Behind the Bolivarian Revolution
This just-published book by well-known Latin American solidarity campaigners Dr Coral Wynter and Jim McIlroy is a unique account of Venezuela's struggles for sovereignty, justice and socialism from the point of view of grassroots participants in the revolution.
A statement by the AVSN
September 30, 2008
As a broad network of organisations and individuals that has closely studied the significant changes in Venezuelan society since 1998 – including organising eight study tours to Venezuela involving more than 150 Australians from diverse backgrounds - we are obliged to respond to the biases, distortions and lies contained in the Human Rights Watch report “A Decade Under Chavez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela” released in September 2008.
In defence of democracy and sovereignty for Venezuela
A statement from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network
September 14, 2008
On September 11, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez gave the United States ambassador in Caracas 72 hours to leave the country. The announcement was made in solidarity with Bolivia, after Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled US ambassador Phillip Goldberg for collaborating with the far-right opposition movement that has been organising violent protests for weeks to seize control of Bolivia's wealthy eastern provinces.
International call for solidarity with unionists in Venezuela
We are writing to ask you to support a call for an immediate end to the intimidation and judicial persecution of Stalin Perez Borges, national coordinator of the National Union of Workers (UNT), and all the workers involved in the dispute at the Fundimeca air-conditioner factory in Valencia, Carabobo, and for all charges against them to be dropped.
Prepared by Francisco Domínguez (Member of Executive Committee, Venezuela Information Centre)
June 13th 2008, by James Suggett - Venezuelanalysis.com
Mérida, June 13, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)-- Contract workers from Venezuela’s recently nationalized SIDOR steel plant were declared permanent workers and incorporated into the United Steel Industry Workers Union (SUTISS) Tuesday, in accordance with the collective contract that SUTISS signed with the government in early May, following 16 months of embattled negotiations with the previous private management.
The following is a resolution unanimously adopted at the Maritime Union of Australia National Conference on 7-11 April in Sydney.
"We congratulate and support the Venezuelan government for its continuing utilisation of the country's wealth and resources for reforms that benefit working people, the poor and the landless. These reforms include the elimination of illiteracy and other social programs designed by Venezuelans themselves through democratic structures to promote health care, education, job training, land reform and subsidized food.
The Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network Brigade to Venezuela is currently underway. Below is a message from brigade participant, Coral Wynter.
We have just attended a massive march of worker for May Day in Caracas. We estimate about 500,000 to 750,000 people all in red T shirts from all over the country. It was amazing and our brigade of 15 people were interviewed on three television stations, Telesur, VTV and VIve. We also gave numerous radio interviews. We were easily identified with our great banner. We danced and skipped along the route from La Bandera to Puente Laguno. It was very exciting and nothing like anybody has experienced before. YOu really feel the power of the working class. Also John Cleary and I made our way to the stage and gave greetings to the workers of Venezuela from Australian workers. We were greeted with a loud cheer. I think we were the only foreigners in the crowd as an organised group. So we were on national televsiion with our great T'shirts expressing Australia Venezuela solidarity. Unfortunately President Hugo HCavez didn´t speak on this occassion but yesterday he announced another 30% increase in the minimum wages of workers. A great day and we are all exhausted but very happy.
Greetings from the AVSN brigade
Chavez re-nationalises SIDOR – historic victory for the workers
By Jorge Martin - www.marxist.com
Wednesday, 09 April 2008
At 1.22am Venezuelan time on Wednesday, April 9th, Venezuelan vice-president Ramon Carrizales announced the decision of president Chávez to renationalise the giant steel plant SIDOR located in the southern state of Bolivar. The decision was taken as the Argentinean-Italian multinational group Techint (the majority shareholder of SIDOR) refused to make concessions to the workers in the collective bargaining agreement.
Privatized in 1997, Siderúrgica del Orinoco (Sidor) joins again the Venezuelan State’s strategic companies.
The decision of nationalizing Venezuela’s largest steelmaker Sidor was confirmed on Wednesday during a press conference offered by the Venezuelan Vice-president Ramón Carrizales.
“We want to inform that after a long negotiation process failing to find a solution to a conflict between Sidor and its workers, President Chávez made the decision (…) of taking control of Siderúrgica del Orinoco, a company privatized ten years ago,” he said.
He explained that the Venezuelan government and Sidor discussed three points on which no agreements were reached: the role of contractors, the adjustment of pensions and the workers’ wage. “We are going to negotiate as we have done with different companies without any violations,” Carrizales added.
So far, the Venezuelan State has owned just 20% of Sidor shares, other 20% has been owned by Sidor’s workers and former workers, and 60% by Ternium.
Sidor, privatized two years before the Bolivarian Revolution took office, joins again the Venezuelan State’s companies within the framework of the recovery of strategic sectors, such as electricity, oil, lands and cement, carried out by the Venezuelan government.
Presidential Press Office / April 09, 2008