Venezuela, the Present as Struggle: Voices from the Bolivarian Revolution
376 page / $29 paper / 978-1-58367-864-0
By Cira Pascual Marquina and Chris Gilbert
Like any responsible radical, Jay, of the podcast “Millennials are Killing Capitalism,” wants to know what can be done about the horrific impacts of the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela. To that end, he asked Cira Pascuel Marquina and Chris Gilbert, authors of Venezuela, the Present as Struggle. “Of course when you look at CNN, they will emphasize ‘the government has done X,'” offered Marquina, and “then when you look at the official Venezuelan media, it will only represent what the government is doing of course, from a different perspective — but where are the people in all this? …International mainstream media, on the one hand, and also, the official media, really both of them silence the voices of the Bolivarian people, of the Chavista people, of the working class of the people of Venezuela….full internationalism should do its work to reverse that situation.” As a part of that effort to reverse the silencing of the Venezuelan people, Marquina adds: “It’s very important to understand that there is class struggle within the Bolivarian process, so in the exercise of organizing internationalism, being aware of those tendencies is actually very very important….”
In Venezuela, the Present as Struggle, Marquina and Gilbert offer a strikingly obvious, tragically ignored idea: If you want to know how to solve the dire and complex crisis endured by the Venezuelans, you might consider asking the Venezuelan People what it is that they need; not only do they know better than anyone else, but they have countless ideas, and they are putting them into action. Says Gilbert, about the constellation of ideas that are circulating, and practiced, by the Venezuelans he and Marquina encountered during the process of writing Venezuela, the Present as Struggle,: “…the consensus, or the coincidence of ideas and voices, was that, the way to go forward, in the very difficult situation that Venezuela is in, would be to go back…go back to Chavez’ thinking, and that included principally, going back to participatory democracy, which was the original idea of the Bolivarian process….and of course, the communes being the centerpiece of socialism.”
To gain an in-depth view from within Venezuela, a primer about its past and its future, you can listen to the full two-part interview on the podcast Millennials Are Killing Capitalism.