Lock-outs in Venezuela harass Chavez

Unions and corporations have joined in a common effort to challenge President Hugo Chavez power in this South American country. As per the last news received from its capital city, Caracas, a relatively successful general strike has been held for two days and warnings on a further extension have been heard from the different sectors involved.

The defiant attitude of workers and company owners organisations, obeys to a conflict the Government has with PDVSA, the State owned biggest oil company of the country, and basement of the economy of the fourth largest oil producer of the world. Last Sunday, President Chavez fired seven high ranked executives of the company and made another 12 to retire. Therefore, part of the remaining personnel of the company denounced that those directors were replaced by close friends of Chavez and called for a general strike, supported by company owners-

All in all, this new conflict in Venezuela should not be read as a sole event. During the last months a number of strikes with similar characteristics than this one, have spread out among the country and obtained support from sectors of the Army. Consequently, some analysts have expressed their concern on what they see as an anti-Chavez campaign in Venezuela.

For Mr. Atilio Boron, Executive Secretary of the Latin - America council for Social Sciences: “Last events in Venezuela are strictly connected to the US policy for Latin America in general, and for Colombia in particular”. Therefore, he added “The South of Venezuela, bordering with Colombia and Brazil, is an strategic area where the United States want to set up bases to fight Colombian guerrillas”.

Consequently, the negative of Chavez to allow Americans to quarter in the region would be one of the reasons for the hostile policy of Washington over Caracas and the mass media attacks against the Venezuelan Government. This might have caused a spread out of the internal opposition against the President, which have touched very sensitive areas of the country’s life: the oil and the Armed Forces.

Unfortunately, demonstrations on support and against Chavez are far to be peaceful and nowadays, a divided population is a true and threatening reality.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

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