[Marxism] oral fiction department

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Wed Aug 10 13:54:30 MDT 2005


David Walters writes:


>A current inside the Bolivarian Workers Front (and
>not the whole front) have taken up what some inside the Chavista
>movement (Chavez himself? I don't really know) but includes the
>likes
>of Margaret Honeker and some of the Social-Forum types, to push to
>make the UNT a "union of the whole people" that would allow
>the
>leadership of the UNT to be elected by "all the people of
>Venezuela"
>regardless of their membership in the union, or even what class
>they
>might be members of. It's way of diluting what a union is supposed
>to
>be, or even destroying it as a union of the workers as a class.

David,
         Try getting some facts straight. Firstly, while there was a 
group within UNT arguing for all workers in the formal sector to be 
able to vote for the UNT leadership as a way of increasing the 
credibility of UNT compared to the CTV, it was decidedly not part of 
the Bolivarian Workers Front. On the contrary, it was the Machuca 
group (he being the long-standing leader of the steel workers union), 
which is at great odds with the FBT. I'd say it was a pretty bad 
position, and I think they dropped it a long time ago. That said, I 
suspect this faction of UNT may have the numbers to win the election 
(which would probably pit Machuca vs either Chirinos or Marcela 
Maspero) because, in addition to steel, it includes the leader of the 
large public sector union (Franklin Rondon).
         Secondly, from the spelling, I assume you are getting your 
facts via the oral tradition. Marta Harnecker (who I occasionally 
see) was never a supporter of the idea of open voting within UNT (and 
what would that matter-- she's not in UNT). Further, given that her 
involvement in this year's social forum was speaking to Via 
Campesino, the peasant movement, outside the forum at the invitation 
of the MST, lumping her together with those 'Social-Forum types' 
(whoever the Venezuela contingent is presumably--- ask your confused 
informants because the FBT was a greater presence at Porto Alegre) is 
a bit questionable.
         cheers,
         michael
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at
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(58-212) 573-4111
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