Strike movement develops in Venezuela as social conditions deteriorate
21 July 2018
Increasingly frequent strikes and demonstrations among important sectors of the Venezuelan working class have begun to coalesce into demands for a general strike against the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) government of Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro has sought to intimidate workers and lean on the military and National Guard to halt the strikes. On the other hand, the right-wing opposition parties and the largest trade unions, which are controlled by the opposition, are struggling to take the leadership of the growing social discontent. Their aim is to channel it toward a renewed campaign to overthrow the Maduro government and install a US puppet regime.
Social media and press reports on the protests this week note, however, that there is widespread opposition to the trade unions, with workers carrying banners reading “union leaders, traitors of workers.”
The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflicts reported this week that this year has witnessed more than 5,300 demonstrations, chiefly demanding food, water and livable wages. Nine people have been killed in food riots and three others in other protests, some by police and some by armed civilians.
The Academy of Economic Sciences reported this week that inflation during the first semester reached 4,500 percent and that despite minimum salary increases buying power fell about 80 percent in the first six months. The IMF is predicting a 15 percent economic contraction this year.
Since June 25, nurses have been calling for an indefinite strike and have carried out demonstrations daily across the country to protest their miserable salaries, the lack of medicines and equipment and the closing down of units, amid a…