Venezuela: December 6 Parliamentary Elections, the Bolivarian Revolution’s most difficult challenge
December 4, 2015
Venezuelans will go to the polls on December 6 to elect deputies to the National Assembly. A combination of factors have made this one of the most difficult challenges the Bolivarian Revolution has faced in the 17 years since President Chávez was first elected in 1998. In addition to the usual challenges of a profoundly undemocratic opposition and belligerent imperialist provocations we have to add a combination of national and international economic factors which have put Venezuela in a very tight spot and which lead to one conclusion: either the revolution is completed, or it will be defeated.
The collapse in the price of oil, the failure of the attempt to regulate the capitalist market, and open sabotage by the capitalist class have put an end to a situation in which the government was able to implement wide-ranging social reforms without fundamentally taking on the capitalist ownership of the means of production. Those in the Bolivarian leadership who refuse to move in the direction of abolishing capitalism are preparing the movement’s defeat.
The last three years have seen a sharp deterioration of the economic situation in Venezuela. The price of Venezuelan oil in the world market has collapsed. It hovered around $100 a barrel in 2013, went down to $88 in 2014, and has averaged $47 during 2015 so far. In the second week of November it further decreased to $37 a barrel. This has severely constrained the ability of the government to invest money in social programs as well as that of importing food and other products from the world market.