The CPMLM of France expressed a clear position on Hugo Chávez following his death: he was a representative of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie of his country, and not a “national bourgeois”, a “reformist”, like pretend trotskyists, hoxhaists, guevarists, revisionists, etc.
Hugo Chávez was the leader of a corporatist regime which pretended to be revolutionary, so to fool the masses : because of this, it was and it is fascism.
In saying this, the CPMLM of France follows the line of Mao Zedong, expressed in the 1960's about the oppressed countries, and masterfully summed up by Gonzalo.
“Following Chairman Mao’s thesis, he [i.e. Gonzalo] specifies five characteristics:
- that bureaucratic capitalism is the capitalism that imperialism develops in the backward countries, which is comprised of the capital of large landowners, the big bankers, and the magnates of the big bourgeoisie;
- it exploits the proletariat, the peasantry, and the petty bourgeoisie and places constraints upon the middle bourgeoisie;
- it is passing through a process by which bureaucratic capitalism is combined with the power of the State and evolves into state monopoly capitalism, comprador and feudal, from which can be derived that in a first moment it unfolds as a non-state big monopoly capitalism and in a second moment, when is combined with the power of the state, it unfolds as state monopoly capitalism;
- it ripens the conditions for the democratic revolution as it reaches the apex of its development;
- and, confiscating bureaucratic capital is key to reach the pinnacle of the democratic revolution and it is decisive to pass over to the socialist revolution.
In applying the above, he conceives that bureaucratic capitalism is the capitalism that imperialism generates in the backward countries, which is linked to a decrepit feudalism and in submission to imperialism which is the last phase of capitalism.
This system does not serve the majority of the people but rather the imperialists, the big bourgeoisie, and the landowners.” (Communist Party of Peru, The Democratic Revolution)
This is the classical Maoist position. Of course, those who reject this consider that Hugo Chávez was a bourgeois, a progressive bourgeois, a reformist bourgeois, etc. etc.
It is so very important to understand the positions that has appeared following the death of Hugo Chávez. It says so much things about the vision of the world!
For example, Bashar al-Assad which is the Syrian president said that the “demise of this unique leader” was a “great loss for me personally and the Syrian people”. Iran declared a day of mourning, and Cuba declared two days of it.
Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, even said of Hugo Chávez: “I have no doubt that he will return, along with the righteous Jesus and the perfect human” (i.e. at the end of time, in the Shia islamic conception, when the Mahdi, the hidden and last Imam, will come back).
This is here a whole conception of “imperialism” that would consists solely in the USA; it always goes with anti-capitalist romanticism like antisemitism. The goal of it is of course to mobilize the masses in fascist direction, as a direct support for the regime.
This ideological model has a very strong international connection. In Europe, in particular in France, there are many “national revolutionaries” who have a such conception, in the far right but of course also in the far left. Hugo Chávez is one of their greatest figure, and a way to reinforce the neo-gaullist ideology.
But this “anti-imperialist” conception – which rejects the concept of bureaucratic capitalism, of semi-feudalism as basis permitting semi-colonialism – is also upheld by parties in the International Communist Movement.
A typical example is the Communist Party of the Philippines, who has the same line as the social-imperialist Soviet Union in the 1960's about oppressed nations, people's struggle, and so on.
It is for example very significant that the Communist Party of the Philippines produced a document with the title: “Hugo Chávez was the champion of the Venezuelan people”. The Communist Party of the Philippines makes no use in his document of the basic Maoist concepts : comprador, bureaucratic capitalism, semi-colonialism, semi-feudalism.
It only says about Hugo Chávez that “Under his leadership, Venezuela bravely treaded the path of anti-imperialism and opened a new era of radical social reform.”
It means that the Communist Party of the Philippines say the same as the trotskyists, the guevarists, the Marxists-Leninists: Hugo Chávez was a reformist, a bourgeois reformist, but in a particular situation that would made of him an “anti-imperialist”.
Basically, all the organizations and parties rejecting the concept of bureaucratic capitalism considers that Hugo Chávez was, more or less, progressive. They have no others choice that to consider him as a “bourgeois”, and not a bureaucratic bourgeois.
Sometimes the support for this “bourgeois” is very emphatic, like with the (new)Italian Communist Party, which published a document called “Viva il Comandante Hugo Chavez Frias!”, in the tradition of its rejection of the concepts of social-imperialism, bureaucratic capitalism, semi-feudalism, etc.
Sometimes, the support for Hugo Chávez is very limitated. The Odio del Clase collective in Spain rejects the fact that he was a fascist and considers that he was a the leader of a “social-democratic reformist project” in a capitalist country. Hugo Chávez is seeing at least a bit in a positive way because he would have helped socially the poor and would have gone onto confrontation with the US imperialism.
In this last case it is a populist vision, because at the time of the World Proletarian Revolution, any mass movement which pretends to be revolutionary and which is not under a genuine communist direction is a fascist one.
This is the whole question of direction and ideology – the first task to communists is to forge the thought in its own country, as a direction, with the correct ideology: marxism-leninism-maoism!