Venezuela With and Beyond Chavez

Sean Penn said on Chávez: “Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion.” These are sad days. 

  These Communes can develop medium and long-term projects of greater impact while decisions continue to be made in assemblies of the Communal Councils. As of 2013 there are more than 200 communes under construction.  

  to traditional forms of indigenous collectivism and communitarianism and the historical experiences of the Maroons, former Afro-American slaves who escaped to remote regions and built self administrated communities and settlements.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”> since 2007, the government’s ability to reform has increasingly clashed with the limitations inherent in the bourgeois state and the capitalist system. The movements and initiatives for self-management and self-government geared toward overcoming the bourgeois state and its institutions, with the goal of replacing it with a communal state based on popular power have grown. But simultaneously, because of the expansion of state institutions’ work, the consolidation of the Bolivarian process and growing resources, state institutions have been generally strengthened and have become more bureaucratized. Institutions of constituted power aim at controlling social processes and reproducing themselves. Since the institutions of constituted power are at the same time strengthening and limiting constituent power, the transformation process is very complex and contradictory. Nevertheless, the struggles liberated by constituent power in Venezuela are often struggles for a different system and not within the existing social, political and economic system. The contradiction is grounded in the difference between institutional and social logic.  

color:#1A1A1A;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Dario Azzellini, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, lived and worked in Venezuela between 4 and months a year from 2003 to 2011. He worked with communal councils, communes, workers control, rural and urban movements. He has written extensively and directed documentaries on Venezuela. He published the internationally acclaimed documentaries “Venezuela from below” (2004), “5 factories – workers control in Venezuela” (2006), and “Comuna under construction” (2010). He also published the books: “Caracas: Bolivarian city” (Berlin: b books, 2013); “Partizipation, Arbeiterkontrolle und die Commune” (Hamburg: VSA, 2012); “Venezuela bolivariana. Revolution des 21. Jahrhunderts?“; (Cologne: Neuer ISP Verlag) and “Il Venezuela di Chávez”, (Rome: DeriveApprodi, 2006); and several articles in journals in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian.

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