Students demonstrate against cuts


Students from across Britain attended a demonstration called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts today (Saturday 28th). The national demonstration took place after recent weeks saw occupations and demonstrations in a number of Universities.

The rally in Birmingham heard speakers from various Universities and the demonstration was supported by young members of the Socialist Party, anarchist groups, young members of the Green Party and Left Unity – and of course Red Youth. Our comrades distributed our Red Youth programme We Want Freedom and we took part in the short lived occupation of the Library.

national campaign against fees and cuts


For millions of young people, education offers the only way to a better future. But education doesn’t come cheap. Just as the government was scrapping the £30 a week EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) they decided to give the banks £850bn! The ruling class believes that propping up a dying system is far more important than giving hundreds of thousands of working-class youth the chance to continue their education.

Not content with denying us the right to further education at college, the ruling class has now decided to shut the doors to higher education too. New degree students in England and Wales will need to find £9,000 every year for fees – and that’s on top of living expenses! Labour’s pledge to reduce this to £6,000 is a complete joke, and we refuse to see it as some great handout or progressive measure!

It’s clear that the ruling class is cutting off our access to work and education – we’re being trapped in a cycle of endless poverty, desperation and degradation. No wonder that in these circumstances so many young people are driven to join the British army.


It seems that the ruling class gets all the benefits from war, while workers get nothing but injury or death. Films, TV and games glorify war and make it seem exciting, but the reality is different.

When you join the army you don’t get to learn a skill or do any of the really exciting stuff like fly a helicopter – that’s too important for the likes of us. All those cushy jobs go to the rich kids like Prince William, who are automatically put in charge. They’re the ‘officers’ whilst we (the ‘squaddies’) are expected just to take orders and do all the fighting – and dying.

They make us fight our foreign working-class brothers and sisters so that they and their ruling circles can plunder and steal all the wealth and natural resources (like oil) of the countries we attack. But why should we do their dirty work for them? Why should we steal and plunder other people’s wealth? If the rich want to steal the oil, let the prime minister and the bankers send their children to get killed while we stay here and look after our own interests.

In fact, if you think about it, we have more in common with the working-class youth of foreign countries than we do with the rich youth in Britain. When our foreign brothers resist our ruling class they are teaching us by example. We need to unite with our class brothers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere in order to defeat our common enemy – the British ruling class – and build a happy, prosperous and cultured existence, free from endless poverty and war.

Divide and rule

It’s obvious that this system isn’t in the interests of the vast majority of people, so how has it survived for so long?

On top of having a huge state machinery of coercion – police, courts, prisons etc – to keep people in line, the capitalists also control the media. From school textbooks to BBC and Sky news to the Sun and the Guardian, their ideas are pushed onto us every day: a way of looking at the world that teaches us that this system is inevitable and logical, and that cuts and wars are necessary to defend ‘our way of life’, as opposed to protecting their profit margins.

One of the biggest lies we are told is that the problems we face – lack of jobs, cuts in public services, no access to education or housing and so on – are caused by immigrants putting a ‘strain’ on Britain’s resources. But long before there were large numbers of immigrants in Britain there was mass unemployment and capitalist crisis!

Groups like EDL and the BNP pretend to be addressing workers’ problems, but by reinforcing the lies about immigration being the root cause of those problems, what they actually do is help the capitalists stay in power and keep the working class divided and weak.

What is to be done?

The fact is that the ruling class stays in power by encouraging those it rules over to fight each other – instead of getting together to fight the capitalists! The one thing that would really threaten our rulers’ grip on power is if the workers of Britain united and got organised. The police and the army combined couldn’t do much in the face of the masses of people once we decided to stop obeying their orders and believing their lies!

An understanding of society (theory) and a way of uniting to change it (organisation) are the two things that we need to make a socialist revolution. Young people have everything to gain by getting involved in this process sooner rather than later. This world isn’t working for us and we deserve better!

Not only do we need to campaign against the bad conditions and lack of prospects for the youth in Britain today, but we need to work for a completely different type of society – one where people’s needs decide everything.

So many problems face this world: environmental catastrophe, poverty, disease, racism and war. They’ll never be solved while capitalism remains, but they could all be sorted if society was set up for the benefit of the majority rather than the private gain of a few billionaires.

Studying Marxism, organising the young people in your area and learning about how we fight for socialism is the only way we can defeat the ruling class.

Get involved with Red Youth to find out more!

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Communists attacked at StW Bloomsbury meeting: Trotskyite ‘Left Unity’ in action!

nato ukraine copy

Suppression of information; why do they fear the truth?

Stop the War’s trotskyite ‘leaders’ attempted to prevent the audience at their public meeting from reading the CPGB-ML’s latest leaflet last night, with what can only be described as a crass and cowardly act of base thuggery. It marks, even for them, a new low in their attempts to destroy any semblance of a broad and unified anti-imperialist, anti-war movement in Britain.

Apparently threatened by the distribution of the CPGB-ML’s latest leaflet on the Ukraine, “Britain out of Nato; Nato out of the Donbass”,  and no doubt aware of our party’s excellent anti-imperialist analysis and staunch defence of the progressive anti-fascist forces defending the people’s republics of Eastern Ukraine, a Stop the War ‘steward’ was sent to eject a communist activist distributing leaflets at StW’s public meeting yesterday evening, at Bloomsbury Baptist Central Church, in Shaftsbury Avenue, Central London.

It is possible that they were still Irked by our systematic and thorough exposure of the trotskyite and revisionist’s disgraceful dereliction of duty and failure to defend the people of Libya and Syria from the imperial jackboot and their fundamentalist proxies, which led to the leadership faction of StW refusing to renew the affiliation of the CPGB-ML by a cowardly bureaucratic manoeuvre in 2011.

In any event, the CPGB-ML comrade in question was doing no more than quietly handing bundles of leaflets to people sitting by the aisles, who were then passing them down the rows, taking one each and reading them.

This apparently harmless activity, entirely supportive of the stated cause of StW’s meeting – which after all was called, however belatedly, to discuss “Nato and the crisis in the Ulkraine” – was treated by the dwindling band of counterfire ‘leaders’ as a veritable act of War. One they were also powerless to stop, however.

As Jonathan Steele, a Guardian journalist, who was billed as the warm up act for a familiar line up of trotskyites, revisionists and social democrats – the CND’s Kate Hudson, CPB’s Andrew Murray and RMT’s Alex Gordon – ponderously made his opening remarks, the leaflets were received as a welcome relief by the assembled audience, much to the ire of the ageing band of trotskyite (we think counterfire, but really, who can say for sure these days?) luminaries, who wished to enforce their ideological ownership of the event.

This heavy mob of political sergeant-majors then mobilised the sad spectacle of a young ginger-bearded private in his 30s to confront the ‘sectarian disruptor.’ Failing to give any reason for demanding that the leaflet-wielder leave the meeting, he initially looked fairly non-plussed, before beginning to raise his voice and disrupt the meeting he was supposed to be stewarding. “Get out”, he demanded. Why? the leafleteer whispered. “You’re causing a disturbance!”, shouted the Ginger Steward. “Please be quiet, I’m trying to listen” said the purveyor of the offensive literature. “Get out you’re not welcome, this is our meeting” [Ginger Steward].

At this point the steward ripped the leaflets from the hands of the distributor, screwed them up and attempted to drag the CPGB-ML activist physically from the main hall – which he found a challenge as he was somewhat smaller, although the more sectarian, un-reasonable and aggressive, and the clear initiator of physical violence.


The CPGB-ML activist remained remarkably disciplined, and un-phased in the face of this provocation, but followed in order to reclaim his literature and protest the steward’s actions, whereupon he was met with a committee of 8 – 10 ageing trotskyites headed by one Lindsay German, in what was clearly an orchestrated manoeuvre:

German: Get out of our meeting you’re not welcome

CPGB-ML: It’s a public meeting called by StW of which I am a member – its as much my meeting as it is yours.

German: You’re not a member.

CPGB-ML: I am. I booked a ticket at this public meeting and you have no reason or right to eject me.

German: I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you before.

CPGB-ML: That is beside the point. I’m the public. You know – the ‘little people’ that attend public meetings when they are called.

German: This is my meeting. I am the elected convenor of StW and you are not. You are causing a disturbance and I want you to leave.

CPGB-ML: Your steward attacked me and has stolen my leaflets which I want returned. The disturbance was caused by him and you, not by me. It is shameful behaviour against which I will defend myself.

German: You’re causing a disturbance now by raising your voice [apparently without irony].

CPGB-ML: And this is how you build an anti-war movement? No wonder there’s no-one left in it.


The Steward was terrified he might have his photo taken, as you can see from these photos – which we take as a tacit admission of his awareness of his transgression – and the door-keepers looked on appalled at the childish and brutish behaviour of their great leaders and event managers:


Political differences underlying the Sectarian attack: 

There is nothing obviously wrong with the introductory blurb that StW put out to promote the meeting: “NATO has created and is exploiting the crisis in Ukraine in order to extend its military and geopolitical reach to the very borders of Russia. Instead of authentically supporting the cessation of hostilities and the peaceful resolution of the conflict, Western powers are pouring fuel on the flames of a brutal civil war in Ukraine and lurching towards a new, increasingly intense Cold War with Russia.”

But as the catholic church has been known to affirm: there are sins of commission, and sins of omission. The StW, and their revisionist and trotskyite ‘leadership’ faction, have failed singularly to explain the reasons that British Imperialism is compelled to fight these brutal wars, raise any movement to seriously defend Libya, Syria or the Ukrainian anti-fascist forces from the predatory onslaught of the US/UK/EU NATO warmongers.

Rather they have squandered and destroyed the momentum of the movement, at the head of which they serendipitously found themselves in 2003, by dwelling on their political differences with all the anti-imperialist forces who were actually confronting imperialism, and spending much time and effort describing the counter revolutionary jihadists, butchers and fascists as “genuine anti-authoritarian revolutionaries.” [sic!]

To this group, nothing is more important than the interests of the Labour Party, and they have insisted on creating not a vehicle to oppose imperialist war, which could serve the real needs of workers of all countries, including our own, but a vehicle to promote the interests of the imperialist labour party – and wittingly, or not, thereby suborned the movement to the needs of the warmongers themselves.

that is why these final paragraphs of our excellent leaflet sting them into exposing themselves so blatantly:

Support the resistance

When ‘protesting’ against Britain’s other wars of national oppression, neither the trade unions nor the anti-war movement have yet been prepared to advance beyond timid demands to ‘bring the troops home’, and for ‘welfare not warfare’.

Most of the cowardly ‘leaders’ of our working-class movement have never dared to raise the essential point that British workers have a duty to give active solidarity to those who are standing up against the violence being exported by British imperialism.

These leaders have refused to give full support to the forces of resistance, and refused to organise the workforce to disrupt and sabotage the war machine at home. But when we neglect these duties towards our brothers and sisters abroad, we are also weakening our own ability to fight back against capitalist austerity at home.

So it felt like a breath of fresh air when the RMT union put up a resolution in support of the anti-fascist resistance in the Donbass and got it passed at last year’s TUC conference – thus making it official TUC policy. Demonstrations and meetings in solidarity with the Donbass resistance immediately sprang up in London, Bristol and elsewhere.

For the moment, these healthy developments remain on a small scale and mostly symbolic, but they are a tiny chink in the carefully-constructed separation wall that divides workers in the imperialist homeland from their oppressed brethren abroad.

Let the unions now turn that TUC policy from a pious hope into a concrete reality by organising a campaign of total non-cooperation with the war that anglo-american imperialism is courting with Russia.

Let media workers refuse to go on churning out the endless vilification of the anti-fascist resistance and of Russia. Let workers in the armed forces refuse to go to Ukraine in support of a neo-Nazi junta. Let armaments and transport workers black all war materiel destined for the Ukraine.

In short, let workers remember the power they have, and learn to use it! The lesson is urgent.

A post-script on Trotskyism:

We cannot fail to note the counter-revolutionary role played by Trotskyism in our movement, that stems from its fundamental, entrenched and perpetuated political errors that have long since caused it to cease being a trend within the working-class movement. Rather, it plays its part as an increasingly obvious tool of the imperialists themselves, employed simply to disorganise the working class movement.

The sooner we expel these fraudulent posers from our movement entirely, the better for the cause of workers in Britain and the world over.

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Korean communists send greetings to Red Youth

Red Youth is proud to stand with the socialist countries and is happy to reproduce below a solidarity message received from the Kim il Sung Socialist Youth League on the occasion of our 5th birthday! Red Youth maintains good international relations with a number of communist, socialist and revolutionary organisations.

Red Youth is still a very young organisation and we know that we have many weaknesses. But compared with the rump which try to pass themselves off in this country as communist youth, we can be very proud that in five years we’ve set a solid foundation and recruited the best revolutionary youth this country has produced. Since the youth riots of 2011 its become increasingly obvious to young socialists, that only the cpgb-ml and red youth offer a meaningful political experience, a vehicle for challenging capitalism.

Getty images: korean communists in imperialist prison camp

korean communists in imperialist prison camp holding aloft portraits of great revolutionaries Mao Zedong, Josef Stalin and Kim il Sung, taken from

“Dear comrades,
the central committee of Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League sends the congratulatory greetings to Red Youth on the occasion of its 5th founding anniversary.
 The Red Youth have achieved great successes in the work to hold the socialism-communism and to rally more young people behind its banner while defending their rights and interests.
 We are very pleased about your achievements and also express our thanks that the Red Youth have supported the Korean people and youth who are in the struggle for thriving nation under the leadership of the dear leader comrade Kim Jong Un.
 We believe that the bilateral relationship will be further strengthened and the greater successes in your work.
C.C. of Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League
Pyongyang DPR Korea”
Red Youth banner

Red Youth banner

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Today DPAC stands in the vanguard of the fight against austerity!

Red Youth joined DPAC at the Labour Party Conference in Birmingham today. An attempt by Tories to hold an anti Ed Miliband demo was scuppered by hammer and sickle flag waving members of Red Youth, a bizarre way for us to start our day!

Speeches from activists and local socialists correctly pointed out Labour hypocrisy, as delegates left the ICC Conference Centre many stopped to talk with a mere handful losing their tempers. To accusations of “you’ll let the Tories in” unemployed youth and those thrown off disability allowances merely declared it made no difference which gang of robbers were in government.

Heres the speech made by our 16 year old brother and comrade Austin.


Today’s protest in Birmingham marks a refreshing break from the norm for anti-austerity protests in this city. Protestors are now starting to realise there is no real choice during an election. It’s a choice between being stabbed in the chest by the “blues” or stabbed in the back by the “reds”. Either way, you get brutally assaulted by whichever party of capitalism we elect. Rather than covering over the complicity of the Labour Party in the privatisation of social services and then keeping our heads down until after the election is over and expecting miracles, DPAC and protestors today are demanding answers from a party, the Labour Party – who are openly saying that they will pursue the same vile capitalist cuts-agenda as the Tories.

In 1997, the Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, was elected into power with a landslide victory on the premise that they were going to bring more jobs to Britain, more economic growth and more and better social provisions. Supposedly the years of “Tory” rule were at an end! However, far from ushering in an era of harmony and social peace we were met with more than a decade of imperialist war in Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, the abolition of free education and the introduction of tuition fees and the beginning of the end for the National Health Service!

As a consequence, the Tories with their Lib Dem hangers-on have entered parliament knowing their predecessors had done much of their dirty work for them and well and truly started the ball rolling on some major privatisation. The Labour Party had paved the way for many of the austerity measures which we have seen since this Con-Dem coalition came to power, measures which target the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of our society and reward the greedy, profiteering monopolies and trusts. For example, new legislation threatens those who have been out of work for three years or more to now sign-on at the ‘job centre’ every day. If a claimant cannot attend then s/he will have their Jobseeker’s Allowance stopped for four weeks for their first offence, and 13 weeks for subsequent offences. Also the whole hearted endorsement of the zero hour contract disgrace to disguise poor employment figures has left thousands without benefits and with little to no income. Furthermore the number of horror stories in the media about people who have died or been hospitalised after being declared ‘fit to work’ and having their benefits withdrawn has been rising steadily. The government has refused to compile statistics on the fate of those who have lost benefits, but it is suspected that at least half have already fallen into total destitution and thousands are thought to have died.

And what do Labour have to offer to remedy this in May? Just more of the same! Another version of Tory policy which include the same cuts, the same privatisation measures and the same imperialist foreign policy intended to destroy independent nations to fuel our economy with the rape of another economy, as we saw in Iraq and what we are currently witnessing in Syria and Ukraine.

So what’s the alternative? Workers must hold all the main capitalist parties to account, and challenge their capitalist cuts-agenda no matter what colour their flag and no matter how many so-called “old socialists” are associated with their past.

Fight ALL capitalist Cuts!


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Lets learn the true history of the GDR!

The CPGB-ML encourages all it’s branches and groups to engage in study and to learn from the study each  one of us undertakes in the spirit of the Red Youth motto each one, teach one! Across the country our members make presentations to modest sized meetings of Party comrades, Proletarian subscribers and friends to open up discussion about the history of our movement and the lessons for today. Unlike the Troto-revisionist parties, we have no “big-guns” on full time salaries who tour the country promoting their latest academic work on some obscure philosophical issue. Our comrades are all encouraged to be free-thinkers, enquring and studious and to work together to come to a Marxist understanding on important issues which have practical implications for our work today. Many comrades are enrolled on a cadre development programme which guides their study in the basics of Marxism-Leninism and gives them practical support in learning to make presentations and lead study circles.

Last weekend, Manchester communists held a seminar to discuss the history of the GDR and it’s importance to our understanding of modern-day Europe. The meeting was addressed by CPGB-ML comrade Adam who led the discussion. Speaking after the meeting comrade Gary from Wigan said,

“The truth behind who split up Germany is often placed on the head of Stalin and the Soviet Union. However this is false history, it was at the Potsdam Conference of 17 July-2 August 1945 the USA, now represented by President Truman went to Potsdam to put forward a proposal which would permanently divide Germany into three parts, and also, to treat Austria and Hungary as part of this divided Germany.This new plan however by the US contradicted an agreement reached in Moscow in 1943 that both Austria and Hungary would be restored to the status of independent states. The Soviet Union wanted a unified Germany after de-nazification. It was Stalin who famously said “we enter Berlin as liberators not conquerors”.
The end of the war against fascism in which the Soviet people made the largest sacrifice saw the beginning of Anglo-American-imperialisms renewed war against communism. The US imperialists carried on the work of the Nazi’s and their agents.
Years of sabotage and misinformation were coupled with efforts to encircle the USSR and keep her under the constant threat of a new war. The FGR being brought into Nato in 1954 was just one example.
Understanding the history of imperialism’s attitude towards the USSR and Peoples Democracies, also helps us today better understand their aims in the Ukraine and the fierce resistance Russians and anti-fascists are prepared to put up to EU, British and American imperialist interference in the region. We study our history so as to wage a fight today against the same enemy which our forefathers and the first socialist countries fought so hard to defeat – imperialism.”

If you’d like to take part in future meetings, enroll on a programme of Marxist-Leninist education and join the fight for socialism, don’t sit in dull meetings being told what to think. Make your own independent study, join a study circle and discuss and argue your ideas with comrades in a comradely manner. Join Red Youth or get in touch via

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J. V. Stalins “Foundations of Leninism” published


The CPGB-ML has republished J. V. Stalin’s classic pamphlet Foundations of Leninism. The book is a reprint of the  Foreign Languages Press edition which was distributed around the world by the Communist Party of China in hundreds of thousands of copies in many languages during the 1960’s and 70’s.

The need for the newly published edition arose from the demand for copies by our young cadre and the increasing rarity of the Chinese and Soviet editions which for many years were common place in second hand bookshops but which are now drying up. The new edition, replicates in every respect the Chinese paperback and will be sold at party events and online to the next generation of revolutionaries who are seeking out Marxist-Leninist answers to today’s pressing questions. Members of Red Youth will be able to purchase copies at a discounted price, and prior to their sale on eBay, orders may be placed via



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Remembering Chavez!

Nemesis of the Empire – Marcel Cartier & Agent of Change:

The following article is based on a speech delivered by a member of the Central Committee of the CPGB-ML to the memorial meeting, ‘Hugo Chávez and the Venezuelan Revolution’, organised by the party in London on 8 March 2013, we republish it now to mark the anniversary of the day of Comrade Chávez’s funeral. 

Speaking of Mao’s contributions, the Chinese Communist Party has summed up: “Without him the Chinese people would, at the very least, have spent much more time groping in the dark.”

The same, also at the very least, can be said about the relationship between Hugo Chávez and the people of Venezuela.

Hugo Chávez was a patriot and a champion of the poor who transformed the lives of millions of his long-oppressed and downtrodden compatriots – the workers, the people living in the teeming urban barrios, women, youth, African Venezuelans and the indigenous peoples – not only through real and meaningful reforms, but also in the course of the first determined, conscious and ongoing effort to forge and build a new socialist state that the world has seen in some 30 years.

For these reasons alone, we join with our class brothers and sisters in Venezuela, and with their friends and comrades around the world, in mourning, with deepest grief, the loss of this revolutionary warrior at the too-young age of 58, but also in celebrating his revolutionary life.

Internationalist revolutionary

However, the significance of Hugo Chávez goes far beyond the borders and shores of Venezuela. He was an internationalist revolutionary who stood on the side of every single people fighting against oppression and exploitation. An outstanding political figure of the last part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st, it can truly be said that, in recent years, no single individual played a greater role in the worldwide anti-imperialist struggle. Therefore, as our party’s statement, quoting Comrade Mao Zedong, rightly says, his death truly is weightier than Mount Tai.

Hugo Chávez was born into a working-class family and spent his early years in material poverty, largely raised by his loving grandparents. Like many others, he joined the army as the only career path open to him. It was being sent to the countryside to fight against Marxist-Leninist guerrillas that awakened him to political consciousness; to the fact that it was the guerrillas who were engaged in a just struggle, for his people and for his class. From this time, until the moment he breathed his last, he embarked on the life of a revolutionary – a course from which he never retreated or looked back.

It was 1992, when the world was still reeling from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the European socialist countries, and when the US was at the height of its imperial arrogance, that Chávez launched his first attempt to seize power. Although that attempt ended in failure, he only accepted defeat “por ahora”, for the time being – a sentiment that gripped the Venezuelan people’s hearts and saw him and his comrades swept to power in 1998 and in numerous subsequent elections.

Chávez’s enormous bravery was again displayed at the time of the short-lived fascist coup in April 2002. His refusal, despite the real and imminent threat to his life, to sign away the presidency enabled the popular masses to rise up, split the army, defeat the coup, and bring Chávez back to the Miraflores (presidential) Palace. 

Consolidating the power of the working class

The coup was not only defeated, but the popular masses were, as a result, able to substantially consolidate their political state power, as well as its control of the main economic levers, principally the state-owned oil company PDVSA, enabling Chávez to openly proclaim the socialist character of the revolution he was leading.

Despite the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, the incomes of working people had dropped every single year in the 25 years before Chávez came to power. 

By contrast, in the last 14 years, during which Chávez held office, the Venezuelan economy grew by 300 percent, with massive investment in health care, housing and education, and with millions of people lifted out of poverty. No wonder that the oligarchs, the imperialists and their venal media consistently accused Chávez of mismanaging the economy!

As Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams put it: “President Chávez worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Venezuelan citizens. He dedicated himself to building a new and radical society in Venezuela. His progressive social and economic changes took millions out of poverty. He extended free health care and education for all citizens and his re-election last year with a huge majority was testimony to his vision.”

However, this great man of vision, was determined not to use his country’s vast mineral wealth only for narrow national interests – even the national interests of the vast majority – but rather to also support progressive change, the consolidation and development of the revolution, in the entire Latin American region, and, indeed, the whole world.

In 1968, the Korean revolutionary leader Kim Il Sung had written:

Consolidation of the triumph of the Cuban revolution is not only an important question on which the life or death, the rise or fall, of the Cuban people depends. It is also a key factor in influencing the general development of the Latin-American revolution.

It is of great importance to the defence of the Cuban revolution that the revolutionary movement in neighbouring Latin-American countries should advance. If the flames of revolution flare up fiercely in many countries of Latin America where US imperialism sets foot, its force will be dispersed, its energy sapped, and the attempts of the US imperialists and their lackeys to strangle Cuba by concentrated force will inevitably fail. 

Furthermore, if the revolution triumphs in other Latin-American countries, Cuba will be saved from the imperialism that hems her in on all sides, a favourable phase in the Cuban and Latin-American revolutions will be opened, and the world revolution will be even further advanced.” (‘The great anti-imperialist revolutionary cause of the Asian, African, and Latin American peoples is invincible. On the first anniversary of the death of Che Guevara in battle’, reproduced in ‘Kim Il Sung: 1912-1994’, Proletarian, April 2012)

Nobody understood this profound truth better than Hugo Chávez. Nobody put it into practice better than he did.

It is noteworthy that, in 2005, Hugo Chávez personally welcomed and supported the holding of a world conference on the Juche idea (the revolutionary ideology of Comrade Kim Il Sung) in Venezuela. He met with the leaders of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) delegation to the conference and authorised his vice president to attend and speak at it on his behalf.

The best friend that Cuba ever had

When Chávez came to power, Cuba was only just emerging from the special period occasioned by the collapse of the Soviet Union. To a very great degree, Venezuelan oil has revived and consolidated the Cuban revolution. Cuban teachers and doctors, along with experts in every field of life, have helped to consolidate and deepen the Venezuelan revolution. That is true internationalism in action. 

Comrade Fidel Castro described Chávez as having been the “best friend the Cuban people had ever had in their history”. Tens of thousands of Cubans paid tribute to Chávez at ceremonies throughout the socialist island and the country’s president, Comrade Raúl Castro declared: 

“What we were able to achieve with his influence in these few years will not be reversed. The Venezuelan people will know how to defend their victories, and we will be with them as we have so far, feet on the ground.”

A statement from the Cuban government noted: “The Cuban people think of him as one of their greatest sons, and have admired, followed and loved him as one of their own. Chávez is Cuban too! He felt in his flesh and bones our hard times and problems, and he did everything that he could, with extraordinary generosity.”

Together, Cuba and Venezuela, with political leaderships with no other loyalties other than to the oppressed, have spearheaded the most remarkable change of an entire continent – from the hereditary backyard of US imperialism into the scene of the most progressive political developments in the world today. In this process, Chávez led in the creation of such bodies as Alba, a regional trade body of socialist orientation, of Petrocaribe, providing much needed affordable fuel to vulnerable economies in the Caribbean and Central America, and of Celac, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, to unite the whole of the Americas, but without the imperialist United States and Canada.

At the heart of this process lay a developing core of countries with political leaderships of the working class, aspiring to socialism, with Cuba and Venezuela joined in this orientation by Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

Broadest possible alliance

But Hugo Chávez, along with Fidel and Raúl, knew that to defeat imperialism, and to build a new world of independence, required not only the unity of the consciously socialist forces on their own, but also, with the vanguard of the working class at its heart, the broadest possible alliance of all those forces whose objective conditions brought them into contradiction with imperialism. Again, Hugo Chávez was in unity with the standpoint of Comrade Kim Il Sung, who, in the article quoted above, had written:

In Asia, Africa and Latin America, there are socialist and neutral, large and small countries. All these countries, except the imperialists’ puppet regimes and satellite states, constitute anti-imperialist, anti-US forces. Despite the differences of socio-political systems, political views and religious beliefs, the peoples of these countries, because they are oppressed and exploited by the imperialists and colonialists, oppose imperialism and old and new colonialism and jointly aspire towards national independence and national prosperity. 

The differences in socio-political systems, political views or religious beliefs cannot be an obstacle to joint action against US imperialism. All countries should form an anti-imperialist united front and take anti-US joint action to crush the common enemy and attain the common goal.

It is true that there may be different categories of people amongst those who oppose imperialism. Some may actively oppose imperialism, others may hesitate in the anti-imperialist struggle, and still others may join the struggle reluctantly under pressure from their own people and the peoples of the world. But whatever their motives, it is necessary to enlist all these forces except the henchmen of imperialism in the combined anti-US struggle. 

If more forces – however inconsistent and unsteady – are drawn into the anti-US joint struggle to isolate US imperialism to the greatest possible extent and unite in attacking it, that will be a positive achievement. Those who avoid the anti-imperialist struggle should be induced to join it and those who are passive should be encouraged to become active. To split the anti-US united front or reject anti-US joint action will only lead to the serious consequence of weakening the anti-imperialist, anti-US struggle.

Once again, these words, written by Comrade Kim Il Sung, were put into practice by Comrade Hugo Chávez, not only in Latin America but also throughout the world.

As Bolivian president Evo Morales said in his tribute to Hugo Chávez: “A lot of strength, a lot of unity. The best tribute to Chávez is unity. Unity to fight, to work for the equality of all peoples of the world.”

Caribbean tributes

One noteworthy example of this is the degree of affection and support that Chávez lavished on tiny countries in the Caribbean – and, consequently, the touching tributes their leaders have made.

Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, said: “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. Comrade Chávez did all for the people not only of Venezuela, but also for Latin America and indeed the world. 

“He will be remembered also for bringing the Caribbean and Latin America together. For many of us here in Dominica, this was not just another head of state or a head of government of a sister country. Hugo Chávez was a true friend of Dominica; indeed, he was Dominican in many respects. I have lost a colleague, a father, a brother and a friend. Hugo Chávez held my hands in the brightest and the darkest hours of my tenure to date as prime minister.”

Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said: “A beacon, a guiding light has been extinguished in flesh; a light which illuminated and not blinded us in our quest for peace, justice, democracy and humanity, particularly for the poor, the disadvantaged and the marginalised. He was a nationalist, an ardent promoter of nationalism in Latin America and the Caribbean, anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist to the core.”

Gonsalves added that he was first told of President Chávez during a private meeting in September 2001 with Fidel Castro:

“Fidel told me then that there is a historic force that has arisen in Venezuela by the name of Chávez. In time, I came to know first hand Fidel’s assessment of Hugo as someone who loves people, especially the poor and working people, who hated injustice and who was possessed of an abundance of generosity of spirit and solidarity with fellow fighters for justice, peace and genuine democracy.

“Without Hugo Chávez, there would have been no Petrocaribe, no Alba and no Community of States of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Denzil Douglas, prime minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, said:

“We have lost a true advocate of the indigent and the voiceless, a patriot, who was passionate about his country’s development and laboured tirelessly for the good of the masses in Venezuela,” adding, “indeed, the impact of his social programmes has been felt not only in his own country, but has had a tremendous effect throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has been a recipient of Hugo’s altruism, beneficence and generosity.”

An Afro-Latin people

Just as Fidel had said when Cuba sent its internationalist combatants to Angola, for Hugo Chávez, Venezuela and the Venezuelans, too, were not simply part of Latin America, but rather an Afro-Latin nation and people. 

Hailing from the African and indigenous working-class communities of Venezuela, Chávez often spoke proudly of his own African ancestry, saying: “We love Africa. And every day, we are more aware of the roots we had in Africa.”

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, led a minute of silence at the AU’s celebration of International Women’s Day, the same day as Comrade Chávez’s funeral, and described him as “a son of Africa and a great revolutionary who fought for the economic emancipation of his people”.

Just this February, the representatives of 63 countries met in Equatorial Guinea for the third Africa South America Summit, which saw the signing of 27 new social and economic agreements, binding these two long-oppressed continents in mutual struggle. The previous summit had been hosted by Comrade Chávez on the Venezuelan island of Margarita, and Venezuela is to host the summit’s secretariat. 

In what was possibly his last political writing, Comrade Chávez greeted the summit with these words:

I truly lament, in the deepest of ways, my inability to be physically present with you and I reiterate once again … my most irrevocable commitment to the cause of union between our people.” He went on to hail the “indivisible historic ties” that bind the two continents and which have obliged them “to walk together until the very end.”

I will never be tired of saying it: We are one people. We must find each other, beyond the formalities and the speeches, in the feeling of unity. In this way we will take our people out of the labyrinth where they had been cast by colonialism and, in the 20th century, by neoliberal capitalism.

In mourning Hugo Chávez, therefore, the national chairman of Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe declared: “It is clear that as Zanu-PF we have lost a great leader, an icon, a revolutionary and international leader of repute. As a party we grieve together with the people of Venezuela. We hope that his successor will continue spearheading the revolution against the forces of imperialism.”

The Zanu-PF Youth League added: “The youths of Zimbabwe wish to express their profound grief to the people of Venezuela following the death of President Chávez, who championed the building of a thriving socialist state, the ideal society of mankind, while smashing all the challenging warmongering tactics of the world imperialists.”

Prime Minister Hage Geingob of Namibia hailed Chávez as a “real revolutionary and a poor people’s president”, who has left behind a legacy worth emulating.

He told the local media that “Africa and the third world at large has lost a revolutionary leader who expressed views that most leaders were afraid to talk about.”

The Namibian newspaper reported: “Geingob said Africa has much to learn from the late Venezuelan leader, which is to live and stand on principles and not be dragged into signing or nodding to agreements that will haunt them later.

According to the prime minister, Chávez’s style of ploughing back resources to the masses will be his finest legacy.” 

The South African Communist Party described Chávez as “a soldier of the poor and a champion of mass-driven socialism. Chávez dedicated his life to an anti-imperialist agenda, was the foremost frontline combatant against imperialist subjugation of the world and a champion of people’s power.”

The African National Congress added: “To the people of Venezuela, we say their mourning is the mourning of all countries that are fighting to reclaim their place in the world economy.”

The Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) declared: “He was the foremost leader of the global anti-imperialist community of our times … The socialist world, the workers, peasants and poor of the world have lost a fearless fighter and spokesperson.”

Cosatu, the progressive trade-union federation of South Africa, and an integral part of the liberation movement, concluded their tribute with these apposite words:

He was deeply loved by all who are poor, oppressed and fighting against imperialism and the looting of the resources of the world’s people by the few global elites led by the US, but equally, he was deeply hated by both the ruling classes of global imperialism and their lackeys in the form of apologists of the oppressive global empire.

“Therefore, it is our firm belief as revolutionary workers that the history of Latin America and the global south shall be written before and after the great legend, Hugo Chávez Frias.

Standing with Libya, Syria and Palestine

Of course, in the cause of Africa, and of African-Latin American unity, Chávez had no greater ally than that other staunch anti-imperialist Muammar Gaddafi, whose struggle he supported to the end, declaring: “A campaign of lies is being spun together regarding Libya. I’m not going to condemn him. I’d be a coward to condemn someone who has been my friend. I am not a coward; I am not fickle.”

He took the same stand in support of Syria, with Venezuela sending several tankers of fuel oil to support the beleaguered but defiant Arab nation. From the heart of embattled Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad wrote to Acting President Nicolas Maduro:

The demise of brother and friend, President Hugo Chávez is a big loss for me and for the Syrian people, as it is a big loss for you, the Venezuelan people and for all honest, free people in the world.

Fate has taken away a leader who protected the sovereignty of his country … He had embodied a legendary struggle in the face of USA attempts and those who support it to dominate the peoples and states … He has been able to guarantee Venezuela sovereignty, prevent intervention and support the freedom of nations so as to contribute to changing the face of Latin America and to become the symbol of its independence.

This glorious man has emerged from the ranks of his people and insisted to remain as this … He was committed to the principle of keeping the rights and interests of the Venezuelan people and struggling with his people.

The Syrian people and I are proud of the remarkable progress of the two countries’ relations in the social, political, economic and cultural fields … The great late President made the confrontation of war on Syria one of the issues that he adopted and defended as well as sought to clarify to the public opinion in Latin America and the world.”

The Lebanese resistance movement Hizbollah declared: “The free world, the oppressed and also us have lost a dear and loyal friend who devoted his life to defend the peoples. We cannot forget the sincere support that the late president gave to Lebanon during the war. The Arab and islamic peoples cannot forget his stance regarding the Palestinians’ rights.

Memorial meetings were held for Hugo Chávez in Ramallah and other Palestinian towns and cities. Leader of the Palestine National Authority Mahmoud Abbas stated: “With the passing of our brother and comrade Chávez, all the patriots fighting for their freedom have lost a great leader, who fought for a better world, clean of oppression and colonialism.” He went on to say that Chávez would be etched in the Palestinian people’s memories for his unconditional support for the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

From besieged Gaza, Hamas lauded Chávez as a “great leader who dedicated his life to defending the dignity and liberty of his people … and who supported the Palestinian people and their cause … His last act of bravery was to allow the Palestinians to enter Venezuela without a visa, which many Arab leaders have yet to do.”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said in its tribute: “The loss of President Chávez is the loss of a friend of the people of Palestine and the Arab people. This is a day of mourning for the Palestinian people, who will never forget Chávez’s stand with us against the aggression and tyranny of the occupation and its crimes.”

Chávez was also deeply mourned by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and its Polisario Front liberation movement, which is fighting for independence against imperialist-backed Moroccan occupation. Comrade Mohamed Abdelaziz, president of the SADR and secretary general of Polisario referred to the “irreparable loss of our brother, Commander Hugo Chávez … [his] death is a great loss not only for the Saharawi people, but also for all human ideals of freedom and justice”.

As recently as 14 February, it had been announced that Venezuela would provide advice to the SADR in the management of water resources. As part of the agreement, 10 technicians from the country will be trained by staff from Venezuela’s National Hydraulics Laboratory in the fields of hydrology and drilling.

This will facilitate access to drinking water in the Sahrawi Republic in order to “strike a blow to the neo-liberal policies of imperialism”, according to a Venezuelan government statement.

Then prime minister of Nepal, Comrade Baburam Bhattarai, vice-chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), took part in a memorial meeting in Kathmandu and called on young people in particular to follow the example of Chávez.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which leads the people’s war in that country, extended “its deepest sympathies to the Venezuelan people during their time of mourning following the death of their beloved president Hugo Chávez”, adding:

Serving as the Venezuelan people’s champion, Hugo Chávez earned the ire of the US imperialist government, which demanded the return of the rights of the exploitative and oppressive foreign capitalists who sought to monopolise Venezuela’s oil and other natural resources. The US government never relented in its effort to overthrow the Hugo Chávez government and engaged in internal subversion by funding and arming the forces that opposed the Bolivarian revolution … His fierce hatred of imperialism inspired other countries to defend their patrimony and national freedom.

“I am a Maoist”

Hugo Chávez also grasped that if imperialism was to be successfully confronted, and prospering new societies were to be sustainably built, the peoples of Latin America, Africa and all progressive and anti-imperialist countries and forces also needed to forge a strategic alliance with Russia and China. 

Arriving in China in 2008, one of six visits to the country, he declared: “We are offering tribute in the land of Mao. I am a Maoist.”

But this was a relationship that went way beyond mere rhetoric. Writing last October, the influential business publication Bloomberg reported in the context of Chávez’s last election campaign:

Edelmina Flores thanks God and Hugo Chávez for her apartment in a new housing complex in the Venezuelan president’s home state of Barinas. She might also want to thank the Chinese government. Since 2007, the China Development Bank has lent Venezuela $42.5bn … That sum accounts for nearly a quarter of the bank’s overseas loans. At least $12bn was promised in the past 15 months, when stagnant oil output and higher borrowing costs among major emerging markets made raising capital more expensive.

The money has provided a crucial boost for Chávez … The Chávez government has finished more than 250,000 houses since last year. In the past 12 months, government spending has risen 30 percent, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, fuelling growth of 5.4 percent in the second quarter.

China’s loans, to be repaid not in cash, but from Venezuela’s abundant oil, were priced, Bloomberghad to concede, at less than half the rate that Venezuela would have had to pay were it to have borrowed on international capital markets, and had it been able to do so.

Then Chinese president Hu Jintao said that Chávez was an outstanding leader of Venezuela and a distinguished politician in Latin America, who had devoted all his life to national development and social progress, and earned respect and support from the Venezuelan people, adding:

“The Chinese people lost such a great friend, who had promoted the China-Venezuela strategic partnership and contributed to enhancing bilateral cooperation in a variety of areas and cementing friendship between the two peoples.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin described Chávez as “a brave and very thorough man who was able to showcase strong character to go through with his plans. He genuinely wanted to rid the country’s poor citizens of their plight and improve their lives. Chávez became the symbol of independence throughout Latin America while he was still alive. He’s joined the legendary ranks of Simon Bolivar, Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara.”

Chávez was particularly remembered in the small states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which, with Russian support, successfully declared their independence from the pro-imperialist Georgian regime after a vicious assault by the latter in 2008. Along with Sandinista Nicaragua, Venezuela was among just a handful of countries that joined Russia in officially recognising the two states. 

At a funeral rally in the South Ossetian capital Tskinvali, prominent speakers, in the words of theEurasianet website, “took turns to remember the Chávez they knew, the Chávez they loved, and queued to sign a memorial book to be sent to Caracas. The mourners said they were forever thankful to the Bolivarian revolutionary for standing up to the West and recognising South Ossetia’s … independence from Georgia. ‘Since then, the people and the president of Venezuela have become close friends to us,’ declared President Leonid Tibolov.”

Across the border in the North Ossetian republic of the Russian Federation, a mountain has been named after Chávez. Thirty climbers reached its 3,695-metre peak to place his portrait and officially rename it.

Chávez was also mourned in a number of other former Soviet republics, but nowhere more so than in Belarus, which he had visited four times. “We have lost a close person and best friend who loved Belarus and always offered us a helping hand,” President Aleksandr Lukashenko declared.

Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic posthumously awarded Chávez the Order of the Republic of Serbia, his country’s highest national honour. Nikolic declared:

“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has been left without its president, the Republic of Serbia without a sincere friend, the world political scene has been left without a great statesman, whose tolerance, understanding of the historical moment, endurance with which he fought for a better future for his people, contribution to peace in the region and the world, became the characteristics after which the name of Hugo Chávez will in the future be uttered with deep respect.”

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic added that Chávez was “a great friend of Serbia, an advocate of improved relations between our countries, and known for his principled position in favour of a solution of the Kosovo and Metohija problem in line with international law”.

In 2008, Chávez had firmly refused calls to recognise the supposed ‘independence’ of Kosovo, carved out of Serbia as a result of a Nato war of aggression, saying that yielding to US pressure on this issue would only lead to countless more future wars throughout the world.

Unique standing

Reflecting his unique standing in the world, some 33 heads of state and government attended Comrade Chávez’s funeral service, with many other countries sending high-level delegations – some 55 in all. They included the presidents of Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Iran, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay; the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as of Aruba and Curaçao, two remaining Dutch colonies in the Caribbean, whose independence was championed by Chávez; special envoys of the presidents of China, Russia (joined by the foreign minister and other leaders) and Serbia; the minister of presidential affairs of Syria; the deputy prime minister of Vietnam; government ministers from India and Sri Lanka; the former presidents of Honduras and Paraguay, who were overthrown in reactionary constitutional coups; and African-American civil-rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson.

The president of Argentina, along with the Brazilian president and her immediate predecessor, spent several days participating in memorial functions in Caracas immediately prior to the funeral service.

It is further worth noting that, in stark contrast to the right wing in Venezuela itself, the few remaining right-wing leaders in the rest of Latin America felt constrained to join the continent’s mourning, with the presidents of Chile and Colombia also attending the funeral service in Caracas.

For its part, the popular liberation movement in Colombia, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (Farc-EP) said that it thanked Chávez for “having allowed, with his help, that we are in Havana seeking for a political solution to the armed social conflict in Colombia”. Ivan Marquez, head of the Farc-EP delegation to the peace talks in Cuba with representatives of the Bogota government, added:

“We should turn this pain that overwhelms us into an incentive to continue with a task that was drawn up by the Venezuelan commander.”

Equally unprecedentedly, some 16 countries joined Venezuela in declaring official days of mourning. Bolivia and Nicaragua, together with Venezuela, observed seven official days of mourning (Venezuela later extended the mourning period to 11 days, to accommodate the millions who wished to bid farewell to their beloved leader). Among the countries observing three days of mourning were Belarus, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti and Uruguay, while days of mourning were also observed in Iran and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic among others. Gambia declared two national days of prayers for Chávez, respectively for the country’s muslim and christian communities.

Many heads of state paid personal tribute at the Venezuelan or Cuban diplomatic missions in their country, including the presidents of Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

President Truong Tan Sang said the Vietnamese people would forever remember the deep sentiments that Chávez offered to the country and people of Vietnam, as well as his great contributions to tighten the friendship, solidarity and cooperation between their two countries. In a 2006 visit to Vietnam, Chávez had offered to help the country build its own oil refinery, so as to achieve energy independence, and repeatedly praised the Vietnamese people’s courageous war of liberation against US imperialism, saying that if the US should attack Venezuela, “we will do what Vietnam has done … resist and make them fail.”

All this represented what South African president Jacob Zuma said in his message of condolence: “Our hearts are with the family of President Chávez, as well as the government and the people of Venezuela, during this difficult time of mourning the departure of this respected revolutionary leader of Venezuela and indeed the entire progressive family of nations.” 

Millions of Venezuelan citizens filed past Chávez’s coffin, as well as lining the route of his funeral procession and his journey to his final resting-place. Two tributes, much quoted in the international media, were typical, taken here from the Chinese news agency Xinhua:

“The fight to socialism will continue. We are the people of Hugo Chávez and we will continue the revolution,” said an old man in his sixties.

“Chávez doesn’t die, he still lives in our heart. We love you, all of us are Chávez,” said Juana Luna, a 16-year-old student.

Throughout the world, just as for a previous generation of young people it was the images of Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh who represented incorruptible integrity and resolute anti-imperialism, so, for today’s young people, it is Hugo Chávez. As with Che, the image we will keep in our minds and our hearts of Hugo Chávez will be forever young. He will not grow old. Nor will the ideals, for which he stood and fought.

A beautiful life

In thinking of Hugo Chávez in the days since his passing, one’s mind is drawn to another leader who perfectly combined in his life and work the goals of national freedom and the emancipation of the working class.

In their last meeting, James Connolly, the leader of Dublin’s 1916 Easter Rising against British colonial rule, told his wife Lillie and his daughter Nora that he was to face a firing squad in a few hours. Lillie cried: “But your beautiful life, James, your beautiful life”, to which he replied: “And hasn’t it been a full life!” 

Such also was the life of our Comrade Hugo Chávez – a beautiful life, a full life. A life spent serving the interests of the working class. A life dedicated without rest or selfish considerations to the finest cause in all the world: the fight for the liberation of mankind.

In the words of Nicaraguan President Comrade Daniel Ortega: “The flags of liberty that Chávez raised will keep waving … he lives in our promise to continue the revolution.”

Long live Comrade Hugo Chávez!

Condolences from CPGB-ML

The leadership of the CPGB-ML sent the following message of condolence to the acting president of Venezuela, Comrade Nicolas Maduro, the leadership of Chávez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the Venezuelan people:

It was with feelings of deep and inconsolable grief that we learned the news that Comrade Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias, the respected and beloved leader of the Venezuelan revolution and the Venezuelan people and the true friend and comrade-in-arms of working and oppressed people everywhere, passed away after a long and tenacious battle against illness.

Please accept our most heartfelt condolences, which we offer to Comrade Chávez’s comrades, his family and loved ones and to all the Venezuelan people who are standing in their place, defending the gains of the revolution that Commandante Chávez has led with such distinction.

Comrade Chávez will be remembered forever as a towering figure in humanity’s fight for liberation. Thanks to him, millions of his compatriots were lifted out of poverty and were accorded their human dignity for the first time in history. Moreover, he proclaimed the goal of building a socialist society and set out on the road to achieve that. 

Comrade Chávez was also a thoroughgoing internationalist. He stood in the vanguard of the struggle to win national liberation and social progress for the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean and through his leadership of such bodies as Alba and Petrocaribe turned what had long been the strategic backyard of US imperialism into a beacon of hope for a new world free of imperialism. A tireless fighter, he extended his utmost support to every country and every people fighting against US imperialism and its lackeys and for national liberation, social progress and socialism.

Comrade Chávez was a supremely brave individual. Imprisonment or the threat of death could not deter him. Indeed, he turned them into political weapons to advance the struggle. From the time when he was first diagnosed with cancer, he waged that final battle with the same bravery, determination and resilience with which he lived his entire life.

Comrade Chávez has left us too soon. He had so much more to give. But like all great revolutionary leaders he is more than an individual. As Comrade Evo Morales [President of Bolivia] has said, at this moment Hugo Chávez is more alive than ever and he will always be with us. The revolutionary people of Venezuela are the great people brought up by Commandante Chávez! We are confident that they will continue the struggle he led and will march forward towards the bright socialist future. 

Comrades, at this moment in particular, we want to assure you of our full support and solidarity for the Venezuelan revolution and your anti-imperialist struggle for socialism. All our sympathies are with you.


:: A red salute to Comrade Hugo Chavez , Statement (March 2012)
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