[The following is Section 1 of the 'Declaration of Principles' from the PSUV's 'Libro Rojo' - Red Book]
Translated by Owen Richards
1. The imperialist threat
At the beginning of the 21st century humanity entered into the most dangerous crossroads of its history. Capitalism in the imperialist phase had reached its limits and has shown itself—with its policies of neoliberal development and its model of media influence—as the main enemy of humanity. After successive paliative postponements of a structural crisis that corrodes the foundations of the system from decades ago, the planet's dominant socio economic mechanism is fettered and threatens to explode.
The crisis of this irrational mode of production is, with its uncontrolled generation of refuse and waste, exploitation of nations, peoples, classes, and individuals and the destruction of nature, is based on the competition between the imperialist centres of the world economy in a cruel struggle for markets, and the ecological crisis that threatens not only humanity, but in truth all life on the planet. Driven by the logic of competition, and also by the need to find profitable ways of investing immense masses of excess capital (especially in advanced technologies and the war industries); and also by the imperative to destroy surplus commodities in order to restructure the system and restart the economic cycle, imperialism drags the world toward war and planetary destruction.
However, with the current level of scientific and technological development, the war— in contrast to the two global conflagrations that occurred during the 20th century—would not be limited to the destruction of human life, culture and goods so as to permit them to be produced once more and sold: it would destroy all forms of life on earth.
The atrocities committed by the United States and the lesser powers, as in the invasion of Iraq, are only the ominous prologue to what the awaits humanity if it is not able to stop its deadly dynamic. To stop imperialism, to impede the technological and media wars, are the most transcendental priorities of the peoples.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the nineties of the 20th century, the floodgates holding back capital from mitigating its crisis burst open, pouring out on the dependent nations and its workers, campesinos and other social sectors. The price of the capitalist crisis in the central countries is the dizzying growth of misery in the countries of the periphery. An unprecedented concentration of wealth in the hands of a few results in degradation, suffering, hunger and death for the immense majority of humanity, including, increasingly, the peoples of the imperialist countries.
This flood of poverty is the other aspect of the crisis that threatens life on earth. In the face of a growing inability to rule through the alliances and institutions with which it maintained it's power during the 20th century, imperialism now appeals to the desperate needs of millions of human beings in order to throw them once more against each other in fratricidal wars and with no other possible outcome than destruction, degradation and death on a scale never seen before.
|The US Navy's 'Fourth Fleet'|
With the emergence of the Bolivarian revolution under the leadership of Comandante Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, an awakening of the social movements begins coinciding with the advance of the processes of emancipation in Latin America and the Caribbean. The peoples rise up and unfurl the flags of sovereignty and deepen the anti-imperialist struggle; progressive governments continue emerging like that of Lula in Brazil, Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, the Frente Amplio takes power and consolidates in Uruguay with the triumph of Pepe Mujica, the Lugo government arises in Paraguay, the Sandinistas, with Daniel Ortega up front, retake and hold power in Nicaragua, the government of Honduras with President Zelaya joins ALBA, the Frente Farabundo Marti wins in El Salvador, and ALBA arrives in the Carribean with the incorporation of Dominica, San Vicente and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda; these advances, with the presence of Fidel's Cuba and the leadership of Chavez provoke a change in the correlation of forces in the continent giving hope to the poor of Latin America and the world.
Today, with the advance of the emancipatory forces of the continent, the empire reacts, unleashing a counter-offensive with the aim of reinforcing its strategy of domination, expansionism, division and destruction, provoking violence, kidnapping, narco-trafficking, paramilitarism and violation of the principle of the people's sovereignty and self determination. Thus we witness the overthrow of democracy in Honduras and the toppling of president Zelaya; the presence of the Fourth Fleet of the U.S. navy in Latin American waters, the threat of incursion into the interior of the continent via its rivers; and the expansion of the military bases in Colombia, Panama and the Antilles. While the people go forward building Latin American and Caribbean unity, the empire tries to stop their advance, using its military presence in Colombia. The violation of sovereignty of the sister Republic of Ecuador is registered there; the constant provocations from Colombia towards Venezuela with the aim of justifying armed intervention in our country, such as the presence of paramilitaries active in Venezuela, assassination of national guards on the border, the incursions into Venezuelan Territory by members of the Colombian political police (DAS) and the violation of air space by US planes coming from military bases in the Antilles.