Filed under: Analysis, The State, US, War
The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) lays out why anarchists and autonomous anti-capitalists should oppose the attempted US coup in Venezuela.
During the Chavista period, residents of Venezuela organized consumer cooperatives, communes and wide-ranging regional organization from working-class neighborhoods. As usual, the state power at the time — the Chavista government — attempted to create programs to meet people’s needs from the top down, resulting in a process replete with contradictions. Nevertheless, these communes and cooperatives worked tirelessly to create the necessary conditions for people to live autonomously. In 2013, these councils numbered over 31,000, and they are still active today; on February 10, 2019, for instance, members of the José Ramón Rodriguez, Cuna de Artesanos, and 1ro de Mayo communes in Guadalupe took over abandoned agricultural facilities at the Instituto de Desarrollo Rural (Institute of Rural Development).
The successes — and even the mere existence of — these efforts have been suppressed in the U.S. by the prevailing state narrative of depravation and helplessness, once again evoking white saviorism in an effort to justify U.S. imperialism. The prevailing narrative is that, under the leadership of Maduro, the people of Venezuela are starving and lack basic necessities, such as medical care and shelter. Such deprivation is in fact prevalent throughout the U.S. empire, including at its nexus, the continental United States. The notion, therefore, that the U.S. should interfere elsewhere on such grounds, and that such interference should benefit the people in any way, is outrageous. The U.S. continues to engage in its usual ideological struggle against communism, socialism, and, of course, anti-statehood; the hardships faced by the people of Venezuela serve as a convenient foil against which the state narrative attempts, unsuccessfully, to uphold the superiority of what it calls “democracy.”
It is worth noting that the humanitarian crisis currently being used as an excuse for U.S. interference in Venezuela was in fact manufactured by the U.S. — through the CIA and right-wing Venezuelan oligarchs — over the past twenty years. The groundwork for the current predicament has been laid carefully, with CIA operatives and Venezuelan elites conspiring against the Chavista government and having already attempted a coup in 2002. (Chavez was removed from office for roughly fourty-seven hours before being reinstated.)
Another essential pillar of this false narrative is that Guaidó, the “opposition leader”/U.S.-backed stooge, is a progressive hero with the best interests of his people at heart. This same “progressive hero” praised notorious fascist Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil as a leader with a known “commitment to democracy, human rights, security, and development of the region.” Bolsonaro is but one of many known far right leaders in Latin America supporting a Guaidóan coup who have recently dubbed themselves the Lima Group. Other members of the Lima Group include Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez, the handpicked successor of Alvaro Uribe, the godfather of the Latin American far right; Juan Orlando Hernández, who is barely clinging to power in Honduras; and Mauricio Macri, the corrupt businessman in Argentina.
That the CIA has been funding Guaidó’s efforts has been well documented. We saw this in Chile in the 1960s and 70s. In 1964, Christian Democratic Party (PDC) leader Eduardo Frei gained an absolute majority. Frei’s ascension was a direct result of covert intervention by the CIA in the campaigning process. The CIA financed a significant portion of Frei’s campaign, and spread vast amounts of anti-communist propaganda. These actions included the distribution of 3,000 political posters, as well as the financing of radio spots and news commentaries that opposed Allende. Soon after, the U.S. government issued around $1.2 billion in grants and loans to Frei’s administration to “sustain social and economic development,” in an effort to safeguard Frei’s popularity amongst the people. In 1970, after it became apparent through polling results that Allende was expected to achieve electoral success, the United States began to formulate plans to depose him and install a leader with policies sympathetic to U.S. interests. This led to the eventual military coup against Allende and the rise of the infamous dictator, Augusto Pinochet.
RAM denounces any and all acts of U.S. imperialism and stands, unequivocally, in solidarity with the revolutionary movement in Venezuela, particularly our anarchist comrades formerly in the organization Manifiesto de La Federaction Anarquista Revolucionaria de Venezuela (FARV). We stand in solidarity with the destitute, the oppressed, those who have found dignity through the revolutionary process and who have organized within their own communities for decades, in an effort to gain autonomy from capitalism and the state.
It is the example set by these people that most offends and threatens the U.S. empire, and is the root cause of its desire to interfere in Venezuela— potentially even greater than its insatiable desire to control global oil reserves. RAM calls on all revolutionaries to take a stand against this latest incarnation of US barbarism in Latin America. The fascist creep has become an avalanche, and anarchists and all revolutionaries have a responsibility to combat fascism, imperialism, and capitalism, especially when these forces are emboldened and belligerent.