Reports: Chavez Makes Marxism Mandatory

The Venezuelan government is reportedly pushing a plan to make four hours a week of training in Marxist ideology mandatory for all government employees, and students in government-funded schools.

The public radio program Marketplace reported on April 19 that “the government of President Hugo Chavez is going to provideworkers with four hours of free classes each week — in Marxism.”

A Spanish-language news report making the rounds on April 20 said the obligatory Marxist education will also be enforced for soldiers and employees of private industry.

The Spanish newspaper Diario ABC reported on the plan to bring the Marxist education to all Venezuelans. Other news outlets, including Argentina’s conservative paper, La Nacion, were picking up on the story by mid-Friday.

According to the ABC report (translated from Spanish):

In their positions of work, in the schools and in the headquarters [Venezuelans] are going to receive a dose of, at least, four weekly hours of formation on marxism, besides bearing their daily speeches in the radio and television.

The article said Venezuela’s labor minister, José Ramón Rivero, said this week that he “will begin to apply the four hours of Marxism to the employees of its Department next week.”

A tad rusty on your material dialectics? Looking to clear you mind from the opiate of neoliberalism? If the report is true, the government apparently feels that the oil-flush and self proclaimed “Revolution toward 21st Century Socialism” of President Hugo Chavez needs some ideological polish.

The little ones won’t miss out either: the four hours are obligatory in schools. And, of course, the soliders. They not only get the indoctrination, they get to shout it to the mountaintop — if they want to keep their careers on the military track.

The ABC article said Venezuelan soldiers shout the slogan: “Country, socialism or death.” It also reports that Chavez has threatened to kick out soldiers who are unwilling to declare themselves Marxist and socialist. is the official online version of Diario ABC, which is known for generally supporting conservative political views and defending the Spanish monarchy. It’s the third largest paper in Spain.

Kelly Hearn is a freelance journalist and World Politics Review contributor based in Buenos Aires.

More World Politics Review