Archives for category: Venezuela

Posting does not necessarily mean endorsement of the particular organization responsible for the production of this documentary.

The Revolutionary Communist Group (UK) released a short documentary two weeks ago showing the re-election of Hugo Frias Chavez. The film is based on interviews with supporters of Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution in the countries capital, Caracas. The film itself is beautifully shot and further illustrates the overwhelming popular support that Chavez holds. There is another film slated to be released at some point in the near future. At a time of global capitalist crisis and the near end of the sovereignty won in the twentieth century, documentaries like this serve not just as inspiration but also to combat the prevailing bourgeois media which continues to deceptively influence millions daily.

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I was discussing with someone recently the forthcoming elections taking place in Venezuela this coming October pitting ruling President Hugo Chavez against Henrique Capriles Radonski, of the Coalition of Democratic Unity. While I personally have my suspicions with the influx of polls coming out recently, I would not doubt that this seems to be Chavez’s fiercest opponent yet. It should be obvious (at least to my target audience) without any doubt that Capriles is the bourgeois candidate here. Months ago, the bourgeois press in this country cried “anti-semitism” when the Chavez government supposedly asserted that Capriles was sympathetic to Zionism. Capriles is also called a man who wants to return Venezuela back to a “civilian government” as if the Chavez government was run by an authoritarian junta.

The polls seem to be varied (and are understandably generating some skepticism) but most seem to put Hugo Chavez 15-17 percentage points above Capriles.

According to a June 5th article written by Ewan Robertson for Venezuela Analysis, The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Venezeula’s ruling party is set to initiate a major campaign aimed at getting Chavez re-elected. It’s projected that Chavez will need 10 million votes to secure a victory. With the PSUV estimated seven million membership, winning over another three million people is hopefully not such a difficult task.

A new labor law passed last month in Venezuela which, among many things, will guarantee the working week being reduced to 40 hours, maternity leave increased to 6.5 months, the re-establishment of a retirement bonus and the abolishment of private and sub-contracted labor. Depending on how this is carried out, it could serve as a boost for the Chavez government in the upcoming election.

The future of the PSUV

Rather than express some of the same regurgitated sentiments regarding Chavez’s battle against cancer or any naivety that cancer is not a main issue, we should be realistic. Chavez, despite dealing with tumors, will still have cancer come election time. This will most certainly be an issue. Despite Chavez’s competence when it comes to his work ethic and his cancer , the bourgeois media in Venezuela (as well as in this country) will try to use this as an opportunity to claim the opposite. The longer the fight against cancer continues one also has to question how long Chavez has left to live.

Currently, the top two personalities within the PSUV seem to be Diosdado Cabello and Nicolas Maduro.

Diosdado Cabello is the current President of the Venezuelan National Assembly who was “ostracized” for his loss to Capriles in 2008. He is also part of an “anti-Cuban” faction within the PSUV. Nicolas Maduro, on the other hand, is projected to be Chavez’s successor. His connections though seem to be sketchy, to put it nicely. From a Wikileaks document released December of last year:

I would keep my eye on FM Nicolas Maduro. Maduro is loyal as a dog to
Chavez. (the source knows Maduro personally, from the days that Maduro was
a driver of the metro bus.) At the same time, maduro is seen as the most
pragmatic in the regime. If Chavez’s health deteriorates significantly
before the scheduled Oct 2012 elections, expect him to proclaim Maduro as
his successor in one way or another. You can already see him propping up
Maduro in a lot of ways. This is less risky than Chavez going through with
elections, winning, suddenly dying and then a power struggle among the
Chavistas breaking out. It will be much harder in this latter scenario for
Maduro to assert himself against rival Chavistas like Diosdado Cabello,
Rafiel Ramirez, etc.

Remember that there are four key players propping up the regime – China,
Cuba, Russia, Iran. All four are split on how to manage a post-Chavez
regime. China and Russia are more insulated, as they’ve tried to get away
from Chavez the personality, to preserving Chavismo, the regime. Russia
has set up a specific task force (note the Patrushev visits) to help
manage the post-chavez transition. Both China and Russia are backing
Maduro as their preferred successor. Cuba, however, is in trouble. They
can’t count on a Maduro to continue subsidizing them with thousands of
barrels of oil every day. No one is really paying attention to Cuba – they
can;t count on the Europeans for investment. Without VZ, they’re screwed.
The Cubans so far have been backing Adan Chavez (Chavez’s brother) as the
preferred candidate, but he doesnt have the same following. Cuba may shift
to backing Maduro. (At this point in the convo, i brought up the
possibility of Cuba, having the best intel on VZ, using that intel to
leverage with the US and open up its options – he agreed that’s what the
Castros will do to survive but he hasnt seen serious signs of this.. yet.)

Maduro is seen as more of a Lula candidate. He has a following, he has
charisma, but he’s also a balancer. He’s the kind of guy that would open
up to the US and keep tight with everyone else, but that still makes Iran
nervous. The source seems to think that Obama in his second term would
open up to Maduro (and this is something that he is actively working on.)

Both Maduro and Diasdado seem to be nowhere as popular as Chavez if they were to be running for president this year and Capriles would easily win in a landslide victory.

Thus begs the question, what are the long term plans of the PSUV in the event that Chavez does fall terminally ill and what measures are they taking to secure the Boliviarian revolution and the aspirations of an independent Venezuela?