Solidarity with the workers and the broad masses in Venezuela against US-imperialist threats and attacks!

Declaration of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) on Venezuela - Strengthen the revolutionary perspective in the struggle for national and social liberation!

Solidarity with the workers and the broad masses in Venezuela against US-imperialist threats and attacks!
Foto: Andrés E. Azpúrua

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) calls upon all democrats and revolutionaries of the world to defend the right of self-determination of the Venezuelan people against US-American subversion and threats of intervention! For strong worldwide protest on Day X in case of an invasion or coup! Fight against all imperialist interference - coming from the USA, China or Russia! Support the construction of strong, genuinely revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist parties and the joint preparation of the international socialist revolution!

The self-appointment of the ultra-reactionary parliamentary president Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's interim president on January 23, 2019, was closely coordinated and de facto steered by US imperialism. This putsch-like attempt to seize power was immediately recognized and acclaimed by a group of right-wing and proto-fascist Latin American governments. The same applies to most EU countries, not least at the instigation of the German federal government. Irrespective of the political stand on the Maduro government, this presumptuous interference must be resolutely opposed by the democratic world public! The related blockades are an essential cause for the state of emergency among the broad masses in their supply of food, electricity or basic health care. The subversion of the USA also gives rise to a new trouble spot of war.

At the beginning of this millennium, a revolutionary, anti-imperialist mood spread among the masses in Latin America, starting from the Argentine popular uprising Argentinazo. An important part of the working class and the population in Venezuela regarded themselves as revolutionaries and strove for socialism. Broad masses of people supported the charismatic president Hugo Chávez. Under the motto of the "Bolivarian Revolution" and the ideological guideline of "Socialism of the 21st century", extensive social and socio-political measures were realized under Chávez - with regard to the role of women in society, the promotion of inexpensive housing, free health care and education. All this was financed from the oil revenues, which were still abundant at the time. However, an independent economy was not built up, the food base remained heavily dependent on imports, and the influence of international supermonopolies remained untouched in the automotive and food sectors. The nationalization of oil companies was misleadingly propagated as a transfer to common ownership. Venezuela actually remained a dependent capitalist country.

Since 2017, the EU and the German government have also been officially involved in the sanctions and embargo measures against Venezuela. Led by the USA, foreign accounts are frozen, international financial transactions are prevented, payments for oil supplies are fixed in blocked accounts. Venezuelan property abroad, especially the production and logistics divisions of the state-owned oil corporation, is forcibly pledged to leading international corporations as compensation for lost profits due to the social reforms of the former Chávez government. It is mainly these measures of US and also of EU imperialism that are responsible for the fact that important deliveries of food and essential medicine can no longer be paid for, are not materializing or are being denied. The massive drop in oil prices and a widespread slump in industrial production due to a lack of spare parts have led to a decline in real wages by more than 75 percent in the last three years. At the same time, inflation is galloping at tremendous heights. The supply situation in the country, which is almost entirely dependent on imports, has so been deliberately worsened and a mass exodus has also been provoked. The "concern for the people in Venezuela" and self-portrayal as the "guardian of democracy" presented in public by Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maaß is therefore pure hypocrisy!

The neo-imperialist Russia and the social-imperialist China present themselves as "knights in shining armor” with extensive loans and arms deliveries. They let themselves be paid with concessions for future oil and gold production. Venezuela owes about 63 billion US dollars mainly to China and Russia, after debts to the World Bank and IMF had been repaid during Chávez' time. As early as 2014, Venezuela had to deliver 13 % of its oil production to China as debt service. Therefore 500,000 barrels of crude oil were shipped to China every day.1 China's National Petroleum Corporation is involved in various extraction projects in Venezuela. Russian oil and gas companies are planning new offshore natural gas production beyond their existing shareholdings. In December 2018, Russia concluded an investment agreement with Venezuela for a further 5 billion euros, including in mining. The aggression of US imperialism is also aimed at the growing influence of these neo-imperialist competitors such as China and Russia in the so-called "backyard of the USA".

The MLPD stands in full solidarity with "the Venezuelan people in their struggle for the right to democratically decide their own fate", which was already expressed in June 2017 by the ICOR. All democratic forces are called upon to protest worldwide against this imperialist interference into the national sovereignty of Venezuela.

Cynically, first a catastrophic supply situation for the broad masses is created and then, with staged, allegedly "humanitarian aid deliveries", a pretext is systematically constructed for the opposition to intervene even directly with a military intervention. This is a dangerous play with fire and provokes the danger of a military conflict, as well as a direct confrontation of various imperialist forces in the struggle for influence and access to the country with the world's largest oil reserves. What is needed is international anti-imperialist unity that takes a stand against any imperialist interference!

However, the deeply rooted anti-imperialist and revolutionary consciousness among large parts of the Venezuelan masses, who, on the basis of their experience, abhor US imperialism, is only partly to be regarded as a support for Maduro. Directing the main thrust against the US aggression and its accomplices cannot mean to renounce criticism of the politics of the Maduro government. The ruling bourgeoisie developed further under his government; foreign debt and shareholders (also from the ranks of the Chávez Party and the military in the executive floors) were mostly served on time, even in the deepest economic crisis, and corruption flourishes, even within the government. The dependence on imperialists, especially on China and Russia, was deepened, as well as the unilateral focus on pure oil exports, while at the same time large quantities of important basic foodstuffs were imported. This is being justified by Maduro, and the growing criticism of it is put off by maintaining to "initiate a plan, a program, which leads to the construction of Bolivarian socialism" (speech at the 4th Party Congress of the PSUV in July 2018, translation MLPD). Ideologically, Maduro continues to spread the illusionary concept of Socialism of the 21st century.

In the book "Dawn of the International Socialist Revolution" the MLPD already qualified the character of this policy in 2011:

The bourgeois anti-imperialist program of the “Socialism of the 21st century” is an illusion, and its contents are anything but revolutionary. Nationalization is an attempt to get around the decisive problem – the issue of power.

The property relations do not change when the owner changes. ...

The installation of leftist, anti-imperialist governments has at best reduced the decisive influence of international finance capital on the countries concerned, but has not overcome its dictatorship. Merely concessions to the national interests of the masses were attained, along with a progressive social policy and a policy of reforms from above designed to prevent a further intensification of the class struggle. This improved the people's conditions of life and expanded the possibilities for building self-run organizations of the masses. At the same time, however, the necessity of building up a strong revolutionary anti-imperialist movement was called into question.” (Stefan Engel, “Dawn of the International Socialist Revolution”, p. 501-502.)

The prognosis made in the book proves to be true:

All anti-imperialists must be conscious of the fact that the imperialists will not stand by and watch such developments indefinitely. As soon as they see a serious threat to their interests and consider the situation to be favorable, they will push for the removal of such governments.” (Ibid, p. 502)

In the end, the theory of "Socialism of the 21st century" is a revisionist theory of the peaceful path to socialism. It has spread great confusion in the international revolutionary movement and, not least, contributed to dampening the revolutionary aspirations of the masses, especially in Latin America at the beginning of the millennium, and to steer them into reformist or parliamentary channels.

With the development in Venezuela, the theory of "Socialism of the 21st century" has failed completely - not socialism, but the illusion of a "peaceful transformation" of neocolonially oppressed countries into sovereign states independent of imperialism and of a peaceful transition to socialism ended in shambles.

Nevertheless, Venezuela's claim to independence from US imperialism remains a thorn in its side and a serious obstacle in international competition. The US imperialists and international finance capital are doing everything they can to force the country with the world's largest oil reserves back under the domination of their neo-colonial exploitation.

The obvious failure of the illusions, the negative development of the living conditions of the masses and the intensified crisis-prone developments in the country are accompanied by disappointment, resignation and disorientation among the masses as long as they do not see a real socialist alternative. Therefore, it is crucial to promote the construction of truly revolutionary organizations that can convey positive conclusions from the ideological confusion, the political and economic crisis of the system and the catastrophic living circumstances. The perspective of the Venezuelan people lies in the struggle for real national and social liberation as part of an international socialist revolution.

To this end, the revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist forces in Venezuela and worldwide must be strengthened and be encouraged to engage in their independent party building. We German revolutionaries, in particular, can affirm this from the bitter, instructive experiences of the November Revolution of 1918 in Germany. One hundred years ago, the revolutionary forces broke away far too late from social democracy, the communist party was built up far too late. The KPD was founded when the revolutionary situation had already subsided. The revolution was bloodily quelled, the reactionary bourgeois forces seized state power and the leaders of the revolution, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, were brutally murdered. Therefore: strengthen revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist party building!

International solidarity is required:

Hands off Venezuela! Against any imperialist interference and dependence!

Long live international solidarity!

For the construction of an international anti-fascist and anti-imperialist united front!

Strengthen the ICOR, the important association of the revolutionaries of the world!

Forward with the preparation of the international socialist revolution!