May Day in Caracas, Venezuela, was “deeply inspiring”, Adrian Evans, deputy state secretary of the WA Maritime Union of Australia, told a meeting of 40 people in Fremantle on June 16. Evans travelled to Venezuela as part of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 2010 May Day brigade.
“I love May Day in Fremantle”, he said. “But, I can tell you, being with one-and-a-half million workers was incredible.”
Evans described his meetings with Venezuelan workers who now control their own workplaces, including brickworks, textiles, steelworks as well as the staff of the Hotel ALBA, which used to be a Hilton Hotel.
He visited many cooperatives that create jobs and feed their profits back into the community.
Evans contrasted the Venezuelan approach to ploughing the profits of national resources sales back into national development to Australia’s current debate over the Resources Super Profits Tax.
“All those resources being sold overseas belong to us”, he said. “The corporates reap the benefits and we’ll be left with nothing in the end. The wealth created needs to be spent on free universal public health, communications and retirement benefits so people can live their golden years with dignity
“The Venezuelans are making sure that they have something to show for it all and are building a sustainable social fabric from the ground up.”
In Venezuela, he visited community medical centres that provide free care to everyone, 24 hours a day.