Venezuela

“We are the sons and daughters of Bolivarian socialism and we want to defend it”, explained Eduardo Churrio, speaking to Green Left Weekly.
“As a product of four weeks of meetings between the different currents in the National Union of Workers (UNT), together with important union federations, we have democratically decided, in consultation with the grassroots, that [on September 19-21] we will hold a national congress.
Venezuela’s environment ministry has proclaimed sweeping restrictions on mining in the Imataca Forest, in Venezuela’s south-east, according to a June 27 Venezuelanalysis.com article. Despite this, negotiations over mining permits continue with affected companies.
This year’s May Day solidarity brigade to Venezuela, the seventh brigade from Australia to be organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), had 12 participants representing various unions. One of those was Chris Spindler, an organiser for the Victorian Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU). Spindler was sent on the brigade as an official AMWU representative, to report back on how the Bolivarian revolution being led by President Hugo Chavez’s government was improving the lives of workers and the poor. On June 11, the Victorian AMWU voted to affiliate to the AVSN and to send a message of solidarity and congratulations to the workers of the giant steel plant Sidor — which was nationalised in April following a long struggle by its workforce. Green Left Weekly’s Trent Hawkins spoke to Spindler about the his impressions of the revolution.
Fred Fuentes, who has spent a year working in Venezuela, will be a special guest speaker at the Resistance National Conference in Sydney, June 27-29. Green Left Weekly’s Trent Hawkins caught up with Fuentes just before he left Caracas for Australia.
Venezuela, along with Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Bolivia, criticised the final declaration of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Summit in Rome on June 5, arguing that the document failed to identify the true causes of rising food prices, such as agricultural subsidies and unequal trade policies imposed by developed countries.
“Once they got their wages, [the workers] occupied the installations and demanded that the company go, then they occupied the offices and demanded that the administration of Sincreba [Merida Waste Incineration and Recycling System] retire”, Simon Rodriguez told Green Left Weekly on the peaceful take-over by its workers of the Solid Waste Processing Plant in Merida in September last year.
In a massive show of support for the new United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) — established to unite the mass movement that supports the Bolivarian revolution led by President Hugo Chavez — on June 1 some 2.5 million PSUV members participated in an historic process of electing candidates for the upcoming regional elections in November.
Below is an abridged statement by the US-based Venezuelan Information Office. Visit http://rethinkvenezuela.com.
Following the December 2 constitutional reform referendum defeat — the first for the forces of the Bolivarian revolution since the election of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 1998 — and facing popular discontent at the problems holding back the advance of the process of change, the pro-revolution forces face a big challenge in securing an overwhelming victory in the November regional elections in order not to lose ground to the US-backed opposition.

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