The SOYMB blog has posted on the humanitarian crisis of the exodus of refugees, some political but the vast majority economic refugees, from Venezuela. Since the Chavez era, the blog has also explained why Venezuela is not socialist, nor on the path towards socialism. The situation now confronting our Venezuelan fellow-workers is reaching critical with the USA openly endorsing regime change and making veiled threats of a possible military intervention, something that will only add more misery and increased suffering to the Venezuelan people. Those who praised Trump’s intention to end America’s role as the world’s policeman will now be disappointed as the USA once again asserts its power over another country.
The Venezuelan economy is required to remain competitive on the international markets or it would fail. Workers must therefore be exploited, even by a government that declares itself worker-friendly. Whether they are exploited through nationalised industries, State sponsored cooperatives, by local employers or by global corporations makes little difference. The fact of exploitation is inevitable. So is the relative poverty, the limited freedom of choice, and the lack of control they have over their lives.
What some describe as ‘21st century socialism’ or the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ comes down to a populist government, manipulating our fellow-workers by the use of revolutionary sounding slogans and rhetoric to sow an illusion of social progress, but in reality, following a well-trod path of authoritarianism where resistance becomes criminalised and protesters persecuted. Maduro may well be opposing US hegemony but his anti-imperialism does not equate with anti-capitalism.
Socialism cannot work top down; it cannot be imposed and cannot be legislated. The most benevolent tyranny cannot lead to a class-free society. The emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class itself.