I have just seen the film Lifeboat, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and billed as written by me. While in many ways the film is excellent there are one or two complaints I would like to make. While it is certainly true that I wrote a script for Lifeboat, it is not true that in that script as in the film there were any slurs against organized labor nor was there a stock comedy Negro. On the contrary there was an intelligent and thoughtful seaman who knew realistically what he was about. And instead of the usual colored travesty of the half comic and half pathetic Negro there was a Negro of dignity, purpose and personality. Since this film occurs over my name, it is painful to me that these strange, sly obliquities should be ascribed to me.
The economic and social disaster has dissipated the mirage of the chavista project. Its pretensions of overcoming the structural problems of our country within a capitalist framework, placing its weight on the protagonistic role of the nationalist, military and corporate bourgeoisie has failed and now finds itself in an advance stage of decomposition. The social assistance programs implemented following the defeat of the 2002 coup are past their peak, and since 2007 have entered a recessive dynamic. The corporatization of social organisations continues unabated, strengthening itself with each legal barrier on the right to protest and to strike. We can now see an increased deployment of the repressive and administrative state apparatus to diminish social conflicts, a policy of which the imprisonment of the Yukpa cacique Sabino Romero and the syndicalist Rubén González between 2009 and 2011, alongside the recent detention of ten oil workers who participated in a worker’s assembly at the Puerto La Cruz oil refinery, among them the general secretary of the Unitary Federation of Oil Workers, José Bodas, are clear examples of. In addition to this is the economic debacle, of which the transnational sectors ingrained within the oil industry, the private banks and the import corporations have all survived intact. The corollary to all this is that the reactionary utopia of a ‘socialism with capitalists’ has fallen apart. It is now up to the revolutionary left to rescue the banners of socialism that chavismo utilized for its own purposes.
According to official statistics, over nine million people, a third of the population, live under conditions of poverty. Almost three quarters of the public sector workers earn salaries below the cost of the canasta básica—the government’s measure of the minimum required monthly food staples for each person, of which now more than two minimum wages are required to cover. Only in the military sector are there salary increases above the inflation. Undoubtedly, the working class can play a decisive role in facing the government’s political economy, defeat the regression of our democratic rights and raise demands such as a general raise of wages and salaries—a minimum wage equal to the canasta básica, the elimination of the IVA tax, the full nationalisation of the oil industry without empresas mixtas or transnationals; agrarian reform that guarantees the increase of agricultural production and the access to land for those who labour in it, the rescuing of the basic industries in Guyana and those acquired by the State, support of the territorial demands of the indigenous peoples, the suspension of foreign debt payments and the cancellation of treaties on double taxation signed with the US and other countries, instruments that allow transnationals to evade over 17 billion dollars in taxes annually…
it is true that what i’d like to do is i guess. .. contribute to pressure on the venezuelan government from the left. not with an intent to make it easier for the mainstream opposition (though i am aware of how it can work that way, and that is something that has to be actively contravened) but just to get the social bases it has absorbed to be encouraged to make their support more conditional, to find international support for such posturings, to acknowledge the power they do hold and force the government to challenge its own bourgeois capitalist shit interests. cede spaces to workers and autonomous social organisations that hold the key to getting over this mess. just anything.
it is warranted, it is important. it lays bare an empty posturing from the state and as things are heading right now you can see that liberal capitalism, etc will be perpetuated from within the government; that the more time that passes they can more openly turn their backs on the radical ‘break’ with past they gained so much support from promoting (though never came close to fulfilling) and become something akin to the PRI in mexico over the long run.
it’d just be quite sweet to get at all these foreign caviar left trotskyists with undue importance in what they say and tell them in slogans and lively language that the biggest danger to the revolution is the venezuelan government itself, that the ‘clashes’ with U.S. imperialism are at best superficial and don’t mean anything to the people in the country, when in fact the opposite is true—over how much production has been supplanted in favor of buying imports through U.S. $$$ gained in oil exports (an imperialist device of dependence that forms the backbone of the venezuelan economy). that in corruption, criminalization and the dynamics of crime and violence and how it acts on the population whatever social demands that gave chavismo its past support are cancelled out and open the way for reaction.
so that’s what i’ll be trying to do for as long as this goes on and i hope it is a worthwhile goal foreign communists—to whom i should not even face up to myself for approval on my opinions on my own country, fuck you—think is a noble & worthwhile goal.
so ya know it’s upsetting that no matter how much stuff i’ll attempt to translate and source and build into a coherent leftist and anticapitalist critique of the venezuelan state you all will most likely still eat up a photo op and proclaim unconditional support for the government and it’s depressing as heck.
As the March 5th anniversary of Hugo Chávez’s death approaches, there is turmoil in Venezuela. Students have been protesting against the government in nation-wide demonstrations characterised by disorder and violence that have led to the death of three people. Initially organised to protest against economic shortages and insecurity, these demonstrations have been calling for ‘la salida’ – the exit of President Nicolás Maduro. They have been supported by sections of the opposition alliance, Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), led by Leopoldo López and Maria Corina Machado.
For many commentators – and for the government itself – these events mark a rerun of earlier events, when the opposition pushed for the removal of Chávez through a failed coup in 2002, a private sector lock-out in 2002-3 and a recall referendum against Chávez in 2004. Maria Corina Machado, a signatory to the 2002 ‘Carmona Decree’ that temporarily dissolved the Chávez government, was a key protagonist of the recall referendum. Her ‘civil society’ organisation, Súmate, received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, where she was feted by President George Bush in May 2005.
Te espero cuando la noche se haga día,
suspiros de esperanzas ya perdidas.
No creo que vengas, lo sé,
sé que no vendrás.
Sé que la distancia te hiere,
sé que las noches son más frías,
Sé que ya no estás.
Creo saber todo de ti.
Sé que el día de pronto se te hace noche:
sé que sueñas con mi amor, pero no lo dices,
sé que soy un idiota al esperarte,
Pues sé que no vendrás.
Te espero cuando miremos al cielo de noche:
tu allá, yo aquí, añorando aquellos días
en los que un beso marcó la despedida,
Quizás por el resto de nuestras vidas.
Es triste hablar así.
Cuando el día se me hace de noche,
Y la Luna oculta ese sol tan radiante.
Me siento sólo, lo sé,
nunca supe de nada tanto en mi vida,
solo sé que me encuentro muy sólo,
y que no estoy allí.
Mis disculpas por sentir así,
nunca mi intención ha sido ofenderte.
Nunca soñé con quererte,
ni con sentirme así.
Mi aire se acaba como agua en el desierto.
Mi vida se acorta pues no te llevo dentro.
Mi esperanza de vivir eres tu,
y no estoy allí.
¿Por qué no estoy allí?, te preguntarás,
¿Por qué no he tomado ese bus que me llevaría a ti?
Porque el mundo que llevo aquí no me permite estar allí.
Porque todas las noches me torturo pensando en ti.
¿Por qué no solo me olvido de ti?
¿Por qué no vivo solo así?
¿Por qué no solo….