On Venezuela and Ukraine

On Venezuela and Ukraine


Recently, both Venezuela and Ukraine have experienced substantial protests seeking regime change. In both cases it is important to recognize that protests are not always progressive nor are they deserving of support. In these two cases, neither movement is progressive.

In Venezuela, the protesters are seeking a regime change that installs an opposition that seeks to move the country and its economy closer to the imperialists, the United States in particular. Latin America has been dominated by imperialism, especially the United States. A victory for the opposition in Venezuela would not only be a disaster for the lower classes there, it would be a disaster for the region. Neither the regime of Chavez or of his successor Maduro are socialist, but they represent progress away from subservience to the United States. The regime is a patriotic one focused on national development and a welfare state. In addition, the regime’s Bolivarian policies have sought to make the entire region more independent of the United States. The regime was the victim of a US-backed coup attempt in 2002. Many of the same forces that worked against Chavez then are at work now. The regime has rightfully accused the United States of plotting with the opposition to bring about its downfall.

Similarly, the opposition in Ukraine is made up of forces that would strengthen the hand of empire if they came to power. The opposition forces include liberals that seek closer ties to Western economies and also neo-fascist groupings. Fascist militia groups with their flags and uniforms are a regular feature of the protests there. At the same time, we should recognize that the regime there is not socialist or even necessarily progressive. It is that the alternative there would be worse. An opposition victory would in all probability result in greatly strengthening imperialism as a whole and it would give a boost to the rebirth of traditional fascism in some parts of Europe.

It is important to understand the difference between progressive movements and movements of reaction. Too often groups like Occupy or Anonymous throw uncritical support behind every protest that comes along. It is important to remember that even the Nazis had protests. Large numbers of people in the streets does not translate into progress. It is important to understand how such conflicts play out in the context of the global class struggle. It is important to critically oppose imperialism everywhere. Likewise, it will be important to seek to put Leading Light Communist leadership at the head of the anti-imperialist struggle. Only then will there be a chance of defeating empire once and for all.

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