Re: [OPE] Venezuela and Human Rights Watch

From: Paula <>
Date: Thu Sep 25 2008 - 20:12:39 EDT

Alejandro was not misrepresenting anyone, but responding to Paul B's suggestion that I need to 'study' the situation in Venezuela before 'expressing very abstract and unclear notions of freedoms and rights'. Alejandro was simply pointing out that many critics of Chavez know more about Venezuela than Paul himself does, and that therefore Paul does not have an argument here.

In any case I was not expressing any abstract notions, but raising a very concrete example (I agree with Paul - this is the way to learn more about Venezuela). My example was the case of the 18,000 oil workers sacked after the 2002 strike. And I also mentioned, very concretely, that this case was investigated by the ILO. The ILO apparently concluded that 'the mass dismissal of thousands of workers and refusal to rehire them constituted reprisals in violation of international law'.

The comments and material posted here about the right-wing opposition in Venezuela, the attempts to destabilize the Chavez regime, the economic experiments, etc, are beside the point. We are trying to establish whether or not there have been human rights violations under Chavez. It seems to me that the sacking of these workers was a violation of their labor (and therefore human) rights. Would you agree?

If Chavez supporters feel that it's OK to violate human rights for a specific reason, then they should honestly say so, and explain what that reason is. If they respond to uncomfortable facts with expulsions and ad-hominem attacks, they will only confirm the worst suspicions about the regime.


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Received on Thu Sep 25 20:15:26 2008

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