As Venezuela continues to be hit with the tirade of imperialist aggression directed by the United States and its allies – the brash threats of infringing on Venezuela’s sovereignty, the continued support for the band of right-wing terrorists who spit in the face of Venezuela’s democracy, and the relentless use of sanctions which isolate and starve Venezuela’s economy – the country has gone from strength to strength in upholding its right to self-determination and providing for its people in such hard times. We must unequivocally salute the progressive leadership of Venezuela for everything it is achieving, and offer our solidarity in their struggle against imperialism.
We must also say that in this work, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign has done a great deal in exposing the lies pushed by mainstream media, and building up support for the struggle not only of Venezuela, but of the entirety of the anti-imperialist movement in Latin America. To show our support we attended the VSC’s Annual General Meeting and subsequent celebration of the 20 years that have passed since the election of Hugo Chavez. Whilst the meeting was addressed with moving speeches given by the ambassadors of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, it soon became clear where the political bankruptcy of the meeting lay, when the likes of Ken Livingstone and George Galloway began upholding a Jeremy Corbyn led government as the best British people can hope for in supporting their fellow workers in Venezuela. It seems not a single movement on the British left is free from being used as a platform for the Labour party, supported by the illusion that Corbyn will somehow be able to take the fangs out of British imperialism.
What more can social democracy do for Venezuela? Any steps too far in support of Venezuela will leave Labour in a position of sharp internal turmoil, with its investors and parliamentary membership rushing to uphold British imperialism, just as we’ve already seen countless times with the abhorrence to Corbyn’s lack of ‘patriotism’, or his alleged ‘anti-semitism’. Why is it that these anti-Corbyn campaigns have failed? Because with every confrontation their leader has backed down – he’s backed down on Trident, backed down on NATO, backed down on Palestine, and he will back down on Venezuela.
If the VSC truly wants to support Venezuela, why doesn’t it use its close ties with the trade unions to encourage direct industrial action? The imperialist machine cannot function without the input of our working class; why not call for strike action in the vein of the brave British workers who refused to cooperate with imperialist intervention in the young Soviet Union? Surely there is more British people can do to support Venezuela than focusing their energy on a political party which is imperialist to its core? Unfortunately it is a mixture of a naive faith in left-social democracy, and a necessity not to upset the financial backers of the campaign, that prevents the VSC ever from tackling these questions.
As long as the VSC continues to peddle its simultaneous support of the proud, anti-imperialist, socialist Bolivarian Revolution, and the cowardly, imperialist, social-democratic Labour Party, it will continue to fail in its mission to reveal the necessity for British workers to fight alongside the Venezuelans in the struggle for their own liberation. Without understanding the ruling-class’s intrinsic role within imperialism, and the working class’s intrinsic interest in overthrowing the former’s exploitation and plunder of the them and their comrades abroad, and exposing this reality, the campaign faces the trajectory of falling ever further into a vague moralism that fades into irrelevance under the veil of imperialist social democracy.