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Venezuela: "Forward to the Communal Offensive!

By staff |
May 20, 2019
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Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez

The following essay was published in the latest party bulletin of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). It comes after two weeks of open debate within the Bolivarian movement about how to deepen the revolutionary process in the country. The piece was translated into English by Fight Back! staff.

It is no small thing what we are facing. It is no small thing who we are fighting against - even less so because we are resisting, we are advancing, we are reaching forward. Our Homeland is under permanent attack and our people suffer from a criminal imperial assault, aggressions of all types, in a war of immense dimensions and multiple expressions, methods and actions. They are a part of daily life. This is what we have faced: coup d’états, the theft of our accounts around the world, the robbery of our economic goods and benefits, the illegal appropriation of our natural resources by the U.S. government and its European accomplices. The setting up and financing of an escalation of violence, not only with an urban focus, but one that is xenophobic, fascist, mercenary and putschist, as well as attacks on democratic institutions and an attempted assassination of the president. These are some of the thousands of acts against this noble and sovereign republic and, worse still, against the life, peace, tranquility and dignity of our heroic and loyal people.

Since the arrival of our forever-beloved Hugo Chávez Frías, Venezuela has surged forward - leaving behind the muck of misery, floating to the surface with the air of hope, swimming, struggling and stepping onto dry land and marching forth as victors, beating back obstacles, overcoming barriers, pulverizing the barricades of hatred and violence built against us by a nationless far right at the service of the gringo empire, who try to hold at bay this humble and victorious people and their revolutionary government, a government led by a man born in the bowels of the people. It is this people that never tires of walking in revolution; the great resistance and triumphant offensive that the Bolivarian-Chavista Revolution possesses, has in Nicolás Maduro Moros the correct strategy - sober, focused, with nerves of steel, studious, determined and with the aim of being a genuine inheritor of Chávez.

We live in extraordinary times - times that lapse in abnormal measures; where the cyclical rhythm of an occurrence stops or slows down the passing of another event; where the constant imperial aggression has implanted in the people an unyielding consciousness of Homeland; where the haughty, stubborn and obsessively eager putschists have erected the greatest articulated and mobilized force of the civic-military union that feels no fear, no doubts, that is loyal and fierce.

In this very dynamic historic evolution, we cannot detach ourselves, we cannot abandon spaces, we cannot leave unfinished what must be done. One is not allowed to doubt, nor vacillate. We are in a new beginning that is being configured into a great revolutionary offensive.

On October 10, 2012, the Eternal Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías, at a meeting of the Council of Ministers following the October 7 victory [in the presidential elections], urged a great leap towards socialism - necessary, just, true and vital - and its basic nuclear formation, the Commune.

Hugo Chávez Frías delegated then-Vice President Nicolás Maduro Moros the task of pushing to Communal Power: "Nicolás, I entrust to you as I would entrust my own life: the Communes, the Social State of Rights and Justice."

Hugo Chávez mentioned that with the new cycle that opened following the October 7 victory, we must be more efficient in the building of the new political, economic, social and cultural model: of Bolivarian Socialism.

On this our Supreme Comandante was precise: "It is about the steps that we have taken, which is why we speak of transition, of stages. None of this existed in Venezuela and none of this would exist in Venezuela if capitalism was imposed upon us, if we converted once again into the colony that we once were. This is why the political revolution, liberation comes before the economic revolution."

Hugo Chávez Frías then broke in, centering the reflection on the need to incorporate the Commune in all consolidating processes of the Bolivarian and socialist revolutionary project, and warned that many sectors will think that these bodies should only matter to the Ministry that focuses on the matter. "This is a very grave error that we are committing. We can no longer commit it. We must revise," he affirmed.

However, it must be stated with clear objectivity that the Communal Council, the Commune and other social expressions are the living essence and nature of People's Power. The Commune forms the new geopolitical makeup of the Homeland. It is a rooted, organized, popular force that advances to satisfy, attend to and resolve the needs of a people as well as be a motor for local development, for the prosperity of citizens, for national happiness. The Commune is the womb where the new Homeland is created.

In Aló Presidente No. 351, the Supreme Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías stated: "The Communal Councils form part of the essence of the Revolution. We have been working on this theme for years and testing it. Today we can say that we have the reform to the Organic Law of the Communal Councils that includes novel and interesting aspects that will be the framework for the building of the Communes."

He said that the Communes and Communal Councils are "the territory where Socialism is going to be built," and insisted on the need to build a new socialist economic model to defeat capitalism, which is promoted by North American imperialism around the world.

"We must give form to popular organization, in order to build the material basis for socialism."

He also stated that the Commune, as a territorial cell and nucleus, must be established in order to build a new society that guarantees human wellbeing and affirms socialist values, in order to counteract consumerism and individualism.

"A new productive system, a new system of distribution, a new way to establish the true value of things, in order totally dismantle this idea of surplus value and the commodity characterization that capitalism gives to everything. Capitalism converts everything into a commodity," he declared.

Hugo Chávez Frías detailed that the Communes and Communal Councils can guarantee the active and protagonistic participation of People's Power, by taking direct decisions within their territorial area, and applying social control to ensure the good administration and management of resources granted by the national government.

"In the Commune, the new regime of property must be conformed to, the social ownership of the means of production - of land, machinery, capital, labor, technology, labor relations - all of this has to function in a different way."

The Communes, the Comandante emphasized, must transcend the local, national and international as a new system, the forming of the Social State and Constituted People's Power.

From there, everything is left very clear: "Commune or Nothing." This is neither a slogan nor a war cry - it is the strategic objective, it is the Homeland sculpted into the most decolonized and anti-imperialist form that it must have... the Commune!

Amid this atrocious economic war - this destabilizing, violent, insurrectionary dynamic against our Republic and people - our People's President Nicolás Maduro Moros has called for a communal offensive; an offensive that moves to the consolidation and growth of the communal fabric, that requires the best and greatest strength of People's Power, which must be characterized by an optimization that ensures:

1. The activation and empowerment of productive activity, especially that which has to do with meeting the most felt needs of the people such as clothing, food, goods and services; a production that breaks from the pernicious criteria of imports, a production that comes from us, ourselves, original, what we know exists, where the techniques and mechanisms are known, where our people are the conscious productive force.

2. The organization to grow and advance to the creation of the Communal Social State, to that link that will break with the antiquated bureaucratic structures left to us by colonialism, to advance to a system of relations where the people and the community will be protagonists, where the dynamic will be direct and efficient, where bureaucratism and corruption will not belong; Hugo Chávez indicated this construct to us, and now Nicolás Maduro promotes this and joins us in its construction.

3. The Integral Defense of the Homeland is a daily task, an obligation of life, a republican responsibility, a loyal duty, and the Communal Councils and Communes are a patriotic army where the anti-imperialist spirit, class consciousness, nationalist stance and the conviction of sovereignty and freedom are the motors to create the needed strategies and correct tactics to confront and defeat the enemy of humanity.

The communal offensive is this and more - it is a permanent deployment, an attitude that cannot be delegated, an act of combat for the life of the Homeland. The communal offensive touches the core of social and productive relations, of new institutions, of geopolitics and of the defense of life, sovereignty and national peace.

The communal offensive has a widespread national fabric: 47,800 communal councils, more than 3100 communes; hundreds of thousands of men and women in all of our parishes, in every municipality and every state, moving and working, living and fighting, advancing and contributing to the building of the Communal State, of an anti-imperialist and socialist state. It requires of our Party to be part of this vanguard that, together with other expressions of People's Power, interlaces all of the fabric and forms the network and system of a new Homeland. The communal offensive is an offensive of unity, struggle, battle and victory.