Popular protagonism in Venezuela’s transition to socialism: A conversation with Michael Lebowitz

11 July, 2020 — Venezuelanalysis


Lebowitz va

Michael Lebowitz is a professor of political economy, researcher, and prolific writer. He is the author of Beyond Capital: Marx’s Political Economy of the Working Class (1992), The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now (2015), and the upcoming Between Capitalism and Community (2021). From 2006 to 2011, Lebowitz was Development Director in the Program in Transformative Practice and Human Development at the Centro Internacional Miranda, in Caracas. In this interview, he explores the importance of participation and democracy in the construction of socialism, while reflecting on the internal contradictions of the Bolivarian Process.

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Chavez, a Mirror of the People: A Conversation with Edgar Perez By Cira Pascual Marquina

14 June 2019 — Internationalist 360°


Edgar Perez, better known as “Gordo Edgar,” participated in the most important events in recent Venezuelan history, from the Caracazo to the 4F insurrection to the anti‐coup mobilization that brought Chavez back to office in April 2002. A well-known personality in the popular movement, Edgar grew up in the 23 de Enero barrio in Caracas, but most of his activism took place in La Vega, a very poor barrio that, like 23 de Enero, takes pride in its history of rebellion and grassroots organization. Growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Edgar calls La Vega, where we interviewed him, “a school for revolutionaries.” In this conversation, “Gordo Edgar” reflects on the vicissitudes of the popular movement while analyzing the role of Hugo Chavez in the Venezuelan revolution.

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Chavez the Radical XXIV: “The Land Belongs to Those Who Work It, not to the Large Landowners”

134 June 2019 — Venezuela Analysis

When the Bolivarian Revolution passed legislation in 2001 to break up the feudal land tenure system and to distribute large tracts of unused land to collectives of peasant farmers, the large estate owners responded by implementing the systematic assassination of peasant leaders.

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Defending Chavez’s Project Today By Cira Pascual Marquina

23. May 2019 — Internationalist 360°


Elías Jaua, who as a student participated in the clandestine section of the (then) revolutionary party Bandera Roja, is a Venezuelan politician and former university professor. Chavez appointed him minister of agriculture and vice president, while under Maduro he has been minister of foreign affairs, communes, and education. Jaua is currently a key figure in a Chavista political movement called Encuentro de Lucha Popular and writes regularly, with a firm anti‐imperialist position while defending popular power as the centerpiece of the Chavista project.

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United States and Venezuela: A Historical Background

13 May 2019 — James Petras

Introduction: US hostility and efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government forms parts of a long and inglorious history of US intervention in Latin America going back to the second decade of the 19th century.In 1823 US President Monroe declared, in his name, the ‘Monroe Doctrine” – the US right to keep Europeans out of the region, but the right of the US to intervene in pursuit of its economic, political and military interests.

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The Origins of Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

2 April 2019 — TRNN

Venezuela has become a popular argument against socialism amongst conservatives because of the deep economic crisis it is currently traversing. Defenders of the Bolivarian project, though, say that US sanctions and economic war are to blame for the crisis. Greg Wilpert presents an analysis that tries to take all the factors into account (inc. transcript)
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The Venezuela crisis and realpolitik By Alfred de Zayas

2 March 2019 — MROnline

1. Realpolitik

As heads of government, democratically entrusted with safeguarding the welfare of all Venezuelans, Chavez and Maduro bear overall responsibility for the economic crisis, but they are not alone. Surely it was a mistake to follow the risky politics of all previous governments by maintaining the dangerous dependence on the export of petroleum and failing to take timely and effective measures to diversify the economy, ensure food security, achieve a prudent self-sufficiency in the production and supply of generic medicines, etc. They made the naive and perhaps understandable mistake of relying on customary international law and relevant treaties on freedom of trade. They naively relied on the benefits of globalization, without sufficiently taking into account their vulnerability in case of an economic war, financial blockade and sanctions as had already caused chaos and suffering in Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua and Iraq.

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Haiti: imperialist aggression against Bolivarian Revolution sparks mass movement By Rob Lyon

22 February 2019 — In Defence of Marxism

Image: Green Left

Mass protests and a general strike against growing poverty, corruption, and demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse have shut down Haiti for the past two weeks. This mass movement is a direct continuation of the general strike that erupted last summer against proposed increases to the cost of fuel as well as the mass protests that took place last November in relation to a corruption scandal involving PetroCaribe funds.
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Venezuela Primer Pt. 1: Why Did Venezuelans Elect Hugo Chávez?

3 February 2019 — TRNN

Over and over again US media outlets make the claim that Venezuela was the “jewel of Latin America” before Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998 and that his election marked the country’s downfall. In part 1 of this Venezuela primer, on the 20th anniversary of Chavez first taking office on February 2, 1999, we look at what led up to his election (inc. transcript)
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Political Destabilization in Venezuela and the Western Media’s Double Standard By Salim Lamrani

2 June 2014 — Global Research – Opera Mundi

venezuela drapeau flottantWhile the opposition is responsible for the deadly violence which has plagued the country since February 2014, Western media continue to accuse the democratically elected government of Nicolás Maduro.

Since 1998, the Venezuelan opposition has consistently rejected the results of the country’s democratic elections. There is a single exception: it recognized the legitimacy of its own victory in the constitutional referendum of December 2, 2007, something it won by less than a one percent margin.  The right has been strongly opposed to the legitimately elected governments of Hugo Chávez, in office from 1999 to 2013, and that of Nicolás Maduro, in office since April, 2013. All means have been used in attempts to overthrow them: coups, political assassinations, sabotage of oil installations, economic warfare (since 1999), calls for revolt and media smear campaigns.

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Venezuela Deals Blow to Bankster Fascists By Dean Henderson

19 March 2014 — Veterans Today

MaduroOn March 15th Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro addressed his military.  Mindful of the recent CIA/bankster putsch in Ukraine, he warned the right-wing fascist thugs who have incited violence in the country over the past two months, “Prepare yourself.  We are coming for you.”  He then played John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance.

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The Question of US ‘Democracy Promotion’ in the Newspaper of Record By Peter Hart

26 February 2014 — FAIR Blog

Statue of Salvador Allende in a Viennese park (cc photo: Sebastian Baryli )

You might ask Chilean President Salvador Allende what he thinks about US democracy promotion–if he hadn’t been killed in a CIA-backed coup in 1973. (cc photo: Sebastian Baryli )

Sometimes the thing we call “media bias” isn’t about what a given piece of journalism explicitly says about the world;  it’s more about the assumptions that must be taken for granted. Question those assumptions and the whole thing starts to fall apart. 

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US NSA Spied on Venezuela When President Chavez Died, Documents Reveal By TAMARA PEARSON

9 July 2013 — Venezuela Analysis

Mérida, – Brazilian daily O Globo, reporting jointly with Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald informed today that according to the leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents, the United States has also been spying on Venezuela’s petroleum industry. The information comes as governments confirm that whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted asylum in Venezuela.

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The Communal State: Communal Councils, Communes, and Workplace Democracy By Dario Azzellini

9 July 2013 — NACLA


The particular character of what Hugo Chávez called the Bolivarian process lies in the understanding that social transformation can be constructed from two directions, “from above” and “from below.” Bolivarianism—or Chavismo—includes among its participants both traditional organizations and new autonomous groups; it encompasses both state-centric and anti-systemic currents. The process thus differs from traditional Leninist or social democratic approaches, both of which see the state as the central agent of change; it differs as well from movement-based approaches that conceive of no role whatsoever for the state in a process of revolutionary change.

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