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Newsletter (in English)


An open letter to the Trotskyist left of Venezuela (USI, LTS, UST), and not to the “Trotskochavista” left (Marea, Militante etc.), from the independent youth organization REVOLUTION

Dear comrades,

We are writing because you are the political groups that have refused to capitulate to Chavismo and its new state party, the PSUV. You have have made a brave stand for the class independence of the workers in Venezuela. A member of our organization met you in March and April of this year and we would like to present some ideas he discussed with you in a more systematic way.

The PSUV has now been established. Despite promises that it would be “a revolutionary party”, “built up from below”, “the most democratic party Venezuela has ever seen” etc., it is – as we had expected (1) –, a bureaucratic instrument of the government to control the masses (these exact words were used by a member of El Militante, in private, to describe the PSUV) and a party of class collaboration. In a situation where there is so much pressure from the government for unity between the exploited and their “Bolivarian” exploiters, we believe it is critical to fight for working-class party without any “socialist” state bureaucrats and “Bolivarian” capitalists.

We have read that in September, the PSUV will found its own youth organization (2). It will be a truly massive organization Venezuela, and the youth of reformist parties are always more radical than their elders – in some circumstances they can be fertile soil for the seeds of revolutionary opposition. At the same time, this will be a terribly bureaucratic organization, based on blind allegiance to the máximo líder and apolitical rituals. We see little chance that the “PSUV Youth” will somehow make the whole party revolutionary, or even break away from the party in a revolutionary direction.

The authoritarian tendencies of Chavismo will alienate the most critical and revolutionary elements of the youth in Venezuela – they have already driven the middle-class youth from the universities, some of whom could have been won to the fight for socialism, completely into the hands of reaction.

Because of this, we believe strongly that revolutionaries in Venezuela need to defend – against Chavista bureaucratism – the idea of independent revolutionary youth organizations. Such a slogan would serve to deepen the inevitable conflicts over bureaucratism and lack of democracy within the PSUV youth, and show that socialist revolutionaries, in contrast to the bourgeois nationalist “revolutionaries” from the state, have no interest in controlling the youth. Quite the opposite: they have an interest in the youth developing their self-reliance as political fighters.

This is a method which Lenin used during the First World War to break the social-democratic youth organizations from their reformist mother parties. (A process which led to a number of these youth organizations founding Communist Parties in their countries.) It is a method that we believe is very useful today. In this period, the forces of Trotskyism in Venezuela are based mainly on trade union activists who have been in the workers’ movement for 10 or 20 years. While the experience of these activists is endlessly valuable, they are not enough to build up a revolutionary party – it is essential to win a layer of the youth to this project as well.

Of course we do not believe that the struggle for a communist youth organization could somehow replace the struggle for a workers’ party with a revolutionary program – we see it merely as an instrument for a larger goal. But it is an important instrument that can’t be abandoned by serious Trotskyists. Many are familiar with Lenin’s essay and can repeat a few phrases, but in our experience few take the principles seriously.

In this sense, we send you our “Theses on Independent Youth Organizations” and the message: Fight to win the youth in Venezuela for revolutionary socialism! We would be happy to discuss with you on this or other questions of the situation in Venezuela.

with Trotskyist greetings,
REVOLUTION International Coordination, August 31, 2008


(1) see or
(2) see or

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