Monday, September 06, 2010

Some Labour Day Rally Slogans From The Bolivarian Workers' Paradise Of Venezuela.

Patria y Socialismo o Muerte! Trade union activists are being murdered at an alarming rate in Venezuela - 75 in the past two years - making it one of the world's most dangerous countries for union organizers, and worse than Colombia, which over the years has been known as the most dangerous country for union organizing. Emilio Bastidas, a regional leader of the UNETE confederation of unions in Maracay, says hit men are killing off union leaders in a strategy designed to weaken unions opposed to El Jefe Hugo Chavez.

Libertad! With one of the world's highest homicide rates, violent crime is the top concern of Venezuelans, polls show. The government has not published official murder figures for several years. Nongovernmental organizations, citing leaked police statistics and media reports, say that between 13,000 and 16,000 people were killed last year.

Venceremos! Venezuelan farmer Franklin Brito has died after months on hunger strike in protest at the seizure of his farm in 2003 during a government land reform drive. He had demanded that president Hugo Chávez compensate him for the seizure of his holding in the south of the country where he had grown yams and watermelons. In a statement, his family said Mr Brito “lives on in the struggle of the Venezuelan people for the right to property, access to justice, for liberty and the respect of governments for human rights, both collective and individual”.

Un Mundo Mejor Es Posible! More than 4,500 inmates in three prisons in Venezuela have gone on hunger strike to protest overcrowding and mistreatment, protesters told the local media on Friday. The mass hunger strike, which began Thursday, includes 3,400 detainees at Tocoron prison, in northern Aragua state, 1,137 inmates at Vista Hermosa in south-east Bolivar state, and 80 at Minima in northern Carabobo state.

Sionismo no! In his 12 years in power, President Hugo Chávez has made speeches accusing "Semitic banks" of sabotaging the economy and lent his support to an indigenous Islamic group known as "Hizbollah Venezuela.” In June Mr Chavez accused Israel of financing the Venezuelan opposition and said that Mossad agents were trying to kill him. Now, Venezuelan Jews are fleeing the country in droves. The Venezuelan Confederation of Jewish Associations (CAIV) says half the Jewish community has fled the country for various reasons. In 2008 alone, the number of Jews in Venezuela shrank by 5,500 to 15,000. Salomon Cohen, the head of CAIV, says the exodus is being caused by the economic crisis, violence and antisemitism.

Viva Fidel! As in Cuba, the Venezuelan government barely disguises the use of official resources to finance the ruling party's campaign. When the Socialists decided to have an election rally in Barinas recently, a platoon of army soldiers were ordered to help set up. The five state TV channels, the dozens of state-backed "community radio" stations and a slew of state newspapers are unembarrassed to act as the propaganda arm of the ruling party, openly campaigning for the ruling party. Meanwhile, people who oppose the government on TV find themselves facing obscure criminal charges and radio stations that broadcast critical content are shut down en masse.

A country round its shoulders, a flag raised on a gallows tree - but I won 't let it get me down, I know there are people now who bind together what they do and live their lives like I want to. . . We will steal what we can, with the courage to be free. I have found where I belong, among the poorest company.

7 Comments:

Blogger Fred said...

But, but, but Sean Penn keeps telling us his BFF Hugo is an economic genius and has built a worker's paradise in Venezuela.

Sean Penn couldn't be wrong could he?

After all, he is a Hollywood celebrity.

5:21 PM  
Blogger dmurrell said...

Terry. An informative column. I am particuarly interested in your discussion of Chavez's anti-Semitism. I am wondering if there is a list, or a complete discussion, of anti-Semitic agitation in Venezuela.

Here in New Brunswick, the Irving-owned media keep up a one-sided barrage of pro-Hugo Chavez propaganda (given his hard-leftist leanings). It would be good to have a complete source or information critical of the Chavez dictatorship, to use in rebuttal against the Irving Brunswick News monopoly, here in New Brunswick.
-- David Murrell
dmurrell@unb.ca

2:40 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"I am wondering if there is a list, or a complete discussion, of anti-Semitic agitation in Venezuela."

There has been some fairly careful attention to this - just google Hugo Chavez and anti-Semitism and yuo'll find some helpful material. Whether the paranoia that animates Chavez is antisemitism at its root is unknown to me. All I know is what I see: Trade unionists getting murdered, conspiracy theories dressed up as economic explanations, soldiers masquerading as political activists, independent media getting shuttered, geostrategic alignments with Ahmadinejad, Jews fleeing the country. . .

t

10:29 AM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Coming from someone with a history of smearing the anti-war movement, I suggest that Glavin's remarks on Venezuela be taken with a large grain of salt.

(Hey Terry, when are you going to join the Conservative Party?)

7:34 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Hey Gambone. When are you going to notice that

i) I made no remarks about El Jefe or Venezuela in this post. I let the facts speak for themselves.

ii) I have no history of "smearing" the so-called anti-war movement. I merely notice when it smears itself.

I see you are interested in Bill Pritchard. See:

http://www.vancouverreview.com/past_articles/lostcities.htm

8:21 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Terry: Reactionary lefties like LG don't accept opinions OR FACTS unless they come from approved sources. You aren't an approved source, so even if you quote Chavez verbatim, it will be dismissed as "neocon" propaganda.

These guys believe they're entitled to their own facts. And considering that they live in their own little Bizarro universe where good is bad, black is white, and they never met an anti-U.S./Western/Israel dictator they didn't approve of, they NEED a different set of facts -- wholly imaginary of course -- to support their predetermined ideologically-based opinions.
Of course you know all this already, but it feels good to articulate it every now and then.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Aye.

11:37 AM  

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