The power is in the streets

In a clear attempt to hijack Venezuela's revolutionary history, the opposition are now calling for 'new stage' of mass mobilisation on 23 January, the anniversary of the removal from power of Venezuelan military ruler Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958.

The date is celebrated as a victory for Venezuelan democracy and bears the namesake of the autonomous revolutionary collectives in the 23 de enero (January) barrios whose ancestors occupied the military barracks reclaiming them for housing.

In stark contrast to Hugo Chávez , who has armed the people, ensured the creation of participatory democracy and whose presidential policies have been validated through 14 elections, Marcos Pérez Jiménez was an unelected dictator in Venezuela between 1952 and 1958, ascending to power through a military junta, infamous for assassination and repression, suspending elections and embezzling $200 million during his presidency. The intent of the opposition is clear; to once again bring destabilisation and violence to the streets in the hope of recovering ground lost to the construction of socialism.

In response, the GPP has organised Patriotic Popular Assemblies (APP's) in order to 'maintain an agenda of permanent and constant mobilisation for the formation of blocks of revolutionary forces prepared to fight in defence of the homeland and the Commander President Hugo Chávez '.

The 23 de enero collectives, PSUV, the trade union confederation 'Bolivarian central of Venezuelan workers' (CBTV) and Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) have organised a counter mobilisation to prevent the forces of reaction taking over the streets.

This kind of popular mobilisation, headed by the social movements and organised communities that are leading the GPP, is yet a further example of the determination of the revolutionaries of Venezuela to defend their gains.

The following opinion piece from Political scientist Carlos Rengel (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) first appeared on on 16 January 2013

(Translated by Sam McGill Revolutionary Communist Group, Britain)

23 January: Popular power in the streets

The Venezuelan people, aware of the historical moment that has been assumed in the Bolivarian revolutionary process, today more than ever, is in the streets organized and mobilized in defence of the most precious thing we have reconquered after 200 years: national independence. Therefore our motive on 23 January, will be to once again demonstrate to the whole world, the recovery of popular sovereignty which, once, was kidnapped by the punto fijo pact ( a 1958 power sharing arrangement agreed by the ruling political parties of Acción DemocráticaCOPEI and Unión Republicana Democrática) and the fallacies of neoliberal and representative democracy.

The Venezuelan people by the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 1999, ensured a "democratic and social state of law and justice, which holds life, liberty, justice, equality, solidarity, democracy, social responsibility and overall, the pre-eminence of human rights, ethics and political pluralism as superior values ??of its legal system and its performance "(Article. 2). The Venezuelan people keep on fighting, for respect of the Constitution and the stability of the institutions of the Venezuelan state, and above all, respect for the inalienable right of popular sovereignty, through which, on 7 October, 2012, President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was elected.

Similarly, on 16 December, popular sovereignty was expressed strongly in favour of the patriotic Chavista governors of the country. In the context of these victories and the commitment to greater amount of happiness in the path of Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century, the punto fijistas (those involved in the punto fijo pact) , elites and fascists want to attack the popular will, as in the days of the Fourth Republic .

These punto fijistas, today want to return to the old scripts of destabilization orchestrated internationally, taking refuge again in the small groups of 'manos blancas' ('white hands' opposition student groups) right-wing students who are inclined to disrespect the Constitution through violence and ignorance of popular sovereignty, which despite their efforts, resides in the people and not the oligarchic factors that were accustomed to selling off the country, excluding the people from all spheres of national development.

But today, the Venezuelan people, in their quest for political empowerment and the exercise of self-determination, freedom, independence, and most importantly, the construction of the new socialist society, express and will continue to express, in any situation, the blunt force of true participatory democracy and the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution such as social inclusion, civic-military union, popular power, national sovereignty, amongst others. The Venezuelan people will come out against the frustrated desires of the punto fijistas and elites who do not conceive of 23 January as a day of real democracy and sovereignty.

Together with the present and historical orientation and guidelines of our highest leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Comándante Chavez, the Bolivarian revolutionary process filled with people will make it clear, this 23 January, where the real popular democracy lies, we will make it clear that in this process, the people are the government, we will make it clear that here there is a state with strong institutions, we will make it clear that here the people are united around social emancipation and the love of a historic leader, we will make it clear that the people are active and mobilized in street,and we will make it clear that popular sovereignty in Venezuela is respected!