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…