Class struggle in Venezuela: Chavez, Communes and Socialism

By Cira Pascual Marquina
and Chris Gilbert – Venezuelanalysis

El Maizal Commune lies in the fertile lands between the Lara and Portuguesa states in western Venezuela. Founded in 2009, this rural commune has become an important political and economic force in both the region and the country. It not only produces huge amounts of corn every year, but also raises cattle and pigs, along with a growing number of additional side enterprises. Most importantly, El Maizal Commune forges new social relations and new human beings: people committed to the socialist project that former President Hugo Chávez promoted during his lifetime.
This summer, we took the challenge to leave Caracas – where a pragmatic capitalist restoration is generally seen as the best way to respond to the economic crisis and sanctions – to investigate how Venezuela’s most successful commune confronts the current multi-crisis. We embarked on the difficult journey (gasoline shortages have turned what should be a five-hour trip into a day-long odyssey) to talk to El Maizal’s seasoned communards about how they see the country’s situation, the solutions they have learned through experience, and the future they project for the besieged country.

In the first of this three-part series, we talked to El Maizal communards about the impact of the sanctions and the creative solutions they have employed during the blockade. Part two examined the commune’s new production strategies and the role of political formation in the project. In part three, the communards talk about the Bolivarian Process’s internal contradictions and the importance of building alliances among revolutionary organizations to keep Chávez’s socialist project alive.

In the Shadow of the Blockade: Stories of Resistance from El Maizal Commune (Part I)

Jul 23rd 2021 [Continue reading at]

New Production Strategies: Stories of Resistance from El Maizal Commune (Part II)

Aug 8th 2021 [Continue reading at]

The Struggle to Keep Chávez’s Legacy Alive: Stories of Resistance from El Maizal Commune (Part III)

Continue reading at

We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers  in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.