On Monday, opposition labor and business leaders in Venezuela announced they would soon organize another general strike against the government of President Hugo Chavez.
The last general strike resulted in the April 12-14 coup that left dozens dead and earned the repudiation of governments worldwide.
Fedecamaras, the country’s largest business association, announced it would organize the strike within 30 days. The Confederation of Venezuelan Workers, the largest trade union, has promised to announce a strike date during an Oct. 10 opposition march in Caracas.
But Chavez trumped his opponents by signing a two-year contract with oil workers in record time. The Sept. 16 contract gave workers a 35 percent pay raise, in a deal that persuaded Fedepetrol, the largest oil union, to abandon strike plans.
Venezuela is one of the United States’ biggest oil suppliers. Oil accounts for a third of Venezuela’s $100 billion gross domestic product and almost half of government income.
- Noel Pocaterra, member of the executive committee of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, founder of the Indigenous Women’s Network, and vice-president of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
- Blanca Eekhout, Director of Catia TV, a community television station in Caracas and spokesperson for Venezuela’s alternative media.