Mérida, November 29th, 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Thousands of Venezuelan campesinos, workers, students, and indigenous peoples from organized communities throughout the country marched on Caracas last week to push for “the democratic radicalization of the [Bolivarian] revolution.” Mobilized by the Bolívar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ), over 6,000 marchers from 16 of Venezuela’s 23 states denounced U.S. imperialism, Venezuela’s national economic elite, and “bureaucratism” which, according to marchers, is “sabotaging socialism.”
“With President Chávez & for Socialism,” read many of the signs carried by marchers. “Against the [U.S.] Empire & Its Internal Lackeys!” read others. “Against Bureaucratism, Incapacity, Corruption and Inefficiency!”, “For National Unity Around the Simón Bolívar National Project!” and “For the Democratic Radicalization of the Revolution!” read a number of the other banners, handmade placards, and statements written on the backs of now dated election campaign posters.
The future of the Bolivarian Revolution, according to CRBZ organizers, depends on both the Venezuelan people’s “unconditional support of President Chávez” and an immediate political offensive against the “bureaucratism, corruption, inefficiency and reformism” that are currently affecting the people’s ability to exercise political power as is outlined in President Chávez’s government plan, known as the Simón Bolívar National Project (2007 – 2013).
The Bolívar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ) is an active political current within Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) and is comprised of the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ), the Simón Bolívar National Communal Front (FNCSB), the Bolivarian Popular Workers’ Movement (MPBO) and the Simón Rodríguez Center for Political Education and Social Studies (CEFES).
Imperialism and Bureaucratism
“Two major threats sift through our revolution: Imperialism and bureaucratism,” said Orlando Zambrano, national assemblyman and spokesperson for the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ) – one of the founding organizations behind the CRBZ. “U.S. imperialism and its internal lackeys have launched an offensive to put the brakes on the Bolivarian Revolution and to assassinate President Chávez,” Zambrano affirmed.
Zambrano went on to state that privately-owned Globovision media network is playing an active role in manipulating public opinion away from the revolution and its objectives. He accused Globovision’s owner, Guillermo Zuloaga, of serving “imperial interests” by speaking against the Venezuelan government and its democratically-elected president during a right-wing foreign policy discussion held in Washington DC.
Zuloaga, who fled Venezuela early this year to avoid facing money laundering and other charges, made national headlines last week after Chávez denounced his participation in a meeting titled “Danger in the Andes: Threats to Democracy, Human Rights and Inter-American Security.” During the meeting, organized by right-wing members of the U.S. Congress and their allies in Latin America, Zuloaga called Chávez’s Venezuela “a threat to the United States” and suggested that U.S. intervention could become necessary.
In response to the meeting, the Venezuelan parliament held a special session last week ratifying its rejection of Washington’s “imperial intent.” In addition, President Chávez called on Venezuelan legislators to draw up a legal framework that would end what he called “Yankee financing” of Venezuela’s internal opposition.
With respect to bureaucracy and its affect on the Bolivarian Revolution, marchers affirmed their commitment “radicalizing the revolution” within each of their communities, but also demanded concrete steps be taken immediately by the National Assembly.
The five proposals submitted by the CRBZ to the national assembly on Thursday, titled “Lines of Action for Radicalization of the Bolivarian Process”, include:
- The establishment of a national commission to undertake a rigorous evaluation [audit] of mayoralties and governorships, guided by the principles outlined in the Simón Bolívar National Project.
- The re-establishment of mobile governing cabinets as a true space for discussion between the leader [Chávez] and people’s power (Communal Councils, Communes, Workers’ Councils, Students’ Councils, etc.).
- The urgent passing of the people’s power laws currently being debated by the national assembly.
- The elaboration of a strategic plan to renew and revamp the communes in place.
- Renovate the National Political Education System for PSUV Cadre.
In a statement released on Thursday, the CRBZ publicized its active yet critical support for what Chávez recently titled “the Great Admirable Campaign” to secure his December 2012 re-election to the presidency. The statement affirmed:
“We put ourselves at every disposition to accompany and execute the initiative [the Lines of Political Action for the Great Admirable Campaign]. However, if communication is not re-established with the base [organized communities], if strength is not given to the column of cadres with leadership responsibilities, and while the protagonism or role of the people is held hostage by an enforced bureaucracy that depletes the transformative action of any and all political proposals, none of this [election campaigns and initiatives] will be effective.”
The CRBZ is largely responsible for establishing Venezuela’s first communal city – the Ciudad Comunal Simón Bolívar (CCCS-SB) – made up of 39 community councils, organized first into 10 communes, and later into the country’s pioneering communal city. Located in Apure state, the communal city encompasses roughly 115,000 hectares of land, or 46,500 acres. It is considered the country’s most concrete example of people’s power.
A week before the march took place, writers at Un Grano de Maiz, a leftist daily blog widely distributed amongst Chávistas, criticized the presence of “currents” within the Chávez camp.
Referring specifically to the CRBZ and its fight against bureaucracy, the bloggers called the organization a sector of the “petty bourgeoisie” that, according to the writers, “doesn’t understand class struggle…attacking phantom-like bureaucrats…throwing stones at the march towards socialist property.”
In response, the CRBZ published a written statement in which they wrote, “History has taught us that a vertical and monocultured thought readily dissolves in Gorbochav’s midday soup [in reference to the Soviet leader who led the capitalist transition in the USSR].”
“We live in the interiors of communal cities, which have become spaces of synthesis [of the revolution], and we fraternally invite you to come and see for yourself,” concluded the CRBZ’s statement.
Writer Melquíades Iguarán defended the CRBZ, affirming that their “constructive criticism is vital for the advance of the revolution” and that he has “never seen ‘petty bourgeoisie’ that have sweated so much organizing the poor and oppressed.” For these reasons, he wrote, he also decided to attend last week’s march.