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Analysis: Participation

Venezuela's Transition to Democracy: Latin America's Best Kept Secret

Umberto Vargas Medina, imprisoned for 4 years during the Fourth Republic. (courtesy)

Telesur’s Rachael Boothroyd interviews vanguard activists who dedicated their lives to the struggle for democracy during the era that preceded Hugo Chavez. Their testimonies recall aerial bombardments and routine disappearances of students and activists, while their actions today highlight the importance of preserving collective memory.

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An Interview with Raul Zelik: “State Bureaucracy is Not an Alternative to the Market”

Raul Zelik (Photo: José Avelino Rodrigues)

Raul Zelik argues "the Venezuelan people, the Bolivarian people, must do more than trust in state control".

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For the Barrios, the Difference Between Repression and Revolution Depends on National Security

The National Guard and police presence is on the rise as checkpoints and operatives are set up along public transportation route

Early last month, five men were shot dead in a high-rise building at the center of Caracas during an early morning standoff between special intelligence police (CICPC) and armed members of revolutionary collectives. While the circumstances leading up to the event are still unclear, the so-called Quinta Crespo Massacre created a ripple effect within the Venezuelan left that quickly highlighted a growing rift between the revolutionary left and the Bolivarian government.

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Ideological Diversity within the Bolivarian Revolution: Interview with Aporrea's Gonzalo Gomez

Gonzalo Gómez speaking to an opposition crowd at the controversial Forum on Margarita Island.  Gómez has been widely criticise

In this interview, Gonzalo Gómez, founder of leftist Venezuelan website Aporrea.org and militant of  Marea Socialista (Socialist Tide) criticizes the PSUV for stifling political debates. He also expresses regret for participating in a debating panel with members of the right-wing opposition, and defends Aporrea from claims that it is financed by the CIA.

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Invisible No More

(Edgar Barany C / Flickr)

If recent years have marked not the establishment of a socialist country but the appearance of the poor in the public life of the nation, then it is clear that some nostalgically wish that they would once again disappear, retreat into the shadows, or be compelled to withdraw.

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The Vitality of the Revolution

Reinaldo Iturriza (VTV)

Reinaldo Iturriza was iconic as Communes Minister, and has long been an important revolutionary voice within the government. Yesterday, as per Nicolas Maduro's cabinet "shakeup", Iturriza was reappointed as Minister of Culture. This discerning look at the place communes hold within the Bolivarian process, written only hours before that switch, stands as a testament to his efforts in that area.

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Debate over Criticism, Democracy Flares Up in Venezuela

Delegates at the III PSUV National Congress, which is currently underway in Caracas (AVN)

One of the most important public debates over the future of Venezuela's revolutionary process has opened up after the publication of a document by recently ousted planning minister Jorge Giordani.

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Communal Justices of the Peace Bring Popular Power to Venezuela Court System

At the local level, a movement of communal justice is gradually spreading an alternative to the traditional adversarial court sy

At the local level, a movement of communal justice is gradually spreading an alternative to the traditional adversarial court system to settle civil disputes.

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Thousands of Party Locals Debate Proposals for National Congress of Venezuela’s PSUV

(see below caption)

On June 7, President Maduro issued a call to each grassroots unit of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to submit 10 concrete proposals for ways to improve how the Bolivarian government functions. In response, throughout Venezuela, local units of PSUV militants, known as Battle Units Bolivar-Chavez (UBCh), devoted their weekly meetings to lively debates analyzing political problems and attempting to reach consensus on solutions.

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Centro Madre is a National Model of Small Scale Sustainable Agriculture

Volunteer Susana from Portugal watering the guava tree seedlings." (Marcus Murray)

On only 3.5 hectares (8 acres) of fertile land near San José de Barlovento in the state of Miranda, a two-hour drive from Caracas, this holistic farm integrates fruit trees, vegetables, medicinal plants, bee-keeping, fish ponds, egg-laying chickens, worm production and a commercial guava nursery.

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In Their Own Words: Venezuelan Workers Reclaim the Streets

(Harry Greatorex)

These interviews reflect what is at stake for Venezuela’s working classes as destabilisation attempts continue and international concern mounts. The significant achievement of the Bolivarian Revolution is in progressive legislation and in writing new national narratives, oriented to reflect the concerns and stories of the previously excluded. 

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Who Dares Evaluate the Bolivarian Revolution?

Mural of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas. (Reuters)

Venezuelan social movement activist Arlenys Espinal argues that the current opposition offensive should be combated by grassroots organizing rather than giving “triumphalist” support to the government.

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The Barrios Won’t Join In

A hillside barrio, Caracas (Psiconauta)

Venezuelan newspaper editor Eleazar Diaz Rangel explains why the residents of the country’s barrios are shunning protests.

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Venezuela: Chavistas Debate the Pace of Change

Mural in the barrio of La Vega, Caracas. Photo by Sujatha Fernandes.

The violent anti-government protests that shook Venezuela in February have once again thrust the issue of the pace of change into the broader debate over socialist transformation. Radical Chavistas, reflecting the zeal of the movement’s rank and file, call for a deepening of the “revolutionary process,” while moderate Chavistas favor concessions to avoid an escalation of the violence. The same dilemma confronted the socialist government of Salvador Allende in the early 1970s, but under different political circumstances.

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Aiding Venezuela

(AVN)

Once we stop Shunning Venezuela and we start broadly Understanding Venezuela, what can we do to aid Venezuela?

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