Written by UST – Venezuela
Thursday, 27 March 2014 17:37
The NationalConference for Peace was carried out in Miraflores. The country’s leading businessmen and their organizations attended the Conference: Fedecámaras Conindústria and Consecomércio.
Also attended the Conference several MUD’s (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática – Democratic Unity Roundtable)and the Opposition’s representatives; Wills Rangel from CBST (Central Bolivariana Socialista de Trabajadores – Socialist Workers Bolivarian Federation) , governors and leaders of PSUV, the Catholic Church and other religious groups, artists and intellectuals, ministers and journalists were also there. And, the President Nicolas Maduro.
The Mercosurand Unasurhave supported Maduro government and the dialogue. The USA and the European Union also support the peace talks. Everyone has expressed regard for need of dialogue and consensus.
Economiccrisis andwidespread discontent
The economic crisis ison a deep level in Venezuela. PDVSA and the government are to increasingly use dollars to pay the external debt. An immense amount of dollars flows into the speculation rather than for production. The working class feels every day the shortage of staple products and the low wages. There is a wide discontent among important sectors of the population. Not only are the middle class students who are protesting. Last year, a long struggle of university teachers showed a strong discontentment in a sector that hadn’t mobilized for a long time. SIDOR and oil workers fought hard. There were scattered struggles in other cities. The student demonstrations, headed by the rightwing bourgeoisie, did nothing but capitalize on this widespread discontent.
Crisisin the government andin the MUD
This crisishas imposed a “dialogue” that the government did not want. Today it is accepting to negotiate the businessmen and opposition’s demands. Vilna Mora, ruling party governor of Tachira, held positions against repression, but then lowered the tone of the criticism. In the Gran Polo Patriótico (Great Patriotic Pole), the atmosphere is tense as well.
TheMUD does not appear unified either and Capriles, who at first has moved away from the “violent ones” and accepted the talks, then did not attend the meeting because “the government should show signals,” having to yield to the students’ demands to release the prisoners. But mayors, parliamentarians and the governor Henry Falcón attended the meeting in Miraflores, along with the MAS.
The crisisgets stronger, since after 30 days from the mobilization process beginning, the government is not able to defuse the movement, neither with repression. An impasse has come up, and, for the time being, the government cannot fully control the situation.
What do the entrepreneurs want?
At that peace conference, Lorenzo Mendoza, one of the country‘s leading businessmen, demanded the formation of a committee to check the “economic truth” with which the government agreed and is already working on. He also called for the payment of the debt which CADIVI – (Comisión de Administración de Divisas – Commission for the Administration of Currency Exchange) owes tothe businessmen, and the delivery of foreign exchange. He also demanded an increase in the regulated prices and modification of the LOTT (Ley Orgánica del Trabajo, los Trabajadores y trabajadoras-Labor and Workers Organic Law) due to the “increased absenteeism”. Pérez Abad, a“bolibourgeois”man, said that “socialism cannot be built up without the participation of private businessmen” (sic). Everyone advocate measures leading to market liberalization.
What is the purposeof the “peace agreement”?
Whenever the opposition leaders appear in national television chain, along with the Chavists and businessmen, making criticisms and “demanding deep changes” it shows that the government is weakened in its relationship with the workers and the people.
Thestudent’s protests spread to other sectors, especially the neighborhoods. At the workplaces, the “atmosphere” is becoming increasingly tenser against the government. Workers arise repudiating violence, but agreeing that “this way can no longer continue”. Others say: “I am Chavist, but this government does not represent me”. The problem of shortages, long lines to get flour or sugar and inflation maylead to a social outburst that they all want to avoid.
In this scenario, the dialogue has several goals:on the one hand, businessmen put themselves on the offensive to put the burden of the crisis on workers. The government, in turn, tries to recover from that crisis trying to get a political and social consensus that enables it to continue governing smoothly, while simultaneously accept to implement unpopular measures. The MUD wants to take advantage of the Chavism crisis to show up as an alternative, even though they are aware of their limitations to master the whole of the masses; the MUD attacks and forces the government to go further to the right (with repression, unpopular measures, etc.). But everyone wants to meet a wider as possible agreement to avoid a general outburst; however they have already started to implement the price increases and the dollars delivery.
Repudiation of this anti-working classpact
Thepeace conference has, as its main objective, to obtain a genuine “pact” between the government and employers, to try to adopt restraint economic measures. That’s why they don’t call theworkers in! We therefore have to denounce it and face it with the mobilization and struggle. We need to build up a class alternative and a program to solve the country’s problems from the perspective of the working class and the popular sectors, rather than the bourgeoisie and the government.
MUD – is an umbrella for the bourgeois opposition to Chavism and Nicolas Maduro government.
 PDVSA – The State Owned Oil Company in Venezuela.
GPP – is an umbrela for chavist organizations.
Bolibourgeois– The “Bolivarian” bourgeois, that means, the officialist bourgeoisie created by the Chávez government.