Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV): Our Difference with the Government is Not due to a Quota in the National Assembly (Interview)

Óscar Figuera, general secretary of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) believes that “a government policy is under development in contravention of the project agreed to with Chávez.

“Our difference with the government is not a quota for the National Assembly, our difference is political, it has to do with the fact that we do not share economic policy and labor policy, at the agrarian and peasant level, which has to do with bureaucracy and corruption, the existence of mafias that control important spaces of society and the State, we do not share these internal policies although we agree on the need to confront the main enemy of our peoples, which is US imperialism (…).”

The position of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), through its secretary general, Óscar Figuera, makes it clear that the alliance of the former patriotic pole is not in good shape. The crisis was left in the dark after the PCV described the decision of the Supreme Court to intervene another of its allies, Patria Para Todos (PPT) as an “assault.”

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Faithful to his line of political thought, Figuera adds: “A government policy is in development contrary to what the project was agreed to with President Hugo Chávez that demanded profound revolutionary changes, and what is being developed is a reformist, surrendering line, in agreement with the sectors of capital with a pseudo-socialist discourse that tries to dupe and demobilize the masses (…) the so-called petty bourgeois socialism and bourgeois socialism (…).”

– You described the decision of the Supreme Court on Tupamaros and the PPT as an assault — how does one digest that PCV pronouncement?

– That is a position of principle of the PCV, it not only has to do with the Supreme Court having ruled in relation to the PPT, Tupamaros, but also in all other opportunities the PCV has ruled on because we consider, in the first place, that the resolution of the internal contradictions inside political, social or union organizations, corresponds to their membership and not to external institutions because, in addition, these decisions have a characteristic, they do not create conditions for the decision-making bodies (in those organizations) to meet immediately, but the one who files the claim before the TSJ is the one receiving the control (…)

The decision of the Supreme Court, in addition to being an interference in the internal life of the political parties, limits internal democracy and is expressed as a biased decision, we have not agreed even in the cases that have done so with parties of the right and much less when it is expressed against organizations of the popular and revolutionary movements, it is a fundamental issue. These decisions are configured, and we express it very specifically in the case of the PPT, as an assault on those political organizations.

– Analysts say that the government seeks an opposition to its measure, but in the case of Tupamaros and the PPT, they are historical allies. Is it that the commitment or the allies are not enough?

It is the reverse, it is that we are committed to the revolutionary popular project that we advanced at the end of the nineties with President Chávez as a liberating national project that should advance in the process of joining forces, consciences, of uniting the great majority of our people to create the conditions that would allow us to advance towards socialism, that project is not the one under development today. One would have to wonder who is consistent with the project we are undertaking to unite the vast majority of our people to create the conditions that would allow us to advance towards socialism, that project is not the one under development today.

– What is left of that project?

– From that project, what remains is resistance to imperialist aggression and there we have broad agreement with the government, with the PSUV party and with the organizations that make up the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) and for that reason we say that we have not left, nor we are leaving because we conceive of the great patriotic pole as a space of resistance against imperialist aggression (…)

We do not see the great patriotic pole as some conceive it as an electoral entity, as a conjunctural entity, but as a strategic project; it seems that it is not like that for others, but that is our vision.

The resistance is against North American or European imperialism, not because socialism is being built in Venezuela, no, it is not because of that, because in Venezuela socialism is not in crisis, dependent and rentier capitalism is in crisis, which is the model that is was installed in our country, that model is in crisis and against that model, and here is one of our main differences in the face of what is happening in government management. Faced with this model, we have proposed building a revolutionary solution that deepens peasant, worker and popular control and their role in the process of transformation of Venezuelan society and not a solution that is proposed to build a new revolutionary bourgeoisie, that is not the model to free ourselves from the domination of capital.

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The level of differences is there, we have raised it in conversations with Jorge Rodríguez, with Aristóbulo Istúriz, with Diosdado Cabello, our difference with the government is not a quota for the National Assembly, our difference is political, it has to do with what we do not share in the economic policy, labor policy, at the agrarian and peasant level, which has to do with bureaucracy and corruption, the existence of mafias that control important spaces of society and the state, we do not share those internal policies although we agree on the need to confront the main enemy of our peoples, which is US imperialism and its European allies and the sectors of the right and extreme right of Pitiyanqui that play the game in Latin America and the Caribbean (…) those are our differences that are not new, we have raised them [as issues] for years (…).

In May 2019, on May 10, we sent a letter addressed to the president of the republic, in Miraflores, raising these problems and requesting a meeting. Total silence.

There is an answer for the sectors of the right, there is space and time to meet with them, but not with the revolutionary movement that raises critical, self-critical objections to the government’s management.

– Do you feel marginalized from the government alliance?

– It is not even a problem of marginalization because we have never been part of the government management and that is why we do not say that we are leaving the government because we are not part of the government management. We cannot leave from a place where we have not been.

Nor are we leaving the revolutionary process because we have been in the process since 1928 or 1931 when the first cell of the Venezuelan Communist Party was created (…) what we have always proposed is the construction of a space for the discussion of politics for critical analysis and self-critical of what is done in government management and to deepen the changes.

We consider that a government policy is in development contrary to what is the project agreed to with President Hugo Chávez that demanded profound revolutionary changes and what is being developed is a reformist, surrendering line, in accordance with the sectors of capital with a pseudo-socialist discourse that tries to dupe and demobilize the masses (…) the so-called petty bourgeois socialism and bourgeois socialism (…). They have a socialist discourse, but a practice that seeks to manage the capitalist mode of production, that is what is happening in the country. Our problem is not with the president, our differences are with the policies that are under development (…).

If the government is willing to make a profound change in the policies that are under development, we are willing to discuss other things, not only the PCV, now the discussion is beyond the Communist Party because the revolutionary popular alternative incorporates the currents of the PPT Led by the “Black” (Rafael) Uzcátegui, sectors of Tupamaros, the united left, the communal union, the discussion of these issues is not only with the party, it is with that current of forces (…).

– Will this alternative have candidates on 6-D outside the judicialized parties of the patriotic pole?

– Indeed, we think it will be that way (…).

Is there room for a single platform because today Chavismo looks more fragmented than at any other time?

– We do not see Chavismo divided, or the revolutionary forces fractured. We consider that there is a regrouping of forces based on political projects, a regrouping of forces because regarding the national program we raise different proposals, we have coincidences before the main enemy that is imperialism (…) In that we are going to agree, that is a fundamental element, now, everything indicates that in what the interests of the workers mean with policies that the government applies and that dynamite wages and that affect the quality of life of our people (…) the measures to liberalize the economy, of flexibilization and deregulation of labor relations, of reversion of the state property built in the period of Hugo Chávez.

Between now and December 6, there must be concrete actions, such as for example that the hundreds of groups of peasant movements that are claiming the land be handed over to them, because they are in them, they are producing on it, but they have the threat of the landowners who attack them and murder our people, the cadres of the peasant movement (…).

Another issue is salary. The President said that the minimum wage was going to be anchored at half a petro and half a petro is 30 dollars, well, what about the minimum wage, it does not reach to two dollars and social benefits do not exist, so what is the plan that the government has to recover salaries?

– But that is one of the flanks in which the failure of economic policy is most evident?

—Which model, because this is not the socialist model, this is the capitalist, rentier model that is in crisis.

– I am referring to the economic model that the government has implemented in recent years …

– It is an economic model that does not deepen the changes and by not doing so and wanting to remain as a hybrid model, that not even that is already decided its character, and its character is of a reversal of the processes and progress is being made in the line of privatization of the assets of the State (…) This crisis is accentuated every time oil prices fall and then the crisis of rentier capitalism appears, we are in the government of Chávez, Nicolás, Caldera, in the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez because that is the character of the Venezuelan accumulation model, dependent and rentier capitalism, that can only be overcome with a national project that guarantees the development of the productive forces (…) This means that with non-monopoly capitalist sectors and not dependent on transnational corporations some kind of agreement can be established. Yes, it can be established, but it does not mean that the State is going to finance their existence or that it is going to create them, no, the State must use the resources of all the people to enhance the collective processes of the people and not the processes of capital, there are our main differences (…).

—What is the PCV’s position on the 110 pardons that include deputies in exile and political prisoners?

– It is a consistent decision, which corresponds to what is happening in the economic field. If there is reconciliation in the field of economics, there is also conciliation in politics.

The president’s decision is logical, it was to be expected, in a process of concessions it must also be expressed in the political field and that decision of the president of a pardon for 110 citizens involved in crimes of various kinds, some of them even indicated by the Supreme Court of crimes against humanity, we frame it within an agreement with the capital, that is a decision that we are studying (…).

With impunity there is no justice, with impunity what there is is a concession to the fascists and the fascists are not defeated with concessions, they are defeated with forceful actions that are carried out by the state and the people so that they do not forget (…). From injustice, peace cannot be built, this is an issue that the political bureau is working on and on which we will issue a specific decision from the national leadership of our party.

—How do you see the country after January 5?

– We envision a mobilized country. A country where the people will be increasingly aware of what is happening, will identify the main enemy of the peoples, which is European American imperialism, but will know how to differentiate in the need to arm itself with its own force capable of expressing itself against imperialism, against the reformist surrender and inconsistent proposals, policies, legitimate demands of the Venezuelan people (…). We are going to get a new correlation of forces that may produce changes in what is happening in Venezuela.

Does Madurismo exist, does it resemble Chavismo?

– I don’t see madurismo anywhere. I see people who in these years have become so rich on the right that they build capital in their relations with the government and with the state, as opportunists, pseudosocialists who call themselves socialists in speech, but in practice they are not and who have also been enriched. Obviously both want to maintain the existing status to be able to continue enriching themselves, I don’t know what they call that, but for us those are the new rich through association with the state.

Others are nouveau riche through corruption, through maintaining a dependent relationship through importation and not through domestic productive development, because importation has been one of the mechanisms to maintain dependence and subordination of our country and the enrichment of a few because they buy in dollars and get rich in dollars and also leave them abroad. I don’t know if that is the current you are referring to, I don’t know.

Featured image: File photo

(Panorama)

Translation: OT/JRE/EF