In recent years Venezuela has been the centre of attention for much of the international left, since mass mobilisations defeated a military coup and oil industry lockout, and left wing President Hugo Chávez famously launched his plan to create “socialism in the 21st century”. However, previous analyses in this journal have shown the revolution is at a key junction, with increased disenchantment in the population due to corruption, bureaucratisation and the slow pace of change which has reopened the door to victory for the right wing opposition in referendums and regional elections.
These reverses have led to a far-ranging and important debate among those who identify with the leftward process in Venezuela. While recently living and working in Venezuela, I interviewed some respected revolutionaries to discover their visions of the achievements and contradictions of the Bolivarian revolution and the tasks ahead for revolutionaries.1
Gonzalo Gómez is a co-founder of the website Aporrea,2 created in the heat of the attempts to overthrow Chávez in 2002, and whose information and debates on the revolution have attracted 250 million hits. Stalin Pérez Borges is a national coordinator of the National Union of Workers (UNT). Both are leading members of the radical left grouping Marea Socialista, a current actively participating in Chávez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). In a separate interview, I talked to Roland Denis, a longstanding activist, libertarian and ex-vice minister for planning and development.
Continued in full here at International Socialism