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Luis Primo (Venezuelan UNT) Visits Vancouver
Monday, 27 March 2006

Venezuelan trade union leader Luis Primo visited Vancouver on the 4th day of what has been a very busy west coast tour. Luis is the Caracas-Miranda Regional Coordinator of the Venezuelan National Union of Workers (UNT) and is also a member of the National Coordinating Committee for the UNT.

uis first spoke to the Vancouver and District Labour Council at one of their monthly Pizza Educationals. He talked about the history of the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela (CTV). Upon its inception in the 1940s, the CTV started as a progressive, class conscious workers' union. However, a process of degradation which began in the 1960s reduced the CTV to a corrupt caricature of its former self. Luis spoke of the difference between participatory democracy and traditional representative democracy, which he deems to be a dictatorship. This issue was especially well received and Luis received a standing ovation from the approximately 50 trade unionists present.
Luis was then quickly transported to the second event which was held at the Simon Fraser University’s campus in downtown Vancouver. The event, organized by Hands off Venezuela Vancouver was well attended by 80 local activists and youth. For this event Luis’s speech was much longer. He went into further depth about the history of the CTV and highlighted the formation of the UNT in Venezuela and its role as the new democratic workers’ union. Luis talked about the significance of the global antiwar movement and highlighted its importance in the defense of the Venezuelan revolution. He also talked about factory occupations and the processes of workers’ control and co-management that many factories in Venezuela have implemented. Luis talked about the occupation and running of the oil industry as an example of the will of the Venezuelan people to run society themselves. This was met with enthusiastic applause from the audience. The speech was followed by a debate/question period in which various questions about the Bolivarian revolutionary process were answered by Luis.

The Hands Off Venezuela Campaign was well received at both events. Many workers took the information brochures and there was much talk about union endorsement. Very heartfelt thanks go out to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Vancouver and District Labour Council, the Industrial Workers of the World Vancouver, the Internationalist Bolivarian Circle of Vancouver (Bob Everton) and many others who made these events possible.

For more information or to get involved in Vancouver or Canada, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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