“It is worth mentioning the international communist movement: the need to reinforce the Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties as the main factor of proletarian internationalism, basing the relation among the parties on fraternal work and comradeship, but also on criticism and self-criticism. In that respect, one must mention the example of the attitude towards Bandera Roja, an organisation that refused to accept the criticism of the majority and was therefore expelled from the ranks of the Conference for its support for the Venezuelan oligarchy and imperialism, which tried to oust the popular government of Hugo Chavez.” — ICMLPO (Unity & Struggle)
Published: Monday, January 19, 2004
Bylined to: Patrick J. O’Donoghue
Bandera Roja says Chavez Frias has dragged left-wing banners into the mire
Celebrating 34 years of existence, Bandera Roja (BR) leader, Gabriel Puerta Aponte comments that Venezuela’s last guerrilla group is fighting the damage and mud-raking that the Chavez Frias administration has thrown over the traditional banners of the Left through the President’s demagogy … “what’s required now is not a left-wing, radical or revolutionary government ( that will come later) but a government that can get us out the crisis as soon as possible.”
In the company of BR general secretariat members, Armando Diaz, Rafael Venegas and Pedro Veliz Acuna, Puerta rejects accusations that BR is sharing policies with its traditional adversaries: Accion Democratica (AD) and the Christian Socialists (COPEI) as a compliment and says it shows political maturity … “if we speak about reconciliation, this is the best way to show that BR is not full of hatred … if we don’t show our sincerity, we would be like those taking about plurality, integration, unity but who want to hog everything when it comes to electoral processes.”
BR considers the unity factor as the Coordinadora Democratica’s biggest challenge and calls on would-be breakaway parties, Primero Justicia (PJ), Proyecto Venezuela (PV) and Causa R to sit down and discuss matters inside CD with transparency and responsibility.
There can be no return to the past, Puerto points out … ” the past is represented by a practice and conduct vis-a-vis power … before it was AD and COPEI … now it’s Movimiento Quinta Republica (MVR) and allies … Chavez Frias represents the past and continues the old practices of political cronyism, corruption, political segregation and treating the country like a feudal lord.”
“Chavez Frias has not approved a single measure that has annoyed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and foreign capital has been the greatest beneficiary with this government.”
BR now sees itself as attempting to consolidate a center-left tendency in Venezuela along with other parties, preparing for any pendulum political movement that could produce a right-wing government, unwilling to facilitate change in Venezuela.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2007
Bylined to: Patrick J. O’Donoghue
Bandera Roja celebrates anniversary but doesn’t answer the real question
VHeadline.com News Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue writes: In a statement marking its 37th anniversary, former guerrilla group Bandera Roja (BR) has called President Hugo Chavez Frias’ 21st-century Socialism a farce.
BR still considers itself an organization of Marxist-Leninists, “product of a collective struggle in which sacrifices and the contribution of hundreds of militants and leaders have helped overcome great obstacles and difficult situations to put BR where it is now.”
BR general secretary, Rafael Venegas accuses the President of being responsible for an economy that has lowered the standard of living, increased the number of beggars, housing deficit, infant mortality and with levels of violence and insecurity that have left 14,000 people dead last year.
- The organization also accuses the government of squandering Venezuela’s wealth inside and outside of Venezuela by ” buying consciences and rewarding loyalty, allowing corruption to become an extended cancer.”
The challenge for the party nowadays, Venegas states, is to convince people that the government’s Socialism is just a smokescreen to ultimately concentrate power in the hands of the Caudillo (Leader) and reinforce despotic, authoritarian and totalitarian power.
The National Assembly’s decision to grant a special legislative powers to the head of state, Venegas quips, should open up the possibility of confiscating salaries of deputies and he suggests that the money could be used to create a foundation to help street children.
Bandera Roja has yet to explain its alliance with a right- wing opposition over the past 7 years, whose first move in government will undoubtedly be to ban Bandera Roja as an extremist organization.