Cuba’s F. Castro Reacts to Venezuela Vote

By Circles Robinson

From the Venezuelan legislative election campaign.

HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 27 – Hugo Chavez’s United Socialist Party retained a majority of seats in the Venezuelan parliament on Sunday but lost the 2/3 majority that allowed the president to implement policies virtually by decree.

Cuba’s Fidel Castro was among the first to react to the partial victory in a newspaper column signed at 3:24 a.m. on Monday.

Fidel Castro said: “The enemy managed a portion of its objectives: keeping the Chavez government from having two thirds support in the parliament.”

However the former Cuban president said he still thought the vote was a victory for the Chavez forces.  He noted the high 66.45 percent turnout and that the United Socialist Party (PSUV) had obtained at least 95 seats in the 165 member legislature “with a large number of young people, women, and seasoned activists.”

While President Chavez did not mention the overall popular vote count – referring only to the district by district legislative results where his party won a simple majority – a foreign press report from Bloomberg said 52 percent of the total votes cast went to the opposition, saying that Chavez was strongest in smaller rural voting districts.

Fidel Castro said the great interest of the US in the Venezuelan elections is over oil.

Sunday’s elections realign the parliament after the opposition parties dropped out of the last vote in 2005 leaving the Chavez forces complete control of the legislature.

Chavez did not see the vote results as a loss for his socialist revolution.  “My dear compatriots, this has been a great campaign and we have obtained a solid majority,  sufficient to continue moving forward,” said Chavez.

The Venezuelan leader faces his next presidential election in 2012.

Venezuela is Cuba’s closest economic and political ally.  Tens of thousands of Cubans work in the South American country as doctors, educators, sports trainers, and numerous other professions in an exchange that allows Cuba to obtain the fuel and oil products it doesn’t produce.


9 thoughts on “Cuba’s F. Castro Reacts to Venezuela Vote

  • September 29, 2010 at 9:44 am
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    Thanks, Everyone. It’s probably what I’ve been fearing all along, and it looks as though grok and I finally agree on something. This “Socialism for the 21th Century” apparently is bourgeois, social-democratic anti-imperialism. We are duty bound as socialists to support it against the monopoly capitalist empire, but we know from historical experience where it will finally end up.

    I think the depressing fate that awaits Venezuela is rooted in the fact that the Bolivarian Revolution leaves the instruments of productions in the hands of the national capitalists, hoping they will split from the world monopolists and achieve national independence–and stop their sickening anti-patriotic toadyism to international capital. This of course is a pipe dream of a sincere social democrat, a la Salvador Allende. If that’s what Hugo is–as sincere social democrat–we’ve seen it all before and it’s a miserable future.

    Well, we can’t really tell the Venezuelans anything, just like we can’t tell the Cubans anything. What will be instructive for us in the U.S. and other advanced capitalist countries is to understand what real, workable socialism is. We modern cooperative socialists have our core principle and the state monopoly socialists have theirs. That’s where the matter will stand as history goes crunching along.

    I truly believe that what the world socialist transformation needs most right now is theoretic clarity. This HT forum helps us enormously in this regard.

  • September 29, 2010 at 4:19 am
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    Grady Ross Daugherty:
    > I guess I don’t understand Hugo’s idea of what socialism is. It seems
    > to be an anti-imperialist government in power, but with most of medium
    > and large enterprise still in the hands of private investors. Can someone
    > please explain?

    It’s real simple, Grady: Hugo Chavez and the people leading this nationalist social revolution are actually aiming — many of them anyway — for only a *social-democratic* type of government. They are actually mis-representing it by calling it ‘socialist’ — as in ‘socialist revolution’ — as all social-democratic and stalinist parties are wont to do in order to maintain their various class-collaborationist charades around the World. However, Hugo Chavez feels great pressure to come thru with a real revolution in his own situation (and is actually deluding himself about the possibilities, given his actions to date, AFAIC) — but his actions, and those of his collaborators, belies that claim. So far.

    In fact, only the sovereign working-class and its allies can make their own socialist revolution — because THEY have to control all power, and democratically too, for it to BE real socialism — and those classes are presently caught-up in the same lies, illusions and delusions which most all the rest of us are caught up in, about the supposed democratic nature of the various bourgeois systems we have lived our lives under…

    And if you simply want to just expropriate the bourgeoisie and get on with it — you are labeled an ‘extremist’. C’est la vie, n’est-ce pas..?

  • September 29, 2010 at 4:08 am
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    > Once he manage to gets to change the electoral system in a way that
    > people can not directly boot him out of power like the case of Cuba then
    > is when they learn the real reforms he have for them.
    > Big lines to buy eggs when they come
    > or meat or anything else.
    > Electrical shortages or even get this. Oil shortage!!

    Proving nothing so much than Julio de la Yncera doesn’t understand the least thing about socialist ekonomix whatsoever. And I would be willing to bet that he understands precious little of the bourgeois capitalist variety either.

  • September 29, 2010 at 4:03 am
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    Danny September:

    In the great capitalist West, you are certainly right: Everyone is NOT equally poor! No indeed! Some are filthy rich — while many more times that number actually starve to death or suffer related calamity in their lives and families…

    Good thing for YOU that more crumbs fall off the table in your vicinity, than is the general case, eh..?

    Pfft.

  • September 29, 2010 at 3:57 am
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    About the only good thing regarding this still-bourgeois electoral undertaking in Venezuela is that, AFAIC, the capitalist enemies of the social revolution there have probably reached their ‘high water mark’, in electoral terms — assuming that the bolibourgeoisie don’t get to further stab the revolutionary process in the back… A BIG ‘if’, frankly. And only 2/3 of the voting population coming out is not much to crow about either — however much positive spin ol’ Fidel tries to give it — most especially when *half* of them voted *against* the social revolution..! However, while even the Left tends to think in bourgeois terms about such numbers, the *real* question about those voters is: how many of that 1/3 who voted against the Revolution were actually casting a *protest* vote — and thus could be won to the Revolution, finally, by its actually functioning like REAL socialism for a change..?

    And real socialists should refrain from fixating on the bourgeois ‘numbers game’ of lies, damned lies, and statistix — and concentrate instead on the objective processes of human, social and material/technological development going on BEHIND such crude indicators…Therein lies the REAL key to understanding the dynamix of human society. And of revolution.

  • September 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm
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    Hugito’s time in power is starting to run out fast. I believe this vote is the beginning of the end. No one in Venezuela (with a right mind) wants a Cuban model system. Yes, it did achieve its goal of egalitarianism. Everyone is equally poor (except for the castro bros) & everyone lives equally in misery with no hope for bettering their situation in the near future. At least Venezuelans have a mirror to look at in present day Cuba and know what lies ahead if they play Hugito’s game.

  • September 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm
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    Grady I think you got it wrong
    Hugo’s idea of socialism is
    Him in power! Place there by the votes he purchase.
    Once he manage to gets to change the electoral system in a way that people can not directly boot him out of power like the case of Cuba then is when they learn the real reforms he have for them.
    Big lines to buy eggs when they come
    or meat or anything else.
    Electrical shortages or even get this. Oil shortage!!
    Believe me it will happen if Venezuelans do not wake up!
    🙂

  • September 28, 2010 at 2:40 am
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    I guess I don’t understand Hugo’s idea of what socialism is. It seems to be an anti-imperialist government in power, but with most of medium and large enterprise still in the hands of private investors. Can someone please explain?

    In the U.S. our nascent socialist movement hopes to achieve a socialist Cooperative Republic through Constitutional procedures. This government would make strategic changes to the Constitution thru a Bill of Transformation.

    Basically, most medium and large industry and commerce would be converted in a rational, business-like way to joint employee-cooperative and partial, non-controlling state ownership. Banking, insurance, housing, etc. would quickly become cooperatively owned by citizens and employees. This all suggests a transfer of ownership of most production and consumption assets from the capitalists to the working people, and partially to the state in lieu of tax-funded government.

    This is our idea of a workable form of socialism with our transformational party in leadership.

    We all know the state monopoly concept put in practice over the last nine decades.

    But what the hell is Hugo’s concept of socialism? I still don’t get it.

    Is it a European social-democratic form of capitalism? Someone please explain it, and please be as concise as possible.

  • September 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm
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    Although this result deprives President Chavez from passing laws with virtually no resistance, since his team’s two-thirds majority has been lost, it does not necessarily mean that he will face major opposition either.

    It is important to remember that MUD, the opposition coalition that garnered the majority of the other seats, is made up of well over 100 minute national and regional parties that, when faced with governing the country, may find they have nothing more in common beyond this apparent election victory.

    So this will not have the kind of impact on Chavez rule as November’s US Congressional elections will have on Obama’s when he loses seats in the Senate and thus making it filibuster prone.

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