Venezuela: Anarchists speak out against the Charter of the OAS


The OAS, the Organization of American States, is an international organization made up of states in so-called North and South America. The OAS, based in Washington, has recently passed resolutions to suspend Venezuela’s membership from the organization, citing “Venezuela of violating the rights of its people, including by ignoring the results of 2015 legislative elections and by incarcerating political opponents. Such actions conflict with the standards of the Inter-American Democratic Charter that Venezuela has signed.” Opposition politicians in Venezuela have said that the Charter of the OAS must be respected and point to the OAS as a justification for their protests. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government decries the OAS and such opposition politicians as inciting foreign intervention into the country.

Below we reproduce a statement signed by the editors of Gargantes Libertarias (Venezuelan region), which was originally titled “Anarchist Pronouncement against the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the State.” (N & A)

This communique was copied and translated from this source:


Currently Venezuela faces one of the worst crises in history, where as usual the people have remained the victims of the puppeteers who handle our circumstances and our living conditions, making it increasingly difficult to just live. At this point, we as Venezuelan anarchists need to make a stand and publicly express our opinion.

1. We reject the application of the OAS Charter and maintain that, by its mechanism, is an act where the same authoritarian and corrupt states which violate human rights, the same to condemn their fellow human beings (in this case, the Mexican State currently administered by Peña Nieto, a country of mass graves, repressing demonstrations of Mapuche peoples, or the Argentine State of Macri where labor rights are violated, and without saying anything of the United States) and that will decide for us by imposing its decisions and further perpetuating the current state structure.

As anarchists we see that historically this has not meant a substantial change in politics beyond a change of dictator. The Charter does not eliminate the repressive bodies, nor eliminate the “Capital State,” and social problems are not reflected. We can say that we have not seen the international community acting against the Orinoco Mining Arc (AMO), which condemns to open-pit mining 12% of the national territory, rich in biodiversity, full of history of struggle and home of many indigenous peoples. We are concerned that beyond the arguments of one or the other, as a population we do not know the new limits to which we will be subject to and thus the international community can use military to intervene in the country, as a post-consequence of the application of the Charter. Venezuela would be officially condemned internationally and this would generate a series of unconventional relations, coupled with the problems that we already live with, such as scarcity, high cost of living, impunity, water pollution, among others.

The Venezuelan State has violated human rights for a long time and this has not prevented transnational corporations from making exorbitant profits; they did not care about the Constitution when developing their extraction projects even though they violated their own bourgeois laws. Based on that, we can say that democratic and legal morality is for them a fallacy. That is where the face of the state and capitalism are uncovered. After the application of the Charter, what will be the relations of the transnational companies with the new national government? We are sure that the corporate agreements will follow, since these post-democratic relations can be demonstrated with the example of history, such as the politics led by Alejandro Toledo against the dictatorship Fujimorista. Alejandro Toledo, as president, perpetuated the IIRSA signed by Fujimori, signed new agreements with mining transnationals exempting them from taxes and repressing peasant communities that opposed them.

2. Our position against the OAS Charter does not mean that we support the current government, we think that the officiality, the MUD, and other political parties are many forms with the same background; although their speeches are developmental-ish or progressive, no one shows a real alternative against capitalism and as a consequence of extractivism, most of them shelter repressors, justify militarism, political clientelism, and most see as a primary priority the payments of external debts, no matter how they have been the main problems that have exacerbated the situation of extreme need and the subordination of the population.

Anarchism, as an ideal rejects, the State in all its forms, without exception. It is not subject to what structures of power are imposed on the population. It sees democracy as a form of capitalism, as in “sell the best product,” which in this case would be the “best” Dictator, so that people willingly buy it, or in this case vote for it and pay his/her salary.

3. As anarchists, we advocate for the creation of a Federation of Autonomous Communes whose goal is a horizontal society, without coercion, autonomous and self-managed, flowing from everyday life along with social movements that collide against power structures, and popular manifestations that claim the rights of the marginalized and oppressed classes.

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