International Marxist tendency leader, Alan Woods has found himself under the spotlight again after an article in the Brazilian O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper named him as one of President Chavez' ideological gurus.
Demetrio Magnoli dedicated the core of his article to the Fifth International which President Chavez wants to create and host in April. The author dropped a clanger by stating that the future of the "man who would like to succeed Marx, Lenin and Trotsky will be shaped by an event that is totally out of his control, the Brazilian presidential elections in October."
Delving into an analyze of the people whom he thinks have influenced Chavez' thinking, he starts with the deceased Norberto Ceresole and the theory of setting up an authoritarian fascist-like State. Then after the break with Ceresole, along came Heinz Dieterich and 21st century Socialism, alliance with Cuba and State capitalism as part of the transition to Socialism. Finally, there is Welshman, Alan Woods ushering in Lenin and the Fifth International.
The Brazilian expert said Chavez is in decline and will lose the legislative elections in September. The cynical sociologist slams his own government for turning its back on Venezuela's opposition and sending a team to rescue Venezuela's collapsed electricity system.
The other clanger is the statement that Chavez' support for Lula's re-election was "received with disdain by the revolutionary Chavistas" and therefore, "Woods must be secretly praying for the triumph of Dilma Rousseff."
Woods said he was surprised by the uproar the piece caused in Venezuela and sent in a reply to the newspaper, calling many of Magnoli's conjectures unfounded such as "the original Chavism flirting with anti-semitism." He muses that facts, not fiction are missing from Magnoli's article. He states that Magnoli overestimates any influence he might have on Chavez, who is quite capable of thinking for himself and quite used to making his own decisions.
Woods's own views are clear enough: you can't do half a revolution ... either the revolution takes power away from the landowners, bankers and capitalists or it will fail.
In contesting the majority of Magnoli's speculations, Woods asks where on earth did he get the idea that the Brazilian elections will determine how long Chavez will last in power. The key factor, he declared, will be the Brazilian people and not its oligarchy.
The value of Chavez, Woods insists, is that he challenged the world to see that the only choice it had was between Socialism or barbarianism. He does say he is hoping or praying that the PT candidate will win in October.
Speaking to Alan on the phone, he said he wasn't able to talk to Chavez during the Copenhagen conference but criticized the Danish police that made life difficult for the President, placing all sorts of inconveniences in his path during his brief stay in that country.
Patrick J. O'Donoghue