Venezuela: Inveval Workers protest in front of the Miraflores Palace

Workers in Venezuela have been in the forefront of the struggle for workers' control. But they constantly face manoeuvres on the part of the state bureaucracy and right-wing of the government that are aimed at the discrediting the very idea that workers can run the economy. The Inveval workers are raising demands to put a stop to this. Also Available in Spanish.

On Monday March 19, the workers of Inveval - a factory in VenezuelaInveval Workers Demonstration at Miraflores nationalized in April 2005 by the Chavez government and now functioning under workers' control - demonstrated in front of the Miraflores presidential palace (see also videos of workers' interviews). The workers appealed to president Chavez, so that the all the obstacles put up by the bureaucracy to hinder the normal functioning of the factory be stopped.

After several months' work of repair and maintenance of the factory to start up production again, eventually the valves to be repaired arrived from PDVSA in November 2006. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks PDVSA notified the workers that for the time being they would not send any more valves to Inveval. If this situation continues it will mean paralysis of the productive activities in the plant.

Another issue that the workers are insisting on is that they need a smelter in order to produce valves. Over the past two years the government has failed to come up with any solution for the workers regarding this question - neither the buying of a new smelter nor any kind of agreement with another factory that might be able to smelt. The workers are demanding the expropriation of Aserven in the state of Tinaquillo, which is the property of Sosa Pietri, the former owner of CNV (Inveval´s former name). Aserven was the smelter that smelted products for CNV.

The workers at Inveval are conscious of the fact that these bureaucratic obstacles are the result of the manoeuvring of the reformist sectors in the government, who aim to put an end to the struggles for workers' control in Venezuela and who are trying to present a picture of the workers as if they were incapable of running the factories. In this way they want to discredit the nationalized firms that are being run under workers' control and thus "prove" the inability of the working class to run the economy.

The bureaucracy blames the workers for their errors and their negligence. But as has been shown in the case of Inveval and with other groups of workers organized in FRETECO (Revolutionary Front of Occupied Factories), the workers are the ones who are fighting against the sabotage of the bureaucracy and against its manoeuvres to hinder socialism in Venezuela. Thus we see how the struggle for workers' control of the factories is the prime motor in the struggle against capitalism, reformism and bureaucratism.