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More right-wing attacks in Venezuela: Stop the killing of trade unionists! Bring hired killers to justice!

A statement by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

December 10, 2008 -- The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network condemns the murder of Venezuelan trade unionist Simon Caldera, who was shot in Aragua state on December 4. Caldera was a leader of the pro-revolution Bolivarian Construction and Industry Union.

Caldera is the fourth trade unionist to be murdered in one week in Aragua. His murder follows the shocking killings of three pro-revolution militants from the National Union of Workers (UNT) – Richard Gallardo, Luis Hernandez and Carlos Requena – on November 27. All four were victims of drive-by shootings.

The assassination by hired killers of activists organising oppressed people to win their rights has mainly been used in recent years by large landowners against supporters of land reform in Venezuela. More than 150 land reform activists have been killed since the revolutionary government of President Hugo Chavez began its land reform policies in 2001 – policies that benefit impoverished campesinos at the expense of large landowners.

Such murderous actions are an attempt by the rich elite to use violence and terror to protect their interests against the advances of a powerful movement of the oppressed in Venezuela. Under the revolutionary leadership of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela now has the highest minimum wage in Latin America and many pro-worker laws have been implemented.

The capitalist bosses' attacks on these union activists follows the elites’ defeat at the ballot box. On November 24, more than 5 million people voted for the pro-Chavez candidates in the regional elections, winning 17 out of 22 states and more than 80% of municipalities in a poll that was understood as a virtual referendum on constructing "socialism of the 21st century".

In Aragua, the anti-worker, pro-capitalist governor Didalco Bolivar lost the elections to a member of Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). This vote clearly indicated the people’s desire for change in a state where the police have a history of repressing workers' struggles.

The Bolivarian revolution has made enormous steps forward in tackling poverty and securing basic human rights for the majority in Venezuela. However, the murder of these activists makes it clear that there remains in Venezuela powerful counter-revolutionary forces willing to use any means to destroy the movement of the oppressed and maintain their own privileges.

Gallardo, Hernandez and Requena were all participants in an industrial dispute involving the Colombian-owned Alpina food processing company, leading to speculation that the attack was carried out by right-wing Colombian paramilitaries hired by the company. The day before, the Alpina workers had also been attacked by the police.

Workers in Aragua responded to the killings immediately, with 17 trade unions taking to the streets and blocking major highways in days of protests.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new governor of Aragua, Chavez called for a full investigation into the killings, declaring: "In Venezuela we cannot permit the installation of this perversion, these hired assassinations."

Chavez also said that the Aragua police force must be completely transformed and threatened to nationalise any company that violated workers' rights.

These responses of the working people in Aragua and the revolutionary Chavez government show the determination of the Venezuelan people to defeat such violence.

All trade unionists and other supporters of workers' rights and social justice should stand with the Chavez government and Aragua’s workers to condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of such terrorist acts against the people, and to demand that those responsible face justice.

The AVSN offers its condolences to the families and comrades of the four murdered trade unionists — killed for their courageous struggle for working people’s rights. This tragedy only strengthens our determination to build greater international solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian revolution.

[Visit the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network at]


Núcleo Revolucionario Internacionalista Venezuela

Venezuela: before the execution of three workers leaders




In an attack against the international proletariat, the bourgeoisie has bloodstained its hands once more. Three new martyrs have fallen victims of the repression, product of the inexhaustible thirst of earnings and of the exploitation on which this social order lays.

On November 27th, Richard Gallardo, Luis Hernández and Carlos Requena, leaders of the Workers' National Union (UNT) of Aragua State, in Venezuela, and militants of the organization Socialist Unit of Left (USI), belonging to the Workers' International Union - Fourth International (UIT-CI), were coward and cunningly massacred from a car while they were taking part of solidarity actions in support of the struggle of the workers of the nourishing Alpine company (of Colombian capitals), who had occupied the factory against the threat of closure and the subsequent dismissals.

One day before, the police had launched a brutal repression against the workers, with four wounded workers. Although, the workers managed to resist and returned to reoccupy the plant.

Before this fact, hundreds of voices raised repudiating these aberrant crimes, marching to the embassies, claiming clarification, judgment and I punishment for the responsible, calling to form investigative commissions to discover the truth of what had happened. This is the less it can be done, but it is not enough.

The responsibility of the "Bolivarian" government of Hugo Chávez has already became clear with the police repression against the workers in struggle. Government that "is nothing else but a gathering that administers the common business of the whole bourgeois class" (Karl Marx and Federico Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party) and that as such reserves for itself the exercise of the monopoly of the violence through the State to discipline the workers' movement and to impose the interests of the parasitic minority that it defends.

It is under the protection of the bourgeois legality and its state that the fascist gangs, such as the one that shot the three comrades, grow and fed. And it does not matter were they came from, since their function is -there where the official repression is not enough - to act as the force of blow for the whole bourgeoisie.

Hundreds of voices come up claiming for justice, demanding from the Chavista bourgeois state to be it who makes it effective. To raise this is to lose the view that the events of Aragua are nothing else than a sample of the response that the capital, in the middle of the crisis, has prepared for the working class in order that it is this one the one who pays the costs with more exploitation, dismissals, repression and, if it is necessary, with deaths.

This is nothing else but "the war as the continuation of politics" (Clauzewitz), because with the army, with the police or with parapolice and paramilitary bands, with trade union gangs, with bullyboys, etc …, the class enemy has a set of detachments of armed men to submit and to squash the workers' movement and the masses.

In 1938 the Fourth International, under the leadership of León Trotsky, in its foundational statement, put in the hands of the proletariat the tool to face situations as the one lived by the workers of Alpine (question that most of the left hides under the carpet of demands to the government, petitions, investigative commissions, marches to embassies, etc., as it is reflected in their pronouncements).

It is stated in the Transitional Program: "The strikes with occupation of factories are a serious warning from the masses addressed not only to the bourgeoisie but also to the organizations of the workers […] The present crisis can sharpen the class struggle to an extreme point and bring nearer the moment of denouement. [...] The task of the sections of the Fourth International is to help the proletarian vanguard to understand the general character and tempo of our epoch and to fructify in time the struggle of the masses with ever more resolute and organizational measures.

"The sharpening of the proletariat's struggle means the sharpening of the methods of counterattack on the part of capital. New waves of strikes with occupation of factories can call forth and undoubtedly will call forth resolute countermeasures on the part of the bourgeoisie. [...] Only armed workers' detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory and ends in the streets. Scabs and private gunmen in factory plants are the basic nuclei of the fascist army. Strike pickets are the basic nuclei of the proletarian army. This is our point of departure. In connection with every strike and street demonstration, it is imperative to propagate the necessity of creating workers' groups for self-defense. It is necessary to write this slogan into the program of the revolutionary wing of the trade unions. [...] It is necessary to give organized expression to the valid hatred of the workers toward scabs and bands of gangsters and fascists."

It becomes indispensable that the left and the workers organizations that they lead break with the policy of class collaboration imposed by Bolivarianism and Castroism to advance in the constitution of the Workers' United Front to confront the repression with a revolutionary policy.

December 17th, 2008.-

Núcleo Revolucionario Internacionalista


What world are we living? I foresee a "neoworld of ignorance" flexing its muscle since the new millennium (Bush's "election")...
Why do I have to search in the internet, "googleing" for international news, using words like 'Venezuela' or 'Brasil' to get news from around the world? Why I feel that I have to send this comment anonymously? NO NEWS IN THE USA REPORTED ABOUT THIS UNIONIST KILLINGS !!! - of course, because the extreme right-wing are always 'right'...
Like in Honduras.
Today the brutal right wing, here in the USA are so comfortable that they are screaming openly, that health care is just for them. They are openly fighting to not let those - almost 50 million - without health care to have some coverage. They are openly and shamelessly saying that health care is a privilege not a right.

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