Venezuelan Workers Meet for Worker Control Congress/ Maduro comments on Snowden & War on the Venezuelan Economy
- 1. Hands Off Venezuela @*HOVcampaign* <https://twitter.com/HOVcampaign>
.@*NicolasMaduro* <https://twitter.com/NicolasMaduro>: "Snowden deserves
protection. The US youth has decided to rebel" http://www.
---------------Venezuelan Workers Meet for Worker Control Congress
Jun 24th 2013, by Ewan Robertson
[image: Participants attending a presentation in the main hall (N�stor
Participants attending a presentation in the main hall (N�stor Ferrebus)
[image: The publicity for the congress, which declares, �neither
capitalists nor bureaucrats, all power to the working class�. (I Co]
The publicity for the congress, which declares, �neither capitalists nor
bureaucrats, all power to the working class�. (I Congreso de Trabajadoras y
M�rida, 24th July 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) � Activists from across the
Venezuelan labour movement met last weekend for the country�s first ever
Workers� Congress, where workers discussed workplace democracy and the
construction of socialism.
The congress, billed �I Workers� Congress: Balance and Challenges of Worker
Control and Workers� Councils for the Construction of Socialism�, was
organised by the National Worker Control Movement and saw the participation
of over fifty groups from factories across the country.
Political and union organisations were also present, including radical
activists from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the trade
union current of the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV), and representatives
of leftist union confederation the National Union of Workers (Unete).
The meeting was an attempt to revitalise and strengthen the movement for
worker self-management of factories in Venezuela, known as �worker
control�. The movement holds that the direct control of workers over the
means of production is fundamental to the construction of socialism.
Further, according to the congress� organising committee, the aim of the
meeting was to �promote, strengthen and consolidate the self-organisation
of the working class, based on an analysis of its labour and an evaluation
of its struggles, to allow for the generation of its unity around a common
plan of struggle�.
*A decade of organising*
As part of resistance to factory closures and management lock-outs by
bosses opposed to the administration of former President Hugo Chavez,
dozens of factories have come under whole or part management by their
workers over the past decade.
The worker control movement reached a high point with the proposal of the
�Plan Socialist Guayana� in 2009, whereby the state-owned heavy industries
of the eastern Guayana region would be run with the direct participation of
Although Hugo Chavez voiced his support for the plan at the time, it has
largely fallen into stagnation due to opposition from management
bureaucrats and some reformist politicians within the *Chavista *movement.
The 1st Worker�s Congress, which met in the state-owned Sidor steel plant
in Guayana 21 � 23 June, was the result of a year of meetings between
workers in different parts of the country, who seek to bring together all
those interested or involved in worker control projects into one national
The congress took up a slogan common to the Venezuelan radical left, which
declares, �Neither capitalists nor bureaucrats, all power to the working
With presentations, workshops and plenary sessions, participants discussed
four main themes at the congress. There were, �the self organisation of the
working class�, �the class struggle and the state, legality and
legitimacy�, �workers councils, worker control and management for the
transformation of the capitalist economy� and the �formation and
socialisation of knowledge�.
Those present took part in animated debate, which was seen as key to
reaching conclusions on how the movement could advance toward implementing
greater workplace democracy in the South American country.
Alexander Coriano, a coordinator of the National Worker Control Movement,
argued that movement should not aim to just get workers appointed to run
companies, but rather should seek to introduce a management model in which
workers make the decisions and intervene in processes of monitoring and
�The proposal of collective management is complex, and should still be
analysed. The company should be directed by the workers, but for this to be
achieved the intention is not enough, as this should be accompanied by a
methodology that�s reached with debate and discussion,� Coriano said to
local paper *Diaro de Guayana*.
Concrete goals of the congress were to compile and analyse experiences of
worker control in Venezuela, draft a final declaration on the national
political situation and that of the labour movement, and reach an agreed
manifesto and plan of struggle around which the worker control movement
At the end of the event it was announced that a follow-up meeting would
take place on 27 July to compile and finalise the congress� manifesto and
declarations, which will be made public and handed to President Nicolas
Maduro for his consideration.
*Source URL (retrieved on 26/06/2013 - 1:47am):*
Venezuela�s Maduro: Snowden �Deserves Humanitarian Protection�
Jun 26th 2013, by Tamara Pearson
M�rida, 26th July 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) � �This guy, [Edward]
Snowden... has surprised the world in order to ...improve humanity...this
youth deserves humanitarian protection,� Venezuelan President Nicolas
Maduro said yesterday at a press conference in Port-au-Prince after meeting
with Haiti�s president.
Snowden leaked information about the U.S�s PRISM spy program, which uses
data from large internet companies to carry out mass surveillance of people
inside and outside the U.S. After The Guardian published a series of
exposes based on Snowden�s disclosures this month, U.S. federal prosecutors
charged him with theft of government property, unauthorised communication
of national defence information, and wilful communication of classified
intelligence to an unauthorised person.
�What would happen if it was discovered that Venezuela, a humble country,
were spying on the whole world? All the organisations, the [U.N.] Security
Council would come down on Venezuela straight away,� Maduro said.
He emphasised that Ecuador is evaluating possible political asylum for
Snowden, and that no one has requested asylum in Venezuelan in relation to
the case, but that if they were to do so, �we would evaluate it as well�.
The Venezuelan president went on to remember the case of Nelson Mandela,
�who was internationally persecuted and characterised as one of the most
wanted terrorists by the United States�. On the other hand, he argued, the
U.S. government protects �terrorists�, such as Venezuelan Luis Posada
Carriles, �who flew the Cubana de Aviacion plan and killed over 70 people�.
�Who deserves protection, the young Snowden, or those who plant bombs? It�s
a reflection that we make to the people of the United States and of the
world. We defend [Snowden] because ... the denunciations he has made in a
very brave way, serve to change the world,� Maduro said.
Further, he argued that the United States �should continue to be a great
nation, but more for helping the world than for wanting to control it.
There needs to be definitive change. The people of the United States agree
with their country having a new role in the world and with the
denunciations made by Julian Assange and Snowden�.
�No one should spy on anyone,� Maduro concluded.
In August last year the Venezuelan government also supported Ecuador
against �threats� from Britain, after it granted Wikileaks founder Julian
Assange diplomatic asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Venezuela
called for Ecuador�s decision to be respected, and criticised the British
government�s conduct over the issue.
Moreover, late President Hugo Chavez supported �the people of Wikileaks�,
congratulating them in 2010, and saying the documents they leaked showed
the U.S. to be a �failed state that throws overboard all ethical principles
and respect for even its own allies�. He said Washington owed �answers to
*Source URL (retrieved on 26/06/2013 - 2:18pm):*
The War on the Venezuelan Economy
Jun 25th 2013, by Arturo Rosales - Axis of Logic
[image: Jos� Vielma Mora, Bolivarian governor of the State of Tachira being
interviewed by the media (agencies)]
Jos� Vielma Mora, Bolivarian governor of the
State of Tachira being interviewed by the media (agencies)
The economic war by the opposition private sector against Venezuela
continues apace. It actually began years ago as one of the prongs of
Washington's pitchfork for the overthrow of the constitutionally and
democratically elected socialist government here. The most well known
attack on the economy was the managers' walkout and industrial sabotage of
PDVSA the nationalized oil industry that nearly destoyed the economy but
failed due to the brilliant response by the workers and the government.
Since then, Washington and it's opposition front in Venezuela have
developed new strategies and tactics to wage war on the government with
what Hillary Clinton called, "soft power."
*The counter-revolution and its fronts
There was the speculation by the stock exchange houses in Caracas,
resulting in capital flight; the corrupting of the private bank officials
resulting in the theft of millions of depositors' funds; infiltration of
government bureaucracies by the fifth column to render services
ineffective; the circulation of illegal drugs into Venezuelan youth,
particularly in locales of the Chavista electorate; Colombian paramilitary
groups crossing the border illegally to spawn violence and in some cases,
executing labor leaders; the organizing and funding of the opposition by
the US State Department for elections and violent street actions; the
August 2012 attack on Venezuela's biggest oil refinery at Amuay; the
sabotage of the national electrical system causing blackouts throughout the
country; the opposition's denial of agriculture on vast stretches of their
privately-held fertile lands; artificially-produced inflation by means of
the parallel dollar market and attacks on the production and distribution
of food and household items with their control of food processing and
distribution and their hoarding and dumping of massive quantities of food
to create shortages in the market. Of course each of these attacks against
the revolution have been made-to-order for consumption by the US/European
capitalist media to convince the public that the Venezuelan government is
failing and more broadly that "socialism doesn't work."
*The government fights back
It hasn't been easy but throughout the 14 years of Chavez' presidency the
government has patiently and systematically responded to each new front
opened by the opposition. Since the October 12, 2012 election won
convincingly by President Chavez, the opposition has stepped up their
attacks in a number of these areas and increasingly the new Maduro-led
government has become more aggressive in defeating them.
Shortly after appointing his cabinet following his April 14 election
victory, he fired bureaucrats who have served as impediments to the
revolution. Some of them simply didn't do their jobs, denying prompt and
effective public services and others directly undermined the mission and
work of the revolutionary government. Maduro's purging of officials in
Indepabis, Venezuela's consumer protection agency serves as one example
and his replacement of directors in the national electric system is
another. His appointment of Jesse Chacon as Minister of Electricity and
their subsequent militarization of the nation's electrical depots has
greatly reduced the number and length of the blackout-sabotage across the
country. As the government has gained more control of the electrical
system, we have seen the opposition shift their focus to sabotage of food
*Sabotage of food processing and distribution*
The sabotage of food processing and distribution has been going on for
years. In the runup to the 2007 referendum for constitutional reform (which
the government lost), Erik
"Economic sabotage is an underexposed and underreported tool of the
counterrevolution in Venezuela. It is part and parcel of a general plan of
destabilisation of the revolution in the run-up to the referendum. The
limits of reformism in combating food scarcity stress the need for bold
measures, like nationalisation of the food industry and the mobilisation of
the masses. No time can be lost!"
In the last two weeks of January, 2008, more than 13,000 tons of food were
seized by the government as part of Chavez' Food Sovereignty Plan launched
in order to fight speculation, hoarding and sabotage in the food
distribution chain. Jorge
at the time, *"The main lesson is that food soverignty is not compatible
with capitalism."* When he announced government measures to gain control of
the food distribution system on January 22, President Ch�vez explained,
*"among the responsibilities of the government, one of them is to attack
the capitalist model, the monopolies and rackets, so that the people, the
workers, together with the revolutionary government can take the country
*40,000 tons of hoarded food seized since January*
Since last November, the opposition has stepped up two main fronts:
manipulating the parallel dollar-bolivar exchange rate market causing the
devaluation of the local currency, the bolivar and the hoarding and price
speculation on basic food products typical of the average Venezuelan
family�s diet. Regarding the foods kept off the market, it's worth
mentioning that most of it is under price controls which offers lower
profits to the opposition food industries.
There have been times when for weeks it has been impossible to find corn
meal for making traditional arepas or powdered milk or recently even
toothpaste and toilet paper - in some areas - of the country. It seems the
US and some European media has placed an extra emphasis on the shortage of
toilet paper in a few locations of the country, perceiving the propaganda
value for readers' imaginations - "OMG An entire country without toilet
paper!!" We Venezuelans can only smile at this level of ignorance but we
can sympathize given the blanket negative brainwashing to which the average
news reader is subjected in the United States and Europe.
But now that the government and the security forces are working in tandem
with the local population and the Communal Councils for intelligence
purposes, large amounts of foodstuffs have been found hoarded all over the
country. Since January at least 40,000 tons of food has been found hidden
in various locations.
This sort of action is both political and economic � political in the sense
that the population will blame the government for these artificially
engineered shortages prejudicing its popularity; economic in the sense that
it puts pressure on the government to raise the prices of basic foods thus
*400 tons of hoarded food seized on June 18*
Many people prefer to believe opposition claims that it is government
mismanagement and policy causing shortages but in this report we publish
actual photos taken on June 18th in Tachira state where 400 tons of basic
foods were found hoarded in a secret warehouse in the city of San Cristobal.
The products discovered were 195 tons of rice, one ton of ground coffee,
4,000 liters of cooking oil plus sugar, black beans, toilet rolls, canned
sardines and tuna, lentils, peas, oats, mayonnaise, tomato sauce and
serviettes. All foods sold at regulated process.
The discovery was made by a joint operation led by Tachira state governor,
Jos� Vielma Mora, in conjunction with the state police and the tax
The fact that this merchandise was found in Tachira state, which borders
with Colombia, could mean that the food was due to be illegally smuggled
into Colombia and sold in supermarkets there at much higher prices than in
The following photographs of just one government raid provide evidence of
the food-hoarding tactics used by the Washington-backed opposition. This
raid raises questions about the number of other hidden food dumps are yet
to be discovered with Maduro's new strategies for defending and deepening
*The latest government raid of the opposition's hoarded food locations*
*Jos� Vielma Mora, Bolivarian governor of the
State of Tachira being interviewed by the media.*
*Tons of hoarded rice discovered in the raid.*
*"Caf� Brasil" kept off the market by the opposition. Caf� Brasil
is made in Venezuela and subsidized by the government.*
*Another stash of hoarded rice discovered in the raid.*
*Taking inventory of the sugar hidden in the secret location.*
*Totaling up the find*
*The team that carried out the raid included Tachira state governor, Jos�
in conjunction with the state police and the tax authorities from SENIAT.*
*5,000 kilos (5� tons) of sugar found in another raid,
hidden in an opposition house in Caracas.*
*Source URL (retrieved on 26/06/2013 - 1:38am):*
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