American progressives must recognize the urgent need to support and preserve the Venezuelan socialist revolution. The peaceful, democratically elected socialist government serves as a model for the kind of programs that our own country desperately needs.

Look at what Venezuelan socialists have already accomplished and why they have consistently been under attack by Venezuela’s wealthy classes and their U.S. government, CIA and USAID funders: (See Eva Golinger’s “Post Cards from the Revolution” archives for details of U.S. funding at http://www.chavezcode.com/)

In 1998, Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela. He was democratically re-elected twice in the following 14 years until his death in March of 2013, even triumphing over a separate right-wing generated national recall referendum in 2004.  

During those years, Chavez and his socialist party, the PSUV, set out to reverse the power relations of the pre-1998 years of capitalist rule and giving voice to the millions of Venezuelans who had previously been poor, hungry, uneducated and ill under those capitalist regimes.  

Chavez and his government created what they termed “social missions”, focused programs to deal with depredations that had previously affected the majority of citizens.  Their literacy mIssion sent thousands of high school and university students into the country side to teach reading and writing, virally whipping out illiteracy in the country according to UN statistics.  A similar project provided high school level education to those without previous access, while hundreds of new university and technical programs were created where no tuition was charged and students were actually paid a stipend to go to school.

An early mission, called Mission Adentro, brought free neighborhood medical and dental clinics by the thousands into neighborhoods throughout the country which were previously unserved. A mission to provide good nutritional food provides subsidized markets and restaurants.  

After the extreme flooding throughout the country in 2010, which destroyed thousands of homes, a new Mission to build 2 million new homes began, homes to be given to families at very low interest rates or even free, depending on family income.  

There followed a massive training and employment program for up to two million people, wherein folks received job training and thereafter job placements at government expense.

Since 2003, more than the equivalent of $772 billion has been invested in the social missions programs.These funds came from the profits of Venezuela’s nationalized oil industry.

In 2011, five new “great social missions” were launched to build upon the work of previous programs and achieve specific objectives regarding health, employment, housing, social security, and agriculture. Millions of workers, students, mothers, children and the disabled have received the benefits of these social services while receiving government financial support to utilize these programs.

During the 2002 coup attempt by the wealthy capitalist class to regain their lost power, one of their first targets for demolition was the free medical clinics, which were burned down and their medical staff attacked and harassed.  

The free medical clinics and other social programs are again being targeted by terrorists funded by the wealthy.  During their brief reign of terror during the unsuccessful 2002 coup, their coup leaders attempted to disband the medical clinic programs as well as the popularly elected National Assembly, the Supreme Court, and executive branch, and set aside the  popular new Constitution, a document written by the democratically chosen representatives and passed by a massive majority of Venezuelan voters. These same folks are now actively working to resume their failed coup, using street violence to disrupt the Bolivarian civil society and its social services.

After the 2002 coup itself failed when millions of Venezuelans took to the street to demand the return of their kidnapped president and democratic government, the same wealthy capitalists attempted to economically strangle the Chavez government by shutting down the oil industry to deprive the government of the profits needed to support its social programs.  

This too failed when the government re-took control of the national oil company, PDVSA and fired the old regime executives who had caused the shut-down.

Next, in 2004, the one percenters initiated a referendum petition to oust Chavez from the presidency.  Once again, they  failed.  The national referendum only reconfirmed President Chavez to the presidency by a large margin.

President Chavez was re-elected in November of 2011, only to die in March of 2013. With his death, the one percenters saw a new opportunity to gain power in the constitutionally mandated new election, but their presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, la member of the U.S. educated upper class, lost the new presidential election in April of 2013 to Nicholas Maduro, former bus driver, union leader and  Foreign Minister in the Chavez government.  That lost was the 18th (out of 19) national electiona since 1998 in which the one percent were defeated.  Their next move was to hire thugs in the streets to disrupt life for the general population and to torch and disrupt the people’s socialist programs, something that they had done sporadically since their earlier electoral losses.

Now, since February of 2014, the one percent paid thugs are once again attacking the neighborhood medical clinics, sabotaging the electrical system, shutting down public transportation in the cities, stopping food trucks to the Mercals and even torching the government and university buildings, including the offices of the housing mission program and an attache preschool, putting the lives of a thousand workers and 89 preschool children at risk in the fire.  The cost of the fire damage would have paid for 190 new homes for Venezuelans.

Thus Venezuelanalysis’s Mallett-Outtrim reports in “Terrorists Attack Housing Mission and Preschool in Venezuela”:

According to Minister for Housing Ricardo Molina, the blaze started after a “group of terrorists attacked the front of the building, breaking the windows.
The attackers then “threw petrol bombs and set fire to the building”, the minister told state broadcaster VTV.
“Our workers were at risk of dying…which shows the level of insanity and fascism that these violent groups have reached,” Molina stated…
Among the evacuees were 89 children from an adjacent pre-school, used by government workers. Arreaza stated that the children were aged between 6 months and three years of age.

” ( http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10597 )

The one-percent minority can’t win through the electoral process in an electoral system which former President Jimmy Carter’s Center has termed the “fairest electoral system in the world”. ( http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10597)

For eight weeks, they have burned universities, public buildings and bus stations, while up to 39 people have died. Despite claims by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, that the government is waging a “terror campaign” against its citizens, the evidence suggests a majority have been killed by opposition supporters, including eight members of the security forces and three motorcyclists garrotted by wire strung across street barricades. Four opposition supporters have been killed by police, for which several officers have been arrested.

What are portrayed as peaceful protests have all the hallmarks of an anti-democratic rebellion, shot through with class privilege and racism…

( http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10597 )

The one percent doesn’t have the votes of the majority, but it does have plenty of money to foment disruption and destabilization. a substantial amount of which is supplied by the U.S. government through its National Endowment for Democracy and other USAID and CIA funded entities which have long been at work in Venezuela to oppose its Bolivarian socialist government. Our U.S. taxpayers’ dollars are funding these types of disruption.

On Tuesday thirty people were detained in Caracas after attacks in Santa Fe and Las Mercedes. Violent barricaders set fire to five floors of the housing mission head offices and a police station in Santa Fe. Rodriguez said that two men were arrested in Santa Fe with an armoured vehicle, tear gas, explosives, pistols, gas masks, night vision goggles, satellite phones, bullet proof vests, tanks of petrol, knives and gloves.
The vehicle was “equipped with special compartments in order to spread caltrops [spiked hoses to puncture tires] … and petrol onto public roads, which is a type of terrorism that we have seen in recent days,” said Rodriguez.

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10572 )

Given such events, it is little wonder that U.S. sociologist professor James Petras has recently issued a warning that strong measures are needed to defend the socialist government from the fascist attacks. In his article “Defeating Fascism Before It Is Too Late” (http://www.democraticunderground.com/110828599 ) of March 3, 2014, Petras writes:


Captain Jose Guillen Araque, of the Venezuelan National Guard, recently gave President Maduro a book on the rise of Nazism, warning that “fascism has to be defeated before it’s too late”!  In retaliation for his prophetic warning, the patriotic young captain was shot by a US-backed assassin on the streets of Marcay in the state of Aragua on March 16, 2014.  This raised the number of Venezuelan soldiers and police killed since the fascist uprising to 5 in 29 overall fatalities [note: VA.com edited the numbers of officer deaths from the original in line with the current information].  The killing of a prominent, patriotic officer on a major street in a provincial capital is one more indication that the Venezuelan fascists are on the move, confident of their support from Washington and from a broad swath of the Venezuelan upper and middle class.  They constitute a minority of the electorate and they have no illusions about taking power via constitutional and democratic means.…

The term “fascist” in Venezuela is appropriately applied to the organized violent political groups currently engaged in mass terror in a campaign to destabilize and overthrow the democratically-elected Bolivarian government…

The essential connection with earlier fascist movements is found in its (1) profound class hostility to the popular majority; (2) its visceral hatred of the Chavista Socialist Party, winner of 18 of the last 19 elections; (3) its resort to the armed seizure of powerby a minority acting on behalf of the domestic and US imperial ruling classes; (4) its intention to destroy the very democratic institutions and procedures which it exploits in order to gain political space; (5) its targeting of working class institutions – communal councils, neighborhood associations, public health and dental clinics, public schools, transport, subsidized food stores, political meeting places, public credit unions, trade union organizations and peasant co-operatives; (6)  and its support of capitalist banks, huge commercial landed  estates and manufacturing firms.

Professor Petras knows whereof he speaks about Fascism. He was an advisor to Chile’s socialist president, Salvador Allende, who was bombed and deposed by a CIA-fed coup  in 1973.  

Indeed, the current events in Venezuela appear to be following the CIA’s putative  ”Democratization Manual”, a text first developed from the successful ouster of the democratically elected president of Iran in 1953, with subsequent chapters being added in Guatemala, Ecuador, the Congo and myriad others.   (see ”A Timeline of CIA Atrocities ”By Steve Kangas at http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/CIAtimeline.html for the long list of the CIA’s incursions on other sovereign countries. See also the recent Pando article on USAID’s dark history at http://pando.com/2014/04/08/the-murderous-history-of-usaid-the-us-government-agency-behind-cubas-fake-twitter-clone/ )

Petras warns, based on his experiences in Chile and elsewhere, that;

Constitutionalist democrats have failed or were unwilling to see the political, civilian arm of the Nazis as part and parcel of one organic totalitarian enemy; so they negotiated and debated endlessly with elite fascists who meanwhile destroyed the economy while terrorists pounded away at the political and social foundations of the democratic state.  The democrats refused to send out their multi-million mass supporters to face the fascist hordes.  Worse, they even prided themselves on jailing their own supporters, police and soldiers, who had been accused of using ‘excessive force’ in their confrontation with fascist street thugs.  Thus the fascists easily moved from the streets to state power.  The elected democrats were so concerned about criticism from the international and capitalist media, elite critics and self-appointed ‘human rights’ organizations, that they facilitated the takeover by fascists…

To the terrorists, the democratic politicians who warn about a “threat of fascism” while acting as if they were engaged in ‘parliamentary skirmishes’, become an open target for violent attack. This is how the fascists came to power, in Germany, Italy and Chile, while the constitutionalist democrats, to the last, refused to arm the millions of organized workers who could have throttled the fascists and saved democracy and preserved their own lives.

Petras calls for the recognition that strong measures are needed:

The most significant advance toward stopping the fascist threat lies in the government’s recognition of the links between the parliamentary and business elite and the fascist terrorists:  financial speculators, smugglers and big-time hoarders of food and other essential commodities are all part and parcel of the same fascist drive for power together with the terrorists who bomb public food markets and attack the trucks transporting food to the poor neighborhoods. One revolutionary worker said to me after a street skirmish: “Por la razon y la fuerza no pasaran

!” (Through reason and force they will be defeated)… Constitutionalist democrats have failed or were unwilling to see the political, civilian arm of the Nazis as part and parcel of one organic totalitarian enemy; so they negotiated and debated endlessly with elite fascists who meanwhile destroyed the economy while terrorists pounded away at the political and social foundations of the democratic state.  The democrats refused to send out their multi-million mass supporters to face the fascist hordes.  Worse, they even prided themselves on jailing their own supporters, police and soldiers, who had been accused of using ‘excessive force’ in their confrontation with fascist street thugs.  Thus the fascists easily moved from the streets to state power.  The elected democrats were so concerned about criticism from the international and capitalist media, elite critics and self-appointed ‘human rights’ organizations, that they facilitated the takeover by fascists…
To the terrorists, the democratic politicians who warn about a “threat of fascism” while acting as if they were engaged in ‘parliamentary skirmishes’, become an open target for violent attack. This is how the fascists came to power, in Germany, Italy and Chile, while the constitutionalist democrats, to the last, refused to arm the millions of organized workers who could have throttled the fascists and saved democracy and preserved their own lives.Constitutionalist democrats have failed or were unwilling to see the political, civilian arm of the Nazis as part and parcel of one organic totalitarian enemy; so they negotiated and debated endlessly with elite fascists who meanwhile destroyed the economy while terrorists pounded away at the political and social foundations of the democratic state.  The democrats refused to send out their multi-million mass supporters to face the fascist hordes.  Worse, they even prided themselves on jailing their own supporters, police and soldiers, who had been accused of using ‘excessive force’ in their confrontation with fascist street thugs.  Thus the fascists easily moved from the streets to state power.  The elected democrats were so concerned about criticism from the international and capitalist media, elite critics and self-appointed ‘human rights’ organizations, that they facilitated the takeover by fascists…

To the terrorists, the democratic politicians who warn about a “threat of fascism” while acting as if they were engaged in ‘parliamentary skirmishes’, become an open target for violent attack.This is how the fascists came to power, in Germany, Italy and Chile, while the constitutionalist democrats, to the last, refused to arm the millions of organized workers who could have throttled the fascists and saved democracy and preserved their own lives.