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Another tale of Venezuela's revolutionary workers

By Miguel Octavio | The Devil's Excrement

04.10.05 | Over a week ago, Hugo Chavez went to Ciudad Guayana, where some of the major State industries are and had to be helicoptered into the Headquarters of the Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG) due to the fact that as many of four protests were taking place simultaneously, blocking the way into CVG. Chavez was mad, particularly when he found out that the pro-Chavez leader of the steelworkers union Ramon Machuca participated in the protest. In his speech that day, Chavez made his now controversial statement "The working class should not want to live like the rich", which led many of the steel workers to wonder whether they will ever get their money. What money? Here is the story and the origin of the problem:

In 1997, the Caldera administration proceeded to privatize steelworks Sidor to a consortia of Argentinian, Brazilian, Mexican and Venezuelan companies created for that end specifically under the name Consorcio Amazonia. The state gave the workers 20% of the company, which included some 13 thousand workers. In 2004 Sidor's debt was restructured and the company gave CVG US$ 188 millions in earnings to distribute to the workers. CVG used the money for something else and the workers have yet to receive any of that money.

Thanks to high steel prices, on August 15th. of this year, once again Sidor handed over US$57 million to CVG to give to the workers. The Comptroller's Office stopped the payment to the workers. To this day, the workers have yet to receive their money, despite the fact that indvidual accounts were open for that purpose.

Such is life in Chavez' workers paradise where he wants people to be poor and he decides everything. I wonder why the steel workers are so mad?



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