The appointment was scheduled for 9:00 in the morning at gate I of the “Siderúrgica del Orinoco” (SIDOR, Government owned steel corporation). A stage with a backdrop that said: “Whatever Nicolás says” was the welcome message. A few meters away an inflatable “Super Mustache” (Super Bigote, a comic book style representation of the president). Flags of the companies and sectors present in the call, as well as messages of support for Nicolás Maduro. There was no lack of calypso and animation to easy the wait for the governor of Bolívar State, Ángel Marcano, less agonizing and also to distract a bit from the heat.
Pableysa Ostos // Correspondent lapatilla.com
The reason for the call was to support Maduro for the recent measures taken against corruption and privatization and also to inform the workers what was obtained from the five work groups that have been taking place for more than a month with representatives of the “basic companies” and the National Executive.
Marcano arrived at the site after 10:30 in the morning, together with the President of the CVG and minutes later the mayor of the Caroní Municipality, Tito Oviedo, also showed up to use the opportunity to deny audios that have circulated through social networks about his alleged arrest and dismissal during the anti-corruption operations that have been carried out in the country since Friday, March 17th.
Using a sound system, the President of Bauxilum, Ernesto Agustín Rivero, affirmed that the workers, representatives of the popular sectors of Ciudad Guayana and public officials had arrived at 6:00 in the morning.
“We are at the Siderúrgica del Orinoco, Sidor, at the heart of this powerful industry I am accompanied by the Minister of Industries, Hipólito Abreu, the rPesident of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG), Pedro Maldonado, and the high command of the working class of Guayana and in a massive mobilization that from very early on our workers mobilized to Sidor to support President Nicolás Maduro not only for the measures he has taken against corruption but also to give an answer to the workers and to receive the working class for their contributions during the work tables,” explained Marcano during a press conference.
The work tables to which Marcano referred, were installed after more than 3 days of protests by the workers of the basic companies who took the “Avenida de los Trabajadores”, a main artery that connects Ciudad Bolívar with Puerto Ordaz, right up to the gate IV of the state corporation.
After negotiations, the protest was lifted and five working groups were formed. “Already today we can give all workers of Guyana concrete answers. They, in a broad debate together with the high government, the Minister of Industries, who participated in the work tables, the President of the CVG, the Presidents of the state companies, the workers constituted in productive worker councils, which are the ones in charge of the process, and now we have good news to be announced by the workers and the minister who is the coordinator on the part of the executive.”
Since March 17th, an anti-corruption operation (drive) has been carried out in the country by the National Police in which several officials from regional governments and from the military and judicial sectors have been detained.
But the move also brought with it the resignation of oil minister Tareck El Aissami amid a corruption investigation focused on state oil company PDVSA, judges and other government officials.
While Tarek William Saab, Attorney General stressed that at least half a dozen detainees can be counted in the midst of these operations, he did not offer the complete balance of the detainees and if there are other outstanding arrest warrants.
Regarding this, Ángel Marcano, Governor of Bolívar State, affirmed that “those who have problems, who have done some improper act, of course they will have to pay the consequences of their acts. And whoever falls, falls, everyone must assume consequences of his actions. We are not pimping anyone.”
“That there are comrades who betray the people and side with the scoundrel with improper acts, we do not pander to them, and we unconditionally support the decision made by the president to end, definitively, eliminate the cancer of corruption,” he pointed out.
Furthermore, he expressed his support for this type of investigation. “The investigation is open on all officials, those who do not owe it do not fear it, they must investigate and the workers have the right, if they have some kind of compelling evidence, the right to take it to the State. I am sure that the government is going to investigate this. These (investigations) are open on all officials and today more than ever because there is an instruction from our top boss, who is the president of the republic, who is the one who took charge of the fight against corruption.”
“They are investigating throughout the country, those officials who have some kind of problem are going to be investigated. The Venezuelan State has a justice system that will have to be applied to those who are involved, what cannot be done, it is to be party to this and then everyone is corrupt, those who are corrupt will pay,” Marcano added the morning of this March 24th.
He asks to use regular channels
This week, construction unions from Bolívar State marched from the Total Entertainment Center (CTE) Cachamay to the CVG headquarters, with the intention of demanding that the president of the company, Pedro Maldonado, reinstate them in the works that are ongoing in basic companies.
They affirm that more than 4 years ago, Maldonado disincorporated them from all their jobs in the state companies.
The president of the United Socialist Workers Front of Bolívar State, Josué Tremaría, asked Maldonado to open the gates to the working class and take into consideration the workers in this sector. “Those construction and maintenance works that are being carried out in the companies, include this working mass who deserve that.”
Regarding this recent march and petitions, Ángel Marcano affirmed that they have always discussed with the workers openly, “the workers are here. Anyone who can go to the work tables to discuss from the workplace should do so. Those are the workers, the ones who work in the departments and they go out to march, or they go out to give their opinion when they think they can do it in the good sense of the word.”
“If a worker wants to channel his problems, there are instances and the government created instances for dialogue that are incorporated into the call. The call is for everyone who wants to give an opinion on the issue of workers to be incorporated, the tables are open for that and we correctly accept them and listen to them,” said the regional president.
The President of the Association of Retirees and Pensioners of Venalum (Ajupeve), Hugo Medina, stated during a march a few days ago that they went to the Public Ministry (MP) to denounce that more than 1,500 active workers “have been thrown into the street, under the condition of retirees in Ciudad Guayana without their social benefits. Benefits which are immediately enforceable in accordance with our Organic Labor Law and our Constitution.”
According to Marcano, the work groups determined a series of benefits for workers who are in their areas and also for those who are not active. “There is a group of colleagues, close to 9,000, who are beginning an incorporation program into their work areas, but they are also going to incorporate some social benefits. We are aware that it is necessary to give answers from the point of view of income for our people and that is why today steps are beginning to be taken from a dialogue table, which is the best way to solve the problems.”
“Violence did not bring us anything good, politics is part of resolving the problem in a civilized way of having tolerance among us, when that is lost we go to war and nobody wants war. Between 2015 and 2020, this country not only lost money as a result of sabotage and sanctions, but also showed the world that it is not through violence that we are going to solve problems. We began to talk and we are already beginning to see a light at end of the tunnel and we are open to discussing with anyone the issues important to the workers and also of economic and social interest of our people,” Marcano pointed out.