“Rich Man’s Strike” Fails in Venezuela
Anti-Strike Multitudes Flood Open Market to Defend Democracy
By Al Giordano
A Narco News Press Briefing
December 2, 2002
Today’s attempted “strike” in Venezuela – the fourth this year attempted by pro-coup elements of the oligarchy, the country’s former rulers, foreign interests, and that nation’s corrupt and dishonest Commercial Media – is, by all accounts, an abject failure, limited to wealthy neighborhoods while the great majority of Venezuelans work and shop today in open defiance of the strike call.
Here’s a photo of the “anti-strike day” mega-market organized by defenders of the 1999 Bolivarian Constitution and the elected presidency of Hugo Chávez that the pro-coup elements want to abolish…
Here’s an aerial view of the multitudes who flooded the streets to violate the “strike” ordered by the super rich…
See the photos by VenPres in their full size and glory, with moment-by-moment coverage (in Spanish) of how the “strike” is collapsing in every region of Venezuela:
Even the English-language wire services – regularly hostile to the democratic choices made by the Venezuelan people – today must reluctantly admit that the “strike” is a farce.
Reuters reports that the strike is limited to wealthy neighborhoods: “streets were free of the usual heavy traffic in the opposition’s eastern stronghold, where many businesses closed their doors. But the center and west of city were bustling with street sellers and open restaurants though many businesses kept their metal shutters down… The nation’s major industries—the vital oil sector and state steel, aluminum and mining operations—were mostly unaffected, the government said. Airports stayed open with some delays and public transport operated at near-normal levels… The government countered Monday’s shutdown by organizing a huge street market in central Caracas, selling cheap food and services. Thousands of residents flocked around the stalls.
The Financial Times of London reports: “In the wealthy eastern part of Caracas, most businesses were shut and highways almost deserted. But in the capital’s poorer neighbourhoods, many shops remained open for trade.”
United Press International portrayed the “strike” (a strange term for an action imposed by management against workers) as “a partial success,” noting that, “Support for the strike was almost total in wealthier neighborhoods of Caracas, but in the city’s less affluent suburbs most small businesses opened for business.”
Associated Press notes that “few heed strike call,” reporting that “initial reports suggested fewer workers and businesses abided the strike call than during previous strikes. Many shopkeepers and regional business groups said they couldn’t afford to lose holiday season sales after a miserable year of recession. Others are tired of the political turmoil that accompanies each opposition strike.”
Even pro-coup daily El Universal reports on its website this morning that by 9 a.m. one of the “strike” spokesmen, Manuel Cova, of the corrupt Venezuelan Workers Federation, was disheartened to find the streets filled with automobiles. Cova lashed out and accused the traffic as consisting of cars from “outside” of Caracas, brought in by constitution supporters to embarrass the strike. He ended up sounding very silly since the strike purports to represent all Venezuelans – not just the elite neighborhoods of the Capital. Cova looked even more out of touch when he called upon people to look at where the license plates of the cars are from, saying that many were from Carabobo. But the fact is that on normal days, a great many license plates in Caracas are from Carabobo, because that’s the region that makes automobiles for the nation.
The national airport, the transportation systems, the nation’s oil and other major industries all hummed along today, largely unaffected by this act of theater by those who can’t tolerate that the majority of their countrymen and women out-voted them fair and square, the American way, six times in the past four years, at the ballot box.
The revolt of the spoiled brats, which entered 2002 full of fire and brimstone and grand hopes to provoke a permanent coup d’etat and dictatorship, thus ends the year with a whimper.
Democracy lives another day in Venezuela.
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