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Venezuela and Colombia: Two brother peoples that are resisting

by Eduardo Farfan Thursday, Dec. 19, 2002 at 8:00 AM

We are faced with the great challenge of becoming a country that advances toward socialism. If Simon Bolivar had to struggle against the monarchy to establish the liberal republic, we have to fight against that liberal republic to build our own model that fits our Latin American homeland's yearnings for freedom.

Venezuela and Colombia: Two brother peoples that are resisting the imperialist offensive together

Eduardo Farfan
Venezuelan popular activist

The US has drawn up an expansionist, war-mongering plan for South America embodied in the FTAA. One of its elements, Plan Colombia, places special emphasis on Venezuela and Colombia as countries of the Andean region that constitute an important obstacle to the imposition of its hegemony over the continent.

That explains the direct intervention of the CIA and ambassador Shapiro in the furtive coup d’etat of last April 11, in which the alliance of Fedecamaras (business association), Primero Justicia, the ill-named Civil society, the bureaucratic and opportunist leadership of the CTV (Venezuelan Workers’ Central) and the most reactionary sector of the military forces imposed a fascist dictatorship for 48 hours. Thanks to the reaction of the patriotic sector, the military forces and the Bolivarian people, President Hugo Chavez Frias, who was elected with the largest number of votes ever in the last decades, was restored to power. Nevertheless, the conspiracy continues and preparations are underway to launch another coup or to go with an assassination, as they attempt to find an institutional way out, such as the referendum or resignation of the President.

The decision of the US and the Creole oligarchy is to get rid of the government of Chavez since it disturbs their interests to have the presidential tribunal used to impregnate the people’s spirit with the ideas of Simon Bolivar and to call upon them to exercise their full sovereignty. On the other hand, let us not forget that Venezuela supplies the US with the petroleum needed for its development and is the leader of OPEC, so they need to have this vital resource secured in the hands of the bourgeois class, the guardian of their interests.

We Venezuelans have been obliged to play a decisive role in the current phase of the imperialist expansion because we possess such rich petroleum deposits, invaluable bioenergetic resources in the Amazonia, are the neighbors of Colombia and Cuba, and have a Constitution that prohibits the installation of foreign bases in our territory or use of our airspace for military actions and declares our territory a zone of peace. This of course forbids any possibility of an attack being launched, legally, from our soil against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) or the National Liberation Army (ELN) or Cuba, which impedes the smooth application of Plan Colombia that the empire needs.

As Simon Bolivar said, “Our homeland is America” and “the US seems to be destined by Providence to plague America, in the name of freedom, with hunger and misery.” In the popular movement we are clear that only a political alliance of those who have always been excluded, armed with a program, a plan of struggle and our own, autonomous political project, will be capable of defeating the counterrevolution. This is what we strive for in our daily work with the communities that are organized.

While the working class remains held hostage by the CTV clique, the popular movement in the cities and the campesinos are on the offensive, and it is there that the enemy has his eyes fixed in the present juncture, particularly on the Bolivarian Circles which are multiple, diverse and various expressions of the people that in every neighborhood are for the defence and deepening of this process of democratic changes.

After the events of April 11, we have proof of what awaits us if the right returns to power. Our people were assassinated in the streets of Caracas, the leaders of the popular movement were persecuted, harassed, some were taken prisoner, others tortured, and a big wave of police raids was unleashed all around the city. We have learned the lesson.

We have revolutionary reserves for a long resistance because the problem is not if Chavez goes or if he stays; the problem is that the entire poor, marginalized, excluded people who in a short time have raised their level of political consciousness and are prepared to stake their lives because there is no turning back.

The president must feel very alone. He was betrayed by the military men who had his closest confidence, his Fifth Republic Movement, with a few exceptions, were caught in Miquelena’s nets, his directors are repeating the bureaucratic, patronage-based and corrupt practices of Puntofijismo, and have separated themselves completely from the people and their interests. If Chavez does not break through that cloud which keeps him from seeing and hearing the people, and really get into sync with them, he will be lost. The ones closet to him are opportunists who will jump ship when the situation gets complicated and will be the first to negotiate his head.

We believe the hour has arrived for the Latin American peoples and particularly the people of Venezuela, because what happens to us here will be critical for the brother Colombian people, and what happens there will also have repercussions here; there is no other alternative but to develop joint plans and programs, convert our borders into zones of revolutionary Bolivarianism. And what is more, it is already clear that in order to hit Cuba, that strategic alliance of evil will first have to bring down Venezuela and the insurgent forces of Colombia.

It is essential to rescue the spirit of popular rebellion and build the foundations of a true popular power with a sense of political and geographic territoriality, where the alternative communications media are the fundamental instrument for the organization and education of the people.

Even if from the 11th to the 14th of last April our people threw themselves spontaneously and multitudinously into the streets without anything happening to them since their intervention led to the coup being overturned, we know that the next time the fascists are going to shoot and we want to avoid as many losses as we can.

The hope of the Bolivarian revolution is not in the parties that are with the President, nor in the patriotic sector of the armed forces, which are without a doubt important. The real actor is the organized people where there exists true leadership that is for structural changes, those for which the Bolivarian Constitution is not an end but an instrument for deepening this process of democratic change which, until April 11 had been peaceful.

We are faced with the great challenge of becoming a country that advances toward socialism. If Simon Bolivar had to struggle against the monarchy to establish the liberal republic, we have to fight against that liberal republic to build our own model that fits our Latin American homeland's yearnings for freedom.

As never before there is a space in Venezuela for freedom; no one is persecuted for publicly expressing their views. The enemy has taken it upon himself to accelerate the contradictions. Our great weakness is that there does not exist clear leadership other than that of President Chavez and the endeavors at unity in the bosom of the people are still very fragile. We are sure that those new leaders will appear in the midst of the struggle to guide our ship to a secure port. Little by little we will build the necessary instruments.

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