Tribuna Popular (TP), press organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), has managed since its inception in 1948 to overcome the most difficult conditions of clandestinity, persecution and political obstruction through the commitment and discipline of the members of our Party, and thanks to the support of the working people. But this time, in the year of its 70th Anniversary, and of what would have been the publication of the 3000th edition of its history, our newspaper is facing a most unusual situation that has led to the temporary interruption of our printed issues, as a result of the unprecedented economic crisis in our country that has caused an acute shortage of paper and other printing supplies, which are all imported.
Twenty years elapsed, from the end of the IX epoch of Tribuna Popular in December 1990 in the midst of the severe political, organizational and economic difficulties that PCV and the international communist movement faced after the triumph of counterrevolution in the USSR and the European socialist bloc, until 2011, when, following the guidelines of the 28th Plenary Meeting of our Central Committee (January 24 and 25, 2009), we finally succeeded in regularizing the frequency of publication of the newspaper; positioning TP as an instrument for class struggle, for the strengthening of the organization of PCV and the Communist Youth of Venezuela (JCV), and for the work of our militants amongst the masses; establishing a permanent staff of functionaries and contributors; and guaranteeing the self-financing of the newspaper through the sale of its copies.
However, during the last three years, the speed and magnitude of the increments in production costs due to the shortage of supplies, forced us to suspend our ongoing plans to increase the annual number of issues, and of pages in each issue. This year we had to progressively reduce the size of our printing runs and to reduce also the number of pages even further, in order to at least maintain the frequency of our issues, which we managed to do until issue # 2998 (July 19, 2018). Since then, the only possibilities we have to keep printing would be by importing the supplies ourselves, or, due to the de facto dollarization of the Venezuelan economy, by paying the printers in foreign currency, both of which are out of our reach for now.
Faced with this situation, the Political Bureau of PCV has decided that, while all sorts of efforts to reestablish the printing of Tribuna Popular will continue, a digital-only version of TP will be published maintaining its character as «Organ of the Central Committee of PCV» and preserving the continuity of the historical numeration of the printed issues.
As the Political Declaration of the 5th Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of PCV (January 29, 1994) correctly underlined just before the beginning of the XI epoch of TP: «It is not possible to conceive the harmonious functioning of our Party and its relationship with the masses without Tribuna Popular». Further, we stick to what was expressed by the 13th National Conference of PCV (August 8 through 10, 2014) in the document entitled The Marxist-Leninist organization: «Those who despise or minimize the role and potential of the printed newspaper of our Party, are in general an expression of laziness, complacency and political-ideological deviation, which consciously or unconsciously contribute to the reformist conceptions of «progressivism» and alter-globalism, which advocate that organization, structure, discipline, class ideology, and direct contact with the masses are not necessary, that is, the negation of the Communist Party.»
Carlos Aquino G.
Editor-in-Chief of Tribuna Popular
Caracas, September 24th, 2018.