In defense of Venezuelan democracy
by Adán Chávez Frías*
February 18, 2018
US imperialism and its lackey governments in the region have accelerated threats against the people of Venezuela on a scale of aggression unprecedented in our history, placing the peace of the continent at risk.
The government of Donald Trump stands today as the greatest enemy of democracy in the world to try to prevent at all costs the electoral process on April 22 in our homeland. The claim of the Lima Group, following instructions from Washington, to deny the participation of President Nicolás Maduro in the forthcoming Summit of the Americas, makes this evident.
The aim is to criminalize a democratic system that has proved its strength, expressed in 24 electoral contests in 19 years, in which the Bolivarian Revolution has been victorious in 22 and has recognized the defeats suffered in 2 opportunities.
No institution or government can question the guarantees of the Venezuelan Electoral Power, which have been endorsed by international accompaniment on all occasions.
Today, the enemies of democracy, inside and outside our borders, want to force the people on their knees and restrict their right to vote. However, the entire nation has shown courage and firmness.
The fundamental pillar of the Bolivarian Revolution, the civic-military union, remains monolithic, ready to defend the Homeland in whatever terrain is necessary. From the U.S., they encourage the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) to ignore the Constitution and the laws, to please the interests of those who intend to reedit a new Condor Plan in Our America and impose the neoliberal restoration through blood and fire.
But never again here in this sacred ground of Liberators, the soldiers, children of the people, will raise their arms against the people. In the face of each blow, each affront, each imperial attempt to bend and humiliate us as a free and sovereign nation, the moral and patriotism of each Venezuelan is enhanced; of the working and peasant people, and of the uniformed people.
Today we have soldiers for the Homeland, not for the bourgeoisie. Today we are more than ever obliged and committed to consolidate this process of national liberation; to go solving the failures, politically, socially, economically.
The protagonist and participatory democracy, that is, the Bolivarian Socialism, which we are strengthening, is the only proven option to guarantee an independent Homeland; to finish transforming Venezuela into a powerful country. The other option, the one offered by the transnational oligarchy, is surrender, the auction of our national wealth to the highest bidder; the repression of the popular sectors, the misery and the exclusion of the majorities.
We are forbidden to forget that those who now tear at their clothes questioning the transparency of our democratic system, were the same ones who tried to prevent at all costs the electoral triumph of Hugo Chávez in 1998.
At that time, that false democracy of the Punto Fijo** pact with all the control of the electoral body of the time, used all possible hoaxes. The rightwing arbitrarily, by instruction of the gringo embassy, took away the nomination and the ballot to several candidates and parties without consulting the members, only to support the flag bearer of the empire; they advanced, violating the electoral law, the regional and congressional elections; everything outside the Constitution to prevent the inevitable: that the Bolivarian Revolution be initiated, by peaceful and democratic means.
At this juncture, as then, we are once again fighting for our right to vote and for the exercise of true democracy.
It is ironic to see them today calling into question the transparency of an autonomous Electoral Power, whose integrity is recognized by the international community and the multilateral instances in the matter of elections. They fall into the worst shame by asking us to return to the constitutional way, which we have never abandoned, when they are the same ones who campaigned in 1999 against the approval of the current constitution, a constitution defended by the great majority of the Venezuelan people.
It is necessary from this trench, to reiterate that 52 years after the signing of the Geneva Agreement***, this February 17, the Bolivarian Government and the Original Constitutional Power ratify its firm disposition to defend our territorial integrity and our just claim on the Essequibo, through that mechanism. Within the Geneva Agreement everything, outside of it, nothing !, is our slogan as a nation; as well as: The Sun of Venezuela is born in the Essequibo!
Today, we also remember that on February 18, 2013, Commander Hugo Chávez returned to Venezuela, after his fourth surgical intervention in Havana. Chávez did not come at that moment to say goodbye to his people, he came to stay with him forever. And for loyalty to his memory, and to give continuity to his legacy, to continue building together with him a dignified and free Homeland, we will defend to the last consequences our right to reaffirm our socialist democracy on April 22nd.
With Chávez Always!
Long live the Homeland!
Caracas, February 18, 2018
Website editor’s notes:
*Adán Chávez Frías is the older brother of Hugo Chávez Frías, and himself a longtime revolutionary leader in Venezuela. He was the Governor of Barinas state from 2008 to 2017. Prior to that he was Ambassador to Cuba and then Minister of Education from 2007 to 2008. He is currently serving as the Minister of Culture.
** The Punto Fijo Pact, was an agreement signed in 1958 by the three principal capitalist parties, to ensure the exclusion of others. It soon became a monopoly of power by “Democratic Action”, AD, and the Social Christian Party, COPEI.
*** The Geneva Treaty of 1966 was signed by Venezuela, British Guiana (now Guyana) and Great Britain, over the disputed region known as Essequibo, which Venezuela has claimed as its territory since the 1800s. In 2015, this dispute was exacerbated when Exxon Mobil announced the discovery of huge oil deposits and planned drilling by 2020 in the offshore Essequibo area claimed by Venezuela. The Geneva accord provided that the dispute was to be resolved solely between Guyana and Venezuela. However, with U.S. government backing, Guyana has now appealed to the International Court of Justice, over Venezuela’s protests.