Thursday, September 10, 2020

On the political situation in Venezuela: Letter by the Communist Party (PCV)

In a letter addressed to the fraternal Communist and Workers' Parties of the world, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) describes the major issues concerning the current political, economic and social situation in Venezuela.

It must be noted that in August, the Communist Party of Venezuela along with other parties and political groups formed an anti-imperialist alliance under the name "Popular Revolutionary Alternative" (Alternativa Popular Revolucionaria- APR). 

The full letter of the Political Bureau of the PCV, which was published in Solidnet, is the following:

"Dear and esteemed Comrades:

First of all, receive a cordial and fraternal greeting from the Polit Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV). The purpose of this letter is to bring you up to date on the policy drawn up by the Central Committee of our organization in response to the heightened crisis of Venezuelan dependent and renter capitalism. This crisis has been accentuated by the multifaceted aggression of US imperialism and the government's implementation of liberal policies in favour of capital, which make the living conditions of the working class and the working people of the city and the countryside critically poor, especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming parliamentary elections.

At the beginning of July and August of this year, we held the XVII and XVIII plenary of the Central Committee, respectively, which carried out an analysis of the international and national political context with the aim of adjusting our political tactics to the new conditions of class struggle in Venezuela. Equally, we considered the prospects for the accumulationof forces as part of the upcoming parliamentary elections announced by the National Electoral Council for 6 December 2020. 

After a thorough and fruitful discussion, the XVII Plenary of the Central Committee (2 and 3 July 2020) approved the political orientation of "... promoting the construction of a revolutionary, broad, unitary, non-exclusive, patriotic and anti-imperialist Alternative Revolutionary Alliance, which assumes a combative program for a revolutionary way our of the Venezuelan crisis of dependent and renter capitalism, which transcends the electoral event and expresses the worker-peasant, communard and popular revolutionary unity and the broad patriotic and anti-imperialist alliance..."

This decision corresponds to the implementation of the policy approved by the 15th National Congress of the PCV (June 2017) and developed by our 14th National Conference (February 2018) which concluded that: "Building a new correlation of forces, led by a strong worker-peasant, communard and popular revolutionary unity is a strategic objective to ensure the implementation of policies, measures and government actions that aim not only to emerge from the crisis of the capitalist system in favour of the working class and the working people of the city and the countryside, but also to achieve the triumph of the proletariat and the popular revolution...". 

It is upon the basis of these formulations of our Congress and National Conference, and the subsequent developments of the Central Committee, which the construction of the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) is based, from the perspective of the PCV.

In the context of the 14th National Conference, our Party approved adding its support to the presidential candidacy of compatriot Nicolás Maduro Moros for the presidential elections of May 2018. For this purpose, on February 26, 2018 Maduro signed “The PSUV-PCV Unitary Framework Agreement to deal with the crisis of Venezuela's dependent and rentier capitalism with anti-imperialist, patriotic and popular political and socioeconomic actions."

In the 30 months since the signing of that document to the XVII plenary session of the CCPCV, the government of President Nicolás Maduro and the national leadership of the PSUV, despite efforts by the PCV, showed no political will to discuss and let alone fulfil any of the commitments inherent at the national level and contained in the bilateral agreement. Joint initiatives have only been coordinated on the international stage, seeking solidarity with the Venezuelan people and denouncing the aggression of US imperialism and its European allies.

In addition, the contradictions in relations between the PCV and the PSUV government have been exacerbated to the same extent as the implementation of a government economic policy which is increasingly subordinate to the interests of capital and to the detriment of the conquests and rights achieved by workers, peasantry and popular sectors throughout the Bolivarian process and especially during the administration of President Hugo Chavez. The implementation of a liberal, reformist and privatizing economic policy, totally in contrast to the provisions of the PSUV-PCV Framework Unitary Agreement, shape the advancement of a break between the government and the majority of the leadership of the PSUV and the working class and the working people of the city and the countryside. This break comes at the programmatic and practical level which, as can be presumed, undoubtedly places the PCV in the field of popular demands and in defense of the conquests achieved.

This concrete reality is found in the implementation of a regressive wage policy, which results in the abrupt fall in worker’s real incomes, the elimination of contractual rights contained in collective conventions, the evaporation of social savings and benefits, the illegal mass layoffs of public and private sector workers in open complicity with the authorities of the Ministry of Labour.

The fall in wages is exacerbated by the policy of opening up and dollarizing economic activity, the complete subordination to entrepreneurial interests with regard to the pricing of essential goods of the basic food basket and the progressive deterioration of public services which, in some cases, are moving towards their privatization or concession to private sectors with exceptional operating conditions.

The inevitable precariousness of working-class living conditions has generated a combative reaction to the growing setback in labour rights. To this, the Venezuelan state has responded with repression, criminalization and persecution of the legitimate labour-union  struggles that stand up against the configuration of these new conditions of exploitation of the labour force in the context of the capitalist crisis.

In the agricultural sector, the interests of the capitalist sectors of agribusiness and landowner re-composition in the countryside have also been imposed. Over the past two years, landowner’s criminal offensive against peasants and agricultural workers has intensified by multiplying the eviction of peasant families, killing peasant leaders and the persecution of peasant leaders. On 31 October 2018, Comrade Luís Fajardo, a member of the PCV's Central Committee and a peasant leader from the Sur de Lago sector was killed on the orders of landowners, along with popular activist Javier Aldana and, to date, no justice has been applied against either the criminals or in favour of the 300 peasant families in struggle. This is just one case out of thousands.

The PCV: the Broad, Patriotic and Anti-Imperialist Alliance

The implementation of this policy of economic liberalization has accelerated and deepened at a time when imperialist aggression against the people of Venezuela and its legitimate institutions intensify. In the months leading up to 2020 and even in the midst of the expansion of the global pandemic, U.S. imperialism and its European allies have not ceased their political, economic and military pressure to bring about a change of government in Venezuela. The illegal appropriation of Venezuelan assets abroad, unilateral coercive sanctions aimed at blocking Venezuela's trade operations and sources of financing, and mobilizations of military forces to build a land and maritime fence around Venezuela have increased so far this year. Venezuela is embedded in the global dispute between large transnational corporations, which sharpens interim and intercapitalist contradictions

In the face of this complex scenario of imperialist siege that jeopardizes the sovereignty and self-determination of the country, the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) stresses the need to build the broadest alliance of democratic, popular, patriotic, progressive, anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces that transcends moments and takes shape in a collective direction and a common agenda to defeat imperialist aggression through the revolutionary transformation of Venezuelan society.

For the PCV, the consequential struggle against imperialist siege and in defense of sovereignty is inseparable from the struggle for a revolutionary way out of the capitalist crisis. In this sense, the strengthening of liberal unpopular austerity policies only multiplies the burden of the capitalist crisis and imperialist sanctions on the shoulders of the workers, while weakening the capacities of the labour and popular movement to intervene in the urgent tasks of agricultural and industrial development which is necessary to counter sanctions, the blockade and the sabotage of the national economy. In the PCV we are convinced that that imperialism cannot be overcome through concessions and subordination to the interests of capitalists.

From this perspective and mutual recognition that imperialism is the main enemy of our people, the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) does not represent a break with the government of President Nicolás Maduro, nor with the Simon Bolivar Great Patriotic Pole (GPPSB), let alone with our construction of a broad patriotic and anti-imperialist alliance to deal with imperialism. The Communist Party is coherent in its unifying tactics given the current imperialist threats. As such, we will continue to work and insist on the need to conform this unity on the solid bases of the programmatic agreements with the objective of resuming the goals of the national and liberating revolution with its democratic, antiimperialist, and antimonopoly nature. Likewise, on the need to construct spaces for debate and the collective construction of policies between the democratic, patriotic, antiimperialist and revolutionary forces.

In the resolutions of the XVIII Plenary of the Central Committee (August 1, 2020), we express it as such:

“4. This adjustment of political tactics is not a statement of rupture of the PCV with the government headed by President Nicolás Maduro, whom we consider the legal and legitimate president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, nor with the GPPSB, with whom we agree to confront the aggression of U.S. imperialism and its European allies. It does imply a deepening of the distancing at the level of internal policies: ideologically, politically, agriculturally and, therefore, in the conception of the productive economic development of the country and in the role and character of the democratic and prominence of the masses by exercising direction and social control over the processes of social organization, production and distribution, as well as on the ethical-moral aspects that severely affect society and, in particular, governance administration.

"5. The PCV does not discorporate from the GPPSB, nor do we abandon our relations with the political and social organizations that conform it. We consider it a space that can serve to coordinate, whenever the PSUV-government decides, specific or large-scale actions in the face of imperialist aggression. (...) We don't withdraw from the government either, because we haven't been a part of it: no one can leave where they've never been or belonged. Much less do we withdraw from the Venezuelan and global revolutionary process, which is a space that goes beyond the government, and of which the PCV has been part since its founding on March 05, 1931."

The PCV and the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR)

As we explained at the beginning of this letter, the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) is a unitary effort aimed at building an organic reference point of revolutionary currents in the labour, peasant, communard and popular fields, within the framework of the development of our policy of "confronting, distancing, regrouping and accumulating forces to move forward and succeed in the face of imperialism and privatising reformism". This is an adjustment in the political tactics of the PCV in the new conditions of imperialist aggression and the sharpening of class struggle generated by the advancement of reformist policies.

The Popular Revolutionary Alternative is a unitary construction project that transcends the electoral situation. Its immediate objective is to advance in the regrouping of revolutionary popular political and social organizations, with whom we agree on the need to build a new correlation of forces to defend the social conquests of the working people, defeat imperialist aggression and conquer a revolutionary way out of the capitalist crisis that opens the way for the socialist revolution. 

It is from this strategic perspective that the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), in conjunction with other revolutionary political organizations and social movements, popular currents and the cores of popular-based Chavismo conform the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR). The APR will participate in the parliamentary elections of December 6, 2020, presenting our own independent candidacies on the lists and constituencies throughout the national territory as a true expression of unity through popular revolutionary diversity, built on dynamic consultation from and with the foundations of our organizations. This legitimate and coherent political decision of the PCV with the interests and objectives of the working class of the city and the countryside, is being disproportionately attacked by sectors of the national leadership of the PSUV and the government, which we assume have an objective dynamic that is an expression of the confronted class interests. The complex picture of the imperialist siege of Venezuela is used to disqualify the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR), trying to deny the set of objectively existing contradictions which call for responses and changes in government policy.

These attacks aim to prevent the setting up of a benchmark of popular and revolutionary forces around which class resistance is organized in the face of the uncommitted course of government policy. These intentions have been confirmed by the recent judgments issued by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), which decided upon the judicial intervention of the Patria Para Todos (PPT) party, a member of the Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist People's Front (FPAA) together with the PCV and who took on the PCV's proposal to constitute the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR). Although for other reasons, there was also the intervention of the Tupamaro Revolutionary Movement (MRT), whose main current was stripped of its leadership and incorporated into the APR.

The PCV has expressed its strong repudiation of the judicial intervention of political parties, and we have warned that such procedures violate the exercise of their internal democracy, violate the sovereignty of militancy over its own organization by imposing the leadership of the parties which correspond to the connoting fraction that identifies with the PSUV government and poses a serious danger to the democratic freedoms established in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Despite systematic attacks on the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR), this project is consolidating forces and adding more and more people throughout the national territory. In just under two months, the APR has been constituted in the 24 states of the country and at the moment the Constituent People's Assemblies are beginning to develop in municipalities and localities throughout the country.

Parliamentary elections will be an important scenario of class struggle where we hope that the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) through its own labour and popular candidates and programmatic proposals for the revolutionary way out of the capitalist crisis will continue to take steps in the regrouping of forces around this unitary effort and promoting the deep political-ideological debate among the working masses.

The essence of contradictions

As has been demonstrated throughout this letter, the essence of the contradictions that determine the adjustment to the political tactics of the PCV and the momentum of the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) is essentially class based. It is not a bureaucratic issue of "distribution of quotas of power" or "requirement of spaces" to the government or the PSUV to qualify for the National Assembly.

Today these contradictions are clearly manifested in the existence of political projects expressing different class interests. On the one hand, the bourgeoisie and petit bourgeoisie fractions, with pseudo-socialist phraseology, have appropriated the leadership of the Venezuelan government and have been executing a bourgeois liberal policy (even speaking of creating a "revolutionary bourgeoisie"), of backtracking on the conquests of the people during the Bolivarian process, whose practical conduct is of a reformist nature. This is its conception of a way out of the country's general crisis, the product of Venezuela's exhausted model of dependent and renter capitalism, aggravated by the effects of imperialist aggression and government policy.

On the other hand, we find sectors of the revolutionary popular movement and workers, peasants and fishing people, communards and indigenous, women and young people, professionals and intellectuals, of believers and non-believers, of civilians and military patriots, and a diversity of organized expressions of our people, that we assume, as we have mentioned above, that the consequent struggle against the imperialist siege and in defence of sovereignty, is inseparable from the struggle for a revolutionary way out of the capitalist crisis and we are convinced that it is not through the way of concessions and subordination to the interests of capitalists that this can be achieved.

It is from these premises that in the various conversations held with representatives of the government and the leadership of the PSUV (in person with Jorge Rodríguez on July 30; video conferences with Jorge Arreaza on August 20 and Diosdado Cabello – Aristobulo Istúriz on August 21, 2020), we have proposed to discuss the policy. We propose wide reaching changes in national economic and productive development policy labour-wage and trade union policy, responding to the struggles and demands of workers, peasants and commoners, the reversal of privatizations and landowner recomposition in the Venezuelan countryside, of thoroughly fighting against the mafias, against corruption and impunity, among many other topics. Even in these exchanges at this level, there was no response.

It has not been possible to open this dialogue, to build the spaces for debate, self-critical and critical analysis, of the exercise of collective construction of politics. And we understand that there could be no other answer, because they are projects that express different class interests. At the same time, the government has been able to sit down, dialogue, and agree with important sectors of the bourgeois opposition because there is a coincidence of class interests and, in addition, they have internal strength that coincide with interference and external pressure. This is the point dear comrades. 

The PCV's request to our sister organizations

The purpose of this communication is not to require pronouncements of solidarity with the PCV or questioning the Government – PSUV from you. Its sole purpose is to keep you informed about the political line developed by the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) in the territory of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as sister organizations that find ourselves in coincidental or divergent debate in the diversity of what we now call the International Communist Movement.

We recognize and appreciate the immense solidarity with the working class and the Venezuelan working people of the city and the countryside, with their resistance and struggles in the face of imperialist and Zionist aggression, and in the face of the policies of reformism that affect us. We are convinced that this internationalist and proletariat solidarity will remain, as has always been the responsibility of the Communist and Workers' Parties of the world in the face of the just causes of our peoples, in combat for conquering national liberation and true socialism-communism.

We appreciate your attention and are at your disposal for any exchanges, questions of information or opinions, clarifications or interviews that you deem relevant. Fraternal and supportive greetings.


The Political Bureau of the CC of the PCV,

Caracas, 7 September 2020.

Signed by

General Secretary, Oscar Figuera
Secretary of International Relations, Carolus Wimmer.