What's ur opinion on the Venezuela situation. And while we are on that why do no leftists here talk about it
I think people are quiet because it is better not to speak about things you haven’t read much about. This will be short for the same reason.
The situation is this: Venezuela has been subject to assault on its attempts to build socialism from the early days of Chavez, from attempted coups (you can watch “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” which is free on YouTube, for an understanding of the 2002 US-backed coup to depose democratically elected Chavez) to collusion between the US and its allies to lower the price of oil specifically to weaken the Venezuelan economy. The current economic crisis is the result of a multitude of factors, but the intentional lowering of oil prices by the US and its allies is one of the most important, as well as the failure of the Venezuelan government to diversify its exports such thst its entire economy wasn’t tied so strongly to the price of oil. The resulting economic crisis (resulting, again, not from -socialism- in the generic, but from specific attempts to undermine the Venezuelan government) has, of course, resulted in widening anti-government sentiment, especially among classes whose ability to consume has been limited.
That last part is important- many of the most impoverished in Venezuela still support the government because their ability to eat, to go to school, etc, has been directly provides by Chavista policy. In some papers this will be talked about as buying votes, or bribing those without privilege. In reality this is the relationship between a government not of bourgeois character and those among its people who most need help and empowering- that these people’s livelihoods have been so tied to the government is evidence of the good work being done by its government, not indicative of bribery.
This crisis has been worsened by hoarding and price fixing by Venezuelan companies which are privately owned. The Venezuelan government, contrary to what many people assume, does not control all production and distribution within its borders, and many private companies seem to be able to produce some products and not others, intentionally stirring up discontent. In a recent Telesur video (which is propaganda and should be seen as such, but this merely means that it is supposed to teach you something specific and not that everything or even anything it claims is false on its face) explained that there seemed to be a shortage of toilet paper, but no shortage of other paper products like paper towels, paper plates, etc, suggesting that the problem was in production and distribution rather than lack of demand for products (who does not want toilet paper?) or lack of access to raw materials. There have also been numerous claims of things from toys to food being hoarded by the wealthy.
In response to this crisis (again, one intentionally wrought upon the country), the government of Venezuela has made several moves which I do not support in and of themselves in an attempt to combat the opposition and maintain its power, including the potential dissolution of the one governing body in which the opposition has a meaningful voice, and crackdown on protesters using means of violence I consider overkill for the tactics being used in those particular moments. But leftists need to understand that we don’t pick sides based on good guys and bad guys- and, even if we did, the opposition has committed its own unseemly and unnecessary acts of horrific violence as well, including literally burning people- but based on the class character of the actors involved. That, and that alone, is the basis of solidarity. The “opposition” is first and foremost a euphemism and a misnomer because it includes a number of elements from social democrats to the most extreme elements of the far right, but its hodgepodge of demands includes austerity, increased privatization, etc- the class character of the opposition is decidedly bourgeois, and the class character of the Venezuelan government is decidedly not bourgeois, even if you don’t want to go so far as to call it proletarian in character. That alone ought to tell us who we maybe not support but eye with more suspicion, see as the greater threat, etc. The class character of the actors involved is very clear, and it is on this basis that, whether you “support” the Venezuelan government or not, you should certainly not “support” the bourgeois opposition. Solidarity is not about good feelings and liking who we work with and so on, but about defense against right wing antisocialist and anti proletarian policy, and advancement of the goals of socialism. I do not think that Venezuela ever achieved socialism. I do not think that Venezuela is a perfect or even very good model for future socialist projects.
To be very clear here, what is being attempted by the opposition is the 2002 coup by other means and by counterrevolution as opposed to outright military coup- the goal is to unseat a democratically elected leader and to impose the will of the bourgeois and right wing elements of Venezuelan society on the people of the country. Regardless of how I feel about the decisions made by the government in the fact of this crisis, of course I do not support a mishmash of right wing elements attempting to undo the work of building something like socialism. I am no Chavista, but “Viva Venezuela” ya es el té, and I do not take kindly to seeing support for right wing elements passed around like it means nothing.