The workers in the Venepal paper mill in Morón, Carabobo (Venezuela)
are demanding that the government nationalises the company and puts it
under workers’ control and management. This is an extremely important
struggle which could be crucial for the future of the labour movement
and the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela.
On Sunday, October 31, millions of Venezuelans will go to the polls to
elect governors of the country’s 24 states and mayors for 337 municipal
councils. Coming after the massive victory of the Bolivarian movement
in defeating the presidential recall referendum on August 15, this
election offers the possibility for the Bolivarian movement to take
control of some key states and local councils.
Partial results of this weekend’s local elections in Venezuela indicate
a dramatic turnaround in many states. Former opposition strongholds
have been won by Bolivarian candidates. This confirms the solid support
for Chavez that was clear to all in the August 15 recall referendum.
Capitalism could be overthrown very easily in these conditions, but
decisive action needs to be taken now.
At a mass rally of 10,000 people on Monday January 10, Venezuela’s
president Hugo Chavez announced a new decree aimed at speeding up land
reform. Since the Land Act was passed in December 2001, the National
Land Institute has already distributed 5.5 million acres of land to
peasant cooperatives. Up until now all the land distributed has been
state-owned land and there have been no expropriations. The new decree
is aimed at the large landed estates (latifundia) that have been left
idle or are poorly used.