Building the People’s Programme
One of the principle tasks for the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), which is still under construction, is the development of what could be called the People’s Programme, which would serve as the fundamental programmatic component for the government and which would be presented by Commander Chavez to the country during the upcoming electoral campaign. This is what has been verified on numerous occasions by that very same president, reconfirming his commitment to the principle of governing by obeying the will of the people.
Now, how would this People’s Programme be constructed? Would it be dictated behind closed doors? Designed by experts? Will it correspond to the party, to the popular movements? We’ll start by saying that the Popular Patriotic Assemblies (APP), soon to be multiplying across the country, will be the deciding factor in terms of realising this proposal. The APPs will not be cathartic spaces, places to go in order to offload emotionally or where the social bases of Chavismo will go to simply express their dissatisfaction; on the contrary, one of their basic objectives is to be able to transform that dissatisfaction, wherever it may exist, into proposals; to translate aspirations and demands into a plan for the struggle, a type of local popular programme which will come to be the main component of the People’s Programme.
But whose aspirations and demands are we talking about? In the first instance, the APPs would have to act as a form of re-articulation for all of those forces which have been dispersed. However, in the second place and at the decisive moment, those forces and that section of the organised population which have managed to reunite during the first assemblies will have a task that goes beyond the first; and that is going after those people who are still demobilised, disorganised and that have even grown weary of politics. Not only will the People’s Programme have to create thousands of committed militants, but it will also have to bring together the voices of those who are lying in silence, or as the case may be, those who are not being heard.
What about the peasants, the workers, the youths in the barrios, the street hawkers, the motorcyclists, the feminists and LGBTI campaigners, to name but a few who have concrete proposals and demands? Following a methodology that is still being designed (and which should be part of a public debate); their proposals will also have to be incorporated into the People’s Programme.
Is this People’s Programme an electoral initiative, a bunch of petitions handed out by people attending 3 or 4 meetings, hoping to do a bit of fishing in a river of unrest? In that respect, it is important to remember the strategic objective of the GPP: the construction of Bolivarian socialism, the democratic radicalisation of Venezuelan society, the reconfirmation that there are revolutionary changes on the horizon. The victory of Commander Chavez is a tactical objective, vital in order to keep advancing in pursuit of the strategic. As such, the People’s Programme must be an expression of that desire for revolutionary change on the part of the Venezuelan people, a desire which will be reduced to a farce if we are not even capable of recognising the causes that have produced demobilisation and weariness for considerable amounts of the social bases who support the Bolivarian revolution.
Programme for “Unity”
A document called Lines of the Government Programme of National Unity [ie the opposition] (2013-2019) is currently circulating on the web. It is possible that this will not be the finalised version of the programme that the anti-Chavista ranks will publish by the 23rd of January and, in fact, it is actually identified as a “document under review”. However what is certain is that the finalised document will be very similar.
This merits careful examination. However, even if you just skim read it, jumping from one page to the next, from their proposal with regards to petroleum for example, to their programmes on energy issues, telecommunications or housing, the result is still the same: the use of the most rancid neo-liberalism, the now classic abuse directed at the interventionist state (and now you can add “authoritarian” to that as well), the same praise for the market and that magical recipe all over the place: privatisation here, privatisation here, there and everywhere. It’s a programme which openly, and this is not a minor detail, contradicts the supposedly “social” discourse of the most popular opposition pre-candidates.
The document effectively exposes the true intentions of the oligarchy’s rhetoric. If we were to investigate it within its historical context, it could be said that the document constitutes a veritable affront against the Venezuelan people; the way in which they act being of the upmost cynicism; as if nothing had happened here, as if the eruption of Chavismo and the victory of Chavez in 1998 had nothing to do with blood and fire, or with the application of the same programme which they are now offering today.
So who has dictated this document? Why “31 groups of specialists” of course. The trademark characteristic of the academy at the service of the oligarchy certainly comes to light throughout the document. A masterpiece from the “meritocracy” which already attacked the country and which is now attempting to come back for its privileges.
Translated by Rachael Boothroyd for Venezuelanalysis.com