The Best Defence is to Deepen the Revolution

The model of a peaceful and gradual advance of political and social transformations once again comes face to face with the "whip of the counterrevolution." The Revolution, to survive, must deepen. The Congress of the PSUV, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, opens a unique opportunity to carry out this debate. This is an historic moment.

Translator's note: The following is the
editorial in the latest issue (No. 21, July 28) of Marea Socialista (Socialist
Tide), a magazine published by an organized tendency of the same name within
Venezuela's PSUV, the United Socialist Party headed by Hugo Chávez.

At this distance from the
coup in Honduras it is clear that a new counter-offensive of Yankee imperialism
– more aggressive, determined and coordinated than before – has begun in
opposition to the process of the Latin American Revolution. And especially in
opposition to the Bolivarian Revolution and the countries that are building
ALBA, the anti-imperialist bad example that is moving ahead as an alternative
model in Our America. With a capitalist system in crisis, and no foreseeable
way out in the short or medium time frame, a triumph, even if only partial, of
the Honduran masses will postpone for a time the decisive confrontations. It
can slow down this counter-offensive, albeit not eliminate it.

The beachheads in this plan
are: (1) The coup d'état in Honduras to consolidate a platform for action in
Central America, together with the new right-wing government in Panamá, and to
send a clear message to the rest of the continent; (2) converting Colombia into
a huge base of occupation by US troops; and (3) ongoing counter-information
operations to justify military actions.

The imperialist
coordination with the local oligarchy is also obvious. The "democratic" plan to
advance by way of elections, conceived by a sector of the local right-wing,
goes hand in hand with the military pressure, the media war and a political and
economic erosion of the process. Pincers designed for fascism, to weaken the
process and crush it.

Faced with this scenario,
the model of a peaceful and gradual advance of political and social
transformations once again comes face to face with the "whip of the counterrevolution".
The Revolution, to survive, must deepen. It must "demolish the old structures
of the bourgeois state and create the new structures of the proletarian, the
Bolivarian state" (Hugo Chávez, July 25, 2009). And, let us add, go deeper
still, in conjunction with ALBA and Our America, on the road of the
international struggle for socialism.

The internal enemy, which
nests in the entrails of the process, is no less dangerous. To advance in the
deepening of the revolution, it is necessary to put an end to the bureaucratism
that is demoralizing the revolutionary people like the corruption that is one
of its more odious manifestations. For example, there is now an open fight in
Guayana between the workers in the basic enterprises and some of the executives
that manage them. The latter are resisting, engaging in various types of
manoeuvres to block the development of the Guayana Socialist Plan drawn up by
the workers in their own consultations. And, of equal importance, President
Chávez, a few days ago in the midst of a VTV news bulletin, came out in support
of the Socialist Plan. In the electrical industry, amidst the discussion on the
collective agreement, the workers are demanding participation in the management
of the Electric Corporation (Corpoelec) and the management is resisting.

In the previous edition of
Marea Socialista, we described the salient characteristics of this bureaucracy.
We noted how it could be identified in its political, economic and military
representations. And we pointed to the need for ideological debate, putting
forward in opposition to it proposals laid out in an alternative socialist
program for which we can fight. This is a task that cannot be postponed. Every
revolution has a conservative, reactionary sector that defends privileges built
on the basis of its bureaucratic function.

These proposals could be
synthesized in institutional policy – deepening the revolutionary organization of
the working people: The workers' councils, the people's councils, the communes,
etc. And the construction of a great national council of workers and the
revolutionary people, their social organizations, with powers to plan,
determine priorities and carry them out. That is, create a revolutionary organ
that, together with President Chávez, debates and implements the central plan
that is democratically determined by the rank and file.

In the economic terrain: There
is the need to take measures directed toward the socialization of the means of
communication and the nationalization of all basic and strategic industry. Not
only against Globovision, but against all the media that place themselves above
the law, actively participating in this imperialist counter-offensive. And not
only the major industrial firms in Guayana, but all those that are strategic
for our type of rentier economy. And, to move forward toward food sovereignty,
the nationalization of all foreign trade and of credit and finance. At the same
time, to advance toward a change in the relations of production, eliminating
the social division of labour. To put an end to the capitalist, top-down scheme
of governance and to stimulate the creativity of the mass movement in the
management, control and planning of the economic units, and in their national

The issue is not simply
what type of property these units have. Property is only the juridical
expression of the relations of production. But likewise, it is essential to
control the accounts of the private sector of the economy. Exorbitant earnings
are impermissible for a parasitic bourgeoisie, essentially importers, devoting
a major portion of the petroleum rent to supporting their own monarchical

In the military terrain: Deepening
the positive reforms that are being made, toward a true military revolution.
Central to this revolution must be the democratization of the Bolivarian
National Armed Forces, to subordinate them to the new state that must be
constructed, with the possibility of social control and supervision over them,
breaking with their corporate character. But the most profound change, in the
sense of defending the Revolution, is to accelerate, through the social
movements, the construction of the Bolivarian National Militia. The genuine
transformation in this aspect is the implementation of the slogan "people in
arms": The formation of battalions of the social movements. Marea Socialista
opens its pages to assist in this fundamental task.

In the international
terrain, it is necessary to draw the lesson of the coup in Honduras and the
threat of activation of the bases in Colombia, to deepen the integration of the
ALBA both militarily and in the coordination of the revolutionary social and
political movements, and to build the capacity for mobilization against and
popular response to aggression. This is important over and beyond the neighbourly
relationships and convenient commercial treaties and political agreements that
are possible with governments that have not chosen the road of independence,
like Brazil or Argentina.

A major aspect of the
political life of the next few months is the Congress of the PSUV, the United
Socialist Party of Venezuela. It opens a unique opportunity to carry out this
debate. It would be tragic if the Revolution were to lose this opportunity. This
is an historic moment. The history of revolutions demonstrates that it is
precisely in the midst of the process that the greatest advances are possible
in developing the shape of the new society, in the revision of the present one,
in the rectification of errors. Hundreds of thousands, a genuine revolutionary
mass, must be involved in this process. This participation is necessary for the
strengthening of the vanguard of the revolution.

Translated by Life on the