difficult time to thwart through violent means the gains and demands that we have achieved under the leadership of President Chávez. Imperialism will set stronger traps at this sorrowful moment that the national-revolutionary movement is going through.
The call is to not renounce the struggle to build socialism, the banner that President Hugo Chávez raised in all circumstances; this banner needs to be taken up rigorously and courageously by all the workers of this nation in this difficult moment in history. We, as party of the working class in Venezuela, make the call for the struggle and building of socialism and communism from the scientific conception of
The acts of sabotage, of hired killers, the terrorism, food shortages, the propaganda of disinformation, anxiety and manipulation will intensify. The national and international reactionaries feel victorious at this time, but the national and world working class will go forward with the necessary and strategic battles to continue the path of victory and the accumulation of forces to confront the fascists and imperialists.
The death of the President of the Republic must not mean the decline in popular organisation, but rather it must serve as an impetus for future struggles against the class enemy. We must not believe in the phony condolences of the local right wing, which on dozens of occasions tried to assassinate the commandante. These sectors are moved by a single impulse: profit at any cost whatever.
The right wing is evaluating what actions to take in the coming days. It is no coincidence that the Venezuelan government expelled two US military attaches for conspiratorial work.
We strongly call on all the revolutionary elements to close ranks against the capitalist and imperialist enemy. The working class must be prepared for a possible difficult situation; it must not trust the bourgeois enemy that has historically proven to be traitorous. If the pro-imperialist bourgeoisie tries to take advantage of this hard time of grief of the humble and exploited masses, the masses should respond forcefully and applying revolutionary violence.
Socialism can only be built with the worker-peasant alliance in power and the people in arms!
Caracas, 5 March 2013
This motion was passed unanimously at the recent CPGB-ML party congress
The congress hopes to see the victory of Hugo Chávez in the presidential elections now being held in Venezuela in recognition of his valiant defence of Venezuela’s political and economic sovereignty and promotion of the interests of the broad masses of Venezuelan people throughout the time that he has held the country’s presidency.
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 1 October
Imperialism will be working hard to see Chavez ousted in the presidential elections due to be held in Venezuela next year.
One issue that greatly concerns it is compensation for Venezuela’s oil nationalisations. Whereas Venezuela has been willing to pay a very reasonable $1bn, the imperialists are insisting on at least $6bn.
Venezuela is facing about 20 international arbitration cases after a wave of nationalisations of strategic sections of the economy, including energy, metals, cement, food and utilities, which could give rise to a total bill in the region of $40bn that the Chavez government will certainly not be willing to pay.
In fact, Venezuela’s recent moves to repatriate all its gold holdings and to move its international reserves out of the US and Europe are widely seen as signalling that Venezuela will not pay anything more than it considers fair.
Via Postcards from the Revolution
By Eva Golinger
In 1983, the strategy of overthrowing inconvenient governments and calling it ‘democracy promotion’ was born.
Through the creation of a series of quasi-private ‘foundations’, such as Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House and later the International Center for Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC), Washington began to filter funding and strategic aid to political parties and groups abroad that promoted US agenda in nations with insubordinate governments.
Behind all these ‘foundations’ and ‘institutes’ is the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the financial branch of the Department of State. Today, USAID has become a critical part of the security, intelligence and defence axis in Washington. In 2009, the Interagency Counterinsurgency Initiative became official doctrine in the US. Now, USAID is the principal entity that promotes the economic and strategic interests of the US across the globe as part of counterinsurgency operations.
Its departments dedicated to transition initiatives, reconstruction, conflict management, economic development, governance and democracy are the main venues through which millions of dollars are filtered from Washington to political parties, NGOs, student organisations and movements that promote US agenda worldwide. Wherever a coup d’etat, a coloured revolution or a regime change favorable to US interests occurs, USAID and its flow of dollars is there.
How does a coloured revolution work?
The recipe is always the same. Student and youth movements lead the way with a fresh face, attracting others to join in as though it were the fashion, the cool thing to do. There’s always a logo, a colour, a marketing strategy.
In Serbia, the group OTPOR, which led the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, hit the streets with t-shirts, posters and flags boasting a fist in black and white, their symbol of resistance. In Ukraine, the logo remained the same, but the colour changed to orange. In Georgia, it was a rose-colored fist, and in Venezuela, instead of the closed fist, the hands are open, in black and white, to add a little variety.
Coloured revolutions always occur in a nation with strategic, natural resources: gas, oil, military bases and geopolitical interests. And they also always take place in countries with socialist-leaning, anti-imperialist governments. The movements promoted by US agencies in those countries are generally anti-communist, anti-socialist, pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist.
Protests and destabilisation actions are always planned around an electoral campaign and process, to raise tensions and questions of potential fraud, and to discredit the elections in the case of a loss for the opposition, which is generally the case. The same agencies are always present, funding, training and advising: USAID, NED, IRI, NDI, Freedom House, AEI and ICNC. The latter two pride themselves on the expert training and capacitation of youth movements to encourage ‘non-violent’ change.
The strategy seeks to debilitate and disorganise the pillars of state power, neutralising security forces and creating a sensation of chaos and instability. Colonel Robert Helvey, one of the founders of this strategy and a director at AEI, explained that the objective is not to destroy the armed forces and police, but rather “convert them” - convince them to leave the present government and “make them understand that there is a place for them in the government of tomorrow”.
Youth are used to try and debilitate security forces and make it more difficult for them to engage in repression during public protests. Srdja Popovic, founder of OTPOR, revealed that Helvey taught them “how to select people in the system, such as police officers, and send them the message that we are all victims, them and us, because it’s not the job of a police officer to arrest a 13-year-old protestor, for example …”
It’s a well-planned strategy directed towards the security forces, public officials and the public in general, with a psychological warfare component and a street presence that give the impression of a nation on the verge of popular insurrection.
In 2003, AEI touched ground in Venezuela. Colonel Helvey himself gave a nine-day intensive course to the Venezuelan opposition on how to “restore democracy” in the country. According to AEI’s annual report, opposition political parties, NGOs, activists and labor unions participated in the workshop, learning the techniques of how to “overthrow a dictator”. This was a year after the failed coup d’etat - led by those same groups - against President Chavez.
What came right after the AEI intervention was a year of street violence, constant destabilization attempts and a recall referendum against Chavez. The opposition lost 60-40, but cried fraud. Their claims were pointless. Hundreds of international observers, including the Carter Center and the OAS, certified the process as transparent, legitimate and fraud-free.
In March 2005, the Venezuelan opposition and AEI joined forces again, but this time the old political parties and leaders were replaced by a select group of students and young Venezuelans. Two former leaders of OTPOR came from Belgrade, Slobodan Dinovic and Ivan Marovic, to train the Venezuelan students on how to build a movement to overthrow their president. Simultaneously, USAID and NED funding to groups in Venezuela skyrocketed to around $9m.
Freedom House set up shop in Venezuela for the first time ever, working hand in hand with USAID and NED to help consolidate the opposition and prepare it for the 2006 presidential elections. ICNC, led by former Freedom House president Peter Ackerman, also began to train the youth opposition movement, providing intensive courses and seminars in regime change techniques.
That year, the newly-trained students launched their movement. The goal was to impede the electoral process and create a scenario of fraud, but they failed. Chavez won the elections with 64 percent of the vote, a landslide victory. In 2007, the movement was relaunched in reaction to the government’s decision to not renew the broadcasting license of a private television station, RCTV, a voice of the opposition. The students took to the streets with their logo in hand and along with the aid of mainstream media, garnered international attention.
Several were selected by US agencies and sent to train again in Belgrade in October 2007. Student leader Yon Goicochea was awarded $500,000 from the right-wing Washington think tank, Cato Institute, to set up a training center for opposition youth inside Venezuela.
Today, those same students are the faces of the opposition political parties, evidencing not only their clear connection with the politics of the past, but also the deceit of their own movement. The coloured revolutions in Georgia and the Ukraine are fading. Citizens of those nations have become disenchanted with those that took power through an apparent ‘autonomous’ movement and have begun to see they were fooled.
The coloured revolutions are nothing more than the red, white and blue of US agencies, finding new and innovative ways to try and impose Empire’s agenda.
From Venezuela’s US embassy, via Stephen Gowans
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela - Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs - Statement
Emergency Health Situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe
The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on behalf of the Venezuelan people, expresses its solidarity with the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe during this public health crisis caused by a cholera epidemic that is hitting this brother country in southern Africa. Likewise, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela manifests its firm rejection of the use of this emergency situation by outside factors to politically destabilize Zimbabwe, its government, and the twisting of national dialogue and regional mediation taking place in this Republic for a Zimbabwean agreement.
The people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, upset over the 1,111 victims of cholera and nearly 20,000 cases of infected people, offer their condolences to affected families, and expresses their solidarity during this difficult time.
President Hugo Chávez, on behalf of the Venezuelan people, calls upon the international community to contribute medicine and doctors to control the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe. He also manifests his solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, hopes this difficult situation will be overcome, and expresses his support for the independent government of Zimbabwe in its efforts for stability and peace in this brother country of Africa.
Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, Unofficial translation by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / December 19, 2008