Ok, not my favourite flavour of Trots (I edited out the calls for a Bolshevik-type workers' party) but interesting news:
On November 27, three leftist union leaders in the Venezuelan state of Aragua – Richard Gallardo, Luis Hernández and Carlos Requena – were gunned down by an assassin. The murder came hours after the unionists had led a workers occupation of a Colombian-owned milk plant which had been brutally broken up by state police. All three were leaders of the UNT (National Workers Union) and of the USI (Socialist Left Unity), a party which has opposed attempts by the government of Hugo Chávez to impose state control of labor, and has fought the rightist opposition backed by imperialism. They may have been murdered by assassins hired by the Colombian company, by elements connected to the police of outgoing state governor, a former Chávez ally, or by supporters of a current official of the governing United Socialist Party. In any case, despite Chávez’ socialist rhetoric, the reality of the bourgeois Bolivarian “revolution” in Venezuela today is that leftist unionists are murdered while the forces of capitalist state repression back up the bosses. While many leftists have called on the Chávez government to investigate,
On the afternoon of November 27, some 400 workers at the Alpina milk plant in the Venezuelan state of Aragua occupied their plant demanding full payment of money owed them by the Colombian-owned company. At first, the bosses tried to get the workers to abandon their leaders in the UNT (National Workers Union). When that failed, state police swarmed onto the grounds, brutally beating the workers and seriously injuring four. But the union alerted workers in the industrial area, and according to a report by UNT state leader Luis Hernández, “within minutes, the plant was surrounded by workers of the Unión Nacional de Trabajadores. Thanks to this act of solidarity, it was possible to retake the plant, and the workers reoccupied it.”Yet a few hours later, as they were heading home, Hernández and two other UNT leaders who had led the Alpina workers’ struggle that day, Richard Gallardo and Carlos Requena, were gunned down at a shopping center in the nearby town of Cagua by an assassin on a motorbike. The three were also cadres of the Unidad Socialista de Izquierda (USI, Left Socialist Unity), which has opposed the bourgeois populist government of Hugo Chávez and its attempts to impose state domination of labor. Whatever sinister force ordered the assassination, the blow was aimed at one of the most combative sectors of the Venezuelan workers movement. Despite Chávez’ socialist rhetoric, this is the reality of the Bolivarian “revolution” in Venezuela today: leftist unionists are murdered while the forces of bourgeois state repression back up the bosses.For the last year, Venezuela has been stuck in a stand-off between the leftist nationalist Chávez regime and the right-wing pro-imperialist opposition. In the November 23 regional elections, a pro-government “patriotic coalition” won back about 1.5 million votes Chávez lost in the constitutional referendum last year, while the opposition vote was lower this year. Yet the right elected several key governors and mayors, including the mayor of metropolitan Caracas. Significantly, the PSUV lost Petare, a working-class suburb of the capital which was long a chavista stronghold, as former Chávez supporters stayed home massively. In recent years, the government financed extensive social programs with superprofits from the high price of oil. But as oil prices plummet, Venezuela’s bourgeois “petrosocialism” is running into trouble.
If you want to read more about the defense of nationalist Venezuela and the Cuban deformed workers' state, you can go to the Internationalist website.