New Venezuelan Anarchist Groups
Anarchist news out of Venezuela has tended to come largely from one source, the publication El Libertario. (1) The group is very hostile to the Chavistas and has recently called Chavez “totalitarian”, claiming he was some kind of potential fascist or state socialist dictator and impling that the reforms stemming from the Bolivarian Revolution don't really amount to very much. Now I don't live in Venezuela, nor claim to know much about the situation there, but I do find it disturbing that this attitude seems to mirror the one put forth by the Gringos and their Venezuelan Fifth Column. I do not wish to berate El Libertario, (2) however two people whose judgment I trust, my old professor, Mike Lebowitz, a democratic socialist, and Al Giordano, the anarcho-syndicalist journalist from Narco News, do see much that is positive and liberating occurring within the Bolivarian Revolution. Furthermore, there are other anarchist tendencies in Venezuela with quite a different viewpoint from El Libertario. Two of these, Iniciativa Communista Libertaria (ICL) and Frente de Acciones Libertarias,(FAL) seem, if I am reading correctly, to take a middle path between rejecting the Chavista Movement and dissolving into it. (3) They want help the Bolivarian Revolution move in as libertarian a direction as possible. These groups, by their links, seem favorable to revolutionary syndicalism and anarchist communism. Another group, perhaps best described as libertarian socialist, called Proyecto Acracia, (4) engages in “constructive criticism” with the Bolivarian Revolution and also desires to create an opening for a mass libertarian movement within it. So too, the blog, Toparquia. (5) Of course, all of these are in Spanish, and there are no translations, but I will do what I can in the coming months to pass on information from these groups.
However Anarkismo did do an article showing how the Venezuelan anarchists are divided into three groups, Anti-Chavista, Pro-Chavista and independents who seek to push the Bolivarian Revolution in as libertarian direction as possible without be pro-Chavez. See. http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=839
2. In a private email message from a supporter of FAL, I was told that the El Libertario people “want nothing to do with the workers, and only are interested in punks.” This view is repeated in an article on the history of Venezuelan anarchism published by that group. I also note that El Libertario's web site does not list any of the other Venezuelan anarchist web sites in its links section and FAL and ICL do not list El Lib. So there is some definite conflict there.