Venezuela: Seven Strategic Guidelines of Government 2020, the President of the Republic announced the 7 strategic lines that will be the priorities that will guide the efforts of government this year. The limited debate that has been opened about them is striking, beginning with the minimal diffusion they have received in the private media, which is hardly surprising. An issue so important for the country should be the subject of a broad national debate that incorporates all sectors, something typical of a deep democracy like the one proposed by the Bolivarian revolution. This would contribute to providing content and greater legitimacy to that framework of government action which, it must be said, in theoretical terms proposes to address the greatest problems of the national situation in order to move forward in overcoming the profound crisis we are experiencing. Failure to do so, not convening majorities to debate these seven lines, risks ensuring that they remain on paper.

The right thing to do is to begin with the premise that overcoming the crisis is a problem not only for the government, but for the entire country, and that the construction of solutions must come from all national sectors, from the people, the business community, and the social movements. That is why, from the outset, although we believe that its approaches and strategic orientations are correct, its principal weakness is that there is no political action aimed at achieving that these 7 guidelines of government, in coherence with the most basic postulates of our participatory and protagonist democracy, including a great national debate. It would be a political move that would strengthen its implementation, giving it practical viability. Let us always remember that for transformations to be possible it is not enough for the leadership to have a clear vision of the movie scene by scene, but for the people, the majorities and all the instruments and actors necessary to advance it to assume it as their own. For those who are experienced, the opposite is true, they call it avant-garde and voluntarism. In this case we prefer to talk about omission.

Another thing that is striking about these seven lines is the order in which they are posed, what we infer are the order of priorities. Any expert could refute that the economy is not the first priority (it is proposed as the third) but that it is peace, political stability and national defence. These experts are guided by the country perception that according to national surveys places inflation and the economic crisis in general as the main concern of the Venezuelan people. From a correct approach to the situation, it seems logical to us that political stability should be the main priority, since only in an environment of peace and tranquility can one speak of economic recovery and concentrate efforts on this task. This explains the effort put into the re-institutionalization of the National Assembly as an action that is part of this strategic vision. Also, there is no doubt that the national government handles many more elements of high-level intelligence and strategic value that may have led it to the conclusion to establish these priorities. The coup d’état in Bolivia, the escalation of aggression on Iran show that the U.S. establishment is unpredictable and that its own crisis, within which are the fluctuations of its internal politics, renders it more volatile and virulent than ever, which is why we should soak our beards (prepare for what is to come).

With regard to the first two lines, stability, peace, national defence and public security, it is right to continue strengthening the structure of the national security and defence system both from the point of view of the preparation and reinforcement of logistic safeguards, of the welfare of military personnel, but also of the civic-military unit which is a pillar of the Bolivarian military doctrine. The proposal to elevate the Bolivarian Militia to the level of a component of the FANB is sound because it allows for the integration of that accumulated popular organization in a more effective way in the strategy and in defense operations; however, care must be taken that the Bolivarian Militia does not lose its territoriality, its essentially asymmetric character, which is one of its main strengths and a key element of the nature of the war we are confronting. We must continue to build and strengthen a FANB capable of engaging efficiently in hybrid conflict. The implementation of the new security and defense doctrine defined by Chavez has demonstrated its worth, through which the Bolivarian revolution has been able to resist the onslaught of the North American aggression that it is steadily advancing against us.

We believe that a debate should be opened on an even broader complementation of the national security and defense system. The capabilities and the cruelty of the strategic enemy force us not to disregard any capacity, any experience accumulated among the people to strengthen the national defense, framed within the Bolivarian constitution and the laws of the Republic. We are referring to the fact that within Chavism there is an important accumulation of popular territorial experiences in the tasks of defending peace and sovereignty that are not organized but rather dispersed, and for which a model should be sought that allows for a more efficient framing of what we could call the accumulated social and armed political of the revolution.

The third line of action addresses what is undoubtedly the main national challenge: to reactivate the economy in a context of an atrocious commercial and financial blockade, with low foreign exchange earnings as a result of the multifactorial fall in oil production. The task of recovering an economy that has lost a good part of its GDP appears titanic given the current context. Much revolutionary realism will be required in this endeavour. A great deal of breadth in the appreciation of the problem and in the formulation of economic policies to be able to make use of all the possibilities of navigating the perfect storm. We have noticed some of this in the latest decisions on the subject. It seems that a mixture of realism and pragmatism is inescapable. In principle, it is a question of not giving up the role of the State in the strategic management of the economy, even if the instruments and resources to do so are limited. The sovereignty gained at the cost of so much effort and sacrifice by the people would be useless if in the end it will be the market, which we do not deny, that will impose its own logic and purposes. Revolutionary realism means assuming with objectivity the limitations and conditions that we face in the perspective of building the new humanist and productive economic model, an objective that should not be abandoned, much less left at the expense of “the inescapable laws of the encomia. Pragmatism without a structured economic plan under the leadership of the State and without transformative content would be the end of the revolution.

The recovery of the economy requires strengthening the governance of the national State over the economy, this does not mean by any means returning to a policy of extreme nationalization, but rather strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness in the strategic tasks that allow this to happen, not yielding to the pressures of economic groups without strategic vision and a national sense proper to big capital for a policy of letting do, letting go. We understand that in the current historical and conjunctural context we require a flexible, realistic economic policy, which is free of some dogmatic concepts, which does not mean its depoliticization, supposedly hypocritically silvered by the neoliberal currents.

A broad economic policy that reaffirms the possible historical objectives and purposes of the Bolivarian revolution in the current period of struggle requires rethinking energy policy, a key sector for any effort to recover the productive apparatus, in a world in which the transformation of the energy matrix is advancing rapidly and with a blocked and embargoed industry that requires huge investment for its recovery. Oil, we know, will be by far but not for long, the main lever to pull the national economy, hence that what is good for the oil industry will be good for the economy.

Corriente Revolucionaria Bolivar y Zamora

Translation by Internationalist 360º