Venezuela: Anarchists speak out against the Charter of the OAS

  • Posted on: 20 April 2017
  • By: thecollective

From Insurrection News

The OAS, the Organization of American States, is an international organization made up of states in so-called North and South America. The OAS, based in Washington, has recently passed resolutions to suspend Venezuela’s membership from the organization, citing “Venezuela of violating the rights of its people, including by ignoring the results of 2015 legislative elections and by incarcerating political opponents. Such actions conflict with the standards of the Inter-American Democratic Charter that Venezuela has signed.” Opposition politicians in Venezuela have said that the Charter of the OAS must be respected and point to the OAS as a justification for their protests. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government decries the OAS and such opposition politicians as inciting foreign intervention into the country.

Below we reproduce a statement signed by the editors of Gargantes Libertarias (Venezuelan region), which was originally titled “Anarchist Pronouncement against the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the State.” (N & A)

This communique was copied and translated from this source:


Currently Venezuela faces one of the worst crises in history, where as usual the people have remained the victims of the puppeteers who handle our circumstances and our living conditions, making it increasingly difficult to just live. At this point, we as Venezuelan anarchists need to make a stand and publicly express our opinion.

1. We reject the application of the OAS Charter and maintain that, by its mechanism, is an act where the same authoritarian and corrupt states which violate human rights, the same to condemn their fellow human beings (in this case, the Mexican State currently administered by Peña Nieto, a country of mass graves, repressing demonstrations of Mapuche peoples, or the Argentine State of Macri where labor rights are violated, and without saying anything of the United States) and that will decide for us by imposing its decisions and further perpetuating the current state structure.

As anarchists we see that historically this has not meant a substantial change in politics beyond a change of dictator. The Charter does not eliminate the repressive bodies, nor eliminate the “Capital State,” and social problems are not reflected. We can say that we have not seen the international community acting against the Orinoco Mining Arc (AMO), which condemns to open-pit mining 12% of the national territory, rich in biodiversity, full of history of struggle and home of many indigenous peoples. We are concerned that beyond the arguments of one or the other, as a population we do not know the new limits to which we will be subject to and thus the international community can use military to intervene in the country, as a post-consequence of the application of the Charter. Venezuela would be officially condemned internationally and this would generate a series of unconventional relations, coupled with the problems that we already live with, such as scarcity, high cost of living, impunity, water pollution, among others.

The Venezuelan State has violated human rights for a long time and this has not prevented transnational corporations from making exorbitant profits; they did not care about the Constitution when developing their extraction projects even though they violated their own bourgeois laws. Based on that, we can say that democratic and legal morality is for them a fallacy. That is where the face of the state and capitalism are uncovered. After the application of the Charter, what will be the relations of the transnational companies with the new national government? We are sure that the corporate agreements will follow, since these post-democratic relations can be demonstrated with the example of history, such as the politics led by Alejandro Toledo against the dictatorship Fujimorista. Alejandro Toledo, as president, perpetuated the IIRSA signed by Fujimori, signed new agreements with mining transnationals exempting them from taxes and repressing peasant communities that opposed them.

2. Our position against the OAS Charter does not mean that we support the current government, we think that the officiality, the MUD, and other political parties are many forms with the same background; although their speeches are developmental-ish or progressive, no one shows a real alternative against capitalism and as a consequence of extractivism, most of them shelter repressors, justify militarism, political clientelism, and most see as a primary priority the payments of external debts, no matter how they have been the main problems that have exacerbated the situation of extreme need and the subordination of the population.

Anarchism, as an ideal rejects, the State in all its forms, without exception. It is not subject to what structures of power are imposed on the population. It sees democracy as a form of capitalism, as in “sell the best product,” which in this case would be the “best” Dictator, so that people willingly buy it, or in this case vote for it and pay his/her salary.

3. As anarchists, we advocate for the creation of a Federation of Autonomous Communes whose goal is a horizontal society, without coercion, autonomous and self-managed, flowing from everyday life along with social movements that collide against power structures, and popular manifestations that claim the rights of the marginalized and oppressed classes.



Venezuela in Insurrection…and the Anarchists?

Venezuela is experiencing a pre-insurrectional moment. Those who have not realized this have not been on the street and feel well served by information from the censorship-controlled media. After the process of degradation that has turned it into a dictatorship, people have lost their fear of government and repression. Unlike other moments of anti-Chávez protest, the popular sectors have now joined, both in Caracas and in other parts of the country. In the confrontation with the repression informal co-ordinations are established to repel the tear gas and rubber bullet attacks, as well as to help the wounded. There is a desire for change in the air, and there are as many proposals as there are mobilized people. Circumstantially, after having submitted docilely to the Recall Referendum that meant the rupture between the opposition leadership and its bases of support, a sector of politicians is regaining its representation, but after having been pressured by the masses to join the protests they have suffered the same effects of repression as the rest. However, and this must be stressed, the relationship between the people and political parties has changed, and there is no longer the security that existed before, under the blackmail of ‘anti-Chavista unity’. If there are no factors that can maintain and increase this tension until it explodes, the politicians will be able to recover their leading roles.

While the confrontation with the state reaches these levels, the situation of the ‘revolutionary’ leftists, including the anarchists is pathetic. The anarchists suffered the same process of weakening that befell the rest of the popular movements, divided by their support or rejection of the Bolivarian model of domination. Although they have never had a great influence, what little that had been built in previous years no longer exists. The newspaper El Libertario, the only regular publication that counted no longer exists. Blogs and virtual spaces are at their lowest expression. Regular meetings in real time no longer occur because many comrades are barely surviving the economic crisis. Even the pro-government ‘anarchism’ has disappeared, with some officials and other people having left the country. With everything going on in this situation, the ‘anarchists’ seem to be satisfied with giving lessons in revolutionary purity from their computers, while the real people – with all the contradictions and limitations that all people have – are actually facing the government and the repression.

Now we have no impact on events, but the only way to generate conditions for doing so in the future is to participate in the movements of people against oppression, strengthening the processes of self-organization and autonomy in the margins and against political parties. No, it is not the ‘revolution’ that we want in our theoretical heads, but the real agitations and processes of people of flesh and blood against the concrete factors of power. To stand aside is to condemn ourselves to being a ‘sect’ for enlightened people, a condition that is defended by some, but we reject those who don’t want to see our values and not our labels be experienced by the greatest number of people.

Objectively, the discrediting of Marxism as a result of the degradation of Chavism – “corruption to an extreme degree” to quote Noam Chomsky – “has generated objective conditions for anarchism to have the capacity to engage, as never before, with the future of this country.” But it must also be understood that many of the methods in which these values are materialized – cooperatives, urban agriculture etc – were also corrupted by Bolivarianism. Anarchists will need to make a concerted effort of theoretical and practical reinvention in order to have the ability to make an impact in the future.

We have to choose: Sit on the sidelines and bury ourselves with the rest of the left in the wake of Chavez, or try to be a viable and consistent alternative. You decide where we meet: On the street or in front of our computers.

(via Periodico El Libertario, translated by Insurrection News)

Srsly what kinds of anarchists make such declarations? This is weird and feels like 2005... to be pandering so much on the international capitalist bureaucracy (that suuuure cares about whatever some Venezuelan anarchists are saying) while at the same time posing as anarchist.

(I was referring to the declaration in the OP. This above makes more sense)

Many anarchists seem to have a ' Stardust Memories' approach to representative democracy. " The food is so terrible. And such small portions".
But anarchism has never advocated voting in nationalist elections!
The agreements nation-states make 'ought' to have as much meaning for us as theology imho. Then, as long as we have the net ,we can promote popular insurrection everywhere while preserving the gains made over the previous century through flawed representative democracy. And another Spain 36 is possible! Its just ' those who make revolution half-way dig their own graves'

The statement doesn't take a position on insurrection one way or the other. It simply says outside capitalist powers won't have their way in the country.

It's too bad there weren't more statements like this, and action to back it, in 1989 when the Marxists fell in Eastern Europe, that region might not be a neoliberal nightmare today.

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