The Hands off Venezuela campaign has learnt news of the killing of 3 leading trade unionists in Aragua, Venezuela, on November 27th. We would like to condemn this brutal killing in the strongest terms.
We have received news of the assassination of three prominent trade union leaders in Venezuela. The International Marxist Tendency unites its voice to the condemnation of these killings and calls on the Venezuelan working class to stay firm, organise and continue the struggle for socialism, as well as to join all the protest actions that are being prepared.
According to the international teachers' federation Farzad Kamangar was taken from his cell in Tehran's Evin prison on 26 November in preparation for execution. Fortunately he has not been executed. The rumours and preparations for his execution are despicable stunts that highlight the real danger that this Kurdish teacher still faces. We urge all trade unionists and labour activists to support the campaign to free Farzad Kamangar.
Between November 7-14, Jorge Martin, the International Secretary of Hands Off Venezuela, visited Malaysia and Indonesia. In Malaysia, Jorge spoke at the Socialism Malaysia 2008 Forum organized by the Socialist Party of Malaysia. During his visit to Indonesia, Jorge spoke to workers who have occupied their factory and run it under workers' control for 15 months. There, he also met with a number of militant trade unionists discussing about the factory occupation movement in Venezuela.
On November 15 a successful day of solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution was held in Brussels, with many speakers from Belgian trade unions, other solidarity campaigns and guest speaker Jesus Pino of the Revolutionary Front of Steelworkers in Venezuela.
On Wednesday, October 5th, in Bolívar Hall in London, there was a screening of “People's Power” (“El poder popular”) the third part of “The Battle of Chile” (“La batalla de Chile”), by Patricio Guzmán, a film produced in 1979. The film focuses on “People’s Power”, i.e. the formation of grassroots movements and organisations that challenged the old structures of Chilean society.
On November 8, the Hands Off Venezuela campaign welcomed into its ranks the Hungarian-Venezuelan Solidarity Association (HVSA), who after a period of close collaboration and discussions had decided to join HOV. This is a welcome addition to our campaign and we look forward to stepping up the solidarity work with these comrades.
On 10 November the workers of Alborz Lastic, the partly privatised tyre factory, protested outside the President's Office in Tehran. Despite the heavy rain and the cold weather around 800 Alborz Lastic workers took part in this protest and chanted slogans continuously.
Come and hear Jesus Pino from the Revolutionary Front of Steel Workers (SIDOR). He is speaking at the Hands Off Venezuela National Conference in London in less than two week’s time. He will speak about the struggle to nationalise the steel industry and the fight for workers’ control in Venezuela. The nationalisation of SIDOR earlier this year was a direct outcome of a militant struggle by the steel workers themselves. This shows the direction that the Venezuelan Revolution is taking and highlights the need to complete the tasks of expropriating the Oligarchy.
In June 2008 almost 2000 Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane workers gathered at a general meeting to form their independent trade union. On 22 October, they held elections for members of their union's Steering Committee.