[Marxism] Clueless reporting on Venezuela

Jorge Martin jorge at marxist.com
Thu Nov 29 10:04:13 MST 2007

Orlando Chirino has wasted all the political capital he had accumulated in
the Venezuelan trade union movement because of his sectarianism. He played a
despicable role in the Sanitarios Maracay struggle, first suggesting that
the workers should find a new employer prepared to invest in the plant,
opposing the idea of a struggle for "nationalisation under workers' control"
under the "argument" that this is a "bourgeois government" which will never
nationalise (forgetting that this is the same argument he put forward at the
time of the Venepal struggle, which was later nationalised!), and finally
setting the trade union leadership on a collision course against the
Minister of Labour (who also played a bad role in all this).

details about his role on Sanitarios Maracay:

His ultra-left and sectarian shift has led him to attack the government in
opposition counter-revolutionary media, to call the Minister of Labour a
fascist, to speak several times on a CTV platform, to suggest that the UNT
is dead and a new trade union should be formed including elements from the
counter-revolutionary CTV while speaking on a platform with CTV leaders who
were involved in the coup, and even to speak at a meeting organised by the F
Ebert Foundation (the long arm of the German socialdemocracy/CIA) about
"trade union autonomy".

For all his talk about "trade union autonomy" what he really means is
autonomy from the Bolivarian revolutionary movement, which in effect means
being on the wrong side of the barricades. And, ask yourself this .... who
is paying Chirino's wages? He is a labour advisor to PDVSA!!! So much for
autonomy and independence.

"The leadership of the left wing, the C-CURA, around Orlando Chirino, makes
a lot of noise about the issue of trade union autonomy, but what they really
mean is not the independence of the unions from the state and the
capitalists, but their sectarian proposal that workers should not join the
PSUV. If the workers' movement in Venezuela had half the leadership of the
peasants' movement around the FNCEZ, the situation would be much more
advanced now."

"It is clear that the workers' organisations, both trade union and
political, must remain completely independent (never mind "autonomous"). But
independence does not mean abstention from the actual struggle within the
Bolivarian movement, the only revolutionary movement that exists in
Venezuela. On the contrary, the bureaucrats and reformists would love
nothing better than that revolutionaries stay away from the PSUV. This is
particularly criminal when Orlando Chirino is prepared to speak on the
question of "trade union autonomy" on the same platform as the
national crusade for trade union autonomy" El Universal, May 26, 2007.
and on a platform organised by the Friederich Ebert Foundation (the agency
of German Social Democracy set up specifically to derail
Hacia una Asamblea Constituyente Sindical"
http://www.ildis.org.ve/website/p_index.php?ids=7&tipo=A&vermas=55). What
kind of "autonomy" is this? "Autonomy" from whom and for what purpose?" (
The challenges facing the Venezuelan Revolution,

The crossing of the Rubicon came with his opposition to constitutional
reform. He, and the small group of sectarians around him have actively
campaigned against the constitutional reform, mainly in Aragua (not
Carabobo, where the CCURA has joined the PSUV and campaigned for a YES
vote). Finally, just a few days before the actual referendum, they announced
their position on the vote: a spoilt ballot. To me this is the same as a NO
vote and means that he is now in the camp of the counter-revolution.

No strong points here, I think.

In the meantime, despite repeated calls by Chávez for workers to take over
factories, Orlando Chirino has not even moved his little finger to do
anything to put this into practice. If the CCURA had launched a serious
campaign of factory occupations the situation would be much different.

When Chávez criticised Chirino on the question of trade union autonomy he
used a quote from Rosa Luxemburg against pure non political narrow "trade
unionism" which is what Chirino is practising.

Revolutions put all tendencies to the test, and those who represented the
left wing class struggle tendency of the trade union movement can very
quickly find themselves .... in the wrong side of the barricades.



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