The Attacks on the PCV
In recent months, the governing party of Venezuela – the PSUV – under the leadership of Nicolas Maduro has brought the hammer down on the revolutionary Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV). The PCV has taken the principled communist stance of opposing the bourgeois regime of PSUV and exposing the irrefutably capitalist nature of the Venezuelan state and the PSUV’s role in perpetuating the continued economic crises in the country.
As the PCV has grown more vocal and explicit in its condemnation of the PSUV and its policies – from propaganda to street demonstrations – the PSUV has grown more brazen in its attempts to suppress the PCV. From abductions of PCV members to tragicomical stagings of fake PCV members stating public pro-PSUV statements and now most severely to the challenge of the PCV’s legal status. These attacks are an explicit anti-communist crackdown aimed at preserving the capitalist order within Venezuela by stamping out the revolutionary opposition of the PCV.
In this time of crisis for the comrades in PCV, it is incumbent upon every revolutionary-minded communist around the world to express their solidarity and support for the PCV in their struggle against the PSUV and the bourgeois class interest they represent.
CPUSA Brands PCV “Sectarian”, Reaffirms Support for Pro-Capitalist PSUV
The PSUV and its predecessor Fifth Republic Movement have since the start of the Bolivarian Revolution in the early 2000s has postured as ardent anti-imperialists opposing the dominance of the United States and the EU. This posturing is empty, toothless and ultimately a farce under which to launder the dominance of capital over workers within Venezuela. The continuation of exploitation under a farcical red banner.
It is from this position that the PSUV has garnered the support of multiple communist and socialist organizations throughout the world – gaining support for the Bolivarian Revolution under the guise of their supposed anti-imperialism. These forces have congregated within the center of opportunism, the provocative World Anti-Imperialist Platform (WAP). Within the United States, a plethora of socialist and “communist”, such as the Party of Communists USA (PCUSA), organizations have voiced either tacit or explicit support for the PSUV, justifying this as part of a larger anti-imperialist effort.
Until recently, these organizations supporting the PSUV have not had to face the ramifications of their positions. Now, however, with the PCV and PSUV openly at odds – the time has come for comrades to pick a side. The Communist Party of the United States of America – once a stalwart of revolutionary working class power – has unequivocally sided with the forces of opportunism and ultimately with the capitalists in this conflict. In an email provided to CWPUSA, Alvaro Rodriguez (International Secretary CPUSA) stated the following:
“The Partido Comunista de Venezuela (PCV) is engaged in a sectarian political struggle in the middle of U.S. imperialist economic sanctions (economic warfare) and regime change campaign against Venezuela. The US worked to overthrow Maduro using Colombia, Brazil and mercenary terrorists. The U.S. cold warriors in the administration went as far as to kidnap the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, in a third country for rendition to the USA. Alex Saab has been in prison here for more than a year for the crime of feeding Venezuelans. As Common Dreams stated in an article, “Under the Vienna Convention and the U.S. Diplomatic Relations Act, a diplomat cannot be arrested by a foreign power. This includes diplomats who are in transit between the sending and receiving countries, Venezuela and Iran, in Saab’s case.
We support a broad popular front against imperialism and do not engage in a struggle against the Partido Socialista Unificado de Venezuela (led by Maduro) and other Chavistas. We can not tell the PCV what to do internally in Venezuela and we do not encourage sectarian struggles within an independent, developing and anti-imperialist country such as Venezuela…
We support a broad popular front against imperialism and do not engage in a struggle against the Partido Socialista Unificado de Venezuela (led by Maduro) and other Chavistas. We can not tell the PCV what to do internally in Venezuela and we do not encourage sectarian struggles within an independent, developing and anti-imperialist country such as Venezuela.
The International Department CPUSA (IDCPUSA) does not endorse signing the joint declaration from the PCV (who is under the influence of the CP of Greece – KKE, currently playing a negative role in the international communist movement).”
With these words, the CPUSA has unambiguously stated their opposition to the PCV – and thus by extension, the Venezuelan proletariat – and has instead chosen clearly to side with the Venezuelan capitalist class represented by the PSUV. What sort of communist party abandons their comrades internationally and instead chooses to support the bourgeoisie of a country for the sake of a supposed “broad popular front against imperialism”? Either this is out of a deeply unfortunate lack of understanding of a pivotal concept in Marxism-Leninism or a nakedly opportunist maneuver to side with the revolutionary aesthetics of the PSUV. To lend credence to the former conclusion, the comrade stated on an episode of the Pants on Fire podcast (produced by the IDCPUSA) the following about imperialism in the world today:
“In the 21st century, that stage (imperialism) is now more advanced with only one hegemonic imperialist power in the world. And that’s what leads to some confusion. People think that there are multiple imperialist powers and they contrast the US to Russia to the UK, [they even put] China in the mix. But there is only one superpower today – that imperialist power is the United States – there is no equivalent. Other superpowers in the past have been superseded by the United States. Remember when the UK was the primary imperialist power in the world? More recently, well – that’s in the past. The US became one of the two main superpowers resulting from the Second World War. Remember the defeat of the fascists in the Second World War resulted in two main superpowers: the US and the USSR. Well, in 1991 the USSR was dissolved after internal counter revolution led by the general secretary of the communist party of the Soviet Union – Mikhail Gorbachev. This resulted in the single imperialist superpower, the United States. Some may ask ‘What about Russia, the United Kingdom, the EU, China, etc.?” But none of these other countries have the global economic and military economic control except the United States. Not only the base of international finance but the US dollar is also the reserve currency of the whole world.”
Clearly, the CPUSA’s conception draws heavily from Kautsky’s concept of ultra-imperialism, in which the contradictions between competing imperialist powers are resolved through mergers leading ultimately to “the joint exploitation of the world by internationally united finance capital”. This conception allows these opportunist organizations to label the US as the ultimate evil that must be opposed on a “broad popular front” which includes the so-called national bourgeoisie of nations like Venezuela, Russia, or China. In choosing to side with these countries’ struggles against US hegemony, these communists paper over the fundamental contradiction between the capitalists and the working class and thereby abandon the revolutionary communist struggle.
The CPUSA’s abandonment of the PCV is precisely a manifestation of this erroneous understanding of imperialism and has the practical consequences of putting the PCV – and by extension the Venezuelan working class – on the chopping block of the Venezuelan capitalists. It is an insult to the name and legacy of communism to take such a nakedly opportunist stance by laundering their strategy of reformism through their “revolutionary” support of the pro-capitalist PSUV and Maduro government.
Solidarity with Revolutionary Parties is Solidarity with the Proletariat
While the PCV has been supportive of the PSUV in the past, as the contradictions in the capitalist system have intensified and the PCV has gained clarity and insight on the developing circumstances, the bifurcation between these two forces has come to the fore. On the one hand is a section of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie – represented by PSUV – that is increasingly coming to terms with the social democratic reforms of the Bolivarian Revolution, and on the other hand is the revolutionary working class movement – represented by the PCV – aiming for the overthrow of the capitalist system and the construction of socialism-communism.
Without question, the CPUSA has chosen the side of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie against the working class. CPUSA has shown its true colors yet again by abandoning the revolution and siding with capital. These actions must be condemned sharply and called out for their brazen antagonism to the working class of Venezuela (and by extension, the world over).
It is vital that comrades throughout the world vocalize their support for the PCV and demonstrate their solidarity with the working class of Venezuela and the world. Through our support and exposure of these opportunists’ betrayal, the communist movement the world over may be strengthened – the call was put forward nearly two centuries ago and rings all the more powerful today: Working People of All Countries Unite!
- Communist Party Of Venezuela Members Assaulted During Workers Rights Protest https://cym.ie/2022/07/26/communist-party-of-venezuala-members-assaulted-during-workers-rights-protest/
- Pants On Fire – Ep11: International Conference 2023. CPUSA International Department. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byYkV8Di-S4
- Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. V.I. Lenin. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/imperialism.pdf