Venezuelan Opposition Between Dialogue and Confrontation
by Javier Rodríguez

CARACAS, 23 of November (PL)

In the next few hours the Venezuelan opposition must choose between
participating in the national dialogue sponsored by the government or

After members of the traditional Democratic Action Party (AD) and
sympathizers of the process of change led by the President of the
Republic, Hugo Chávez, collided in the center of this capital, the
dilemma of those who oppose the Chief of State became more evident.

In meeting with numerous businessmen, a short time before the
disturbances, President Chavez appointed José Vicente Rangel Minister of
Defense to coordinate extensive negotiations with all of the nation's
political factions, with the objective of reaching a criteria through
wide ranging opinions regarding the immediate future of the country.

The government, vested by the legislative powers granted by Parliament,
placed upon the negotiating table its willingness to discuss, with all
the social and economic players, the implementation of a package of laws
recently approved by the Council of Ministers.

Among those resolutions, stands out the law of Lands and Agrarian
Development, whose objective is a rational redistribution of the lands,
as well as that of Hydrocarbons, liquidation of the latifundia and
reserves majority ownership for the State of the strategic associations
that enter into partnership with foreign or national capital.

Equally well fought by the large industrialists is the Fishing Law which
reserves, for thousands of fishermen grouped in cooperatives, the
possibility of working within six miles to the coast .

The violent opposition to the measures by large estate owners, cattle
raisers and large businessmen, represented by the Federation of Chambers
of Commerce (Fedecámaras), prompted them to call for a national business
stoppage on December 10.

The quick endorsement to the stoppage by the opposition political parties
and the disputed and self proclaimed leadership of the Confederation of
Workers of Venezuela (CTV), are seen by many to have an intentional
destabilizing effect on the government.

This opinion was seen to be validated by a wide campaign in favor of a
strike by the majority of the mass media, whose owners oppose the
government, and with the announcement yesterday of the beginning of a
series of marches and street demonstrations demanding the resignation of
President Chávez.

Also, CTV officials said that the union would conduct acts of civil
disobedience if, as expected soon, the National Electoral Council or the
Supreme Court decrees the illegality of the union's election due to
irregularities and fraud.

In the meantime, Rangel presided the first meeting with business circles
that responded to a call for dialogue and reaffirmed his decision to
reach out to the remaining circles to collectively find solutions to the
present situation.

In this way, as in a sport event, the ball was placed with the
opposition, which must now make the next play.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, del 22 al 25 de Noviembre de 2001

The Revolution will not be televised: News at 11...

Independent canadian marxist

The U.S. ruling class: A godzilla monster
that stalks the world, devouring everything.
(apologies to Godzilla and friends)