By Jesús Faría – Mar 31, 2023
The Bolivarian Revolution was born in a historical confrontation against multiple forces and phenomena that plunged the country at the end of the 20th century in one of the greatest crises in the nation’s history. It was an economic, social and political crisis, as well as a moral crisis of enormous proportions. Let us remember that the military rebellion of February 4, 1992 condemned the disgusting moral decomposition of the political and economic elites. Punto Fijismo [two-party system in Venezuela before the Bolivarian Revolution] was crumbling in the swamp of corruption, which was not being confronted by the state; instead it was being encouraged and justified.
Thus, one of the main priorities of the Bolivarian Revolution, of its constituent process, as well as of all the initiatives of the Chavista forces, was aimed at eradicating corruption, which we define as the enrichment of an individual or a group through the exploitation of public and private power.
At the beginning of the Revolution, perhaps we thought that detaining this scourge and defeating it would be a simpler task, when in fact the theft of State resources, the nauseating actions of public officials, and the corrupting use of private economic power were based on powerful and deeply rooted mechanisms in society.
Thus, we have the most recent and most serious cases of corruption in the Venezuelan oil industry and the judicial system, where high-level public officials, with utmost contempt for the people, committed the filthiest outrages with assets of the people who are in conditions of enormous material difficulties resulting from the brutal effects of the Yankee blockade. This is a real onslaught against the people and the revolution by traitors to the nation.
This, however, cannot at all hide the fact that, with the Bolivarian Revolution, as never before, we have acted resolutely against the theft of public resources. It is in this new period of our history, under the firm leadership of Comandante Chávez and now of President Nicolás Maduro, that very high-level public officials, from ministers and magistrates, to governors and mayors, to presidents and directors of companies and State agencies, have been judicially prosecuted.
This constitutes an enormous difference, as has already been mentioned, with the past, during the dictatorships and caudillos of the 19th and 20th centuries. Those were governments of morally decayed elites, whose power came from their personal enrichment through the squandering of public resources.
Venezuela’s National Assembly Approves Law to Seize Assets Linked to Corruption
Causes and dimensions of corruption
The system of corruption designed by the bourgeois economic and political elites has multiple forms of expression. One of them is moral decomposition. As we know, capitalism is based on principles like the desire for profit at any cost, individualism, accumulation of wealth, competition, and inequality. These enourage bribery, theft, influence peddling, abuse of power in the service of the growing accumulation of wealth and, therefore, of power. This starts a process of moral decomposition on a growing scale, permeating key sectors of the State and society.
Another dimension of this scourge is economic. The very way in which capitalism works, based on maximization of profit, leads business-owners to use the most shameless bribery to get income, perks and privileges. This accumulated wealth, in turn, is used to penetrate the State in order to obtain privileges and accumulate greater profits. In fact, corruption is often a mechanism of the fusion of political and economic power, of the absolute subordination of State interests to the strategies of capital.
Finally, we have the institutions of the State. In the case of Venezuela these institutions are, to a large extent, inherited from the past, tailor-made for the looting and privileges of the oligarchies. They are inefficient institutions, plagued by bureaucracy, which is a prelude to acts of corruption. They coexist with useless oversight mechanisms.
Consequences of corruption
In this situation, corruption remains alive despite the greatest efforts of the Revolution to eradicate it, with very negative consequences for the development of the nation, which go far beyond the already crucial moral issue.
Consequences of corruption in the socio-political area include growing inequalities in wealth distribution, reduction of State resources for social investment, political instability due to social unrest against corruption, delegitimization of the political system, deterioration of democracy, etc.
In the economic sphere, corruption causes reduction in the financial strength of the State, growing private accumulation of wealth through fraudulent means, undermining of the economic stimulus mechanism for production, parasitism towards the State, strengthening of the control of economic power over the State, etc.
President Maduro: Half of PDVSA-Crypto Corruption Detainees Confessing, New Detainees in CVG & PDVSA
Bolivarian Revolution’s war against corruption
The fight against corruption is complex, as is the process of decomposition. In the current situation, the Bolivarian Revolution has declared a relentless offensive to fight corruption. A great strength of this strategy is precisely that President Nicolás Maduro has put himself at the forefront of this crusade.
Here, tasks of enormous importance are combined. Eradicating impunity is key, which requires efficient control and sanction mechanisms. Educational processes based on new cultural norms, as well as the examples projected by the country’s leadership, are vital for the ethical rooting of socialist values in this and new generations. The strengthening of institutions and even beyond that, their total transformation within the framework of the new revolutionary State of growing popular participation constitutes one of the most efficient antidotes against the embezzlement of the State treasury. It is necessary to work towards ending rentierism as it generates a chronic parasitism in relation to public resources. The participatory and democratic communication of the society allows sustained condemnation and ample debate of the cases of corruption. The democratization of economic life would eradicate the privileges of big capital through bribes, among many other tasks.
It is clear that we will be able to put a definitive end to corruption only when we bury its roots, which lie in the capitalist system of exploitation. Therefore, the aforementioned tasks belong to the process of transition to socialism. But this is a long, complex process, where there is the danger of contagion of the decomposition of the old system. Due to this, as comrade Diosdado Cabello has said, the revolution has to create its antibodies to fight thoroughly against corruption. This is vital, because these manifestations of moral degeneration and restoration of the old bourgeois domination could be even more dangerous for the Bolivarian Revolution than the imperialist aggression itself.
Finally, there is an essential point of our anti-corruption strategy: to unite the people with their powerful moral shield, the same one that has helped us to defeat Yankee imperialism’s latest ferocious attack. Any great battle requires a force of extraordinary dimensions. That force is the organized and conscious working people, at the head of which is the PSUV, its powerful vanguard.
To this end, it is crucial to carry out an intense communications campaign to guide these forces, as this is also a great battle of truth against lies. The revolution has absolutely nothing in common with corruption; they are antagonistic; the revolution has always fought relentlessly against corruption. Of course, the corrupt right wing that was in the past governments and is now in the coup-plotting opposition lacks the moral authority to talk about this issue.
We will emerge from this battle morally and politically strengthened, purified and free of decomposed elements, and in better conditions to develop our historical program.
Jesús Faría is a member of the national board of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the president of the Economy and Finance Commission of the Venezuelan National Assembly.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/May 27, 2023
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)