Solidarity with Workers in Struggle
Declaration of the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International
Venezuela is a country besieged by US imperialism, the lackey governments of Latin America and the imperialist European nations. We have defended the Bolivarian process in its orientation of radical transformation and denounced the coercive measures against that nation.
However, we view with concern the turn towards neoliberal restoration that the government of Nicolás Maduro and the leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) have been taking in recent years. The working class has been the hardest hit, seeing wages pulverised to levels never before seen in the history of this nation. While the family food basket in September reached USD342.38 dollars, the monthly minimum wage is 7 Bolívares, equivalent to USD 1.68, in a situation in which no workers salary exceeds 30 dollars. Additional salary bonuses, provided to workers by the government and at their discretion regarding amount and time, fail to compensate for the terrible situation.
The government argues that this situation is due to the blockade, when in reality, whilst granting fiscal and financial facilities to the Venezuelan bourgeoisie and transnational capital, the most ferocious monetarist theories that prevent workers obtaining wage adjustments have gained ground. It is inconceivable that countries with a lower per capita income than Venezuela, such as El Salvador or Haiti, today have triple-digit wages or that in Cuba with 60 years of blockade the working class has substantially higher incomes than we see in Venezuela.
This has been generating a slow but sustained awakening of the working class. Declarations, protests at factory gates, calls for strikes and small mobilizations have generated an inordinate level of repression from the government of Nicolás Maduro. Some labor leaders detained since the Chávez period have received long sentences. The arrest of union leaders has led to accusations and trials, sometimes of the military against workers. Any failure of public services generates an accusation of terrorism by the State against ordinary workers. Since the political nature of the detention and/or when trials against workers and union leaders are due to be held is unknown, this makes the situation of detention and the guarantees of legal defense precarious. All this, despite the publicity announcements of a workers' president as the head of the country.
With the same vehemence that we have defended the Bolivarian process from imperialist attacks, we demand that the Venezuelan government end the persecution of the working class, a class that is legitimately fighting for conditions of freedom of association along with a salary that allows it to survive. At a time when the government is in dialogue with the coup-mongering right wing, exonerating it of its responsibilities, we demand a general amnesty for the detained workers and union leaders:
Rodney Antonio Álvarez Rodríguez. C.I. 19.184.464, Expediente: 12J-795-14; Guillermo Manuel González. C.I: 24.982.037 Causa: 1-CT-041-20; Derbys Rodríguez Sánchez. C.I: 12.866.502 Causa: 1-CT-041-20, Eudis Felipe Girot. C.I. 8635180, Exp: 01JT-034-21; Aryenis Torrealba. C.I. 15.228.578, Exp: 5821-21; Alfredo Chirinos. C.I. 18.263.686, Exp: 5821-21; Neptalí Duno. C.I. 9.810.552, Exp: 01CP-S-023-20; Rafael Enrique Nelo García C.I. 12.528.689; Gustavo Enrique Juárez Torres C.I. 10.638.726; Pedro Alexander Montilla Pérez C.I. 13.501.684, Causa judicial N.º PP11P-2020-000190; Roger González C.I. 16.795.931; Luis Rivas C.I. 20.188.686; Eugenio Montes C.I. 13.603.047; Miguel Álvarez C.I. 16.137.990, Exp N.º KP01-P-2019-002868; Darío Antonio Salcedo C.I. V-12.258.676, Expediente MP 73410-2020; Marcos Sabariego, V- 11.745.799, Número del Exp: GP 11-P-2020-000055; Gil Mujica. V- 7.477.454, Número del Exp: GP 11-P-2020-000055; Bartolo José Guerra Rojas V- 5.907.329, Expediente No. BPOL-P-2020; Wilmen José Amaya González; Divo Garrido; Lenin Martínez; Neylander Colmenarez; Juan Mukarsset; Luis Angel García; Franklin Álvarez among many other workers and trade union leaders whose cases we are compiling.
1 November 2021