The Venezuelan people insist on continuing in Chávez’s legacy and resisting imperial attacks
By Zoe PC / The Dawn News / May 17, 2018
The Dawn News speaks to José Guzmán Tato of Chavismo Bravio and Frente Cultural Izquierda about the upcoming elections in Venezuela and the perspectives of the movements on the ground.
Q: What is the mood of the people of Venezuela with elections less than one week away?
A: With less than a week left for the elections, we are full of expectations, dreams and ideas to create a better future. We are also outraged at the adversities we have had to face for the simple fact of deciding to live in a different way – for the decision to be autonomous of the international markets, of neoliberalism. We feel indignant about this mistreatment we have been subjected to, and the inequality which key sectors of Venezuelan capital, closely linked to imperialism, continue supporting.
However, we also feel ready to fight. This is the principal sentiment that unifies the political forces that are part of this new electoral battle.
The common people, the population at large, I think, in someway finds themselves tackling a situation of anxiety but also it does not stop in its daily struggle for the conquest of relatively dignified conditions of life. The Venezuelan people never lose hope and they are always ready to receive anyone with a smile, and they have an incomparable spirit of struggle.
Q: What are the major challenges for Chavismo in these elections? And for the social movements?
A: For us as social movements, the elections are principally about the positioning of strategic elements in the advance of socialism, like the communal construction, the sustenance of a participative democracy with the protagonistic participation of the people, and the processes of building people’s power. The exercise of people’s power has to be seen not only as a theoretical idea but as a practical exercise of decentralization of democracy, especially considering the radical democracy we have.
It is not just about maintaining our course on certain policies towards democracy or the democratization of income and of the wealth that comes into the nation, but also the reconquest and rectification of administrative sectors and policies that by force of the system have been influenced by the right-wing.
So I think Chavismo also has the central challenge of stopping the processes of neoliberalization of the Venezuelan economy. As a historical objective, it has the challenge of the reclaiming of the working class as a revolutionary subject in Venezuela, and as a subject of national rescue for a more just, more equal, and more dignified system for all Venezuelans.
You all have your differences with the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela), why do you support Nicolás Maduro? What does a vote for Maduro mean right now?
We have our differences with the PSUV. However, we consider this social sector led by President Nicolás Maduro can still guarantee the maintenance of social policies that are part of the legacy of Commander Chávez. We believe that there should be a radical push – and not radical in extreme terms but in terms of deepening, in terms of strengthening the foundations of the policies that defend humanity, social values and socialist values. We consider the PSUV to be a party that is relatively advanced in this regard when compared to the the others that are part of the electoral process. These other groups respond to right-wing interests and to a supposedly moderate sector that is no more than a representation of the interests of transnational companies. They also respond to the commercial interests of the dominant economic axes.
So we believe that Nicolás Maduro is the most coherent option for those of us who fight for participative democracy, for those of us who believe in social policies and for those of us who fight for the revolutionary left in Venezuela.
What do you think will be the actions of US imperialism in response to a victory of Maduro?
We believe that the response of the imperial powers to the victory of Nicolás Maduro will be to continue the siege, sabotage, and above all, strangulation of Venezuela. In our case, as youth activists, we see that the imperial powers are pushing for an implosion of the Venezuelan political system, specifically of Chavista governability. This is being attempted through a process of decomposition of the symbols of Chavismo, national identity and the Venezuelan people’s identity.
So I believe that the imperial powers will dedicate themselves to a progressive strangulation that on the diplomatic front will take the form of consistent opposition and support for any international controversy.
On the military front, I think they will continue introducing elements of destabilization and of non-conventional warfare within the national territory like they have been doing.
We believe that they will continue pushing forward a silent war inside the nation through mechanisms of social decomposition like narcotrafficking, contraband, delinquency, and other processes of criminality. These are essentially processes that impose capital and commercial logic over humanist logic and they cause the decomposition of Venezuelan social fabric.
This is their strategic objective, given that it would contribute to an uprooting of what in one moment was proposed as socialism in Venezuela.
When the flag of socialism flies in Venezuela, but the essence of that flag is not defended by combatants who need to fight with these agents of imperialism in Venezuelan territory itself, socialism might end up losing the fight.
I think we, as socialists today, have the task of confronting the decomposition in our communities and of reinstituting socialist values and more equal ways of cohabitation. Only then can we continue being a strategic enemy of the imperialist powers and continue to create fighters who raise the morale of the people and promote through their praxis, honesty, solidarity and revolutionary ethics.
Q: What are the proposals of presidential candidate Henri Falcón for Venezuela? Why must his project be resisted?
A: Falcón has been promoting the “dollarization” and liberalization of the economy and the expansion of assistencialism. We could even say that his offers of dollars per person do not have to do with the development of a productive workers’ consciousness in terms of the idea of each person works and each one has according to their necessity. The latter is the motto of socialism with which we could promote a culture of national rescue and support. What this candidate proposes instead is a deepening of the assistencialista measures that will continue contributing to the shift in what is work in a society.
Thus, it is necessary to resist the temptation of this offer of immediate economic improvement.
We must remain strong and committed in our project of building socialism, I think we must remain strong in our ideas for the construction of a more equal society. On this aspect, we are completely convinced and are determined to build a socialist homeland and a communal republic, – which was the strategic goal of Commander Chávez – that will bring us together with the idea of coexistence as a path to building a different world.