By José Quintero Weir
English version: Daniel Cooper Bermudez
On Boaventura de Sousa’s article about Venezuela.
In this piece, I am not going to dive into the conceptual structure of what throughout the so-called “Welfare State” period – developed after the Second World War and the so-called “Cold War” – which became the theoretical framework to analyze and comprehend the social phenomena that emerged and continued emerging in colonized societies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It happened in such a way that texts such as “Imperialism, the Highest Phase of Capitalism” by Vladimir I. Lenin have resulted insurmountable for theorists of so-called “critical theory” throughout the world, especially when the task is to preach about the fights to death that indigenous peoples, black peoples, and the very poor in their respective continents and countries wage against those who oppress and murder them in their own countries, with assistance from imperial forces (capitalist or “socialist”). Most of all, we are against the evangelization of renowned theorists who, from some academic office, platonically think and determine not only the course of history but the obligation of communities to be subjugated that destiny. Doing so very much in the shadow of the academic bubble from where, without risk or commitment, they determine the necessity of the subjugation of the shirtless and oppressed.
We say this because a couple of days ago Boaventura gave us his opinion on how “North American imperialism was going to invade Venezuela to stop the ‘chavista revolution’ in order to keep our oil reserves.” This is only a half-truth as he is not acknowledging the struggle of an entire population of an impoverished middle class and of the very poor who can no longer stand the misery to which they have been condemned. He applies a type of sociology of absences, choosing to not observe what in this moment emerges as an emergency. Nonetheless, despite being sure that Boaventura knows it as he has suggested that “possibly” the “government of the revolution” has committed “mistakes,” the simple fact of calling themselves a “revolution” seems to award them an anti-imperialist stance and even enough ethical stature. Meanwhile President Maduro signed contracts with North American oil and mining companies saying that “with the signing of these commercial deals my hope is that I can shake hands with President Trump.”
Because the “revolution” hasn’t been very revolutionary, and their left hasn’t been very “leftist.”
We have been insisting on this since 2005; but of course, our voice does not have the resonance of those that in speaking already demand. Visually speaking, when we arch are hands around our mouths and yell, intellectuals of both the “left” and the “right” are speaking with microphones and speakerphones at high volumes. Nonetheless, the events in Venezuela, despite the media blackout that the insurgency from below suffers from, be it from the official State media (approximately 90% of the television channels and radio media of the country), but also from private and international media, where the war-like scenarios to be discussed below are TOTALLY PROHIBITED from being diffused. Thus, the analysis which states that the supposed “popular revolution from the left” is confronting North American imperialism whose sole desire is to take over Venezuela’s oil reserves is only half-true, or rather, whoever says this is someone who truly does not know or understand what is happening or how it is happening, and this half-truth is the less risky theoretical act. If we are actually going to evaluate what is happening, such an analysis, in truth, is wrong.
Let’s summarize this with the latest occurrences:
- – Wednesday, 26th of July. La Resistencia assumes itself as autonomous and, despite that they coordinate with the Mesa de Unidad Democrática’s (MUD) calls to action, it understands that it confronts a government made up of an elite mafia, linked to the worst of criminal activities and, therefore, politically not trustworthy. The fact that some of the members of the government come from or have some association to the left political forces of the sixties and seventies has nothing to do with the actual process through which more than 100 young people have been murdered in over 100 days of protest. On this very day, six more young folks between 16 and 22 years of age were murdered in various cities throughout the country: Maracaibo, Valencia, Maracay, Mérida and Barquisimeto.
- – Thursday, 27th of July. While the government is counting on taking convicted criminals out of jail and dressing them up in National Guard uniforms so that they, protected by elements of that military body, can attack civilians, assault their homes, and terrorize their communities; the MUD begins to diminishin their leadership as they know that this social movement begins to emerge outside of its leadership. The exhaustion has begun to inspire people to act autonomously and define, once and for all, our own destiny. Another young person is murdered in the popular community “Raúl Leoni” in Maracaibo, and as a response, the people take to the street, take over voting centers installed by the government, make the soldiers protecting the center flee, and set it on fire.
- – Friday, 28th of July. The “revolutionaries” of the government launch a new massive attack with the so-called “colectivos” (now entirely made up of criminals taken out of prison and acting as mercenaries), and launch a nation-wide attack on impoverished middle class neighborhoods such as San Jacinto, Cuatricentenario, and El Saladillo in Maracaibo, but also in the town of La Cañada de Urdaneta, Timotes in Mérida, Naguanagua in Valencia, in Puerto Ordaz and in Ciudad Bolívar, to sum things up, in the entire country. I can tell you that their attempts in Maracaibo resulted in many injuries for them. In the San Jacinto neighborhood, they were confronted by an armed response by a community that not only produced enough injuries to make them turn around, but even captured a tank that was immediately burned.
In the sector of El Saladillo in Maracaibo, the government hoped to do what they had done in Maracay and Valencia, to break open the gates with their tanks to make way for their ‘colectivos’ of criminals on motorcycles who would break into people’s apartments, rob their belongings, and sexually abuse the women and children, fleeing with the booty that the government allocates them with. But the people of El Saladillo are prepared, as soon as the ‘colectivos’ and tanks peaked around the corner they were received with gun shots and Molotov bombs that set fire to the National Guard tanks. Many of the assailants on motorcycles are injured and the community is able to protect their families from the horde of ‘revolutionaries’ in the government.
- That same day, and in a similar way, the government attempted to subjugate the people of La Cañada de Urdaneta, ignoring their history as a people who have always been fully armed. We know that the government’s losses were numerous although they won’t take the risk of announcing the number of people injured or dead. We can say that there were people injured from within the population, but no one died. The community did, however, take over the front of the National Guard station, making the military officials escape through the coast of the lake at the end of the station. The community announced that they would wait for any military officials or ‘colectivos’ to appear because, according to the people in the town, there is a sort of manifesto of war to death, declaring that any military official or civilian that comes in to repress its inhabitants will be killed immediately.
- The same decree was made in San Cristóbal (Táchira), in Maracay (Aragua), Valencia (Carabobo) and Barquisimeto (Lara). At the end, chavismo played with and exhausted the patience of a people who now are willing to confront government forces with the arms they have and which each family has been able to collect. Revolvers, pistols, rifles, machetes, home-made Molotov bombs, against a criminal National Armed Forces which has been supported by the military action of criminals from prisons and foreign mercenaries. In San Cristóbal and Mérida, military officials from Bolivia, Syria and Cuba have been captured, dressed up in the military uniform of the Venezuelan National Guard, attacking the local unarmed population. Until now, after being captured, being disarmed, stripped of their clothes, and being left to return to their stations has been the worst outcome for these foreign mercenaries. But I doubt that this attitude can be controlled in the future.
Finally, I come back to the inspection of the few voting centers installed by the government to try to impose their Constituent Assembly, noting how evidently solitary these were. We wait, in the afternoons, for what neither the government nor the MUD, in their power plays, had foreseen; in which case both the government and the MUD are acting to cause an imperialist intervention as the situation is taking a toll beyond the calculation of both factors. Explaining this requires a pause that is not my interest at the moment. But we promise to analyze this as it is time to abandon all the sophistry committed and begin to think from us and by us.