Re: [OPE] Venezuela and Human Rights Watch

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Thu Sep 25 2008 - 02:31:47 EDT

I’m sorry Bullock, but it seems to me that I have a lot more knowledge about current and historical facts about Venezuela than you. Does this disqualify you to have a position about Venezuela?   We, the left, criticize Bush and his government because Guantánamo and their antiterrorist policy to face the threaten of radical Muslims.   But it seems to me that we adopt the same reprehensible position if we were ready to justify the violation of civil and political rights when Chávez or Castro face alleged assassination plots.   Regards,A. Agafonow ----- Mensaje original ---- De: paul bullock <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: jueves, 25 de septiembre, 2008 0:47:59 Asunto: Re: [OPE] Venezuela and Human Rights Watch Paula,   with the greatest respect perhaps the situatuion in venezuela should be studied before expressing very abstract and unclear notions of 'freedoms' and 'rights'.   Have you seen the attached ? Did you know that HRW has members expelled from Venezuela now? Do you know much about the recent assassination plot?     Paul B. ----- Original Message ----- From: Paula To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:56 PM Subject: Re: [OPE] Venezuela and Human Rights Watch Jerry: "In the absence of such a credible, independent means of investigation, we should not automatically accept what is being suggested by right-wing agencies and imperialist states. We should demand *evidence*  which is credible and verifiable."   Fine. But it looks like some of the evidence presented by HRW has been verified by credible sources. For example, their report notes that:   "Political discrimination has been openly practiced in the state oil company, PDVSA. PDVSA fired more than 18,000 employees who participated in a two-month-long strike in 2002 in a mass reprisal for legitimate strike activity [clip]   "In the aftermath of the oil strike, PDVSA purged its ranks of thousands of workers who participated in the strike. The government justified the mass firings by arguing that the workers’ sole objective was “to overthrow the President.” When the ILO reviewed the case, however, it determined that reasons for the work stoppage included worker demands relating to government economic policies and it therefore fell within the scope of legitimate trade union activity. The ILO concluded that the mass dismissal of thousands of workers and refusal to rehire them constituted reprisals in violation of international law."   Jerry: "Do you favor workers' control, nationalization, and land reform?"   I don't know enough about Venezuela to be able to tell whether there really is any kind of workers' control in place; the PDVSA example just mentioned suggests the opposite. As for nationalization and land reform, these are often carried out by capitalists for their own reasons, sometimes progressive and sometimes not. Even the Bush administration has been doing a fair amount of nationalizing of late.   Paula ________________________________ _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

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