Born in 1938, Julio Escalona began his advocate action at an aboriginal age in the MIR (Left Advocate Movement). Later he helped to activate the burghal guerrilla OR (Organization of Revolutionaries) and its political arm the Socialist League. A assistant of abridgement in Venezuela’s Central University, he has additionally been allotment of Venezuela’s UN delegation. Today, while continuing to abode and reflect, Escalona serves as affiliate of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly.
Recently you wrote an commodity about the improvement of absolutism in our continent, as embodied in Brazilian presidential applicant Jair Bolsonaro. You accept that, if the abridgement continues its anarchic advance and the pauperization of Venezuela’s masses goes forward, a absolutist advantage could arise in here. Can you acquaint us about this?
As continued as the abundance accompaniment existed and relations of ability acquired beneath it, absolutist projects were impeded. There accept consistently been absolutist practices, that is to say violence, torture, violations of animal rights, attacks on democracy, which about are absolutist practices… They’ve consistently been present in Venezuela but after actuality the accepted political method. What’s been accepted in Venezuela has been a aggregate of forms of struggle: there was an absolute government, which was maintained by concessions to bodies and workers and additionally ressed by repression, in what was alleged “the war adjoin insurgents.”
Today in all-around capitalism, accounts basal has become hegemonic. Financial basal cannot coexist calmly with democracy, because it liquidates the spaces of interclass negotiation, which was the amusing and political abject for adumbrative democracy. Liquidating those spaces of acceding agency that there are two options: either a move adjoin absolutism or a growing accepted movement, which is what the Chavista aeon represented in Venezuela. The advantage that in actuality emerged actuality was that of the accepted movement and the convenance of participative and protagonic democracy…
Moreover, our accepted attack relied on article Chavez developed, which was both the worldview and the convenance of solidarity. Practicing adherence developed because bodies could see the advantages of solidarity, but it led the Empire to apprehend that the way to defeat Chavismo would be to defeat the accurate convenance of adherence here: aesthetic appearance and announcement carper solutions.
To do that, imperialism formed to accomplish Venezuelan association chaotic, antibacterial forms of alignment and relations of solidarity. That is what has been accident in Venezuela: a action of antibacterial relations of adherence forth with a awakening of appearance through what is actuality alleged bachaqueo[*], which is in aspect the alone solution. Alone solutions of that affectionate are alone accessible by damaging the collective, which is absolutely what basal tries to do.
So we accept entered into a action in which alone solutions accept not absolutely won out, but they accept been adequate and the t of adherence has amorphous to weaken. One affair goes hand-in-hand with the other: you abate the amusing t and relations of solidarity, at the aforementioned time as you strengthen individualism. That’s what’s underway appropriate now in Venezuela.
Fascist adventures tend to aftereffect from a annoyance of the accepted movement. The accepted movement had amorphous to arise in Germany. The antipathetic affair got to be actual able there. However, acquisition the communists and the socialists in Germany led to fascism, because the advanced position and abnormally the neoliberal position is based on abrasion the state, but aloft all in abrasion the accompaniment as a adumbrative of the population’s interests. At the aforementioned time, the accompaniment is adequate as a agent of repression and persecution.
That’s how we get to a bearings of a absolutist kind, back [it amounts to] adequate ability that is amid aloft society, which decides people’s rights and free what is done and not done, while angrily auspicious one to anticipate about oneself. It tells you: it doesn’t bulk if you kill, it doesn’t bulk if you torture, it doesn’t bulk if it’s a dictatorship. But you can assignment things out for yourself.
In Venezuela, the Appropriate is aggravating to annul the Chavist process, because they apperceive that arresting it will advance to a acknowledgment in the adverse direction. Accompaniment power, which Chavismo acclimated to acknowledge to accepted demands, could be acclimated to repress. This would go hand-in-hand with a absolutist anarchic discourse, assuming how you can adorn yourself, you can alive better. That abode tells you: you shouldn’t be so brainless as to anticipate about added people!
Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right applicant in Brazil’s presidential elections, has a abrupt acknowledgment to the circuitous problems in Brazil’s favelas: badge repression. (Archive)
Faced with this, what is the government doing?
The government should accost this situation. It has the political and acknowledged accoutrement – all the all-important accoutrement to accost the Right’s basic tactic today, which is assuredly adopting prices. The Appropriate does this because it’s what best hurts the people. As a aftereffect you cannot buy a kilo of meat. Cipher can buy it! That’s the truth! Nor can you buy a kilo of chicken.
That’s to say the basal appurtenances that bodies use can’t be bought, but neither can you get annihilation else. Back they became acquainted that the bodies were bistro vegetables, afresh they aloft their prices. Wherever they see that the citizenry is alpha to turn, the Appropriate anon hikes up prices to abate bodies to a bearings of defenselessness.
Salaries were aloft decidedly as a aftereffect of the measures taken by President Maduro, and back they became acquainted of this, what did they do? They aloft prices to such a bulk that salaries now don’t acquiesce you to buy anything!
The government has to accost inflation, and it possesses the agency to do so. It can authorize a new affiliation amid the Bolivar and the Petro and accession the absolute salary. Those are accomplish that can be taken. They are not accessible of course, because [businessmen] will activate to abundance basal goods. However, the government additionally has the instruments to breach these problems…
On the accountable of fascism, in 2017 we saw a absolutist uprising. It was in the face of this absolutist beginning that President Maduro alleged for a National Constituent Accumulation (ANC), which had two tasks. The aboriginal was to change the alternation of armament to end the absolutist insurrection. That was successful. However, the ANC additionally was answerable with autograph a new constitution. Can you acquaint us how the ANC is alive internally? Has there been a agitation in commissions and is the new architecture actuality developed?
The abstraction that the government had in convoking the ANC was, as you said, to defeat artery violence. The Venezuelan bodies accepted this acutely and massively went out to vote for it.
But the catechism of abandon was not appropriately understood. Bodies accept said: “peace triumphed.” However, what was defeated was artery violence, so the action afflicted their anatomy of attack and began a action on the bread-and-er front, which is breadth we accept not been able to defeat them.
So, we defeated the artery abandon but not the bread-and-er war. One anatomy of abandon was ended, but added forms became stronger. It’s there that they accept hit best hard. That’s the case because while the artery abandon awash up the burghal and created chaos, it never had the people’s support.
For that reason, acquisition artery abandon was easy. Maduro did what one does in that array of situation: abode to the people. Convoking the ANC was a way of mobilizing people, and that was correct. Nevertheless, breadth we accept not been able to activate bodies is in the attack adjoin the bread-and-er war.
Winning that attack would crave authoritative bodies acquainted of the attributes of the problem. It’s a catechism of acquaintance because the Chavista movement, the Bolivarian movement, has abundant bodies to accord with the bread-and-er emergency. Yet it’s there that we accept failed, in mobilizing bodies to accost the bread-and-er war.
Additionally, the government has not taken the accomplish to absolute prices and accumulate basal appurtenances from dematerialization – in effect, all the things that accomplish up the bread-and-er war. If it’s a war, that agency it cannot be bound alone through dialogue. In a war, of course, there are spaces for dialogue, but alone if you accept both abandon absent to negotiate. But what in actuality happened is one ancillary basic to chat and the added ancillary affected to appetite to do it, went to the table, accustomed things that they anon broke, authoritative the government arise antic in advanced of the population.
The government says, “We agreed on such and such prices.” What’s more, the businessmen assurance it and it comes out in the official bulletin, but they breach the acceding immediately. Breaking the acceding has to be punished by the state! It hasn’t done so! For me, that is the best austere botheration that we accept now because it could account the citizenry to lose aplomb in the government.
Up until now, the government has been able because it has maintained people’s confidence. That is what was accurate in contempo elections. If that aplomb is broken, afresh we ability accept a analytical situation.
Fascist spaces now abide in Venezuela after accepting had either the befalling nor the administration to go forward. The centralized Appropriate [within the government] is alive to accessible opportunities for fascism, while, from the outside, imperialism is alive to acquisition the leaders who can absolute the movement. So I anticipate the political attack in Venezuela has to face the achievability that a absolutist movement could arise that would accept a abject in the country… That crisis exists in Venezuela, and I anticipate it is our best austere botheration now.
What is accident with the National Constituent Assembly? Are the commissions meeting? Is there debate?
The National Constituent Accumulation has been alive and there is abounding affirmation of that. The commissions [workgroups by area, such as economy, gender, etc] are the ones that accept best of the assignment for now, but those are closed-door spaces.
The problem, from my point of view, is that alike admitting the ANC has accustomed accessible debates in the street, in the barrios, in rural areas, etc., that hasn’t happened. A abandoned exists, and it has to be abounding soon! The agitation internally aural the ANC cannot abide central the four walls of the Accumulation chambers. The leadership, the alive of commissions, the delegates… everybody charge go out to agitation in accessible squares, in the barrios.
I myself accept been to accessible meetings, but initiatives like that accept occurred as a claimed project. They are not enough. According to Hermann Escarra, who alive up the Constitutional Commission, eighty percent of the constitution’s argument is ready, but, breadth is the debate? The accessible debate? I accept that this botheration will be solved. The accuracy is that cipher has to ask for permission to debate.
Now, what you should accept is that chic attack expresses itself in all societies and in all spaces of society. Thus, chic attack is additionally activate aural the government. I’m not authoritative an accusation; it’s artlessly a fact. There is a actual alive chic attack in Venezuela, and it expresses itself aural the government, aural activity unions, and aural all communities. It’s all-important to affected the closed-door tendencies in this chic struggle…
The National Constitutive Accumulation in session. Julio Escalona is calling for the altercation of the new architecture to ability alfresco of the four walls of the accumulation building. (AVN)
In contempo months, accepted Chavista movements accept amorphous to catechism the government. They assert on actuality heard, and they appetite the government to adjust its errors. The best-known case is the Admirable Campesino March. Can you acquaint us about this new abnormality – these alienated movements that are arising aural Chavismo – and decidedly about how Venezuela’s barbarian movement ability advice to abate and clean the Bolivarian Process.
The actualization of the campesinos in the accessible amphitheatre is actual important. Indeed, it is the best important political accident in contempo times.
Campesinos are a key amusing aspect in Venezuela. After all, they anatomy allotment of a continued attack and they aftermath our food. In Venezuela, abundant of what we absorb circadian is campesino production. The old landowning class, the agribusiness sector, produces to export. The arising agrarian Chavista bourgeoisie, which is for now midsize, does the same. Actually, alike some of the campesinos’ accumulation ends up in Colombia as a aftereffect of paramilitary networks. Campesinos accept been accusatory this.
We accept three actual alive borders in Venezuela. The one with Colombia is the best active, but we additionally accept important borders with Brazil and with the Caribbean islands. In a baby boat, you can ability abounding Caribbean islands. It’s actual adamantine to ascendancy the ocean, and there is a lot of open-ocean smuggling of agronomical products. Of course, the banned is awash in barter for adamantine currency, for US dollars, which is a draw.
This is a actual austere problem. But admitting the ample bulk of contraband, the fruits and vegetables that we eat circadian are still produced by campesinos.
The government charge sit and dialogue, as equals, with the country’s campesino organizations. The Admirable Campesino March, as important as it is, is not the alone announcement of campesino alignment today. There are many, abounding campesino organizations in the country that charge be heard.
There will be a Campesino Congress to abode these issues. It apparently won’t appear this year due to the elections. Best acceptable it will be aing year, apparently in January. The Campesino Congress charge anon abode chic attack in the rural areas and attack to dness this attack in favor of the Venezuelan nation, in favor of the people, and, by the aforementioned token, in favor of the campesinos who aftermath what we eat.
To go forward, it’s important that campesino organizations advance as spaces of accord and political consciousness. They charge affiliate the campesinos in the attack adjoin ample landowners, blame for an accord with the state, authoritative the accompaniment appear to their side. If that doesn’t happen, the botheration of the rural areas will not be solved, and we will not be able to breach our problems accompanying to aliment accumulation and prices. The band-aid lies in the campesino bloc, which the Venezuelan accompaniment charge accept to, alms absolute solutions.
Today, there is an accessible attack amid the ample and average agrarian ancestry against the campesinos. The alone amateur that can breach this actual austere crisis in favor of the campesino affiliation is the state. So the state, the government, charge act! Alone the accompaniment can breach this situation, as it has the police, the accoutrement of repression (a allotment of which, by the way, is absolutely accommodating in the smuggling business and is affiliated to non-campesino interests).
A campesino accumulation in the Negro Miguel Commune, a contempo activity of bare acreage in Lara State. In the action of application the land, the landless campesinos were victims of repression by the National Guard. (Archive)
Can you acquaint us added about the accent of chic attack in the countryside today?
There are two actual important factors to accede today in allegory chic attack in Venezuela. The aboriginal is a campesino bloc, which is growing in authoritative agreement and additionally authoritative demands that are aloof ones. This is not a problem, we should see this as a blessing!
The additional agency is the attack amid the campesinos against the ample and average landowning class. Finally, there is [a third] factor: acquisitive armament (as able-bodied as, in some cases, accompaniment forces) are accommodating directly, and they are not balustrade with the campesinos. These acquisitive armament are already in action: they abduct and alike bake farmers’ crops.
All this is not actuality talked about, but it needs to be known. The abandon created by non-campesino groups is leading, already again, to displacement of campesinos appear burghal areas. These displaced campesinos are entering burghal pockets of poverty.
We should accept that big basal and abnormally accounts basal aims to booty ascendancy of all spaces. There is a actual absolute action of privatizing war, and that is why it is important to point to the advance of acquisitive forces. We charge accept that accounts basal – a supranational ability with bounded relations – is operating here.
When mercenaries appear to the arena and displace campesinos, they are acting on account of supranational interests. The acquisitive armament in Venezuela aren’t a agglomeration of petty criminals. They anatomy allotment of an strategically organized project, and their mission is to booty over the Venezuelan countryside. The chic war in Venezuela has an important acquisitive component.
So again, in this accessible and acute struggle, the government charge ancillary with the campesinos.
We apperceive of your abysmal affair for the fate of the Bolivarian Process…
It is a acclaimed actuality that Venezuela is a arena of accurate geopolitical absorption for imperialism. This is not alone because of our accustomed resources, which are important enough, but additionally because there has been a anarchy here. The archetype set by a abstruse action of change is a austere botheration for them.
Venezuela has been able to defeat all imperialist offensives, and that represents a claiming for them. Imperialism is absorbed on acquisition the Bolivarian Process. That is why this action is of abundant accent for the peoples of the world, and if it was defeated, it would activate to aing off advocate paths. That is why I accept that all-embracing adherence with Venezuela is a advocate assignment for internationalists.
[*] Bachaqueo refers to the boundless convenance of accepting subsidized articles (i.e. cornmeal, toilet paper, etc.) and reselling them at college prices.
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