Venezuela’s constituent assembly: organ of the people

Comrade Marcos Garcia of the Venezuelan embassy in London puts the country's new constituent assembly into context.

Comrade Marcos Garcia, of the Venezuelan embassy in London, speaks at the CPGB-ML meeting to celebrate internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity on 29 July 2017 – on the eve of elections for the new constituent assembly – explaining succinctly events in the previous six moths that dominated the news coming from Venezuela.

From February 2017 onwards, the US-funded opposition sought to escalate its campaign of economic sabotage, political violence and destabilisation within Venezuela, while the USA sought to isolate Venezuela diplomatically.

The imperialist media campaign likewise built up momentum – all with the continued objective of overthrowing the Bolivarian Revolution, the PSUV (Socialist Party of Venezuela) government, and its leader, the current elected president and the people’s chosen successor to Hugo Chávez, Nicholás Maduro.

In 2015, the campaign of destabilisation was designed to lead up to and subvert the electoral process – and indeed the opposition secured a majority in the national assembly at that time. They have since sought to use that body in order to stage a coup and oust the president, with the aim of overturning the gains of the people and of reinstating the unbridled rule of the comprador capitalists and their backers in the US corporations.

These aims have been typified by attempts to pass legislation privatising the social housing stock built for the people over the past two decades, to raise the land price, and to declare an amnesty for all the opposition’s treacherous, criminal and treasonous enterprises.

In particular, Venezuela sits on the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and despite economic difficulties consequent on the fall in the world oil price (also engineered to an extent via overproduction and the US shale gas boom), the Venezuelan national reserves are a great prize which US imperialism urgently desires.

Moreover, the friendly relations between Venezuela and Cuba, and the efforts Venezuela has made to use its wealth to benefit the masses across the region, from the Caribbean to Central and South America, have challenged the US imperial writ, which has been the declared aim of the USA since the Monroe doctrine was pronounced in 1823.

US President Donald Trump, having repeatedly declared his intention to impose ever-greater sanctions on Venezuela and affirmed that military options are on the table, has sought to gather support for a ‘coalition of the willing’ to invade and overthrow the legitimate Venezuelan government, and has used US influence to try and isolate and destabilise Venezuela.

It is a testament to the popularity of the Chavistas that these concerted efforts of imperialism have yielded so little fruit.

Moreover, President Maduro has repeatedly stated the willingness of the Venezuelan government and people to fight by any means necessary to defend the gains of the revolution.

We congratulate the Venezuelan masses on the successful election of their new constituent assembly, which is designed to isolate the reactionaries and hold them to account for their actions.

When the time is right, we hope and trust that the Venezuelan people will find the strength and courage to oust their perfidious exploiting class (beholden as they are to the US imperialists, and willing as they are to burn working-class activists and heap any and every misfortune upon the toiling masses to secure their wealth and privilege) and firmly establish the rule of the working class – the dictatorship of the proletariat.

A planned, diversified, socialist economy and state is the only way Venezuela can secure her gains in the long term.

Victory to the Bolivarian Revolution!