[Marxism] Venezuela: stop the killing of unionists, bring hired killers to justice

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Fri Dec 12 03:55:01 MST 2008


Venezuela: Stop the killing of trade unionists — bring hired killers to
justice!http://www.greenleft.org.au/2008/777/40108

Venezuela: Stop the killing of trade unionists — bring hired killers to
justice!

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network
12 December 2008


*The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) condemns the murder of
Venezuelan trade unionist Simon Caldera, who was shot in Aragua state on
December 4. Caldera was a leader of the pro-revolution Bolivarian
Construction and Industry Union.*

Caldera is the fourth trade unionist to be murdered in one week in Aragua.
His murder follows the shocking killings of three pro-revolution militants
from the National Union of Workers (UNT) — Richard Gallardo, Luis Hernandez
and Carlos Requena — on November 27. All four were victims of
drive-by shootings.

The assassination by hired killers of activists organising oppressed people
to win their rights has mainly been used in recent years by large landowners
against supporters of land reform in Venezuela. More than 150 land reform
activists have been killed since the revolutionary government of President
Hugo Chavez began its land reform policies in 2001 – policies that benefit
impoverished campesinos at the expense of large landowners.

Such murderous actions are an attempt by the rich elite to use violence and
terror to protect their interests against the advances of a powerful
movement of the oppressed in Venezuela. Under the revolutionary leadership
of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela now has the highest minimum wage in Latin America
and many pro-worker laws have been implemented.

The capitalist bosses' attacks on these union activists follows the elites'
defeat at the ballot box. On November 24, more than 5 million people voted
for the pro-Chavez candidates in the regional elections, winning 17 out of
22 states and more than 80% of municipalities in a poll that was understood
as a virtual referendum on constructing "socialism of the 21st century".

In Aragua, the anti-worker, pro-capitalist governor Didalco Bolivar lost the
elections to a member of Chavez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela
(PSUV). This vote clearly indicated the people's desire for change in a
state where the police have a history of repressing workers' struggles.

The Bolivarian revolution has made enormous steps forward in tackling
poverty and securing basic human rights for the majority in Venezuela.
However, the murder of these activists makes it clear that there remains in
Venezuela powerful counter-revolutionary forces willing to use any means to
destroy the movement of the oppressed and maintain their own privileges.

Gallardo, Hernandez and Requena were all participants in an industrial
dispute involving the Colombian-owned Alpina food processing company,
leading to speculation that the attack was carried out by right-wing
Colombian paramilitaries hired by the company. The day before, the Alpina
workers had also been attacked by the police.

Workers in Aragua responded to the killings immediately, with 17 trade
unions taking to the streets and blocking major highways in a series of
protests over the following days.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new governor of Aragua, Chavez called
for a full investigation into the killings, declaring: "In Venezuela we
cannot permit the installation of this perversion, these hired
assassinations." Chavez also said that the Aragua police force must be
completely transformed and threatened to nationalise any company that
violated workers' rights.

These responses of the working people in Aragua and the revolutionary Chavez
government show the determination of the Venezuelan people to defeat such
violence.

All trade unionists and other supporters of workers' rights and social
justice should stand with the Chavez government and Aragua's workers to
condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of such terrorist acts
against the people, and to demand that those responsible face justice.

The AVSN offers its condolences to the families and comrades of the four
murdered trade unionists — killed for their courageous struggle for working
people's rights. This tragedy only strengthens our determination to build
greater international solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their
Bolivarian revolution.

[For more further news and information about events in Venezuela and
solidarity events organised in Australia visit
http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org ].

From: International News, Green Left Weekly issue
#777<http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2008/777>3 December 2008.
 Venezuela: Stop the killing of trade unionists — bring hired killers to
justice!
Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network
12 December 2008


*The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) condemns the murder of
Venezuelan trade unionist Simon Caldera, who was shot in Aragua state on
December 4. Caldera was a leader of the pro-revolution Bolivarian
Construction and Industry Union.*

Caldera is the fourth trade unionist to be murdered in one week in Aragua.
His murder follows the shocking killings of three pro-revolution militants
from the National Union of Workers (UNT) — Richard Gallardo, Luis Hernandez
and Carlos Requena — on November 27. All four were victims of
drive-by shootings.

The assassination by hired killers of activists organising oppressed people
to win their rights has mainly been used in recent years by large landowners
against supporters of land reform in Venezuela. More than 150 land reform
activists have been killed since the revolutionary government of President
Hugo Chavez began its land reform policies in 2001 – policies that benefit
impoverished campesinos at the expense of large landowners.

Such murderous actions are an attempt by the rich elite to use violence and
terror to protect their interests against the advances of a powerful
movement of the oppressed in Venezuela. Under the revolutionary leadership
of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela now has the highest minimum wage in Latin America
and many pro-worker laws have been implemented.

The capitalist bosses' attacks on these union activists follows the elites'
defeat at the ballot box. On November 24, more than 5 million people voted
for the pro-Chavez candidates in the regional elections, winning 17 out of
22 states and more than 80% of municipalities in a poll that was understood
as a virtual referendum on constructing "socialism of the 21st century".

In Aragua, the anti-worker, pro-capitalist governor Didalco Bolivar lost the
elections to a member of Chavez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela
(PSUV). This vote clearly indicated the people's desire for change in a
state where the police have a history of repressing workers' struggles.

The Bolivarian revolution has made enormous steps forward in tackling
poverty and securing basic human rights for the majority in Venezuela.
However, the murder of these activists makes it clear that there remains in
Venezuela powerful counter-revolutionary forces willing to use any means to
destroy the movement of the oppressed and maintain their own privileges.

Gallardo, Hernandez and Requena were all participants in an industrial
dispute involving the Colombian-owned Alpina food processing company,
leading to speculation that the attack was carried out by right-wing
Colombian paramilitaries hired by the company. The day before, the Alpina
workers had also been attacked by the police.

Workers in Aragua responded to the killings immediately, with 17 trade
unions taking to the streets and blocking major highways in a series of
protests over the following days.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new governor of Aragua, Chavez called
for a full investigation into the killings, declaring: "In Venezuela we
cannot permit the installation of this perversion, these hired
assassinations." Chavez also said that the Aragua police force must be
completely transformed and threatened to nationalise any company that
violated workers' rights.

These responses of the working people in Aragua and the revolutionary Chavez
government show the determination of the Venezuelan people to defeat such
violence.

All trade unionists and other supporters of workers' rights and social
justice should stand with the Chavez government and Aragua's workers to
condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of such terrorist acts
against the people, and to demand that those responsible face justice.

The AVSN offers its condolences to the families and comrades of the four
murdered trade unionists — killed for their courageous struggle for working
people's rights. This tragedy only strengthens our determination to build
greater international solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their
Bolivarian revolution.

[For more further news and information about events in Venezuela and
solidarity events organised in Australia visit
http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org ].

From: International News, Green Left Weekly issue
#777<http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2008/777>3 December 2008.


-- 
"The free market is perfectly natural... do you think I am some kind of
dummy?" - Jarvis Cocker

"Our demands are moderate — we only want the Earth" - James Connolly



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