Venezuela without Outraged Protestors: No Cause for Pride
[Translator’s note: In Venezuela, “los indignados” or the ‘indignant’ or ‘outraged’ people are understood to not just be those protesting in Spain and Europe, but also the occupation movement in the U.S and other countries, and even the protestors in Egypt, Tunisia, and so on]
Some comrades have felt proud of the fact that there are no protests by indignados in Venezuela. They reason more or less the following: We’re going well, we’re resolving the problems of the people and the people are content with the performance of the Bolivarian government, so in our country there are no reasons nor would it make sense to have such protests.
This type of reasoning stems from a lack of understanding of the movements of the indignados. They think such movements are directed against the governments of the countries in which those who are governed aren’t in agreement with their governors. They avoid one fundamental fact: The protests are against an economic system which generates, alongside a few large millionaires (the 1%), unemployment, economic stagnation, housing evictions and property seizures, decrease in quality of life, and in general, misery for the vast majority.
Now then, when governments defend the status quo, the capitalist system, they become targets of protest. It’s what has happened in Greece, Spain, and the U.S. It’s worth mentioning that if the governments, instead of being at the service of capital, united their cause with the people; the indignada protest would clearly be classified as against imperialism and capitalism.
There’s a basic argument as to why any person who considers themselves revolutionary should applaud and support the movement of the indignados. It’s the moral substratum that Ché [Guevara] referred to: To tremble with indignation at every injustice in the world. Just that principal is sufficient. Or would it be that there aren’t enough injustices in the world to merit our protest? This feeling of rage in the face of power and the injustice of thousands of citizens, doesn’t it deserve our solidarity?
But there’s more: Don’t the decisions of the imperialist financial centres affect us? Have we defeated capitalism and now we’re living in a socialist society? We are, up to this point, just a project that is struggling to become reality. Our values, our economy, despite the efforts and the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution, are still structured around large capitalist schemes and we have, in that sense, strong reasons to be outraged.
There is a revealing fact. In our country two large fronts have clearly taken shape in our political realty: the forces for change and revolution, and on the other side, the forces of reaction. Any political event that occurs in the country locates these forces on one side or the other. To take the other side of the argument, is it possible that the Venezuelan opposition takes on the flag of the indiganados to fight the government? Can we imagine Capriles Radonsky, Maria Corina Machado, Leopoldo Lopez, or Pablo Perez [translator: all of whom are hoping to be the opposition candidate in presidential elections next year] chanting things like “prison for the bankers”, “death to capitalism”, “don’t sacrifice the 99% for the well being and luxury of the 1%” and other similar demands that the indignados are voicing at their protests? It’s not possible to imagine it. The defenders of capitalism can’t attack the interests of the powerful.
The struggle of the indignados is a struggle against injustice and for that reason it is also our struggle. It is the denunciation of capitalism and the consequences of all that it generates and that we tolerate. It’s the prevalence of values of solidarity and the preservation of the planet. And all these things form part of the revolutionary arsenal and as such, are ours.
Another thing is that until now the movement hasn’t developed levels of consciousness or commitment that lead to decisive actions against capitalism. Nor is anyone in a position to propose that that would be its inexorable destiny. But, we all have the responsibility to contribute so that the movement develops along those lines. It would be extraordinary if the next worldwide call of the movement of the indignados were made here in Caracas – a large concentration of solidarity where we express our unequivocal rejection of the perverse consequences of capitalism: war, exploitation, destruction of the planet, the large social problems it generates, etc!
Translated by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com.