CARACAS, Venezuela.— "I won't drag out the issue. We are standing on the world's largest oil deposits, and everything else is related to this," a young Venezuelan, laconic, tall, explains to me why his country is at the epicenter of multiple conflicts and the target of continuous imperialist attacks.
The Bolivarian nation continues to awaken interest, emotions, and opinions, especially since July 30, when eight million Venezuelans said yes to the National Constituent Assembly (ANC). It was a response unexpected by many, leaving the enemies of the revolution begun by Comandante Hugo Chávez speechless and angry.
The current situation and possible future of this sister country has been the subject of analysis by those who have cast their lot with the Bolivarian Revolution. There is deep thinking underway here, by men and women of international prestige. Few would doubt that, for example, an interview with eminent Venezuelan intellectual Luis Britto García (Caracas, 1940) merits attention.
In early August, the attorney and PhD in law, narrator, essayist, dramaturge, illustrator, and author of more than 60 books shared his views on a Venezuelan television special. Regarding the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), Britto said that the body confirms the staying power of the Bolivarian struggle.
"Many have said: This is a clientele movement; since there are dividends, people support it. But no, it is a charismatic movement, because it came from a charismatic leader. The leader of the movement has been gone for four years. The people remain firm, with the same ideas about the process. Oil (prices) went down tremendously; there are shortages in the country; and nevertheless the people came out to vote, despite the fact that there were barricades, there was terrorism, and these eight million came out."
In Britto's opinion, the Bolivarian process goes beyond the brief oscillations of history. It is something "durable and confirmed, to the extent that even one of the opposition leaders has said he will participate in the regional elections, and a spokesperson from the great power to the North said that they are not going to recognize a parallel government. So there is an element of legitimacy."
On the television program, Britto was asked what can be expected on the ANC. His first thoughts were about the "magnificent body of law" established by the Assembly, saying, "For the second or third time, the people have solved a predicament when it looked like there was no way out. When Chávez was taken prisoner, the people freed him. When the oil sabotage paralyzed production, the people resisted… Now that there is a crisis caused by the arrogance of the right, that thought it was going to take power, these eight million plus votes again legitimized the Bolivarian project, showing the consensus behind it."
Addressing the pressing challenges facing Venezuelan society, Britto stated, "A large portion of the measures that should be taken in Venezuela can be adopted with the laws we currently have. First, stopping export contraband, in which, as President Maduro has said, 40% of what Venezuela produces or imports leaves (the country). In the second place, that the state assumes the importing and distribution of basic goods, because it is not possible to invest 60,000 million dollars - a figure also cited by President Maduro - and this goes to briefcase companies and phantom imports."
The writer recalled an important fact about the country, "We produce a large part of what we consume. We produce 88% of the food we eat, and many people ignore this. The obstacle lies in distribution. The state has tripled the amount of preferential (exchange rate) dollars awarded since 2004, to import basic goods, and to import medicines."
Based on this reality, Britto said, "Stopping preferential awards of dollars to companies that don't import, or import goods and hide them" is key.
"Export contraband cannot be allowed to continue, and implacable measures must be adopted to deal with these obstacles in distribution that purposefully create shortages, and if this is done with urgent Constitutional measures, all the better."
On the one hand, the United States announces that it does not intend to recognize a parallel government, given the obvious legitimacy that the July 30 election provided the Bolivarian Revolution; and on the other, just days later, the constitutional President Nicolás Maduro is asked to return democratic rights to the citizenry. "They come and go," Britto said, "It appears that there is no completely firm position on the Venezuela issue."
As they used to say, the analyst recalled, Chávez left them unsure about what to do, "Even though the Comandante left us some time ago, he still drives them crazy. They say they won't recognize a parallel government, and immediately after that declare that Maduro must resign, he needs to go, that they are the ones who decide who will govern Venezuelans. That is, it is an erratic attitude that implies they don't know what direction to take."
Britto has clearly considered the danger of a foreign invasion of his country, and what worries him most is one threat, "Something that is very serious is paramilitary infiltration into our territory, and terrorist actions. This we must resolve ourselves.
"Venezuela," he said, "has the right and duty to defend itself. There must be a new legal norm that authorizes the state to fight this new type of vicious war that is at the same time economic, political, cultural, mediatic, strategic. So the Constituent Assembly must consider the problem of national security and peace, to allow for the survival of the Venezuelan state, of the Republic, of Venezuelans."
Britto recalled, "The United States spends on its military budget more than half of all that is spent on weapons in the world. This is an impressive figure, but what good is this expenditure on weapons when the war must be fought by intermediaries? The United States has really never won a war."
Ever since the world began to experience a sinister imbalance, since the moment great powers acquired atomic weapons, he said, "All the coups are carried out under the table. That is, no 'I am declaring war on you,' but rather, 'I'm cutting your legs out from under you.' Plus the U.S. people don't want to go to war. So they send Chicanos, Hispanics, mercenaries. There are mercenary agencies there.
"… The decadence of the Roman empire began this way, when they didn't carry out their wars with Roman citizens anymore, but with mercenaries, and the moment arrived when the mercenaries said: Alright, why are we fighting? And the mercenaries took the empire, they rebelled and conquered Rome…"
Northern imperialism has designed many plans to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution and dominate Venezuela. Luis Britto mentioned, among many other wars, that of placing the nation on the list of high-risk countries, so that people would think twice before doing business with the nation of Bolívar, saying, "Eduardo Galeano himself asked how it was possible that a country with the world's largest oil deposits could be a high-risk country, while another nation that had spent half a century immersed in a civil war is not…"
The web of aggressions that has created the tumultuous situation - that appears absurd and seeks to drive forward a change that has no basis in reality - is directed toward, as Britto insisted - a single goal: liquidating the country right now.
Nevertheless, this reporter adds, pragmatists often ignore the human factor, and as can be seen, many are determined to ignore the will of more than eight million Venezuelans, who have said yes to solving their problems by taking the peaceful, intelligent, and very humane path of the Constituent Assembly.