From now, we want to build this organization with other groups, currents, left-wing personalities and intellectuals and hundreds of revolutionary militants who belong to no organization, with trade union, social movement and gender activists, said Stalin Pérez Borges, one of its founders. "We invite all of them, in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, camaraderie and respect, to try to build together this new political instrument of revolutionaries, with equal duties and rights for all."
Perez said one of their greatest wishes is to ensure that the working class and working people in general play a major part in the leadership and composition of this organization, without of course excluding students, academics, peasants and other popular sectors. We want no personality cults, however important a role any particular leader may have played, nor will we make any fetish of workerism, much less trade unionism.
He added, "we know that the revolution we dream of and want to make a reality will be fundamentally popular in character. This Unitary League will operate horizontally. Every one of its members will have all the rights and democratic guarantees to express their opinions, make their proposals and take part in concrete struggles against capital. All our leaders will be elected and recallable when a majority of the members so decides."
If there is one lesson we have learned from this experience of the Bolivarian process in Venezuela and the emergence of the left as a government in several Latin American countries, it is the need to recover the class orientation of revolutionary organization, he continued.
"However, that cannot be decreed. The fact that most of the leadership of a political organization is composed of men and women who live from their work, does not in itself guarantee that the organization will become immediately or in the longer term a mass movement or party. But history has shown that an organization will be more reliable and loyal to the interests of the people if it is made up of men, women and those of diverse gender who live from their daily work.”
He stressed that the aim of this new political organization, LUCHAS, is to push this revolutionary process towards a real socialist revolution, to seize power and make the Socialist Venezuela that so many of us have dreamed of throughout our lives.
"These tasks present us with the permanent challenge of pointing out the political and administrative errors, or counter-revolutionary decisions, of senior state officials and the nefarious role of the bureaucracy that does not like being criticized or questioned when it claims to represent this government, as the heir to the Chavista Bolivarian revolution. We will raise the banners that Chavez raised in his “Change of Course” (Golpe de Timon) speech. In the streets and in our workplaces we will defend the content of the socialist proposal, the meaning of love of country and the need to develop the communal state."
LUCHAS, a new political organization of revolutionaries
The following are key aspects of its founding statement:
It is imperative then, that before or in parallel with building this organization, we strive harder than ever to help the working class to take a leap forward in its consciousness, which remains essentially trade unionist, focussed on making demands. We need to help the class take its own steps and move from "a consciousness in itself, to a consciousness for itself", as Lenin liked to say. To do this, it has to be the working class that is the main protagonist, along with the other oppressed social sectors that are part of the leadership and membership of the organization, projecting their aspirations far beyond mere economism. Working people have to become fully aware of the contradiction with capital, which implies a commitment which cannot for any reason or under any circumstances, allow to pass the policies, with their different tactics and strategic objectives, that represent capital, which here and now are epitomized by the MUD opposition.
LUCHAS aims to be an organization of all the oppressed. We want to mobilize with them to achieve our liberation. We have an internationalist perspective, as did the anti-colonial and independence fighters like Bolivar; as did the best Marxists past and present, and as did the great revolutionaries of Latin America like Che and Chávez. As workers, men and women, as intellectuals, students, popular sectors, farmers and fishermen, we will give our body and soul to build this organization, as well as to elaborate its political program and develop the revolutionary theory of this new organization: LUCHAS.
We will be a tree with multiple roots, not an abstraction or a ready-made compendium where everything is already done and dusted and whose truths are set in stone. We see this Unitarian League as a collective project. We want to develop, with all oppressed sectors, proposals for concrete realities. We will confront whatever tests we are subjected to in the contradictions and ups and downs of the class struggle. We will confront them alongside the working people. For now, to all socialist Chavistas, men and women, we want to make a sincere appeal for revolutionary UNITY.
Reinventing the space for revolutionary unity
In this historic impasse of the Bolivarian process, two of the most important crises are those of leadership and of the lack of solid proposals to return to the road of revolutionary transformation. We lack initiatives that lead to a solution to this problem, which is about survival in both the immediate and in the historical sense.
If the government does not listen to the slightest criticism from leaders or organizations of the social movements, the unions or left intellectuals, the strategic direction may be lost. Sectarianism is a bad counselor in times of crisis.
This is also an appeal to members of the political leaderships of the parties that make up the GPP (the coalition of pro-government parties). For the most part they have been incapable of raising their voices, but recently Juan Barreto of REDES and Oscar Figuera of the PCV (Venezuelan Communist Party), made critical remarks to the government. Before, with few exceptions and only then in private talks, dissent was absent. This can not continue.
For these reasons, whatever doubts we Chavista and socialist revolutionaries may have, we can not waver regarding the immediate and lasting need for a space where we can build unity among the majority of revolutionaries.
This should be an open space, including both these GPP parties which have now been forced by popular pressure to call on the government to listen to criticism and constructive proposals, as well as the millions of activists of social struggles and small political organizations, currents and movements, among which we count ourselves.
We can have no doubts about building together this space for revolutionary unity, both with comrades who are members of these GPP organizations as well as those outside them. We have no preconceptions about the form this forum or roundtable should take, nor whether it should be only civilian or include military personnel.
All those questions and many more are up for discussion, but we must take now clear and decisive steps to reinvent such a space for revolutionary unity. Otherwise, we will not restore hope in the profound transformation of Venezuela and our continent.
Just by being able to organize in this way, we can help to rediscover the paths of dignity and of the transition to socialism that we have so long written and spoken about. And just as there are no established blueprints for how to build socialism, so there is no magic formula or prescribed manual that tells us how to create this space of revolutionary unity. It will be either trial or error.
However, if we are convinced of the need for this unity and if we are immersed in the struggles of working people, in the campaigns against attacks on decent wages and working conditions for those who live by their labour, for the democratization of trade union and student organizations, for democratic freedoms or in defence of the environmental and sexual diversity, as well as all the gains of the Bolivarian revolution, together we can create this unitary space.
For our part, as members of this new organizational project called LUCHAS, we put ourselves at the disposal of all those organizations and individuals who are aware of the need to create this space for revolutionary unity.
LUCHAS closes ranks against the unpatriotic right, against imperialism and transnational capital. We support the government in whatever actions and initiatives it takes that aim to deepen in a socialist direction the Bolivarian process, without this preventing us from raising our voice against anything we see as a capitulation to capital.
’Let everyday LUCHAS (struggles) bring us together’ !!!
’The destiny of the Venezuelan and continental socialist revolution will be marked by LUCHAS (struggles). Let’s join the struggle and work for the unity of revolutionaries, men and women !!
For the Unitary Chavista Socialist League (LUCHAS):
Stalin Pérez Borges, Christian Pereira, Vilma Vivas, Norman Antonio Boscan, Jesus Borges, Ismael Hernandez, Jesus Vargas, Osman Cańizales, Henry and Williams Ospina Ruiz.
Venezuela, July 28, 2016