Understanding Venezuela | What's Left

Corporate media reports on Venezuela depicting the current situation make it difficult for casual observers on the left to understand what is going on. While this has been the case even when Chavez was president, it has become harder to get a clear analysis.

Page content


There is no mincing words: the situation is critical for the left in Venezuela. The collapse in oil prices, the unrelenting attack on the economy by internal and external forces, the sustained support by the US for violent far-right opposition, and a economic revolution that had not moved forward far enough. All these have meant that the politics of the Chavez legacy could not support the Keynesian economic infrastructure funded by high oil prices. Add to this the inevitable waning of support for a political project under violent attack as comrades become exhausted of the murders, attacks, and street violence the Venezuelan rich continue to inflict on those who want democracy. It is hardly surprising we have landed on what the Venezuelan project is today.

Venezuela recently made it back into the mainstream news because of the scale of violence in the streets metered out by the right-wing against institutions of the state. The history of this violence is well documented back to the original US-backed coup attempt against Chavez. But, to understand the current situation, the best place to look is at the uncompromising reporting of local media and (if you cannot read Spanish) the work of Australia’s Green Left Weekly and Venezuela Analysis.

Support for the revolutionary project that seeks to empower the people at the expense of undemocratic forces on the right should be sustained. The corporate media continue to promote the idea that the “opposition” right-wing are supported and lead by normal working folks in Venezuela. But, one does not have to know too much history to know that the level of political and economic violence perpetrated by the right-wing in Venezuela is only possible when backed by those with money and power – something normal, regular people do not have access to. This analysis should accompany any reading of the corporate media of what continues to happen in Venezuela.

Reinaldo Iturriza: “What Is at Stake Is the Fate of Venezuela’s Revolutionary Democratic Experiment”

Official Communique: Helicopter Attack is Escalation in Regime Change Campaign

Venezuela (May 31, 2016) by Michael Roberts

The Visible Hand of the Market: Economic Warfare in Venezuela (PDF)