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Venezuela’s other battle Printer friendly page Print This
By Elias Jaua | Cuba Debate
teleSUR article translated by Tortilla con Sal
Sunday, Nov 5, 2017

Beyond the electoral battles and victories, the Bolivarian Revolution every day has to wage the strategic battle of ideas. This is not just a matter of theoretical debate but, in fact, one that has to do with the real life exercise of political ethics. Looked at in that way I think we need to deepen that exercise in at least three ways.

1. Revolutionary democracy. We should continue looking beyond merely electoral concerns and make progress consolidating the experiences of popular self-government like Communes and Communal Councils and, similarly, the new forms of socialized communal, public, as well as urban and rural workers’ property, begun in the Revolution’s first ten years.

In this area, it is also necessary to recover the new democratic culture that Chavismo introduced into Venezuelan society, involving criticism and self-criticism, social audit and grass roots questioning which, as our Comandante Chávez said, we should not fear. On the contrary, we need it to be able to make progress.

Demonizing that critical culture of revolutionary democracy with the banal argument that critics are traitors, kills the liberating, pluralist spirit of our Revolution. The real traitors are those corrupt individuals who never criticize when they are skimming off the cream, but when they flee Venezuelan justice, they claim witness protection from the Empire and try dragging all of us into the swamp of their corrupt scams and ruses. These individuals are indeed traitors.

2. A socialist economic model. The Bolivarian Socialism of Chavez proposed a mixed economy, but one we should not confuse with just forming joint venture companies with the private sector. In fact, this is a matter of the Revolution developing non-capitalist property relations and relations of production, while also recognizing the existence and importance of the private sector.

On that score I look with concern at any renunciation of consolidating and building socialist experiences or, even more serious, processes of reverting to capitalism within the modest incipient socialist economic model begun by the Bolivarian Revolution.

We need to debate if we can really build Bolivarian Socialism we are decide to strengthen the capitalist private sector and denationalize the public sector.

3. Cultural and ethical transformation. The Bolivarian Revolution happened, among other reasons, as a response to the corrupt political system embodied in the Fixed Point Agreement. When we had the 1999 National Constituent Assembly, not punishing the individuals responsible for the outright robbery during the previous regime was a mistake.

Impunity is the principal incentive to commit crimes. Leaving intact the corrupt apparatus, both public and private, allowed it to seduce a good many of the new functionaries and even some of the new leadership.

But the problem is deeper, and consists in not developing a policy of cultural transformation based on building values for a society living modestly, both personally and collectively. Instead, doing the opposite, by increasing economic and social rights, without addressing in the cultural sphere our society’s structural consumerism, we created an infinite demand, resulting in a search for wealth at any cost. That in turn has given rise to high levels of crime and corruption.

We have a great deal to correct in that sphere, and I take this chance to salute and support the valiant anti-corruption campaign being waged by the Republic’s Attorney-General. Let’s have done with these corrupt individuals who commit treason around the clock.

Beyond that, let’s redouble advances towards forging a culture of honest work and achieving a decent life not just materially but, more fundamentally, in spiritual terms too.

Now we are in a new electoral battle, looking for victory in the municipal elections, but let’s not forget this other battle, wherein lies strategic victory, the birth of a new truly human society. To achieve this, as our comrade Ricardo Menéndez reminds us, we must always return to Chavez.

Original Spanish language URL

Translated by Tortilla con Sal

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