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Newsletter (in English)


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.

Orlando Chirino played an important role in the struggle against the attempted coup d’état in April 2002 and the bosses’ sabotage of the oil industry in late 2002 and early 2003. But as a supporter of the political independence of the working class, he refused to support the government’s constitutional reform last December or join Hugo Chávez’ new party, the PSUV – for this, he has been denounced as a “traitor” and a “counterrevolutionary”.

The government is persecuting not only Chirino but many different combative sectors of the workers’ movement. At this moment, workers and trade union leaders from the steel mill SIDOR and the ceramics factory Sanitarios de Maracay are on trial for organizing strikes. At the same time, all charges against right-wing conspirators from the attempted coup d’etat of 2002 were dropped!

The government’s project of “Socialism of the 21st Century”, based on collaboration with “patriotic capitalists”, requires keeping the workers’ movement under tight control. Real socialism, in contrast, would require that the means of production be expropriated by a government of the workers. We therefore express our solidarity with Orlando Chirino and all working class activists in Venezuela fighting for an independent and revolutionary workers’ party.

Below is the text of a petition which is supported by hundreds of left-wing and workers’ organizations around the world, including the independent youth organization REVOLUTION.

REVOLUTION International Coordination, February 20, 2008

To the engineer Rafael Ramírez, Minister of Energy and Petroleum and President of Petróleos de Venezuela [PDVSA], and to all members of the board of directors of PDVSA:

We, the under-signed, address you in order to demand the immediate reinstatement of Orlando Chrino, a national coordinator of the National Workers’ Union (UNT) who played a leading role in the struggle against the coup d’etat in April 2002 and in defense of the oil industry during the days of the strike-sabotage against PDVSA in the same year.

Chrino has been fired from PDVSA without justification, because currently he is protected by the provisions of the Organic Law of Work regarding trade union functions, given that he is a member of the leadership comitee of Sinutrapetrol (the United Trade Union of Oil Workers) as secretary of security and hygiene, as well as a national coordinator of the UNT.

Given what has already been expressed, as well as in honor of Orlando Chirino’s transparent trajectory and the services he has rendered in the interest of the working class of Venezuela for more than three decades as a trade union leader, which is recognized by thousands of workers independent of their political and ideological positions, we present this petition.

(Source:; Translation: Wladek Flakin,

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