In defence of the political and organizational autonomy of the Communist Party of Venezuela

The Fourth International has been following with special attention and concern the evolution of the political situation in Venezuela. Certainly Venezuela is a country besieged by US imperialism and the European imperialist nations. Its economy has been severely affected by this offensive and this has provoked direct consequences on the living conditions of the working class. It is very important to denounce the criminal effects of the unilateral coercive measures (UCM) on the population and we will always acommpany the population in this.

Not only are these measures worsening the material and economic situation of the working clas, but we must add to governmental insensitivity on this the daily drama of those who live from their work on a monthly minimum salary of 4.5 dollars and professional salaries below 20 dollars per month. With Venezuela's current income, better salaries could be paid, it is thus a problem of unfair distribution of national wealth, justified with the classic monetarist and neoliberal arguments, that raising salaries would again trigger inflation.

In recent years Nicolás Maduro’s government has abandoned the central axes of the social agenda and made an authoritarian turn.  Legal action against leftist political parties (MEP, PPT, Tupamaros, among others) has become a common practice, as well as the criminalization of social protest and the prosecution of workers fighting for decent working conditions and wages. 

For the first time in the country’s history, four per cent of the public budget is reserved for the promotion of faith, while the science budget is barely two per cent, in a country where public schools only receive children of the working class for 2 or 3 days per week and the hospitals of the public health system lack the most elementary supplies, as a result of the disinvestment in maintenance and salaries –  which encourages the growth of education and health managed by the private sector. The drama of massive migration and the sending of remittances to the country is what has prevented a greater social disaster.

Paradoxically, corruption at the highest levels in public administration operates as a process of bourgeois reconfiguration. Recently, Maduro himself denounced the "evaporation" of three billion dollars from public finances, a figure that has been growing to the point of talking about 23 billion dollars. Members of the PSUV leadership, governors and deputies of the official party have been arrested, as well as a hundred high-ranking officials.   

In this context, a plural opposition to the left of Madurism has emerged, which was building a unitary route to participation in the presidential elections of 2024 with the card of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV). In its regular congress, held only a few months ago, PCV ratified its line of rupture with the government, which it accuses of being neo-liberal with a leftist discourse. That is reason why Maduro’s government has been sponsoring a campaign to discredit the PCV, accusing communist militants of being involved in corruption, with the clear intention of having a judicial intervention against this organization. This nefarious initiative was materialized with the request of a judicial recourse to replace the current PCV leadership with an ad hoc board. On 11 August 2023, the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice consummated this nonsense and there was legal action against the  PCV, stripping its legitimate authorities of their legal representation, assets and electoral card. This judicializing the leftists who oppose it is a sign of authoritarianism of the Maduro government and constitutes an attack on the elementary democratic freedoms in the country, in this case expressed with the intervention of a political organization with 92 years of operation. 

The serious aspect of this situation is that the dissidents on the left of Madurism find themselves today without any real political capacity to present an autonomous alternative candidacy for the presidential elections of 2024. The attack on the PCV is the most recent event in a long list of incidents that seem to confirm the criticisms on the definitive abandonment by the Maduro government of the process initiated by Chávez.

The Fourth International strongly criticizes this governmental turn and the anti-popular measures taken by the government of Nicolás Maduro, expressing our solidarity with the legitimate PCV, calling for its autonomous functioning, which means annulling the judicial offensive against that party. Likewise, we reiterate the request that we hear from the Venezuelan working class for the government to resume the path taken by Chávez.

Executive Bureau of the Fourth International

Executive Bureau