The bourgeois media have been full of outraged indignation about the fact that the government of Venezuela is now proposing to ask a National Constituent Assembly to draw up a new Constitution for Venezuela. All of a sudden various bourgeois mouthpieces have discovered that Chavez’s 1999 Constitution was the best and most democratic in the world, and that his successor Maduro is changing it in order to consolidate dictatorial powers in the face of massive popular revolt by the people of Venezuela.
This supposed ‘popular revolt’ is in actual fact a revolt by the well-off whose real objection is President Maduro’s intention to deepen the Venezuelan Bolivarian revolution for the benefit of the masses of the Venezuelan people at the expense, inevitably, of imperialist bloodsuckers and their local dependants and hangers-on. These local compradors are receiving millions of dollars in support from US imperialist agencies to enable them to mount the equivalent of violent colour revolutions effected in various former Soviet countries, following closely the pattern of the fascist coup in Ukraine, disguising the lack of popular support under acts of egregious violence that make them appear infinitely stronger than they in fact are.
The need to change the Constitution has emerged because the reactionaries have abused the existing one in order to wage warfare against the Bolivarian revolution.
Desiring peace at all costs, the Venezuelan government has used its best endeavours to bring the reactionary forces to the negotiating table, enlisting even the Pope to try to persuade them to give up violence in favour of negotiation. The Pope, however, was forced to conclude that the Venezuelan opposition is not interested in peace, only in power, and that it has absolutely refused all negotiations.
The remit of the Commission for the Activation of a National Constituent Assembly, which has now been appointed, is as follows:
Quoting an official Venezuelan government press release, the new constitutional reform shall seek to build:
1. A constitutional process for peace. The improvement of the dispositions contemplated in the 1999 Constitution.
2. A new post-oil economic system, paving the way for a new economic model.
3. A social welfare state of their own, with the Social Missions and Great Social Missions. Integrating welfare provision into the system with welfare guarantees protected under the new constitution.
4. It also seeks the empowering of the workings of the justice and people’s protection systems. War against impunity. Continue improving the penitentiary system. Fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking.
5. Seeks to promote new forms of participatory and protagonist-led democracy. In social and political areas, the Communal Councils and Communes shall be protected under the new constitution.
6. A sovereign foreign policy. The defence of the sovereignty of the nation. Continue promoting a multipolar world.
7. Cultural identity. A new Venezuelan identity. A new spirituality. Cultural diversity.
8. Protections for the future. Social, cultural, educational, technological rights for the youth.
9. Protection of life and the environment. In essence, the points included in the 5th Historic Objective’ of the Homeland Plan (regarding environmental policy).
10. It is essential that this constitutional process has the same level, or more, of citizen, popular, participatory and protagonist-led qualities as the Constitutional Process of 1999.
President Maduro has also made clear that the new Constitution will be put to popular referendum before being implemented.
Needless to say, the aims of this new Constitution are not going to meet with the approval of imperialism or its Venezuelan toadies, who control the world media to such an extent that it is almost impossible even through Google to find material that gives the true facts about what is happening in Venezuela. In actual fact what is happening is of extreme revolutionary importance. Venezuela has long been held out by revisionists and Trotskyites as being the supreme proof that socialism could be brought into existence peacefully through the ballot box, but Venezuela’s situation proves that this is simply not true. Any government that stands up against the interests of imperialism is liable to be subjected to extreme violence unless, having been ruthlessly undermined by sanctions and/or internal sabotage, it departs the scene willingly, perhaps through the ballot box. In the present circumstances of imperialist world domination and overwhelming financial power and fire power, peaceful proletarian takeover is out of the question. Anywhere the proletariat is faced with the alternative:
“Either eke out a miserable existence and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon. That is the choice imperialism puts before the working class. Imperialism brings the proletariat to revolution” (Stalin). Contrary to appearances projected by the fake-news merchants of the bourgeois media, there are signs aplenty that the Venezuelan proletarian masses are up for the fight to defend their Bolivarian revolution.