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Commentary :: International
Venezuela: In these times of scoundrels
21 Jun 2004
* Facing the situation created by the referendum of 8/15/2004 to recall the president, the Comision de Relaciones Anarquistas and its newspaper El Libertario call for a radical rupture with those candidates for authoritarian power, presenting to the Venezuelan people ways out of the actual crisis based on mutual aid, direct action and self-management.
[EL LIBERTARIO, # 38, June-July 2004, p. 2]

As has been the norm in recent Venezuelan history, the summits of power promote, again, the alleged importance of the noisy cat fights they show their bedazzled spectators. Using verbosity as grandiloquent as worn out by overuse during these 5 years, both struggling political gangs proclaim that the next presidential recall referendum will be the mother of all fights, since both sides swear that now they have the opponent on the ropes, ready for the decisive punch that will determine their overwhelming defeat.

We have insisted plenty on the emptiness and dishonesty of this debate, but it is essential to continue expressing our criticism of the arguments that those competing for power can only justify with endless repetition. Thus, they insist that we must trust the electoral process and its delegation of power upon elected representatives as the only rational and realistic solution to the collective problems, asking that we Venezuelans forget the sad results brought to us by that fallacious illusion during the IV as well as the V Republic. They repeat to exhaustion that participating in the elections is an expression of the decision-making power in our hands, denying the overwhelming evidence of our exclusion from the real decisions that affect our lives day to day, omitting that this fictitious amount of electoral power is exercised only under conditions strictly regulated by the ruling elites. This way, even the reduced space in which to question the state's power presented by a recall referendum is diluted when such act is framed within a carefully institutionalized process within the norms set by authoritarian power for its greatest benefit. Besides that, we have witnessed, in relation to these norms during the most recent rounds of this struggle for power, how both have not spared the ways to cheat each other and us, to the extreme that the president of the National Electoral Council accurately described when he said that this was a process characterized more by its deceptions ("tramparencia") than by its transparency ("transparencia").

The repeated abatement of all participation and all collective action regarding the elections reveals that deep down both Chavistas and the Coordinadora Democratica share a deep seated disdain for the people's ability to confront and solve their problems. In spite of traversing a socio-economic situation that screams for organized popular mobilization to face the multiple calamities we suffer (unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, delinquency, crisis in public services, etc) both sides limit their efforts to the electoral scene, appeasing their followers with ethereal promises to be delivered after their election or ratification. The success they have enjoyed putting social struggles to sleep with the electoral opium has been the greatest victory for this system of domination and repression we suffer, since after all, if people would understand that direct action and self-management could solve their problems without the need of a State nor of rulers supposedly indispensable, both gangs would be shown up in their shameful vulgar identity of authoritarian opportunists.

_Neither "revolutionaries" nor "democratic" ...liars!_
The above idea is linked to the widespread and false dilemma of determining the supposedly "lesser evil" character that some of the electoral contenders might have. Those who attribute said condition to Coordinadora Democratica seem to ignore lots of evidence that render untenable any illusions of their use of power in a different manner than Chavez, except for the fact that they would abandon the pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric in fashion. Equal or worse is the case of those who assume that the current government is the guardian of social rights and achievements, attributing to the Commandant's and his minions' heroic testicles a decisive role in achievements that are not dependent on the cowardly spirit of those who hold power, since in the end it is organized popular action the only solid and steadfast guarantor of any advance or betterment of the common good. The most regrettable outcome of having allowed this cheating logic to carry the day is the cost incurred in dismantling previous efforts of independent social organization, since all exits lead to the messianic helmsmen who -now or in the future - would run the State. In addition, in contrast to the effort, time and dedication required to build free and conscientious grass roots structures, both factions promote crony submission to authoritarian power as the easy and quick way out, when the truth is that this leads to the blind alley of demobilization and impotence.

Let it be clear: all the proposals being presented by those who wield or aspire to wield state power are deeply damaging to the Venezuelan people because - with different shades of demagogic pyrotechnics - they all seek to reinforce authority, to amputate any possibility of developing autonomous social movements and to impede the empowerment of people's rights. Whoever prevails, the processes currently at work, of militarization, repression of dissent and enlargement of authoritarian socio-cultural controls will continue their dark escalation which we have been suffering.

In this picture, we the anarchists reaffirm the proposals we have been insisting upon that are winning acceptance among Venezuelans already sick and tired of the cheating games of such scoundrels. To that 45% of voters depolarized and "neither-nor" ("ni-ni") - but also to those doubters who continue to believe that the way to go is the ballot - we say that the crisis will not be resolved at the hand of actors that only aspire to power because of its advantages, be they Hugo Chavez or any other clownish anti-Chavez, as real changes for the better will only come from below and with the conscious effort of all. Many fear such change due to the panic that has always been sown by the system of domination, but to those who think so we say that - even scarier than what we build with everybody's passion and reason - is to continue expecting solutions from a power structure that has only deceived and fleeced us. We don't sell a miraculous formula, nor do we proclaim that under our blessed guidance the people "will cease to suffer", but we will always insist that the road to a better future will come from collective efforts and consciousness, with no need for fraudulent luminaries nor authoritarian institutions.

Don't let authoritarian power deceive you nor encourage you ... read, think, act for yourself!

Against blackmail and manipulation: direct action and self-management!

Let's build the authentic social power of decision-making through mutual aid and collective direct action!

Self-management is the real participation!

There's no way out with the State nor with any authoritarian power!

GET RID OF THEM ALL!!! ("QUE SE VAYAN TODOS!!!")
See also:
http://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario

This work is in the public domain
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