[Marxism] Tariq Ali on Chavez (was: NYT spinning the news from Venezuela)

David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Wed Aug 18 08:07:02 MDT 2004

With respect to Leuko's and Fred's posts, it is important to note that
Chavez said it is not a period of PROLETARIAN revolutions. Remember that he
was talking to a Trotskyist, moreover a Trotskyist who thinks Chavez is a
radical Social Democrat, whatever that means.

But Chavez has said repeatedly that the struggle he leads and that of a huge
and growing part of the Venezuelan people support is for a BOLIVARIAN
revolution. I took his comments to Tariq as being very carefully crafted and
with total knowledge of Tariq's politics, which on this question suck.

So what is a Bolivarian revolution? Well, Marxmail readers and everybody
else better hit the books and find out. Marta Harnecker has done some
research and published it on the web, so we can start there. The deepest
strength of the Cuban revolution was and is that it is a CUBAN revolution.
Exactly the same can be said for Venezuela, in my opinion.

I am very tired of the sorts of remarks Alan Woods makes, as posted by Ralph
Johanson. I consider them ultraleft Trotskyite garbage, exactly the sort of
carping from the supposed left that has made many of us re-think Trotskyism
as it is practiced in the actual world. They mirror the cant the SWP tossed
around in the beginning of the Cuban Revolution which Jose and Walter have
brought to our attention, particularly the manner of citing alleged
socialist tasks the Bolivarians are failing to accomplish and milestones
they are failing to pass.

The imperialists get it. They hate every dollar diverted from their coffers
into various Bolivarian projects. The re-nationalization (or real
nationalization) of PdVSA is one of the greatest conquests of the working
class in history, particularly as it was accomplished in battle by the
people themselves, with the Bolivarian revolution hanging by a thread at the
time. There is no question, none at all, that the Venezuelan government used
the referendum to educate and mobilize the masses and move the revolutionary
process forward by increasing their confidence and self-organization. Chavez
today is Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Mao all rolled into one. Get

David McDonald

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