Venezuela Updates

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Venezuela Updates

Most economists and "experts" have been predicting the drastic decline of Venezuela for some time. The new taxes, privatizations, and heavy government spending was certain to drive away foreign investment and bankrupt the country. On top of that, Chavez was said to be insane.


But, let's take a look at what's going on in Venezuela:

1) They raised mnimum wage by 25% - the higest rate in all of Latin America - even higher than US favourites - Chile and Mexico.

2) Venezuela and Coolumbia exchanged prisoners (extradition) with the new Colombian leader - showing that Chavez can work with reasonable, moderate leaders.


3) A poll came out ranking 124 countries in terms of well-being - with people ranking their happiness now and in the near future.

Denmark was first. Canada was 2nd, but Venezuela came in 6th - by far the highest of any of the Latin America countries.

Chavez is the Simon Bolivar of the 21st century.


US Planning To Grab Venezuela's Oil  -  by Nil Nikandrov

"...There is a growing impression that Venezuela with its oil riches is the next country on the US hit list.."



   In the past few decades the USA tried so hard to stop socialism in South America, using covert funding and hiring militias to wipe out socialist leaders and activists. "Covert funding" often meant illegal drug sales money, with the CIA holding back the DEA while the CIA provided protection for all aspects of the drug production and transportation to the mainland USA.

  Chavez was certainly in their sights. There have been a few assassination attempts, and even a coup, against Chavez by covert American forces.

   Chavez has done a lot to give back Venezuela to the people. He had to take some of it away from Elites, mostly holding large tracts of land as investments, not working the land or even living on it - he broke those up and gave poor and indigenous peoples plots of land to work. I just love the guy for that.



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Venezuela & Revolutionary Vignettes. Part 1: Workers' Control vs Bureaucrats, Mafia and Multinationals in Bolivar

By Jorge Martín - In Defence of Marxism, July 10th 2011

At the end of June I had the opportunity of visiting Venezuela where I attended the national conference of “Class Struggle” (Lucha de Clases), the Venezuelan section of the International Marxist Tendency. What I witnessed is an increased polarisation between left and right, but above all an open clash between the revolutionary wing of the Bolivarian movement and the reformists and bureaucrats. In a series of articles I will attempt to illustrate this.....


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has appeared with his head closely shaved, saying his hair has begun falling out because of chemotherapy.

It was his "new look," he joked in English at a televised meeting at the presidential palace.

Mr Chavez said his treatment was going well.

The Venezuelan leader, who underwent a first round of chemotherapy in July, has made it clear he plans to stand for re-election next year

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Venezuela: Revolutionary vignettes. Part 2: Workers' councils sabotaged by the bureaucracy

Written by Jorge Martín Thursday, 04 August 2011

As part of my recent trip to Venezuela I was invited to speak about the world crisis of capitalism and the class struggle in Europe at two meetings of PDVSA oil workers in Monagas, in the east of the country. One of the meetings took place in Maturín, the capital of the state and where the PDVSA management for the Eastern Region is based, and the other one in the PDVSA installations in Punta de Mata, a city built around a massive oil field....


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World Bank Tribunal Dismisses Brandes Case Against Venezuela

By Daniel Cancel - Bloomberg

An international arbitration panel dismissed a claim by Brandes Investment Partners against Venezuela seeking damages for the forced sale of its stock in the nationalization of the country’s phone company, state-oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA said today in a statement.

A panel at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes agreed with Venezuela that it lacked jurisdiction to resolve the dispute, putting an end to a case filed in 2008, according to the statement.....


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Venezuela: Revolutionary vignettes. Part 4: Chavez’s health, the 2012 elections and the future of the Venezuelan revolution

Written by Jorge Martín Thursday, 22 September 2011

My visit to Venezuela at the end of June coincided with the speculation, rumours and finally announcements about the health of Hugo Chavez. This incident revealed a number of important questions about the Venezuelan revolution, the role that President Chavez plays in it and the character of the counter-revolutionary opposition.

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Doctor flees Venezuela after saying Chavez has less than two years to live

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Mass Participation in Debate on Venezuela’s Socialist Plan


Officials have highlighted the extent of participation in the national debate so far, with 4,500 proposals collected in six regional states over the weekend for possible inclusion in the plan.

Meanwhile around 13,000 assemblies are being organised across the western state of Lara alone, according to local assembly organiser Gerardo González. “These 13,000 assemblies are taking place in communal councils, public organisations and other organised spaces of the communities that want to contribute to the new Socialist Plan of the Nation,” he explained to state news agency AVN last week.

Along with citizen assemblies, other mechanisms of participation include submitting proposals through post boxes and online.....


..a raging battle is being waged.

Venezuela: Exchange Rates and the Battle for Petroleum Income

“If politics is no longer the art of the possible, this is because financial power has kidnapped faith and the future, time and hope.” Giorgio Agamben (Quoted by President Nicolás Maduro in the National Assembly October 8, 2013).


In this economic warfare, four things need to be kept clearly in mind in order to maintain the correlation of forces in favour of the revolution: a) who the enemy is; b) knowing the battle-field where the confrontation is taking place; c) knowing one’s own strategy; and d) maintaining the support of the people.


Knowing the enemy strategy
Exchange control (CADIVI) (4) and PDVSA are the hills that the enemy intends to conquer, in order to regain control over the generation of income (PDVSA) and its distribution (exchange control). They have already achieved a partial control over the distribution of oil revenues, that is, they have taken back the power that the government won after the coup in April 2002 and the oil sabotage, and they have wrested from the government the power to control the currency through CADIVI.

The high command of the Chavista Bolivarian government is showing signs of awareness of this situation.

They announced the creation of the Economic Superior Body and they have emphasized perception of an "economic war". It seems that the proposals of those in favour of making exchange controls more flexible and of swap market resurgence lost ground in the face of resistance from the organized groups of the revolution and as a result of analysis of the battle field made by the Government led by President Nicolas Maduro....


Venezuela’s Maduro Announces More Moves Against “Parasitic Bourgeoisie”


This year Venezuela has experienced shortages in several basic food and household goods, a black market dollar worth ten times the government-set exchange rate, and annual inflation of 54%.

The government argues that these problems are the product of an “economic war” being waged by business sectors and the opposition, while critics claim “government mismanagement” and state interventionist policies are to blame.

A central element of the government’s approach to the situation is to crack down on abuse of currency controls and reduce the value of the black market dollar, which is creating pricing distortions.

Currency controls have been in place since 2003 to prevent capital flight, and businesses are allocated official-rate dollars (6.3 BsF = US $1) by the state to import goods for production and consumption.

Yesterday the Venezuelan president attacked the illegal business practice of requesting official rate dollars and then selling these dollars on the black market for a profit, or importing goods and then selling them for far higher than the import price.

“Only one sector does this: the parasitic bourgeoisie, that created this phenomenon [of abusing currency controls], which we’re now going to reveal to the country and punish with the law,” he said.

A presidential commission is to be created with parliamentary legislators and public attorneys, who will identify and investigate companies that have abused state-granted dollars. Maduro said that “without a doubt” some public servants have also been complicit in currency scams.

An ex-official of the state’s foreign exchange commission Cadivi and his son were recently convicted of setting up false companies to illegally obtain state-granted foreign currency from 2010 to 2013....


Speaking to press yesterday, Maduro reiterated his commitment to tackling Venezuela’s oil-rentier economic model.

“There won’t be socialism on a rentier, speculative, capitalist economic base. Socialism has to be constructed on the basis of labour, on real productive bases, on the generation of new wealth, on an economy fed by its own resources,” he argued.