Révolution Socialiste  




CRP en el Perú




Solidarity with the Venezuelan workers! Independence of the workers organizations from the bourgeois state! Stop intimidation, slander and violence against the workers and activists who fight for their rights!



In July, the contradictions between broad sections of the Venezuelan working class and the Chavezist state bureaucracy have grown continuously.

The 1.5 millions workers of the public sector of Venezuela turned out against their corrupt leader Franklin Rondón. Without their consent, he drafted a collective contract that was far from the workers’ demands for better working conditions, for a substantial wage increase and for the reduction of working hours.

In mid-August, delegations of trade unions from FENTRASEP, the union led by Rondón, tried to enforce a meeting with the responsible health and safety inspector at the Ministry of Labour, but were not received – due to the rejection of José Rámon Rivero, minister of Labour himself. Powerful police forces protect the ministry of Labour – against Venezuelan labour...

In the oil industry, PDVSA, the ruling state-owned enterprise, is shaken by labour unrest. Like in the public sector, the collective contract is at stake. The nomination of the negotiation board for the contract without preliminary elections by the workers themselves stirred pickets and demonstrations against the undemocratic way the negotiating team was installed from above.

These struggles are part of the resistance of the most conscious sectors of the Venezuelan working class against the more and more bonapartist regime of Hugo Chávez Frias. While Chávez talks about his “socialism of the 21st century”, he openly relies on the “socialist” entrepreneurs, defends private property of the means of production and turns the table against class struggle trade unions.

In March, when launching the campaign for the building of the P“S”UV, he fiercely attacked the independence of the trade unions. While Chávez talks about “socialism in Venezuela”, his Guardia Nacional attacks Sanitarios Maracay workers and other occupied factories who demand workers control over the production.

On September 27th , the repression against working class protesters peaked in the state of Anzoátegui: Workers who rallied to confront the “ministro del Poder Popular para la Energía y el Petróleo (Menpet)” (minister of the Peoples Power for energy and petrol), Rafael Ramírez on the site of the Venezuelan Petróleo Corporation (CVP), were attacked by strong police forces with tear gas, batons and shotguns. At least one worker was shot in the back and had to be hospitalised.

At the same time, cynical and threatening anonymous leaflets and emails appear, with slanders and threats against the fighting workers and the leaders of the C-CURA faction of the UNT. They are smeared as “rats”, saboteurs and counterrevolutionaries who want to destroy Venezuelan economy.

Up to now such words were only used in public statements to denounce the pro-imperialist forces of the bourgeois opposition against Chávez during the attempted coup in 2002. It is directly aimed at spurring physical attacks against strikers, pickets and trade union leaders who claim to defend the independence of the unions against the bourgeois state. It seems that the source of this campaign is the Ministry of Labour.

In no way we defend the political line of C-CURA leaders like Orlando Chirino or Marco García. They themselves spread illusions in Chávez and in his “Bolivarian” revolution. But we defend them as working-class militants who come today under the fire because they represent, even in an insufficient way, the aspirations of the masses.

We express our solidarity with the Venezuelan workers in struggle and condemn the cowardly and anonymous threats and attacks against them and against the leaders of C-CURA. We call on all workers organisations to express their solidarity with the Venezuelan workers.

We warn against all illusions in Chávez and his political project: The “Bolivarian revolution” is nothing else then a new bonapartist trap for the working class, the poor peasants and the toiling masses of the “informal sector” in the towns of Venezuela. Such populist movements, which combined a “leftist” language with fierce capitalist measures, are not new in Latin America. The national bourgeoisie and its military “progressives” must not be trusted by the working class. Only the revolutionary action of the latter under the leadership of a genuine revolutionary workers’ party, with the help of the other exploited sections of the population, can emancipate the country from the imperialist domination and open the way to socialism, which needs the extension of the proletarian revolution at least to the whole continent - South and North.

27 September 2007

Permanent Revolution Collective

Der Neue Kurs / Austria