Venezuela: Trade Unions Ratify Anti-Imperialist Stance

Trade unions and political organizations also voiced criticisms and demands for improved salaries and working conditions.

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Communist and trade union leader Pedro Eusse called for working class unity in the face of an external aggression. (Ricardo Vaz)
Communist and trade union leader Pedro Eusse called for working class unity in the face of an external aggression. (Ricardo Vaz)
By Ricardo Vaz
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Caracas, February 21, 2019 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Trade unions and political organizations reaffirmed their opposition to what they term an imperialist coup attempt while stressing the urgent demands of the Venezuelan people and working class.

The meeting was called by the National Struggle Front of the Working Class (FNLCT) and held at Cantaclaro Theater, at the Caracas headquarters of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV).

Pedro Eusse, FNLCT national coordinator and member of the PCV politburo, called on workers to unite in a common front against what he termed an imperialist coup. Eusse added that for the first time he US government is openly at the head of regime change efforts.

“They want to put an end to a national liberation experiment and destroy Bolivarianism,” he stressed.

Eusse also added that a coming to power of a right-wing government would mean an attack against trade unions, campesinos and social services. He went on to blast US-led sanctions, while explaining that their success also has to do with the weaknesses of the Venezuelan economy.

The communist leader ended by stressing that an anti-imperialist struggle and the struggle for improved workers’ rights and conditions were not separate, highlighting some recent government policies that the FNLCT has been opposing, including mass layoffs, reduced salaries, attacks on collective bargaining and against union representatives.

Representatives from public sector trade unions, including CORPOLEC (electricity), AGROPATRIA (agriculture seeds and supplies) and Barrio Adentro (healthcare) likewise highlighted the need for unity in the present circumstances, but also criticized the deterioration of the public sector companies and of working conditions. The military management of some companies was severely criticized for its poor administration and stifling of trade union activity.

“You cannot build a Revolution with the worn out weapons of capitalism,” said Angel Navas from FETRALEC, the electricity sector trade union, paraphrasing Che Guevara.

Adelmo Becerra, from the National Socialist Education and Training System (INCES) trade union also pointed out that the institution was operating well below its maximum capacity, and that it had suffered from the migration of staff.

Concerning the present scenario, he warned that the government needs to rely more on the working class to overcome what he called an imperialist coup attempt.

“It’s not the monopolistic sectors who will put their lives on the line when it comes to it,” he concluded.

Executive Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez made a quick appearance in the meeting to salute the organizations.

“All patriots are being called upon to defend the homeland,” she told the crowd, stressing that there might be a “provocation” on the border this weekend.

Rodriguez highlighted President Maduro’s working class and trade union background, adding that the amidst the “asphyxiation” imposed by US-led sanctions it was down to the workers to take the reins and ensure that production continues.

The organizations present used the occasion to bring some issues to Rodriguez’s attention. The Labor Ministry in particular was the target of severe criticism, with the FLNCT demanding that the vice-presidency reactivate the technical work tables between the ministry and trade unions, a proposal that Rodriguez accepted.