By David Hernández—Jan 15, 2021
The left-wing trasnochada [leftovers] are those who speak, criticize, gossip and even make demagogic statements to “comply” with their electorate, but it’s a term that’s not appropriate to the historical moment that Venezuela is experiencing.
Almost always in history, leftovers have not been able to read political moments, making a pact with the right and then being persecuted and outlawed. They criticize Chávez when they want to, and believe that they earned a “red Volkswagen” in which “everyone can ride.” Lately they’ve abrogated any claim to being the “only true left.”
What Maduro said
In this sense, President Nicolás Maduro has been emphatic in pointing out this small group of leftist politicians. In the National Assembly, he referred to the government’s concern for workers’ wages, stating that “no one can practice cheap demagoguery, because if we have protected something it is the income of the Venezuelan family, job stability, job creation… Nobody, either leftovers nor from the Trumpist right, can call this cheap demagogy! I call you out to confront the demagogues head-on.”
Then he emphasized “for those who claim to be critical, from the outdated, divisive and defeated left, or from the Trumpist right, who spend their time talking and talking and don’t know what it is to work, they don’t have a single callus on their hands. They don’t know what it is to suffer, they don’t know the effort it takes to maintain a united people… The leftovers, the Trumpist right, in the end they unite… They sit in the same chair of cruelty, injustice, and instability.”
But it is necessary to make a brief review of what the left is historically in order to understand the reason for these discussions.
On August 28, 1789, a vote was held in the National Constituent Assembly born in the bosom of the French Revolution. This vote was based on an article in the Constitution that referred to the “absolute veto of the king.” In this scenario the deputies who supported the king sat on the right, and those who supported only a restricted veto for the king sat on the left.
In this way they met in the Legislative Assembly on October 1, 1791. The Girondins (representatives of the bourgeoisie) sat on the right. In the center, the independent deputies without a defined political program, and on the left the Jacobins, representatives of the people.
Further left than the left
The deviations of the left are nothing new. The social democrats, the reformists, the anarchists, and even the dogmatic socialists have been in countless social struggles, and their actions have been distorted over time, turning their backs on the people who supported them, and establishing themselves as the “only” heirs of class struggles.
Venezuela is experiencing a complex political moment, which requires the unity of the entire left and even of other political currents to overcome an economic and political crisis caused by US imperialism, and sponsored by the bourgeoisie and the extreme right. In this scenario, a minority group on the left tries to catch a “fish in a troubled river” by making accusations against government policies, saying that they are “neoliberal or right wing,” but they’ve never had sufficient responsibility to make such judgements, and if they did they would leave little or nothing as a contribution to the Revolution.
Featured image: “The Trial of Louis XVI Before the National Convention, 1792” (Miller, 1802)