Monday, April 6, 2009

The Trajectory of the Bolivarian Revolution Part Two, ¡Patria o Muerte!

-William Finucane Santiago

April 2, 2009

“The state is [...] a product of society at a certain stage of development; it is the admission that this society has become entangled in an insoluble contradiction with itself, that it is cleft into irreconcilable antagonisms which it is powerless to dispel. But in order that these antagonisms, classes with conflicting economic interests, might not consume themselves and society in a sterile struggle, a power seemingly standing above society became necessary for the purpose of moderating the conflict, of keeping it within the bounds of “order”; and this power, arisen out of society, but placing itself above it, and increasingly alienating itself from it, is the state.”

-Friedrich Engels1

“As Marxists we have maintained that peaceful coexistence [...] does not encompass coexistence between exploiters and the exploited, between the oppressors and the oppressed.”

-Ernesto Guevara 2

The period after the second capital strike and the failed recall referendum on Chávez's presidency was the start of the awakening of a more radical ideology within the government. As with all things which are awakening there was (and continues to be) confusion about where one is and what exactly just happened. Amidst this tumult Chávez announced his intention to create an endogenous Venezuelan 'socialism of the twenty-first century'.3

Chávez and supporters of the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) have made clear that Venezuelan socialism is unique in history and has a distinct ideology appropriate to its unique historical condition. This is a genuine articulation of the desires of Venezuelan revolutionaries; however, there are many who employ this discourse in tandem with an ideology that recognizes private productive property. When the Bolivarian government does this it leaves itself open to speculation over whether it constitutes an acceptance of reformism without attacking private property, or whether it constitutes a tactical representation of the party's position, buying time to expand the revolutionary project before the inevitable clash between capitalists and a social economy. If indeed the new socialism of the PSUV is going to be uniquely Venezuelan it will have to deal with the following:

1.) The current global economic depression including: Food shortages resulting from that depression, as well as how to continue support for social misiones which are the most tangible gains of the movement

2.) The persistence of private ownership of the means of production

3.) The history of class within Venezuela and the relation of the proletariat to that history

4.) How to construct a democratic mode of production and consumption

5.) Whether armed struggle is necessary to defeat capitalism

6.) How to deal with the limitations of the inherited bourgeois state

In 1999 Hugo Chávez took power over the capitalist bourgeois state of Venezuela to remake its economy into a more reasonable capitalism. Since that time Chávez and the movement have been radicalized and now profess a socialist ideology. Chávez says of this transformation:

“In this moment there are contradictions, because we still have a state with bourgeois components, with a bourgeois culture, but we are amidst a process of transformation, becoming a revolutionary state at the service of the people,”4

This specific power relation between revolutionary government forces which evolved out of a reformist party on one side and capital on the other is perhaps unique in history. If this is the characteristic which separates and defines socialism of the twenty-first century, what does it mean for the revolution? As explained in part one, the opposition has already lost its power in the government and the military, and largely failed in its use of the capital strike. However many individuals from the Fourth Republic continue in government, private property persists under the Venezuelan economy and constitution, and real protection from violence remains absent for revolutionaries. Each of these three obstacles to socialism are integrally tied to the inherited state structures which define 'socialism of the twenty-first century'.

The State

While Chávez's initial political revolution removed the oligarchy from government posts, there persist from the Fourth Republic many employees and managers who continue to hold the same sentiments as before the revolution, repeat the party line but ideologically oppose the revolution, or believe they are 'chavistas' but who still cannot conceptualize the political, economic, or cultural situation outside of their bourgeois framework. These individuals represent one of the biggest counterrevolutionary threats, those who wear the red shirts but promote the vices of capitalist society: individualism, bureaucracy, and their offspring, corruption.

Corruption inherited from the Fourth Republic continues in the military, police forces, and ministries of the Bolivarian government. Measures have been taken to combat corruption but most have fallen within the framework of the 'bourgeois culture' which prioritizes electoral politics. Since the election of opposition members to key mayorships and governorships in November 2008 there have been conflicts between opposition officials and the central government over the control of Venezuela's economy. In early 2009 the government issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader and mayor of Maracaibo Manuel Rosales on charges of diverting public funds from infrastructure projects and the local lottery5*. Also in 2009 the administration of all ports and airports was transfered to the central government in an attempt to stem the flow of illegal goods. This is especially important in light of the historic dependence on imports that characterizes Venezuela's capitalist class. However, these anti-corruption policies are limited by the pervasive corruption within the government ministries themselves. The measures taken so far on the matter have been politically appealing for even those corrupt officials within the PSUV as they have not yet seriously challenged their own place in the “bourgeois culture” mentioned by Chávez.67

The global capitalist crisis has forced the state to accelerate its confrontation with the other front of counterrevolution, the private owners of the means of production. Since the founding of the PSUV there has been a nationalization drive in Venezuela's most vital sectors (food and construction). Chávez has nationalized individual banks, cement plants, steel plants, and rice processing plants.8910 The nationalized rice plants (which include the US based Cargill) had been dodging price controls by producing rice products other than the normal dry grain rice on which most Venezuelans depend.11 Such violent acts of economic and social sabotage are no longer tolerated under Chávez and are a continuation of the dialectic of counterrevolution and radicalization.

The current crisis of capitalism has proven to the opposition and to the world that the Bolivarian Revolution is decisively anti-neoliberal even in the face of economic depression. Rather than the package of neoliberal reforms predicted by the opposition media, Chávez announced that no social programs would be cut, minimum wage would be increased by 20%, and that the new economic plan would have as its purpose the continuation of social spending and the safeguarding of employment.12 These policies will be supported by an increase in internal debt and a 3% rise in the sales tax. An increase in the public debt is a sound measure considering Venezuela's low over all debt (14.3% of GDP).13 The increased sales tax however is likely to place more of a burden on the poor.

Despite the social nature of the above reforms, the economic policy for 2007-2013 subtitled “The First Socialist Plan” does not aim to end private ownership over production. Capitalist enterprises “will persist” and socialist enterprises will “compete [...] with the capitalist firms”.14 The following graph found in the policy plan for 2007-2013 illustrates the extremely limited nature of this first 'socialist plan':

Rather than seek an entirely social economy the Bolivarian government pursues a mixed economy wherein capitalist relations still dominate over two-thirds of the production process.

Property and Work

While the Venezuelan government moves further away from capitalist ideology there continues to be a gap between official ideology and concrete measures. The bourgeois framework of the state prevents the ideology of the state from penetrating the layers of bureaucracy and controlling the process on the ground. The state officially professes socialist policy but simultaneously supports only partial reform of the modes of production. The official policy of the Bolivarian government in regards to changing the relations of production is the promotion of cogestionada or co-managed factories. The term co-management can have two implications. It can be mean co-management between workers and the state, or co-management between the workers and the owner(s). Though both exist in Venezuela only the latter type is being pursued as national policy.15 To understand this new policy and its possible effects it is helpful to understand the context of the organized labor movement within Venezuelan society.

The labor movement was virtually non-existent at the beginning of the Bolivarian process. Years of anti-labor activity by previous governments, the co-opting of the CTV16 (Venezuelan Confederation of Labor) by pro-business leaders and the lack of a real industrial infrastructure all hampered its formation. The labor movement began in earnest during the failed capital strike of 2002 and 2003 when workers began taking over idle factories. Out of this struggle emerged a new national organization of workers called the National Union of Workers (UNT). In their first congress held in August 2003, discussion was dominated by worker management of factories and worker take over of factories. The UNT even went as far as to endorse the complete nationalization of the banking industry.17 The UNT was clearly a more radical union than the CTV and was the first national labor organization to articulate an ideology of worker control and worker management.

One of the first factories to be occupied was the Venepal paper manufacturing plant. Like many businesses, Venepal had gone bankrupt after participating in the strike. In response to its closing, workers occupied and operated the factory for 77 days, working with the local community and with the support of the local army garrison.* The state, despite its continuing ideological development, was hesitant to support the workers and instead gave the owners of Venepal a line of cheap credit with which to continue operating as a capitalist firm. This kept the factory operating under the control of management until September 2004 when it went bankrupt yet again. The workers reoccupied the factory and this time the government stepped in, expropriated the factory, and set up a system of co-management whereby the state held a 51% stake in the factory and the workers a 49% stake.18 What is important to note is that it was the workers themselves who pushed this process forward and not the reformist government.

This arrangement of co-management between workers and the state has yielded mixed results. In the case of Venepal (renamed Invepal after the expropriation) hierarchical management relations led to withholding of basic equipment from workers, violations of the rights of temporarily contracted workers, and politically motivated firing of workers who challenge management.19 CADAFE, a state-owned electricity company has experienced similar problems, also resulting from the lack of worker participation. Only two worker representatives sit on the five member coordinating committee, which itself is only an advisory body to management. Other experiments in co-management have functioned more in the original spirit of worker control as in the cases of CADELA (another electricity company) and ALCASA the country's largest aluminum processing plant where management is taken to be the facilitation of worker control, rather than the negation of it.20 Even if a workplace is opened up to a participatory democratic process the culture of work present in the current social and economic system, which prioritizes management over participation, is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. When there are managers (elected or not) who do not share a collective or participatory vision with workers, they will necessarily reinforce the bourgeois structure inherited from the capitalist mode of production. Beyond management, when there are state officials either in the Labor Ministry* or elsewhere who are opposed to worker control, the very policy of production may shift to mirror the old regime. From 2005 to 2009 the co-management policy of the Bolivarian state moved away from the state-worker model.

The co-management promoted as of now by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the 'union' of worker and owner within a variable system of mutual ownership. Under this framework the workers organized as a cooperative and the original owner(s) split the profits of the company 30%-70%, 40%-60%, 50%-50% etc. whichever way is agreed upon. Usually a healthy business is divided so as to give the workers a smaller share of the profits, perhaps 20 or 30 percent.21 In a successful firm, workers are efficiently exploited and do not have the funds to purchase large shares in a company whose value rises proportionally to the degree of exploitation.

This model immediately runs into the contradictions between social ownership and the use of labor as a commodity. In the case of a business with a high rate of exploitation that is then transformed into a co-managed enterprise (with 70% for the owner and 30% for the workers' cooperative) the key element of the production process, the surplus value, the exploitation of the worker remains primary. Rather than eliminate exploitation, the introduction of the cooperative gives workers job security and a limited control over their working day. The result is that workers in this situation will reduce the intensity of their work and continue working the same hours (or fewer). They do not own enough of the business to justify increasing their own productivity. The original owner stays in his role as institutional thief. The workers gain marginal control over their own exploitation. In this arrangement there is no shift in the roles of proletariat and capitalist. The degree of exploitation can vary in relation to the percentages owned by each party, but these are merely different shades of the same process. This framework does not serve the interest of society and cannot in any sense be labeled as socialist.

The cooperative movement, though part of the same economic plan as the co-managed firms, is ostensibly one which privileges worker control. Cooperatives are legally required to A.) not grant privileges to any single individual within the cooperative, B.) make all decisions in a democratic manner through consensus or a voting system (this specifically includes amendments to the cooperative's statute and the hiring and firing of members), C.) have a clearly defined social goal and clearly defined methods for realizing this social goal within the community of which the cooperative is part.22 The Venezuelan cooperative law is one of the best in the world concerning cooperative workplaces but there have been problems with the registration and effectual activity of the cooperatives. In 2005 Venezuela had 100,000 registered cooperatives of which roughly 50,000 were active.23 This figure has grown to 268,211 of which 60,000 are active. As of 2009 the number of cooperatives registering has started to slow, but in light of the failure to get ¾ of cooperatives off the ground the decreased rate of cooperative formation may give the National Superintendence of Cooperatives (SUNACOOP) an opportunity to consolidate this sector of the economy. Beyond the failure of ¾ths of registered cooperatives, there continues to be a lack of essential economic activity under cooperative control. Nearly half of all cooperatives are in the service sector while only one quarter are in the vital area of production (industrial and agricultural combined). Housing cooperatives only make up .51% of the cooperative economy.24

Apart from these structural limitations to cooperative activity at present there are also problems with the cooperative model itself as it is practiced in Venezuela. Many cooperatives are capitalist businesses in disguise that seek preferential government treatment but do not grant workers their full rights. Often a group of workers will start a cooperative and then hire wage labor (which is legal under the Special Law of Cooperative Associations) that does not have the right to cooperative membership until it has been employed for six months. In this way the cooperative can act as a collective capitalist. Even without employing wage labor a cooperative is inherently collective private property and not social property regardless of the legal mandate to assist the community.

These two models, cooperativism and co-management, are the main contenders to replace Venezuelan capitalist firms if the revolution continues to deepen. But which forms of production are inherently reformist and which are inherently revolutionary?

Out of the three options: Co-management between worker and owner, Co-management between worker and state, and cooperativism, only the union of worker participation in a cooperative with citizen participation in a state has the potential to become a truly revolutionary mode of production. The following statement made by an activist at a 2005 Invepal solidarity meeting sums up the argument for worker/ state control:

“Experiences up until now teach us that it is only possible to develop the knowledge of the running of companies by workers when these belong to the state. The workers rejected any idea of turning workers of co-managed or managed factories into small proprietors.” Rather, they insisted, it was the responsibility of workers in co-management “to exert their role as guarantors of the sovereignty of the people established in the constitution, so that the profits of these companies become part of the social funds that help reverse the poverty of wide sections of the Venezuelan population and are not directed toward stimulating new business ventures.”25

This vision (already realized in some corners of the economy) is the most comprehensive vision for socialist economy circulating in Venezuela today. It is a negation of private property rights either for individuals or collectives. It is a commitment to solidarity in the sphere of production. With the state as owner two things happen: 1. The profit motive disappears along with the capitalist and capitalist exploitation. 2. A real solidarity is achieved through the state across society, across firms, and across communities. These are the two fundamental ingredients of socialist economy. On the one hand the negation of exploitation in the sphere of production, and on the other the negation of individualism (be it of a person or an entire cooperative). In light of the experiences at Invepal, CADAFE, and other co-managed firms this route must be accompanied by the continuation of the political revolution, which as of 2009 is incomplete, but which could be put on a trajectory to create a truly participatory government.26

None of this debate means anything however without addressing the question of the worker's historical relation to Venezuelan society. As mentioned above the organized labor movement in Venezuela has only recently turned to the left; the other obstacle to a revolutionary proletarian consciousness is the relative privilege enjoyed by the organized Venezuelan worker. PSUV Vice President Alberto Müller Rojas explained the situation in an interview with LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal:

When we talk about the working class here in Venezuela, or better said, when you talk about the working class, you are referring to the idea of a working class in a developed country. Here in Venezuela the working class represents an enclave of capitalism, because the working class, if we want to put it one way, is a privileged class if we compare it to those sectors that have not been incorporated into society. Those sectors, which represent 40% of the population, were often viewed by traditional left organisations as falling within the category of lumpenproletariat, but they are not lumpenproletariat because they do not live off other people's work, they live off their own labour, which is not based on accumulation but simple subsistence: they work to subsist, without accumulating.27

The most exploited and destitute section of Venezuelan society is not (as in the case of Marx's Europe) the working class, but those who have not even been allowed into the working class. The social economy under construction as of 2009 is slowly including these excluded classes in the web of production and consumption. However, agricultural and construction workers still make up a greater percentage of the informal economy than of the formal economy.2829 The revolution needs to not only articulate a truly social mode of production but also to include the excluded and marginalized sectors of society.


There has been one major obstacle for this revolution which impedes the integration of the excluded classes: the state of Venezuela as an inherited bourgeois state with socialist ideals has attempted to create a peaceful revolution by refusing to confront private property head on. But whether or not the revolution is violent, the counterrevolution is always violent. The 2002 coup attempt is just the most dramatic example of this. Two workers were shot and killed by police while striking at a Mitsubishi factory this year.30 Since the land law was passed in 2001, over 200 campesinos and campesino leaders have been murdered by mercenaries of the Venezuelan oligarchy.31 What is more the military is more often than not on the side of large land owners in these disputes.3233 This is a troubling fact that exposes the contradictions of a revolution from within the state. The military is to a large extent in the hands of the Bolivarian project and has been transformed into a more humanitarian and open organization by Chávez. That they still support latifundistas* in some areas is indicative of the persistence of the culture of the old regime and of the old status quo whereby the military was the guardian of wealth rather than life. Can a revolution which controls the military push an economic and social revolution through the bourgeois state and use its military only to defend itself from the violent counterrevolution? It's an open question and certainly one left unresolved in Venezuela today. The military is under the command of a revolutionary-minded government and when directed by that government carries out revolutionary work (occupying factories, helping with social misiones, etc.) but when left on its own persecutes the most marginalized sectors of society.*

What is clear is that real revolutionaries, workers, and peasants who are pushing forward this revolution, who are occupying land and factories do not have the protection of the state, its military, or its police. What has been attained is the indifference of some military and police forces to revolutionary action; allowing occupations, demonstrations etc., but this falls far short of the role these forces could have in the revolution were they to be radicalized, democratized, and held accountable to the Venezuelan people. Without a deepening of the revolution within the government and its armed forces there can be no revolutionary capacity to fight capital.


We have seen that the Bolivarian government has definitively left the neoliberal capitalist model but that the unique historical development of the revolution has yoked the process with a system so far incapable of committing totally to the revolutionary transformation of society. Prudent reforms have been made to counteract the global economic crisis, and the social economy has been the centerpiece of these reforms. Venezuela's national development barriers are being confronted with nationalization and socialization of major industry in line with revolutionary practice. However, economy-wide reform of the mode of production is far from revolutionary. Both cooperative and worker/ owner co-management systems fail to eliminate capitalist exploitation and may (if not radicalized) lead to disillusionment with the process. Bourgeois culture of individualism and bureaucracy has stifled revolutionary momentum in the government and in some instances sabotaged the potentially revolutionary form worker/ state co-management. The armed branches of the state apparatus, the police and military are often on the side of the counterrevolution. All of these are indicators that the current state continues to act not as a revolutionary government but as the alienated moderator of class conflict described by Engels.

Socialism of the twenty-first century is still in process, is still being articulated, and is still separating out reform from revolution. Given the extraordinary changes pushed by the Bolivarian government to date in the areas of political representation, the armed forces, and the means of production it is still possible that the state will evolve from moderator to instrument of the oppressed.

The closer the revolution comes to attaining this goal, the more it will need to defend itself. But defense need not wait until the moment of civil war. Violence against workers, peasants, students, women, blacks, indigenous peoples, and activists happens every day perpetrated by private mercenaries, reactionary military and police, and those who can feel their privileges ebbing away in the revolutionary tide. Furthermore, violence is not exclusively carried out with arms; food producers who purposefully raise prices on basic necessities, construction companies who refuse to build homes for the homeless, governors who smuggle drugs and weapons into and out of the country, wage labor itself, these are all acts of violence against individuals and against society. The defeat of capitalism, bureaucracy, individualism, exploitation, and imperialism will not be won without violence. Every day capitalism perpetuates institutionalized violence. In the face of this current threat to its existence, it has become even more violent and with each new victory of the revolution it will increase in its tenacity. Along with this increase in violence comes the increased necessity of victory for the revolutionary project.

'¡Patria o Muerte!'*, shouted to the world by Che Guevara in the halls of the United Nations in 196434, spray-painted on walls, signs, storefronts, and billboards across Venezuela, is not an arbitrary slogan. It echoes the sentiments of all those who long and struggle for their own government and their own economy after centuries of rule by empire, by the elite, by the owners of property, by the lackeys of US hegemony. It also echoes the understanding that the struggle for real freedom is a struggle to the death. If revolution does not smash capital, revolution will die, and institutional violence will again rule over Venezuela.

In the face of this conflict the state will be forced to articulate more clearly what kind of institution it is and what kind of society it plans to build. This pressure could force one of two scenarios: either a commitment on the part of the state to reform within or beside capitalism, or a commitment to completely smash the capitalist system. To accomplish the former it is merely necessary to halt the revolution in the middle of the road to the new society. Waiting in that road the revolution will be run down not only by the tanks of the counterrevolution but by truck after truck of imported goods and exported wealth. Were the process to halt here capital would persist, multiply, concentrate, and devastate as is its nature. To accomplish the latter scenario requires a real commitment to cast off the trappings of the inherited bourgeois state and remake Venezuela as a socially and economically participatory society. This requires ending the private ownership (collective or individual) of the means of production while at the same time ending the private ownership (collective or individual) of the political apparatus, the means of social articulation and control. This includes allowing and providing for the self-defense of revolutionary organizations who are challenging capital on its fincas and in its factories in order to end the monopoly the right currently has over violence in Venezuela.

Marx in his theory of capital, proposed to conquer capitalism by taking its own means of production and remaking them into means of social production.35 Che in his theory of guerrilla warfare proposed to smash the bourgeois state by taking its own weapons and putting them at the service of the armed revolution.36 It remains to be seen if in Venezuela a revolution can smash capital by taking its own government and remaking it into a “revolutionary state at the service of the people”.37

To be sure, socialism of the twenty-first century must find its own road in this struggle to the death. Its historical development is unprecedented and requires a new conceptualization of anti-capitalist struggle, but in searching for the most effective road it should not be blinded by the setting sun of the bourgeois state, lest it become the latest piece of roadkill on the imperial highway.

1Engels, Friedrich The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. 1884. Available in The Marx-Engels Reader Second Edition. Edited by Robert C. Tucker, WW Norton and Company. New York 1978

2Guevara, Ernesto Colonialism is Doomed. Che's first speech to the United Nations December 11, 1964

3Wilpert, Gregory The Meaning of 21st Century Socialism for Venezuela., July 11, 2006 ( )

4James Suggett President Chávez and Venezuela’s Socialist Elected Officials Meet to Discuss Political Strategy., March 28th 2009 ( )

5James Suggett Prosecutor Requests Arrest Warrant for Opposition Mayor on Corruption Charges., March 20th 2009 ( )

*Rosales has since gone into hiding

6Janicke, Kiraz Controversy Erupts Over Nominations for PSUV Candidacies in Venezuela., May 29, 2008 ( )

7 Fuentes, Federico Venezuela: “The PSUV is born, destined to make history”. Socialist Voice, March 23, 2008

8 Janicke, Kiraz Steel Worker’s Strike Shuts down Venezuela’s Largest Steel Plan., January 1, 2008

9Sugget, James Venezuelan Finance Minister Announces Indemnity Agreement for Nationalized Steel Plant., March 28, 2009 ( )

10Sugget, James Venezuela Concludes Price Negotiations for Cement Nationalizations., August19, 2008 ( )

11Sugget, James Venezuelan Government Takes Control of Rice Plants that Evade Regulated Prices., March 2, 2009 ( )

12Arturo Rosales Chávez Sweeps Away Budget Predictions of Venezuela's Opposition., March 24th 2009 ( )

13The Chávez Administration at 10 Years: The Economy and Social Indicators, Mark Weisbrot, Rebecca Ray, and Luis Sandoval - Center for Economic and Policy Research. February 2009


15Interview with economists at INAPYMI (Instituto de Desarrollo de la Pequeña y Mediana Industria) Caracas March 2009

16CTV is the Venezuelan Confederation of Workers mentioned in Part one of this article. It was instrumental in the economic destabilization campaign of the opposition before and after the April 2002 coup.

17Lebowitz, 102

*As noted above the failed 2002 coup resulted in the loss of opposition support within the military. The military has since become of instrumental importance in the process. While they are often an impediment to revolution they are no longer the direct violent threat they have the potential to be under a capitalist state. For example on August 15th 2007, when UNT workers from the Ministry of Labor were refused a meeting with Labor Minister Ramón Rivero to negotiate their contracts, they occupied the building. After being abandoned inside without food water or electricity for days, Rivero called in the army which refused to expel the workers. Rivero eventually resorted to hiring private thugs, telling them the workers were opposition protesters. (Fernando Esteban The Bolivarian Revolution at the Crossroads August 7, 2008.

18Lebowitz, 103

19Luisana Ramirez Invepal: Desorden Administrativo o Algo Mas?,, August 8, 2006

20Wilpert, 78

*See above footnote on Venepal

21Interview with economists from INAPYMI during a visit to Hexagon comanaged clothing factory. March 27, 2009

22 LEY ESPECIAL DE ASOCIACIONES COOPERATIVAS Gaceta Oficial N° 37.285 de fecha 18 de septiembre 2001: Articles 6, 13, 20, 25, 27,

23Juan Carlos Baute, Superintendent of SUNACOOP (National Superintendence of Cooperatives). Interview conducted by William Finucane Santiago and Quincy Saul. March 6, 2009. Caracas, Venezuela

24SUNACOOP February 2009 statistical data, from Juan Carlos Baute

25Lebowitz, 105-106

26Gabriel, George The Venezuelan Participatory State. Znet January 9, 2009 ( )

27Müller Rojas, Alberto PSUV Vice President Müller Rojas: This Party is a Political Necessity. LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal March 24, 2008 ( )

28SISOV Sistema Integrado de Indicadores Socialies de Venezuela ( )

29Depending on how they are quantified statistics regarding formal and informal employment as a percentage of the economy range from 50/50 to 70 informal/ 30 formal. Muller here claims that the informal economy is 40% of the workforce. SISOV from whence came the statistics on informal labor mentioned above claims that the informal labor accounts for between 40% and 50% of the workforce.

30Pearson, Tamara Two Workers Killed During Factory Occupation in Venezuela. January 30, 2009 ( )

31Borges, Gustavo Tierra y hombres muertos o la vida por una carta agraria. El exterminio del campesinado en Venezuela. ( )

32Interview with activist from Frente Campesino Ezequiel Zamora March 25, 2009

33Detenida esta madrugada por el Ejército la Dirección Nacional y Regional Barinas del Frente Campesino Ezequiel Zamora. Aporrea, May 25, 2006 ( )

*Large land owners

*Recent initiatives to create citizen militias may be response to these failures. They are also a response to yanqui imperialism, a lesson learned from Allende's failure to arm his people.

*'Homeland or Death!

34Guevara, Ernesto Colonialism is Doomed. December 11, 1964, 19th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York available free online at ( )

35Marx, Karl Capital a Critique of Political Economy Volume 1. Chapter 32 The Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation.

36Guevara, Ernesto Guerrilla warfare: A method. Written September 1963 The Che Reader, Ocean Press, © 2005.

37 Chávez, Hugo (quoted above in the third paragraph of Part Two)