Declaration of the JIR of Venezuela

We repudiate the brutal repression against the oil workers

September 29, 2007

In Puerto La Cruz

We repudiate the brutal repression against the oil workers

The Juventud de Izquierda Revoluionaria (JIR-PRS)* repudiates the
violent repression against the oil workers of Puerto La Cruz, carried
out today Thursday, in the morning at the entrance of the CVP
(Corporación Venezolana de Petróleo) in Anzoátegui.

The workers were mobilizing for the Collective Petroleum Contract in
the morning, to deliver a document about the situation of the
collective contract to the PDVSA President and Minister Rafael
Ramírez, but the answer they got was brutal repression by the
Anzoátegui state police*, who attacked the peacefully protesting oil
workers. This [workers’] mobilization was part of the national day of
struggle for the Collective Petroleum Contract. In these very
moments, a small group of workers, among them José Bodas, general
secretary of Fedeptrol-Anzoátegui, is locked inside the CVP building.
The brutal repression now has three workers wounded by bullets, as
union leaders report.

Once more, workers struggling for their basic rights in the country
have suffered a brutal repression, whether at the hands of the police
who are under the executive authorities of the states or of the
Guardia Nacional, that answers to itself ("... la Guardia Nacional que
responde a la Guardia Nacional"). All these repressive acts exactly
against those sectors of workers who are in the front line for their
demands are not an accident. Today the same oil workers who confronted
the coup plotters of April 2002, and those who were in the front ranks
to defeat the oil work-stoppage sabotage, organized by the right wing
and ordered from the US, by taking control of several refineries like
that of El Palito, and preventing the success of Washington’s assault,
are repressed. How is it now fair to these workers that they are
suffering repression?

We call on all the political forces of the left, on the workers’
organizations, unions and popular organizations, on the social
movements, on student centers and human rights groups, etc., to
repudiate this brutal act. In view of this attack, the broadest unity
is needed, to carry out protests urgently in front of all PDVSA
installations, in front of the Ministry, in front of [the presidential
palace] Miraflores. This deed cannot go unpunished, since it indicates
that now workers’ protests are beginning to be criminalized; precisely
those sectors that defeated the entire right-wing offensive and
imperialist policies in the country [are being targeted].

We hold the government of this state and its police, and the
national government, which runs PDVSA, responsible for all these acts,
as well as for the fate of the workers who are still in the CVP
installations in Anzoátegui.

Caracas, September 27, 2007

* * *

This is the first statement this morning from [the union tendency]
C-CURA-Petróleo:

OIL WORKER WOUNDED BY A BULLET IN ANZOATEGUI IN DEMONSTRATION TO
DEFEND THE COLLECTIVE PETROLEUM CONTRACT

- Press of C-CURA Petróleo

The act took place this Thursday morning, September 27, when the oil
workers from Anzoátegui state mobilized in front of the building of
the Corporación Venezolana de Petróleo (CVP), which unites the mixed
enterprises, to present their demands and opinions on the discussion
of the collective petroleum contract to Minister Rafael Ramírez, who
was to make an appearance at this organization. The workers were
repressed by the Anzoátegui state police with tear gas canisters and
bullets, with the deplorable result that one worker was wounded by a bullet in the back; the current state of health of the worker comrade is not known, but when he was being moved to the medical assistance center, he was in a weakened state.

In view of this abominable act, in the best repressive style of the
Fourth Republic, we, the oil workers of the country, demand of Pedro
Carreño, Minister of the Interior and Justice, that, since he
indicated in recent statements to the national communications media
that "the policy of the Venezuelan government on the subject of
security could not be repressive," he should give an explanation
regarding [this repression], because it is repressive, for the workers
who mobilize in defense of their basic rights like the right to enjoy
a fair collective contract.

Meanwhile, we, the oil workers of Anzoátegui, are calling on the rest
of the oil workers and the rest of the groups of private- and
state-sector production workers, to mobilize in repudiation of this
sort of repressive, counter-revolutionary actions, that restrict the
right of legitimate protest by the organized workers’ movement in
defense of their rights.

Translation by Yosef M.

===

[*The JIR is the Venezuelan section of the Fracción Trotskista-Cuarta Internacional, a principled international Trotskyist tendency.

[**The Governor of Anzoátegui state is Tarek William Saab, described by Wikipedia as "one of the best known supporters of President Hugo
Chávez." Governor Saab stands at the head of the state apparatus that
includes the state police, who carried out the repression against the
oil workers, which thus took place under chavista auspices. - YM]