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Viva Venezuela: end the media bias
Issued by: CPGB-ML
Issued on: 21 August 2017
Viva Venezuela: end the media biasFollowing the election of Commandante Hugo Chávez as president in 1999, and the failure of US imperialism’s attempts to overthrow him or his successor, Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela has enjoyed 17 years of wealth redistributions, as the country’s oil revenue has been used to benefit the masses, considerably improving the lot of the poor.

As a result, the percentage of households in poverty fell from 55 percent in 1995 to 26.4% in 2009. When Comrade Chávez was sworn into office, unemployment was 15%; by June 2009 it was 7.8%.

A huge variety of social programmes to educate and provide for working-class Venezuelans were implemented during this time, and ordinary people were organised to defend these gains in their communities and workplaces.

However, as far as imperialism is concerned, spending good oil profits on improving people’s lives is an irresponsible waste of resources; a view shared by Venezuela’s local comprador bourgeoisie.

When the country’s economic position was undermined by the abrupt fall in world oil prices, US imperialism expected to be able to move straight back in to regain control in the name of ‘responsible economic policy’.

The death of Comrade Chávez also gave imperialism hope that it would not be difficult to sideline the Bolivarian revolutionary government, now led by President Maduro.

The imperialists and their local lackeys have made sure that the Venezuelan people suffer as much as possible for backing the Maduro government – and this economic punishment enabled MUD, a motley coalition of anti-government political hacks, to win the national assembly election in 2015.

However, when the opposition tried to put together a petition calling for a referendum to remove President Maduro from office before his term ends next year, it had to resort to using the names of dead citizens to make up the numbers.

Opposition forces are now using their control of the national assembly to frustrate the functioning of government. Their aim is to pressure the people of Venezuela into giving up support for the Bolivarian revolution by making the price seem too high.

One tactic has been to deliberately operate unconstitutionally so that the judiciary is obliged to declare all new legislation passed by the assembly as illegal and void.

Opposition violence

In the meantime, the Venezuelan opposition is trying to boost its credibility, and the case for foreign intervention, by staging protests that government forces are obliged to suppress because of the extreme violence deliberately being let loose against ordinary Venezuelans.

Despite the narrative pushed in imperialist media that the PSUV and Chavistas are responsible for the violence, the opposition is guilty of the vast majority of confirmed deaths. The damage inflicted on public and private property by opposition terrorists during their ‘demonstrations’ in April 2017 alone amounted to some $5bn.

Alongside the political maneuvering and violence on the streets, multinational corporations such as Kimberly-Clark and Pirelli have been sabotaging or withdrawing from operations in Venezuela.

Depite the danger posed by the terrorist opposition, millions of Venezuelans have been turning out to demonstrate their support of President Maduro’s government, far outnumbering the opposition.

If the people of Venezuela are not always happy with the turmoil caused by the workings of the capitalist system, they have not lost sight of the fact that their position would rapidly deteriorate were they to lose a government so devoted to their interests and replace it with one more pleasing to US imperialism.

Propaganda war

Despite popular support for the United Socialist Party of Venezeula, the party of Chávez and Maduro has been routinely smeared by the BBC, the Guardian, and other imperialist media.

The reality of Venezuelan life and politics has been grossly distorted by exaggeration, omission, and outright falsification by supposedly ‘progressive’ or ‘impartial’ outfits, who routinely refer to the elected government as an authoritarian regime and paint the pro-imperialist opposition as a ‘pro-democracy’ movement, despite extensive evidence to the contrary.

This is nothing new where reporting of Venezuela, or any other anti-imperialist country, is concerned. The constant barrage of lies and war propaganda to which we are daily subjected is a vital cornerstone of the imperialist fortress that keeps our rulers protected and their system in place.

It is the job of progressives to do all in their power to expose and challenge these psychological operations, and to replace lies with the truth.

A new constituent assembly

The CPGB-ML congratulates the Venezuelan people, the United Socialist Party and President Maduro on their stunning victory over the forces of reaction during the constituent assembly election of 31 July 2017.

More people turned out to vote than in any election since the revolution began (41%), braving the violence and threats of US-imperialist-financed thugs in order to cast their votes overwhelmingly for a new assembly designed to deliver even more meaningful democracy to Venezuela’s working people.

Using their massive financial resources and their control of most communications media, the rich local bourgeoisie and its imperialist masters are stopping at nothing, from economic blackmail to outright intimidation and murder, to try to preserve their privileges against the steps being taken to improve the lives of Venezuela’s working classes.

Unsurprisingly, with the first whiff of counter-revolutionary gunpowder, those who dream of a peaceful road to socialism are starting to scuttle back to the side of imperialism and reaction. These former ‘friends’ of the Bolivarian revolution have taken fright at the violence perpetrated by the opposition and at its ruthless economic sabotage, which has caused much hardship for the Venezuelan people.

For our part, we understand that the exploiting classes will not retire from the scene peacefully or quietly.

It is clear that they are prepared to resort to the most violent methods to preserve their wealth and privileges and that they will never respect any election result that brings in a government committed to serious redistribution of wealth aimed at making sure that all workers receive at least the basic necessities of life.

The enthusiasm shown by the Venezuelan masses for the constituent assembly proves their willingness to take the Bolivarian revolution to the next stage – the stage of breaking the power of the comprador bourgeoisie to wage economic and political warfare against the Venezuelan people.

The struggle will undoubtedly be hard, but with a correct leadership, loyal armed forces and the strength of the masses united around the leadership, victory is certain.

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!
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