Revolutionaries Gather in Solidarity with Communes of Simón Planas

Activists and militants of revolutionary organizations from across Venezuela gathered in Simón Planas, Lara State, in solidarity with the struggles of the communards of this rural muncipality to share experiences and debate the current role and relevance of the communes within the Bolivarian Revolution.

By Katrina Kozarek

Barquisimeto, March 03 2018 ( On the 23rd through the 25th of February, around 600 revolutionaries from communes, political parties and popular movements from across Venezuela gathered in the El Maizal Socialist Commune in gestures of solidarity with the struggles of the communes from the municipality of Simón Planas, Lara State.

Though this area has been a landmark of participatory organization and communal production since Chávez called for the conformation of the El Maizal commune in 2009 on lands recently expropriated from large landowners, over the last few months, the articulated struggle of these communes for the recognition of the victory of their communal candidate, Ángel Prado, who was collectively postulated in hopes of bringing the same productive and participatory organization to the mayor's office of their municipality, brought a renewed attention to this area. The communes of Simón Planas confronted intense obstacles and sabotage during the candidacy, only to have Prado's victory of 57.4% denied by the CNE in favor of the PSUV candidate because of a decree placed by the directive of the ANC denying him permission to run for mayorship. The tireless struggle of the communes of Simón Planas against what they consider to be an unjust attack, not just against an electoral decision, but against the will of popular power and communal organization, and their heroic decision to continue push forward with their municipal organization through the conformation of a communal city produced a need amongst many sectors of Chavismo to reflect on increasing tensions between the bureaucratic tendencies and popular organization within the current context of Chavismo.

As the imperialist threat against Venezuela also intensifies through increased economic sanctions, the gathering in The El Maizal commune became a space for interchange of experiences and debate around role of the communes and popular organization in the unification of Chavismo, the recuperation of the national economy and the revival of the Bolivarian Revolution.