On Chavez´ victory in the referendum
The victory of the Bolivarian revolution in the referendum is an internationalist victory over Yankee imperialism
Declaration of the Anti-imperialist Camp
With 58 % of the votes against 42 % and a high participation in the vote (60 %) the majority of the people of Venezuela rejected the attempt by the oligarchical pro-imperialist opposition to overthrow the President Hugo Chávez and to put an end to the revolutionary Bolivarian process in Venezuela.
The imperialist media, with the arrogance of the privileged frightened by the increasing political awareness of the poorer classes of Venezuela, commented on the "class vote" of the "outcastes manipulated by the populist social programmes" President Chávez. At the same time, they tried to paint a picture of a "democratic" opposition worried about the polarization, the destabilization and the division of the country and about the "bad economic policy" (objective data show a clear economic recovery of Venezuela thanks to the proceeds from the current high price of oil which the government of Hugo Chávez is allocating to economic and social development – despite the lasting effects of the oil sabotage carried out by the reactionary and privileged sectors between December 2002 and February 2003 and other attempts at permanent destabilization), not to mention the coup background of the main opposition currents.
It is a fact that the referendum was a class vote, and a class victory for the poor. The most significant change in five years of Bolivarian government has been the tremendous increase in consciousness and in organization of the people, which made it possible to defeat counter-revolution again even on the difficult terrain of the referendum, in an environment manipulated by the disinformation media dominated by the reactionary opposition and under constant pressure from North American imperialism. This means that the victory in the referendum goes well beyond the confirmation of Hugo Chávez as president. Organised in patrols and battalions, the popular organisations united in the Comando Maisanta went into a state of alert, and showed that they would not stand by passively while the conquests of these five years of Bolivarian revolution were taken away, and that they intended to go ahead with the transformation of the country. The victory in the referendum consolidates this awareness on the part of millions of the poor and the excluded of their power as an organised people, and this is the basis for moving ahead and extending the Bolivarian revolution, towards a leading and real role of the organised people in every sphere of the policy of the Bolivarian government, and towards active popular defence of the social and political conquests, and finally towards popular power.
What will happen after the Bolivarian victory in the referendum?
Every move by the oligarchy united in "Coordinadora Democrática" has failed: the coup, the oil sabotage and the referendum. The refusal by Coordinadora Democrática to recognise the results of the referendum – despite international observers who are by no means friendly to Bolivarism, such as the former US president Carter, acknowledging that the elections were clean and without fraud – reveals the anti-Democratic character of a privileged elite, frightened because the poor people are becoming a leading political actor. This people, with its growing consciousness, has completely undone that complicated apparatus of manipulation of imperialist democracy which are the media of communication/disinformation. It is now clear to all that the real support of this oligarchy and compradora bourgeoisie is only Yankee imperialism. The US government, therefore, did not hesitate to announce, through its Secretary of State Tom Casey, that it does not recognize Chavez´ victory. What revolutionaries have always said is now a reality before the eyes of the world: imperialism and the bourgeoisie, as an oppressive and exploiting minority, has a totalitarian, dictatorial essence which it tries to disguise through a pseudo-democracy with manipulated and atomized citizens (one is free to call this sum of citizens, manipulated and dominated by the bourgeois hegemony, the "civil society"). When these citizens become an organised people, mobilized and conscious, and begin to practice a real democracy, based on participation and social equality, the Yankee empire and its local oligarchies do not hesitate a moment to trample on the most elementary international and democratic rights; they start to make coups, intervention, bombing and occupation. Therefore, no doubt is left that the opposition will move on to another stage of struggle against the Bolivarian revolution, a low intensity war based on paramilitary activity, sabotage, continuous international pressure for multilateral intervention, and even attempts to kill President Chávez.
In any case, the victory of the Bolivarian movement profoundly weakens the opposition, and will split it into sectors willing to seek reconciliation, and radical sectors which will move over to violent counter-revolution and which will certainly enjoy the support of Yankee imperialism. However, even a divided opposition may in practice share out tasks in opposing the advance of the Bolivarian revolution. The "diplomats of the opposition" will put pressure on the wavering reformist parties which are part of the institutional personnel of the Bolivarian government, and who compromised the referendum (which the opposition would have been unable to achieve in a legal and democratic manner) in order to put a brake on the "excesses" of the mobilized people and the "exaggerations" of president Chávez, whereas the other, radical part will practice paramilitary activity and violent counter-revolution. Both are united in trying to put an end to the advance of the organized people and to further transformation of the country. President Chávez seems to be aware that the organised people is the only force which can change the country, defending and consolidating the Bolivarian process. At this time of defeat and weakness of the opposition, the Bolivarian revolution can well "call for a dialogue" with all those social sectors which are ready to subordinate themselves to the revolutionary dynamics, thus dividing the enemies. However, it cannot allow the victory conquered by the organised people – by those same poor people who already stopped the coup in April 2002 and conquered over the prolonged oil sabotage - to be subordinated again either to a moderate "diplomatic" opposition or to the reformists who are always ready to compromise out of an inclination towards the traditional institutions of the state.
Finally, we should emphasise that this victory in an anti-imperialist battle has implications which go well beyond the national borders of Venezuela. It will reinforce the Bolivarian idea as the anti-imperialist banner of the Latin American people, and with this, it will strike the hegemony and the economic, political and military projects of the empire in the continent. It also consolidates one of the most advanced trenches in the international anti-imperialist struggle, a fundamental element in order to open several fronts simultaneously against the US empire, together with Iraq.
A practical expression of this internationalist dimension of the anti-imperialist struggle of Venezuela will be the Bolivarian Anti-imperialist Camp, which will be held in Campo la Miel Guasdualito, in the state of Apure, Venezuela, on the border with Colombia, from February 7th to 12th, 2005, summoned by several popular and anti-imperialist organisations of Venezuela, Colombia and Europe, including the Anti-imperialist Camp.
We congratulate and thank the people of Venezuelal and their president Hugo Chávez for the anti-imperialist victory in this referendum!
With the organized people, in order to defend and extend the Bolivarian revolution!
The Bolivarian revolution is an internationalist struggle of all peoples – let us come together in the Anti-Imperialist Bolivarian Camp against the Yankee threat!
Anti-imperialist Camp, August 17, 2004