DECEMBER 13 – For the past 12 days, Venezuela has been hit by a work stoppage organized by the employers’ federation and right-wing military officers, with the aid of the anti-communist leadership of the main union federation (CTV), aimed at toppling the bourgeois populist government led by former colonel Hugo Chávez. This is a thinly disguised attempt at a coup d’état, the fourth time in the space of a year that the most reactionary sectors of the bourgeoisie have attempted to bring down the regime in order to protect their corrupt sinecures, prevent an extremely limited land reform and cut off oil supplies to Cuba.
The coup attempt is clearly orchestrated by U.S. imperialism, which wants to assure its oil supplies (Venezuela is a major exporter to the United States) as it prepares to launch an invasion of Iraq, and would like to get rid of a regime which doesn’t always toe the U.S. foreign policy line. The CTV tops have long been connected with the U.S. “AFL-CIA” anti-communist labor operations in Latin America, notably in toppling the popular-front Allende government in Chile. Washington financed and supported a similar coup attempt last April, which briefly removed Chávez only to be undone by a mass mobilization of workers and poor people throughout the country and opposition from within the military itself.
The League for the Fourth International has put forward the following watchwords for Trotskyist intervention in the Venezuelan crisis.
For a class-struggle mobilization of the workers and all the exploited against the bosses’ coup/work stoppage!
Defeat the oil coup – Defend Iraq against imperialist war – Defend Cuba against internal and external counterrevolution!
Form workers councils to organize supplies of necessary goods for the population and revolutionary resistance to the pro-imperialist coup attempt!
For workers control of shut-down companies and plants – throw out the bosses!
Forge class-struggle union leaderships, independent of military tutelage – Defeat the imperialist puppets who are using the CTV in the interests of the counterrevolutionary employers!
For joint struggle in the streets to rout the employers’ coup attempt – No confidence in the bourgeois military Chávez government and the officer corps – For the formation of workers militias!
Forge a revolutionary workers party which fights for a workers and peasants government and international socialist revolution! Reforge the Fourth International!
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