The result of the elections to Venezuela’s National Assembly elections on Sunday was greeted by jubilation in the bourgeois media internationally. It is too early to make a definitive judgment about the results, and it has not been confirmed the right wing has overtaken the PSUV in votes. However, the deafening chorus of triumph in the international media is premature.

Nine years ago the whole was shocked by the dramatic suicide attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. That event was subsequently used as an excuse to increase massively spending on arms, to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and step up military operations in other parts of the world, all encapsulated in the idea of the “war on terror”. Today the world, far from being a safer place, has become more unstable, more dangerous. This is a clear symptom of the sickness that afflicts capitalism in its senile phase.


On September 26 the people of Venezuela will be electing a new National Assembly. The reactionary Oligarchy, backed by imperialism, is taking advantage of the shortcomings of the revolution to strengthen its position and prepare for the counter-revolution. The Venezuelan revolution has gone a long way, but key economic levers are still in the hands of the Oligarchy. What is required is to fully carry out the socialist revolution and expropriate the capitalists and landlords. That is the only way of making the revolution irreversible.


The work of the Pakistani Marxists of The Struggle has been noted, both by our friends in the labour movement and also our enemies. The work has been extremely successful. Unfortunately, in the course of building a principled Marxist tendency, some comrades can fall victims of opportunist adaptation. This is the case of former IMT member and ex-member of the National Assembly, Manzoor Ahmed. In this Statement of the EC of The Struggle we set the record straight on what happened.

On the night of March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot through the heart by killers, carrying out orders that came straight from the reactionary oligarchy that rules over the country. He was killed because he was giving voice to the needs of the oppressed. To this day justice has not been done and the masses are still waiting.

Romero on a San  Francisco wall. Photo by Franco Folini.

The coup in Honduras and the stepping up of a US military presence in Colombia are serious warnings to the masses of Latin America. On top of this the present world economic crisis is having an impact on the Venezuelan economy. All this is posing very sharply the need for a turn to a genuine revolutionary programme on the part of the Bolivarian movement.

In the last couple of months events in Venezuela and other Latin American countries have enormously sharpened the contradictions between revolution and counter-revolution. First there was the coup in Honduras at the end of June, which acted as a warning for the masses in El Salvador, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Then there was the announcement of the plans to upgrade the US military presence in Colombia, which has provoked a severe diplomatic crisis between Venezuela and Colombia and a state of alert among the Bolivarian masses. Most importantly, however, the world economic recession has had profound effects on the situation in Venezuela, where workers are now facing ferocious attacks from the bosses.


“Poor Mexico! So far from God, so near to the United States.” The famous words of Porfirio Díaz are truer today than at any time in the tempestuous history of this country. The crisis of world capitalism has hit Mexico hard. And its extreme dependence on the USA, which previously was presented as something beneficial to the Mexican economy, has turned out to be a colossal problem.

French ProtestOn January 29 and again on March 19, mass demonstrations involving more than 2.5 million people took place in France. Against a background of economic recession and sharply rising unemployment, the organisations of the working class are once again on the move on a massive scale. The capitalist parties have been in power since 2002. In 2007, Sarkozy and the right wing won the elections as a result of the absence of a serious policy on the part of the left. In a blatantly demagogic campaign, with the full backing of the media, Sarkozy promised to ensure economic growth and a return to full employment. He promised to defend the poor and the unemployed, to act against “rogue employers”, to reduce social inequality and injustice.


The capitalist system may well be suffering the worst crisis in its history. According to George Soros, billionaire investor and frank analyst of the system he defends, the world financial system has in effect disintegrated and there is no possibility of a near-term resolution to the crisis. He believes that the turbulence is in fact worse than during the Great Depression and that the current crisis is equivalent to the collapse of the Soviet Union. As he recently told an audience at Columbia University: “[Capitalism] was placed on life support, and it’s still on life support. There’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom.”


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