Guayana’s Correo Caroni published an article yesterday in which it claims that at least eight leaders of worker’s groups have been dismissed from their respective positions over their criticism of the Maduro government and its policies. The reasons for dismissal range from refusing to sign a government-led petition to call on U.S. President Barack Obama to repeal sanctions against Venezuela officials, to protesting for better contracts.

The newspaper claims that the most recent example of these firings is Orangel Palma, the head of the Movimiento de Sindicatos de Base [Base Unions Movement] and a worker at the Orinoco Iron firm. Over the last month, Palma had led workers at the company in peaceful demonstrations. Palma and the workers were protesting over the fact that their contracts expired six years ago, and they’ve yet to be presented with new ones. The company accused him of being an obstacle to production, and fired him earlier this week.

Another case involves Diego Carrero, a worker with CVG Carbonorca for 21 years. Earlier this year, Carrero was presented with a petition calling on Obama to repeal sanctions against Venezuelan officials. Carrero, who worked as a superintendent at the plant, refused to sign the petition, since he considered it irrelevant to his work. He was fired shortly thereafter.

Carrero said:

I’ve always had a work mentality, a technical position. If you start to think and realize what sorry state companies are in (…) I think that we’re here to help and work. Bringing partisan politics into companies is the worst thing that’s been done in this country.

Venezuela Withdraws $467 Million From IMF Savings

The Venezuelan government withdrew $467 million from its savings account at the International Monetary Fund in October, the third time it has done so this year.

Venezuela withdrew a total of $1.88 billion in April and July of this year, bringing the total sum of withdrawals this year to $2.34 billion. The last time Venezuela withdrew money from the account was in 2006.

The withdrawals come at a time when Venezuelan foreign currency reserves are at critically low levels. At the end of last year, Venezuela had $22 billion in foreign currency reserves, but that figure is currently at $14.819 billion.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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