Revolutionary socialists gave critical support to Hugo Chavez when he came to power in 1999. He promoted a leftist alternative to the parties of capitalism. But after 14 years, the old guards of big money have rebuild their strength. Under the charismatic; Henrique Capriles Radonski, the capitalist opposition has been able to win many voters back. This is not because socialism does not work, it is because Hugo Chavez never created socialism!
The first three years of Chavez were moderate and not very radical. It was only after the failed 2002 coup ( supported by the Bush administration in the USA ) that Hugo Chavez started to turn more radical in his propaganda. Yet his economic politics were rather social democratic and not socialist in his first years. This changed after 2006, when he and the western world started to collide. Western imperialism supported the undemocratic 2002 coup against Chavez and kept calling him a ''dictator'' although he won every election. Only the state media was positive about him, while the private media were all negative!
With the founding of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in 2007, revolutionary socialists hoped that Hugo Chavez would turn socialist and give power to the working class. The government indeed nationalized some businesses, but the economy remained based on the capitalist system. Also workers found out they had nothing to say in state owned enterprises. Capitalist owners were replaced by state managers who acted just the same as their old bosses!
Many workers faced the might of the state bureaucracy as they went on strike to oppose low wages and stressful workload in state owned enterprises. Instead of supporting workers, the supposed ''socialist'' government attacked the workers and broke up many strikes. Some trade unionist leaders were arrested and jailed for supporting workers strikes. Ruben Gonzalez was one trade unionist who was jailed for leading an ''illegal'' strike. He was sentenced by the government to spend seven years in jail. But thanks to workers, revolutionary socialists and trade unionists he was freed. But his case is not the only one, many workers in state owned businesses face intimidations, if they criticize today's Maduro government!
Revolutionary socialists say that voting on the United Socialist Party of Venezuela will not bring socialism. After 14 years it is clear that the Chavez camp is not planning on brining the working class to power. Many workers have already switched sides and are now supportive of Henrique Capriles. We think this is not good, since the capitalist opposition does not serve the needs of workers. However because of the bureaucratic and sometimes authoritarian rule of Maduro, many feel that Henrique Capriles is a better alternative. This is also because the capitalist opposition is now using leftist rhetoric to beat the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Henrique Capriles is not talking about privatisations and deregulation of markets. No, he talks about keeping the social programs active and that he will make sure that capitalism will be fair and balanced!
What Venezuela needs is a true workers party. A party based on genuine Marxist socialism, that can led the workers and the poor against the capitalist opposition and the Maduro government. Workers have nothing to gain by supporting either Henrique Capriles or Nicolas Maduro. As a result of his losing popularity, president Maduro is turning more paranoid. Claiming that the USA are behind the death of Hugo Chavez and the failing economy. Blaming others for the failures of your own bureaucratic government is typical for people who are afraid of losing power. We saw it in Libya were Gaddafi blamed Al-Qaeda for the 2011 revolution. In Syria, dictator Bashar Al-Assad says the same thing. Blaming others for their own failures!