Trade union elections have been taking place in the ALCASA aluminium plant in Venezuela. Different tendencies are struggling for positions within the union. The CMR, Revolutionary Marxist Current, has been actively involved. Here an eyewitness report, written just before the elections, shows how revolution and counter-revolution are facing each other even at this level. We will shortly publish the results and an analysis of the situation in the plant.
ALCASA is an aluminium plant in Ciudad Bolivar in Venezuela. It is being run under cogestion, formally speaking workers’ participation. But when you take a closer look what we see is that in practice the workforce is moving more and more towards genuine workers’ control. Managers are elected and do not get higher wages than those they had before becoming managers, and so on. It confirms that the Venezuelan workers are in the vanguard of the world revolution.
Latin America is a huge area of the world, rich in human and material resources and yet a large part of its peoples live in poverty. Most of the countries that make it up speak a common language and have a common history. Simon Bolivar raised the idea of uniting all these countries to fight the imperialists. In today’s context this idea translates into the Socialist United States of Latin America – a socialist federation.
Prior to the Venezuelan elections there were clear indications that elements within the oligarchy were planning a coup or even possible assassination of Chavez. The opposition parties boycotted the elections as part of this plan to destabilise the country. They failed miserably. The Bolivarian parties have now total control of the National Assembly. They could mobilise the masses while at the same setting in motion all the legal procedures to abolish capitalism once and for all. But will they do this? To vacillate now, to attempt a compromise, would mean giving the opposition a dangerous advantage.
The emphasis on the abstention figure to delegitimise the parliamentary elections and the new National Assembly is a political ploy to discredit the CNE and the elected representatives of the Venezuelans, and destabilize the country. This has been going on since December 10th 2001, when the first general strike was called. Read the article on the Hands Off Venezuela website.
In Venezuela a number of political, community-based and trade union groups have sprung up, as the masses try to take the initiative in the context of a revolutionary offensive. A good example is the case of the workers in the Algodonal Hospital in Caracas who have been struggling for democracy in the workplace and for the right to have a space for trade union and political meetings. We met Johan Rivas who is the general coordinator of the Bolivarian Workers’ Front in Algodonal and a comrade of the CMR (Revolutionary Marxist Current), to talk about the activities that are going on.