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Newsletter (in English)

Archive for the Category 'Venezuela'

How should socialists react to the call by Hugo Chávez for a Fifth International?

At an international meeting of left-wing parties in Caracas on November 21, the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez Frias called for the formation of a “Fifth International”. How should socialists react to this call? We want to use the opportunity to contribute to the debate about what kind of organization is necessary in the fight against capitalism. We believe the first step is to analyze the social forces and the political program behind Chávez’ call. »»»»

During the night of Thursday, 27 November, Richard Gallardo, Luis Hernández and Carlos Requena were murdered in Cagua in the Venezuelan state of Aragua. The three trade unionists had been supporting a struggle of the 400 workers at the Alpina dairy products factory. The workers had occupied the factory, owned by a Colombian multinational, to protest against management threats to close the plant. Earlier in the day, they had been attacked and evicted by the police, but with the support of the three activists from the trade union they were able to re-take the factory. »»»»

The international campaign against the firing of Venezuelan trade union leader Orlando Chirino has been successful!

Below is a translation of the statement by the class-struggle tendency of the Venezuelan trade union movement:

On November 18 at 10 am, Venezuelan trade union leader Orlando Chirino received a directive issued by the Ministry of Labor which orders that he be reinstated at the job he occupied at the state oil company PDVSA until he was illegally fired in late 2007. »»»»

An open letter to the Trotskyist left of Venezuela (USI, LTS, UST), and not to the “Trotskochavista” left (Marea, Militante etc.), from the independent youth organization REVOLUTION

Dear comrades,

We are writing because you are the political groups that have refused to capitulate to Chavismo and its new state party, the PSUV. You have have made a brave stand for the class independence of the workers in Venezuela. »»»»

An activist from REVOLUTION spent one month in Venezuela and wrote a number of reports about the class struggle there. He visited workers’ protests and factory occupations, and discussed with Chavistas, Trotskyists and also “socialist” capitalists. These reports were published in the Summer 2008 issue of Permanent Revolution. They were also translated to German by the Revolutionary Socialist Organization and published on Indymedia Germany. »»»»

For the last 15 months the workers of the Venenzualan steel works SIDOR have been fighting for a new collective contract and the re-nationalization of the factory. There have been at least eight strikes, multiple demonstrations and a national assembly of solidarity. On 14 March, a demonstration by SIDOR workers was brutally attacked by the national police, leaving more than 50 workers under arrest and more than a dozen injured. »»»»

The independent youth organization REVOLUTION supports the following petition against the firing of Orlando Chirino from PDVSA in Venezuela

Orlando Chirino, a leader of the workers’ movement in Venezuela, has been fired from his job at the state oil company PDVSA. This decision by the PDVSA leadership and the Labour Ministry – under the direction of the the “socialist” government of Hugo Chávez – is just the latest in a series of attacks against the independent workers’ movement in Venezuela. With the firing of Chirino, they hope to weaken the left-wing in the trade union UNT and to bring the entire workers’ movement under government control. »»»»

How should we assess the government of Hugo Chávez?

You have to admit one thing about the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez: he knows how to get headlines of the international press. A lot is written about his anti-imperialist speeches (he called George Bush “the devil” in front of the UN assembly) and his unusual measures (he created a special time zone for Venezuela so school children could sleep longer). »»»»

What kind of party is the United Socialist Party of Venezuela?

“The Association of Socialist Capitalists” is just one component of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). The PSUV, which is still awaiting its often postponed founding congress, has one in four Venezuelans signed up for the party, and of all the parties in the world claiming to be socialist, it is second in size only to the Communist Party of China. »»»»