Venezuela: Neither government nor opposition

Below you will find a translation of Nuevo Curso’s article “Venezuela: ni goberino ni oposición” originally published January 23, 2019, the day of the massive opposition march. Nuevo Curso is a Spanish left communist organization with a tremendous — indeed, almost daily — output of articles. Our comrades in Workers’ Offensive, a Miami-based left communist group, translated this one and posted it on their website. They did so in the belief that

the interests of the global working class (not just the one in Venezuela) lie not with any faction of capital, but on the contrary come into direct opposition with every capitalist faction… In order to fight for their own interests independently as a universal class, workers must break from the influence of capital lest it remain imprisoned by their chains. Neither the opposition nor the pseudo-socialism of Chavismo can liberate the working class in Venezuela from the crisis that they are suffering from: a crisis which has its basis in “the impossibility of an independent development of Venezuelan national capital in the conditions of today’s capitalism,” as Nuevo Curso says.

Another recent article worth checking out is the International Communist Tendency’s “Against All Capitalist Factions! For Proletarian Independence,” which makes similar points. Looking further back, Sergio López’s 2009 article for Kosmoprolet, “President Chávez is a Tool of God,” highlights continuities between the Maduro regime and that of his celebrated predecessor. Today it is easy to forget that Maduro was Chávez’s hand-picked successor, merely continuing the latter’s disastrous policies. Nevertheless, as internationalist communists we must fight any imperialist intervention undertaken by “our own” states meddling in the affairs of others.

Hopefully we will be setting up a discussion in NYC soon talking with Venezuelan communists and anarchists who oppose both the miserable Maduro government and the equally miserable Guaidó opposition.


Today the world is looking at a Venezuela that rises in the face of a call for an opposition march.1 The call for an opposition march is an open call for insurrection and a promise of amnesty to the soldiers that decide to abandon their loyalty to the government.2

This morning we saw some clashes in the streets.3 As a prelude yesterday, after the uprising of a group of soldiers of the Bolivarian National Guard was met at once with the approval of the international press,4 about thirty small protests broke out.5 Streets were blockaded, businesses were looted and garbage was burned in El Valle, Catia, and Petare.6 The places mentioned are known to be longstanding Chavista fiefdoms.

Today, it doesn’t seem as though the protests will become massive.7 Nor does it look as though the rebellion of the military will move beyond occasional uprisings of non-commissioned officers and troops.8 This, however, does not mean that the situation will not lead to savage repression and/or international military intervention.9

At this time, the focus is on the US, which warned its citizens of civil confrontation and supported the call for insurrection by the National Assembly.10 US support for the opposition was demonstrated by Vice President Pence through a video, which allowed Maduro to present the mobilization as a “fascist coup d’état ordered by the US.”11

In reality, the architecture of the opposition was not mapped out in the North, but rather in Brazil. Itamaraty has become the real headquarters of the Venezuelan opposition12 and the Bolsonaro government has not hesitated to use every means at its disposal for its purposes, including pointing the figure at Venezuela for the ELN attack in Bogotá.13 In reality, the bid of Brazil and Chile suffices with the reorganization of the opposition under the new leadership of Juan Guaidó, its call for insurrection, and a climate of civil conflict.14 The effects of this leadership have already brought nothing but gains for Bolsonaro, Brazilian capital, and Itamaraty: Bolsonaro was able to stage his continental leadership as well as discipline Argentina.15 He was able to restore the regional institutional architecture16 and, in line with his strategic vision, reinterpret the new deal between Mercosur and the EU.17 This has allowed Maduro to feed among Europeans their reticence against the opposition and to win among them, for the moment, an anti-interventionist attitude.18

Brazil, Colombia and the US on the one hand, Russia and China on the other, the EU somewhere in the middle… The spoils of Venezuela are at stake in a battle of imperialist alliances, split between the government and the opposition.

If its seems as though Venezuela’s implosion has no end,19 if the dependence of each internal force on a different imperialism becomes evident,20 it is because the crisis departs from and always returns to the same cause: the impossibility of an independent development of Venezuelan national capital in the conditions of today’s capitalism.21 There is no country — national capital — that can escape from the conditions of imperialism. This is why there is no “national liberation” possible and why nationalism, whether chavista or oppositionist, is nothing but a prison.

There is no possible national solution in Venezuela that does not involve more violence and hunger. Nationalism, whether governmental or oppositionist, is a reactionary prison.

In Venezuela, as in everywhere else, the real alternative is the same that we face these days in Mexico: to serve as the cannon fodder of the battle between factions of national capital or to fight independently, as workers, for universal human needs leaving aside “national interests” once and for all.22 The national interest is nothing other than the interest of a national capital that goes nowhere and that in its flight forward, be it by one road or another, threatens to destroy us all.

In Venezuela, as in Mexico or anywhere else, the real alternative is either to serve as the cannon fodder of the battles of national capital and its allies or to fight independently, as workers, for universal human needs.


1 Anonymous. “Venezuela protests: ‘Four dead’ as thousands rally against Maduro.” BBC. (January 23, 2019).
2 Anonymous. “Crecen las presiones para ‘tumbar’ a Maduro, y un Guaidó paciente ofrece amnistía militar.” Urgente24. (January 20, 2019).
3 EFE. “Caracas amanece con protestas contra Nicolás Maduro.” La Tercera. (January 22, 2019).
4 Anonymous. “Un grupo de militares se alzó contra Maduro, que logró capturarlos.” La Política Online. (January 21, 2019).
5 Anonymous.“Se multiplican las protestas en Caracas a horas de una decisiva marcha opositora.” Clarín. (January 22, 2019).
6 Rosibel Cristina González. “En los sectores populares las protestas son políticas.” El Nacional. (January 23, 2019).
7 Alonso Moleiro. “Aumentan las protestas contra Maduro en la víspera de la marcha opositora.” El País. (January 23, 2019).
8 Anonymous.“Venezuela: una crisis que se intensifica y agudiza los enfrentamientos.” Clarín. (January 22, 2019).
9 Anonymous. “¿Hacia una invasión de Venezuela?” Nuevo Curso. (January 14, 2019).
10 Anonymous. “Updated Demonstration Alert.” US Embassy Caracas. (January 22, 2019).
11 Anonymous. “Venezuela: Maduro accuse Washington d’avoir ordonné ‘un coup d’État fasciste’.” En Direct. (January 23, 2019).
12 Catalina Göpel. “Brasil recibe a la oposición venezolana y articula ‘transición’.” La Tercera. (January 17, 2019).
13 EFE. “Bolsonaro pide al gobierno venezolano que no ‘dé guarida’ al ELN.” El Estímulo. (January 19, 2019).
14 Andrew Rosati y Fabiola Zerpa. “En municipios, oposición se reorganiza para enfrentar a Maduro.” Perfil. (January 17, 2019).
15 Mar Centenera y Heloísa Mendonça. “Mercosur y Venezuela, en la agenda del encuentro entre Macri y Bolsonaro.” El País. (January 16, 2019).
16 Natasha Niebieskikwiat. “El Gobierno analiza una propuesta de Chile para reconvertir la Unasur.” Clarín. (January 18, 2019).
17 Natasha Niebieskikwiat. “Acuerdo UE-Mercosur: Bolsonaro le dio luz verde a Macri para avanzar.” Clarín. (January 19, 2019).
18 Anonymous. “Nicolás Maduro se reunió con embajadores de la Unión Europea.” Clarín. (January 19, 2019).
19 Anonymous. “La implosión Venezolana.” Nuevo Curso. (January 7, 2018).
20 Anonymous. “Bombarderos Rusos en Venezuela.” Nuevo Curso. (December 12, 2018).
21 Anonymous. “¿Tiene Venezuela futuro?” Nuevo Curso. (January 1, 2018).
22 Anonymous. “Dos Méxicos, dos alternativas universales: Tlahuelilpan vs. Matamoros.” Nuevo Curso. (January 22, 2019).