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Commentary :: Labor
Against capitalist sabotage, take over and occupy the factories!
07 Mar 2007
Throughout the period of the government of President Chávez the people have had to endure with great patience attacks on the gains of the revolution, as the oligarchy, the capitalists, have tried to sabotage and trample on all the initiatives of the people and the President. We need to remember that the bosses' lock-out and the coup of 2002 were initiatives of the Venezuelan businessmen, inspired and organised by imperialism to prevent the revolution moving forward.
The Venezuelan capitalists have had over 200 years, since the country's independence, to transform Venezuela into an advanced country. However, the profit seeking of a few has brought misery and poverty for the people. When the people and the workers have tried to organise themselves to change our country and make it fairer and more equal for everyone they have not hesitated to sabotage all the initiatives of the revolutionary people.

Again, faced with the process of deepening the revolution after the electoral victory of President Chávez on December 3, which has taken the form of the new nationalisations of CANTV and Electricidad de Caracas, and the oil drilling concessions on the Orinoco Belt, amongst other measures that benefit the people, the capitalists once more have come out against the people and the revolution through their policy of sabotage.

The capitalists try to put pressure on the people by hording products to increase their prices and generate chaos and anarchy. That way, they try to justify sackings and closures while still enriching themselves at the cost of the great majority. At the same time, as in the bosses' lock-out of 2002, they try to destabilise the country through economic sabotage.

This situation is not a new one. The bosses, in order to protect their profits, have not hesitated to attack workers' rights in many enterprises in Venezuela and in the State of Aragua, closing businesses, laying off workers and kicking out those who have tried to organise by forming unions.

There are plenty of examples in the State of Aragua of companies immersed in labour disputes. The most recent and important is that of Sanitarios Maracay where, after the owner, Álvaro Pocaterra - a well-known coup supporter and friend of Carlos Andrés Pérez - decided to close down the business, the workers replied by occupying the factory and continuing production under their own democratic control. Faced by the sabotage of an individual capitalist, faced by his indifference towards the future of 600 families, the workers took the initiative and showed how a factory can function much better without bosses and owners. Now, they are demanding of the President of the Republic its nationalisation to contribute to the endogenous development of the country by producing and selling bathroom suites for the housing projects of the government and thus help to resolve the housing problems of the people.

The workers at Sanitarios Maracay are showing the way forward to the rest of the workers and communities of the State of Aragua. It is necessary to deepen the revolution towards socialism. It is necessary that the workers and the people run the factories, lands and banks of the country under their democratic control.

Are we, the workers and communities, the people of Aragua, to tolerate this situation in which the fate of the revolution is at the mercy of a gang of capitalist who are trying to sabotage XXI Century Socialism that Chávez defends? The answer is no. It is necessary to organise and fight collectively to face up to this new aggression.

We at FRETECO (Revolutionary Front of Occupied and Co-managed Factories) call on all the workers of the State of Aragua and all the communities to take the initiative and stop the capitalist sabotage and advance towards socialism. In particular, we call on the UNT of Aragua and the Communal Councils of the State of Aragua to organise in the next weeks a day of struggle for the deepening of the revolution, against economic sabotage, for socialism and the nationalisation of Sanitarios Maracay.

This day of struggle should be prepared in advance with the election in assemblies of factory committees in every company in the State of Aragua, in order to exercise workers' control over production. In this way they can stop the sabotage of production and take the necessary measures to guarantee the rights of the workers, and even, if necessary, take control of the company to guarantee its functioning and safeguard jobs. It is also necessary to open the account books so that we can see where the profits that do not benefit the people go.

At the same time, the Factory Committees and the Communal Councils should co-ordinate with the UNT of Aragua to develop the day of struggle into one against economic sabotage and for socialism in order to:

1. Make a list of factories that have been closed, are working under-capacity or where the workers are in dispute throughout the State of Aragua and organise their take-over and occupation by the workers and communities.

2. Organise a march to demand from the Bolivarian government the expropriation of those factories that have been closed, are working under-capacity or are in dispute.

3. Organise protests, together with the communities, in those factories where the rights of the workers are not respected and fight together to defend decent jobs.

4. To further advance this day of struggle for the deepening of the revolution, against the capitalist sabotage and for socialism in the State of Aragua, all the Factory Committees and Communal Councils of the State of Aragua should elect a General Council of Factories and Communities of the State of Aragua that would have the task of being responsible for all the initiatives to advance the socialist revolution in our State.

The successful outcome of such a day of struggle would represent a first step towards building socialism and putting a halt to the sabotage of big business in the State of Aragua and in the whole of Venezuela.

The working class, allied with the communities, the factory committees, alongside the community councils and the UNT must march together in the struggle for socialism. This means the expropriation of the capitalists, workers' control in the factories and the organisation of production, of the economy, in the State of Aragua and in the whole of Venezuela along democratic lines through factory committees and communal councils for the benefit of the majority of the population.
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