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The Venezuelan revolution

category national | miscellaneous | news report author Saturday December 21, 2002 00:01author by GLOBAL WOMEN'S STRIKEauthor email maggie_ronayne at hotmail dot comauthor phone 087 7838688 Report this post to the editors

An appeal from women to women all over the world

“We women reject the organizers of hate and chaos. We women are on the front line for our right to live in peace and to defend the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela, which gives us, for the first time in history, the right to full legal equality, to social security, to a pension for housewives. We are on the streets backing our President and our Bolivarian Revolution. Long live the Constitution! No to the fraudulent referendum! No to the pro-coup fascist stoppage! Don’t stop for the stoppage!”

The Venezuelan revolution –

An appeal from women to women all over the world

“We women reject the organizers of hate and chaos.

We women are on the front line for our right to live in peace and to defend the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela, which gives us, for the first time in history, the right to full legal equality, to social security, to a pension for housewives. We are on the streets backing our President and our Bolivarian Revolution.

Long live the Constitution! No to the fraudulent referendum! No to the pro-coup fascist stoppage! Don’t stop for the stoppage!”

In response to women in Venezuela, we urgently appeal to you to speak out in defence of the revolution of which women are a leading part. Since President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was elected by a landslide in 1998 to carry out sweeping economic and social reforms to rid the country of poverty and corruption, their revolution has been under constant threat.

As you may know, in April 2002 the elite, acting with the US government, imposed a military coup. Women from the poorest neighbourhoods of Caracas were the first to descend from the hills, risking their lives to demand the return of their elected president. Filling the streets, the population, supported by the army rank-and-file, reinstated their government. Women’s courage and initiative in defeating the coup is widely acknowledged in Venezuela, and first of all by President Chavez.

We learnt this, and much else, when three of us from the Global Women’s Strike in Guyana, Peru and the US, attended the international women’s solidarity conference at the invitation of INAMUJER (the Women’s Institute) last July.

For four decades the ruling elite has been bleeding the country’s wealth, above all its oil revenue (Venezuela is the 5th largest exporter mainly to the US), leaving 80% of the population – overwhelmingly people of mixed African and Indigenous descent – impoverished. The white elite is furious that from 1998 a man who is the colour of their servants is in power representing those they have defrauded. Despite retaining preferential treatment for its oil imports, the US, which has had a hand in the corrupt handling of Venezuelan oil revenue, also fears the policies of the Chavez government: no privatisation, lower oil rates for Cuba, Guyana and other small Caribbean countries, and bringing together Latin America and the Caribbean for the benefit of all its peoples.

By 1999 the population created and passed with a 72% vote a revolutionary new Constitution. Women, Indigenous communities who, as in the rest of the Americas, have been under threat of genocide for centuries, other women and men of colour, and other social groups who suffer discrimination, won rights fought for over years:

· A just distribution of wealth.

· Full legal and pay equality between women and men in employment.

· The recognition of housework as an economic activity that creates surplus value and produces social wealth and well-being.

· Social security and a pension for housewives.

· A minimum wage, an 8-hour day, no compulsory overtime and the right to paid holidays. Women, the lowest paid everywhere, who do a double day of unwaged caring work on top of low-waged work, would benefit most.

· Protection from discrimination based on sex, race, politics, age, religion and disability. Positive steps to favour those who may be discriminated against, marginalized or vulnerable, and punishment of those guilty of abuse or mistreatment.

· Recognition of Venezuelan sign language, and the use of subtitles in TV programs.

· Recognition and protection of Indigenous communities, their social, political and economic organizations, cultures, religious and health practices, the collective ownership of ancestral land and knowledge. Bilingual education in Indigenous areas. Women stress that it is their work that has kept cultures and languages alive.

· Outlawing the patenting of genes, technologies and inventions arising from ancestral knowledge or resources.

· No privatisation of water; food security through sustainable agriculture; protection of the environment.

· No oil privatisation – the State will keep 100% of oil shares.

Always the poorest everywhere, women have the most to gain from all these reforms. Despite the elite’s power to frustrate change, there have been remarkable achievements that we have not yet won in most countries in spite of our own years of struggle.

· A strong commitment to tackling domestic violence and the machismo of the justice system.

· A Women’s Bank that puts money for income generation directly into women’s hands.

· Better child nutrition and greater school attendance through free breakfast programs and a clampdown on schools illegally charging fees. A dramatic drop in the infant mortality rate.

· The distribution of title deeds to land built on by squatters, mostly woman-headed households in the shanty towns on the Caracas hills.

· A law distributing unused state and private land to rural people. Women, including Indigenous women, are often the main agriculturalists.

· Subsidies of $1000-$2000 to small farmers – a lot for people earning $15 a month.

Women’s determination to resist provocation and to protect “el proceso” – the peaceful and democratic process to which many middle class people are also committed – has been hidden by the corporate-owned media. National and international audiences are bombarded with lies promoting the coup leaders and glorifying or hiding their ongoing violence.

This has so incensed women that they have declared a “permanent mobilization”. Every day thousands surround the main TV channels to demand an end to media lies about them. They are also infuriated that the leadership of the CTV, the corrupt trade union federation involved in the coup, has been given a platform to claim that workers are backing the employers’ efforts to destabilize the economy. These lies are given credibility by the financial and other support for CTV from the US union federation AFL-CIO (without union members’ knowledge), and by the silence of the UN’s International Labour Office.

Most recently, a “general strike” that has been in fact a corporate lockout, has tried to stop oil exports, to give the US an excuse to intervene and restore the rich and racist elite to power. The situation is heightening now because basic changes, such as land reform and regaining control over the national oil industry in order to tackle poverty, are to be implemented in January 2003.

The impact of the popular mobilization in support of the elected government, and fears that the US will attack not only Venezuela and Iraq but any country it wishes, spurred the Organization of American States to support the Chavez government against calls for early elections. Apparently, this is the first time the OAS has stood against a major US policy, which shows we can win.

We urge women, women’s organizations and all who support women’s rights and anti-racism to endorse the following, and to send protest emails and faxes to the State Department, the AFL-CIO, the ILO and major media outlets. Please also send your letters to Venezuela’s Women’s Institute, President Hugo Chavez and the Global Women's Strike (numbers on page below).

Issued by the Global Women’s Strike

*The Global Women's Strike takes action in over 60 countries every March 8 since the year 2000. We demand that the world “invest in caring not killing.” We sent a women’s truth-finding mission to Venezuela in July 2002. Findings can be found on our website: http://womenstrike8m.server101.com

To the US State Department, the AFL-CIO, the ILO and major media outlets

Women in Venezuela, overwhelmingly women of colour, who have suffered discrimination and poverty, were central to reversing the April 11 military coup against elected President Hugo Chavez Frias. They have called a “permanent mobilization” to defend their “peaceful and democratic revolution” and their elected government. The coup, supported by the US, the only country to recognize its installed dictatorship, tried to return power to the rich and racist elite, its corrupt running of the oil industry, the corporate media and the corrupt leadership of the CTV trade union that acts for the employers and the US against the workers.

We the undersigned, responding to the appeal of grassroots women in Venezuela, condemn any attempt to threaten and undermine what women and therefore every community have won through their revolution and its anti-sexist anti-racist pro-worker Constitution.

We condemn US intervention – subtle, covert or overt – aimed at overthrowing the government of President Chavez that was elected to carry out economic and social reforms to rid the country of poverty and corruption.

We demand that:

· The Bush administration stop its attempts to bring down the elected government of Venezuela, financing and sheltering those trying to destabilize the economy.

· The AFL-CIO stop hosting, funding and defending the pro-coup trade union federation CTV.

· The ILO end its silence on the corruption of the CTV.

· The media stop spreading lies and panic in order to create an excuse for US intervention.

Name ____________________________________________________________________

Organization _______________________________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________________________________

Phone/Fax _________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________­­­­­­__

Return to: Global Women's Strike philly@crossroadswomen.net and womenstrike8m@server101.com. Or fax to 001-215-848-1130. For more info: 001-215-848-1120; +44 20 7482 2496

Send protest emails and/or faxes to US Government: J. Curtis Struble, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Tel 202-647-5780; Fax 202 –647-0791

Brian Naranjo, Venezuela Desk Officer, US Dept of State Tel (202) 647-4216 or (202) 647-3338;

AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney, Tel 202-637-5231; Fax 202-508-6946 email: feedback@aflcio.org; Barbara Shailor, Director, Int’l Affairs Dept, Tel 202-637-5050

ILO Regional Office for the Americas email: lima@ilo.org Fax +51.1.442.25.31

ILO Geneva email: ilo@ilo.org, Fax +41 22 798 8685

Send copies of your protest letters to: The Honorable Hugo Chavez, President, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela http://venezuela.gov.ve; email venezuela@venezuela.gov.ve; Fax: +58-212-806 3145;

Maria Leon, INAMUJER (Venezuelan Women’s Institute) conamu@reacciun.ve; Global Women's Strike philly@crossroadswomen.net or womenstrike8m@server101.com

Related Link: http://womenstrike8m.server101.com
author by Mik E. - Nonepublication date Fri Dec 27, 2002 08:27author address Barcelona, Venezuelaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

First of all I'm a 16 year old who hasn't ever paid attention to politics whatsoever until now... Reading thorugh this article I found that the author refered to the people of Venezuela, who have been dissapointed for the last four years thanks to the so called "revolution" (which has brought nothing but unemployment, hunger and despair for all Venezuelans, even those who don't accept it!), as organizers of hate and chaos, but if we look four years back at declarations from the president we can find rather hateful speeches against people who have worked their way into a successful lifestyle and have spent years studying to be proffesionals and yet his declarations were negative and trying to make a boulder between social classes. Although Hugo Chavez said to be against corruption statistics can prove that he has finely taken advantage of the Venezuelans' work and he wastes millions of dollars in "food" expenses which is impossible to be all for food; taking unnecessary tours around the world in his brand new, stupidly expensive Airbus; giving away Venezuela's hard worked oil to Fidel Castro and much more...

Hugo Chavez refers to those who oppose him as a group of fascist and coup plotters, and he often calls them an oligarchy, if we define each of these terms we can find rather curious that he, in fact, was a coup plotter since 1992 when he and many of the actual people who work with him tried to get Carlos Andrés Pérez out of the presidency taking many lives with them, and if we look back there are a lot of "incidents" in the history of Venezuela that have not been officialy told but they are quite known, like the participation of Diosdado Cabello (Ex Vice President, now "Ministro de la Defensa") in the murder of a president candidate who everyone thought had great potential and would have made a great president, as well as something about former president Rafael Caldera who was threatened to get Chavez out of prision and was given the presidency without winning for him to do this... About he calling his opposers "fascist" there's not much to say to prove wrong since the opposition doesn't have an actual leader and its just people who don't agree with the president's ways and to be a fascist you have to have a leader, usually following a "revolution" and people tend to "adore" that leader, usually there are some groups that "defend" the leader and his revoluition with weapons (like the actual "Bolivarian Circles") and there's always some kind of classism or racism (like Chavez's "rich vs. poor"), some examples of previous fascist can make us conclude that Chavez is actually the fascist, we can find that Cavez has lots of similarities with Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, and former Venezuelan dictator Perez Jiménez. About the orligarchy it's just stupid because to be part of an oligarchy you have to have them main power (presidency) and there's only one who can have that, of course you know who...

Other than that we can also prove that Chavez is also a criminal since there's already proof that the April massacre was by Chavez agains the opposers who marched against him and as well as the Altamira massacre that footage was found of one of the shooters beside one of Chavez's men, Fredy Bernal. Of course the government tried to cover all this up saying that this shooter was at Portugal at the moment, but the government is on control of all public services and they can easily put a stamp on his passport, and I think that video footage is better proof than just words. Not to mention the interfiered communication between Bolivarian Circles of the called "red tablero" where they identify themselves as a chess board and at the end of the conversation the words "taladrar, taladrar" are said and just seconds later the massacre started (taladrar = to drill something).

About the women fact that was the main subject of the original article I can just mention the facts of an army general beating up women who were protesting, the deaths in the Altamira massacre which included a 70 year old woman and a 17 year old girl, this affected me the most because it's hard to picture someone my age being shot in the head, obviously there were snipers in the buildings around "Plaza Francia" other than the shooters in the actual streets, that means that the shooter not only shot this young girl but you can guess that she was "selected" among all the people. Also there were millions of evidence found April 12th when Chavez had seemd to resign and the Bolivarian Circle's hideouts were investigated, here they found lots of guerrilla propaghanda, fire weapons, etc, but these evidences were going to be investigated by a Chavez sympathising "Policia Científica" so no results have been found yet... (coincidence?)

About the strike... PDVSA is still on strike and uncertified personell have taken over the tanker ships, of course they already made a mess with the ship "Pilín Leon" because they don't know how to operate it and they're also giving us some gasoline substitute which can easily destroy our cars... but they say there's no strike!

By the way, the sailors who supported the strike were also humilliated and illegaly taken from their ships by the president's orders and they didn't give them food or anything for three days, one of them was close to death when they finally got out.

I want to conclude saying that we have to hear both sides of the story before drawing our own conclusions and that you can easily know who's arguing with nothing but the truth.

Barcelona, Venezuela

author by eco manpublication date Sun Dec 29, 2002 02:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"First of all I'm a 16 year old who hasn't ever paid attention to politics whatsoever until now..."

Better news sources:
http://www.aporrea.org (in Spanish)
http://www.narconews.com (English, Spanish)
http://www.vheadline.com/p1/ (English)

In 1974 80% of oil income went to the state. Today 80% of Venezuelan oil income goes to the rich, and to "operating costs." Only 20% goes to the state. Chavez reforms will help reverse this in January 2003. This is why the coup-plotters, "strike"-promoters, and corporate media are in such a hurry to overthrow the fairly-ELECTED Chavez government. They want to prevent these reforms, and reverse other already-implemented reforms that help the poor and lower middle class. Please forward widely. Massive corporate-media disinformation, destabilization campaign going on inside Venezuela. Stop the coup-strikers! Support President Chavez! Help Venezuela!
http://belgium.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=43707 and

"The organizers of this so-called “strike” are the very same collection of slimy forces that backed the April [2002] coup d’etat and Dictator-for-a-Day Pedro Carmona, who, once in power, abolished the Supreme Court, the Congress, shut down Community TV and Radio Stations, assassinated 50 political activists, and nullified the Constitution. Carmona also freed the sniper-assassins who had fired shots from rooftops on April 11th into crowds of people, creating the pretext for what was, back then, a military coup. (Stay tuned for our upcoming report about the undisclosed conflicts-of-interest of one of the foreign reporters that helped to create this pretext last April.)"
-- Al Giordano of NarcoNews.com - December 22 2002.


Venezuela opposition, state waging battle through media. PETROLEUMWORLD. Caracas, Dec 21 2002. AP

[Excerpt begins]

In recent days, seven national private TV channels repeatedly have broadcast slickly produced ads blaming Chavez for everything from street crime to gasoline shortages. The gas problem stems from the TV-supported strike.

"We will not give up the fight, we won't give up until he resigns," one ad drones on Venevision.

"Not one step backward. Out! Leave Now!" states another, paid for by the Democratic Coordinator opposition umbrella group and repeatedly broadcast on the Globovision 24-hour news network.

Yet another ad, titled "History of a Failure," shows clips of dirty street kids, long unemployment lines and acts of political violence. A voiceover repeatedly accuses Chavez of "Failure! Failure!"

Commercials for Christmas gifts have been replaced by political propaganda since the strike began Dec. 2. Normal programming - soap operas, cartoons, sitcoms - has been swapped for near-constant news coverage and marathon talk shows with opposition politicians.

[Excerpt ends]


"Much of this struggle is about oil. Venezuela is the world's fourth largest oil producer and its oil industry is critical to its economy. Chavez's 'bolivarian revolution' argues for a role for the state in the oil industry, the redistribution of oil income, and the use of revenues from this resource to build economic independence. But since 1974, the oil industry has been moving in the opposite direction. At that time [1974] , the state-run-oil company kept 20% of its revenue in operating costs and turned 80% over to the state. In 1990 it was 50-50 and in 1998, when Chavez was elected, the company kept 80% and turned 20% over. What the neoliberals had in mind in the late 1990s was full privatization-not a reversal of the trend of the previous 20 years. Added to this, the administration of the oil industry is in the hands of anti-Chavez forces, making it possible for them to go on strike in order to promote privatization.

"What are Chavez's other crimes? Severance pay was restored in the constitution of 1999, after being eliminated in 1997. Social security was set to be privatized in 1998, but was also impeded by the constitution of 1999. The Land Law, passed last year, was an agrarian reform law that tries to make rural life viable for Venezuelans and slow rural-urban migration at the expense of large plantation owners and real-estate speculators." 
 -- by Justin Podur. ZNet, December 10, 2002. 


"Associated Press (AP) is a 'non-profit' company run by the AP Managing Editors Association; your local managing editor or news director is technically the boss, and therefore responsible for the errors and distortions of fact that have plagued AP's coverage from Venezuela and other lands.

"But there's zero accountability at AP. 'The AP is unaccountable to its millions of readers,' notes Feder. 'Unlike at many newspapers, there is no AP ombudsman who 'speaks for the readers.' There is no letters page for the AP, and individual newspapers rarely print letters responding to wire stories.'

"And it's only going to stop when your local managing editors and news directors find the backbone to send inaccurate stories back to AP - like they would with one of their own reporters - and insist on a rewrite."
-- Al Giordano. NarcoNews. Dec 18 2002 email to his Yahoo Group.


Le Monde diplomatique
described the likely scenario for overthrowing Chavez:

“[T]here will be a coalition of the well-to-do, bringing together the Catholic Church …, the financial oligarchy, the employers’ organizations, the bourgeoisie and corrupt trade union leaderships – all repackaged as ‘civil society.’ The owners of major media will collude ... to support the campaigns that they will each launch against the president, in the name of defending that ‘civil society.’...

“The press and TV will brandish terms ‘the people, democracy, liberty,’ etc. They will mobilize street demonstrations and any attempt by the government to criticize them will be immediately described as ‘a serious assault on freedom of expression,’ ... they will revive the insurrectional strike and encourage ideas of a coup and an assault on the presidential palace. ...

“The Venezuelan media currently uses lies and disinformation in the biggest ever destabilization campaign against a democratically elected government. Since the world hardly seems to care, the media hopes that this time it will succeed in committing the perfect crime.”

Excerpt above was found toward the end of this article:

Related Link: http://www.narconews.com
author by Michael Hipplepublication date Sun Dec 29, 2002 14:35author email hipplebeck1 at cs dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The rich minority have control of the media and oil industries.
Chavez was elected by a majority to redistribute control and wealth amongst the people.

author by eco manpublication date Mon Dec 30, 2002 01:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Search Venezuela news sites. Progressive news search engine. Choose site from dropdown window:

This search form can be emailed in HTML (color and graphics) email. Or just send the URL of the page where you found it. You can click "save" in the file menu of your browser. This will save it to your computer for use anytime you are online. It is easy to add or delete site choices in the search form below. Just look at the HTML code in any web page editor. Google indexes some sites more often than others. So for the very latest info you may have to go to the websites directly, and browse there, or use their site search engines there if they have one.

Additional news sites for Venezuela news:
http://www.einnews.com/venezuela/ (English)
http://www.zmag.org/venezuela_watch.htm (English)

Related Link: http://twincities.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=9259
author by eco manpublication date Tue Dec 31, 2002 18:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a more complete, and better-formatted, version of the Global Women's Strike appeal here:

There is a larger compilation of Venezuela news excerpts, and the latest Venezuela news search engine, here:

author by Jon Chance - USApublication date Wed Jan 08, 2003 12:59author email jpchance at egroups dot comauthor address 72 Peterborough Street, Boston MA 02215 USAauthor phone 617-859-8155Report this post to the editors

Energy is wealth. Those who control energy control the world. Most energy we use today is "owned" by those who issue "money" out of nothing, such as the Federal Reserve Bank, Bank of England, European Central Bank, World Bank Group, Rothschild Group, etc.

If you owned a bank, you could claim "legal ownership" of anything by hiring lawyers (liars) to bribe, blackmail and manipulate "our" governments, the military and law-enforcement.

But natural resources - including our time - most certainly don't belong to such monopolistic, white-collar thieves and terrorists.


Related Link: http://egroups.com/group/jpchance
author by Alejandro Suarezpublication date Sat Jan 18, 2003 12:44author email rammerstyle at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is obvious that none of you lived there..this is ridiulous. If Chavez is trying to redistribute wealth why did he buy himself a jumbo jet with a personalized interior, send his pilots to training in Francewith full expenses paid? Yeah! Cant get more humble then that. Why did he remove the Vaso De Leche program that provided a meal for poor students in public school? Why has he built Ranchs for himself? Where did those trucks that looted the Banco Central de Venezuela almost a month ago go? What is that money being used for? Why did a woman get thrown to the floor and beat by army officials yesterday at the coca cola warehouse if this constitution is so "pro" women? On the same note why did Chavez beat his wife? Something she declared on National Television. I can go on and on. You know what, until you live here you dont know what you are talking about. Its easy to read facts, its a whole different story to live them. And dont reply to my post with some "you are partofthe elite" nonesense Because I worked my ass off this past summer doing maintenance with average locals in Puerto La Cruz OCN refinery and I was in that beating sun day in and day out, why? Because since it was the onlywork available, and like any Venezuelan can tell you, work is extremely hard to come by. I lost appreciation of how good I had it in Canada where my single mother and I left for looking for a brighter future. So I went back home and spent four months working in the oil fields doing mule work with these guys who are really, really struggling to get by and they are all dissapointed with chavez because he has only detiriorated the situation. They arent angry, or vengeful, they are upset that the man that promised a revolution lives in the lap of luxury while they have to go around stealing cars like he encouraged them in many radio Adresses I listened to. My grandmother has a heart condition and she is locked in her house because her nephew, who lives with her, decided to join the military disobedience. With this desicion him and, like they put it in their threat, "anyone in the household" is being "monitored" by the army. So once again really do your research, get in touch with locals, believe me is possible, and get their views before praising Chavez for being the savior he is not. He had great ideas but got lost in his own ideas...power corrupts even the noblest mind. Stop supporting Chavez to simply make the US government look bad, this seems to be the thought of all north american activists when they fight a cause. The last thing on our minds is what bush is doing, let him be,is none of our business, we have a HUGE situation to deal with to be worrying about all the wars Bush wants to fight. And lets think about it, Chavez was giving them oil for cheap, Chavez is good for them, if they really wanted him gone he would be gone and we know that. They would have pulled a panama or some form of CIA hit. Not only that why did Bush senior spend a weekend here, hanging out with chavez? Personally I am questioning Chavez credibility.
We are on our own and its better if it stays this way. NI UN PASO ATRAS! You want to be the big activist do what I did, jump on a plane and come here and march with us, see what is like to be amongst a million people all fighting for their country. A million people, rich, poor, whites, foreigners, mothers, fathers, daughters and friends.This is when you know you are an activist, when you go back to your home country to struggle along with everyone else.

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