On Saturday 31 August, members of the CPGB-ML participated in a march and rally organised by the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) in Caracas.
International delegates, representing trade unions and progressive organisations from four continents, spoke to the assembled workers at the beginning and end of the march, expressing the support of the masses around the world for the Venezuelan people – for their revolution, their government, and their right to determine their own affairs free from outside interference.
Among the many popular slogans being chanted, the anti-imperialist determination and spirit of solidarity was summed up in repeated chants of ¡El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido! – The people, united, will never be defeated!
International conference of workers in Caracas
Over the course of the preceding three days, the labour affairs department of the PSUV had met with hundreds of its cadres and members of the Bolivarian Workers Union, along with international delegates representing trade unions and revolutionary organisations.
Sessions of Venezuelan workers and international delegates debated the contents of a joint declaration before voting en masse.
The first international meeting of workers in solidarity with the Venezuelan government and people drew to a close on Saturday lunchtime with unanimous support for the declaration of the conference.
In Britain, this means calling on workers to refuse to cooperate in the theft of Venezuela’s gold – $1.3bn worth of which is currently locked in the Bank of England’s vault.
It also means calling on workers to refuse to help in the training, transportation and equipment of forces (whether NGOs or armies) aiming to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela.
And of course it also means calling on all media workers – from writers to technicians – to refuse to help in any way with writing, publishing or broadcasting imperialist lies about Venezuela and its government; lies whose aim is to persuade British workers to accept Venezuela’s government as an enemy and a legitimate target of our rulers’ aggression.
The march through central Caracas ended close to the constituent assembly and the home of Simon Bolívar. A platform of PSUV ministers and cadres addressing the rally was joined by members of the CPGB-ML and Caribbean Labour Solidarity from Britain, the Freedom Road Socialist Organisation (USA), the PCdoB (Communist party of Brazil), the Workers Central Union of Cuba, the Movement for Social Justice and Oil Workers Union (Trinidad and Tobago) and the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers, alongside delegates from Nigeria, Russia, Spain and France, and from across the Americas (Mexico, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay).
Conference concludes with a joint declaration
The final declaration of the conference read as follows:
The workers gathered in the city of Caracas, capital of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the ‘First International Meeting of Workers in Solidarity with the Venezuelan Government and People’, after their deliberation process, have come to the following conclusions:
Today’s world is marked by the globalisation of capital. The current character of capitalism is assuming an unprecedented voracity that affects the working class and humanity as a whole. Neoliberal capitalism has engulfed the world economic-financial system, pursuing a ceaseless search for profit through the conquest of new markets. It strengthens the dominance of finance capital and intensifies the plundering of nations and the exploitation of labour.
At present, US imperialism is capitalism’s staunchest defender. Our America is the main theatre of operations where it undertakes its offensive to maintain its global hegemony and impose its model. The restoration of neoliberalism on the continent means that Latin American and the Caribbean states suffer the threats of unilateral use of force to the effective loss of their sovereignty. The region’s natural environment is currently suffering the destructive ravages of neoliberalism. The working class, especially women and children, are increasingly being exploited. Migrants are being persecuted with xenophobic policies. Democracy is being progressively undermined under the tutelage of supranational organisations that endorse US foreign policy.
In this context, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has become a bastion of dignity. Since the arrival of Commander Hugo Chávez to the presidency, the country has developed a policy of social inclusion that has put an end to neoliberalism. In Venezuela, a new model of coexistence is being born, a determined anti-imperialist resistance is being waged and a different approach to public affairs is being developed beyond the neoliberal dogma. This anti-systemic struggle, together with the defense of sovereign right, is expressed in an independent Bolivarian-inspired foreign policy that aims at a multicentric and multipolar world.
This is a liberation project adapted to the new times, aimed at greater social justice, which has already shown that the redistribution of wealth and full sovereignty in the management of energy resources, among other advances, are facilitating great achievements in social policy. In addition, a vigorous participatory democracy has been forged, and collective participation is emerging as a characteristic of the new way of doing politics that is surfacing in people’s power organisations.
In keeping with the ‘Plan de la Patria’, the programme of the Venezuelan transition to socialism, the Workers’ Productive Councils have been created as part of an initial model of public management, in order to help with the economic-productive diversification of the country and, in this way, to deal with the pernicious effects of the economic war unleashed against the Venezuelan people. Such councils are part of the democratic conception that assumes the working class should play a leadership role in the construction of Bolivarian socialism.
In fact, with the recent creation of a Vice-Presidency for the Working Class in the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), workers are already seeing new challenges, and a range of possibilities are opening up for the working class to influence the leadership of the existing process of change in the country. It should also be noted that within the framework of this project, the workers have come up with a Bolivarian conception of the security and defence of the nation, which has brought about the creation of a workers’ militia to assume an integral resistance against imperialism and its neoliberal model.
The Bolivarian process has created conditions using general public policies and specifically the Labour Law, that vindicate the working class. The Venezuelan revolution, with its irrefutable successes, and in spite of its errors, encompasses a true attempt at social inclusion, an egalitarian aspiration in a full gestation period, a commitment to the most needy – that is to say, an emancipatory work in process aimed at vindicating all those who have been historically excluded and exploited.
Undoubtedly, the Bolivarian Revolution is ferociously attacked for its initial success in the redemption of the humble, for its irreducible dignity, for the hope it currently means for the peoples of the world and for its projection towards socialism. This feat is a heresy in the eyes of the powerful of the world, a danger to neoliberal plans and a challenge to the Monroe doctrine that they intend to impose from the north on the continent.
For these reasons, the White House is articulating an unconventional war against Venezuela whose purpose is to overthrow the government of the constitutional president of the republic, Nicolás Maduro, as an imperative step to exterminate Chavism, end democracy and seize the wealth of Venezuela. In keeping with these plans, they have implemented a diverse set of unilateral coercive measures: they threaten to invade the country militarily and with exceptional force; they apply an inhumane economic, financial and commercial blockade that aggravates the country’s problems. This translates into substantial losses that prevent the acquisition of food, medicines, inputs for production and raw materials, among other items essential for the population.
The Lima Group, the Pacific Alliance, the Organisation of American States, the presence in the continent of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the IMF, the World Bank and several US military bases are the preferred instruments of imperialism as an integral part of the strategy to subdue Venezuela and culminate its geopolitical bid to dominate the continent. In other words, the White House permanently violates public international law in its offensive aimed at ending the cycle of progressive or revolutionary governments on the continent. The geostrategic plans of imperialism in the region are aimed at perpetuating neoliberalism with the objective of plundering its natural wealth and continuing to exploit the region’s workers.
However, the Venezuelan people and the rest of the peoples of Our America resist, fight and stand as an anti-imperialist challenge that has already dealt important setbacks to the policies of the White House. Alternative projects have guided the struggles that germinated in progressive or revolutionary governments and are today real challenges to the hegemonic pretensions of the United States, and a geostrategic concern for its power elites. Far from the end of the progressive cycle, the concern of the powerful is accentuated facing the likelihood of political-electoral success in the short term for the progressive forces in South America.
In the face of the imperialist onslaught, Venezuela is an example of dignity that articulates the working class, together with other dominated and oppressed sectors, the will to amalgamate and undertake plans for the redemption of the peoples of Our America. The enterprise for the liberation of the continent has its inspiration in Venezuela, which is the main front for American emancipation. In short, the continent faces a historical dilemma, the Bolivarian ideology and the Monroe doctrine are in confrontation – an issue that indicates the geopolitical importance of the progressive or revolutionary struggles taking place in the great homeland [of Latin America].
In this context, the workers gathered in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the occasion of the first international meeting of workers in solidarity with the Venezuelan government and people hereby declare:
We demand respect for the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, we ratify our support for the Bolivarian Revolution, and we salute the efforts of constitutional president, Nicolás Maduro, to maintain peace in the South American nation.
We salute the Bolivarian Revolution for the implementation of a political-social model that not only protects the working class confronting imperialists aggression, but also makes it a participant of the decision-making process.
We condemn the imperialist policies and their neoliberal project in the most energetic way, because they undermine the sovereignty of nations in terms of the plundering of their wealth and the exploitation of workers.
We reject the militarisation of Our America, and especially the presence of US and Nato military bases in Latin America and the Caribbean.
We repudiate the use of force and the implementation of unilateral coercive measures used to subdue our peoples and the working classes.
We stand together with the peoples and governments of the world in struggle against imperialist policies and in defence of their sovereignty. We especially express our solidarity with the Venezuelan people in their struggle for self-determination.
Likewise, the First International Meeting of Workers in Solidarity with the Venezuelan Government and People agreed to adopt the spirit of the ‘Workers’ Proclamation and Plan of Struggle of the 25th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum’, adopted in Caracas in July 2019.
Consequently, we approve the following plan of struggle:
1. To hold an annual International Meeting of Men and Women of the Working Class, to be held in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
2. To coordinate in all the capitals of the world, on 9 December 2019, the day of the commemoration of the Battle of Ayacucho, against the interventionist policies of US imperialism in Our America. (‘No more Trump’.)
3. To hold an international day of mobilisation in support of the Bolivarian Revolution and against neoliberalism on 27 February 2020. (Commemoration of 31 years since the first insurrection in Caracas against neoliberalism.)
4. To convene an anti-imperialist Twitterstorm on 5 November 2019 (anniversary of the IV Summit of the Peoples of Mar de Plata 2005.)
5. To call for a world mobilisation for peace in Venezuela, in Our America and against the US government’s plans for war by July 2020.
6. To implement an international day of repudiation of the Monroe doctrine against the blockade and other unilateral coercive measures for 28 June 2020.
7. To call a world day of non-cooperation with the unjust and illegal aggression against Venezuela in the military, financial, technical, and media fronts, mobilising workers to use their collective power to stop imperialist war plans.
8. To create by the next conference a coordinating commission of the delegations present at the first international meeting of workers in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution, in order to accomplish the present plan.
Approved in the City of Caracas, cradle of the liberator Simón Bolívar and capital of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on 31 August 2019.