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The Confederacion de Trabajadores de Venezuela [Confederation of Venezuelan Workers] (CTV) has issued a statement calling for the rejection of Resolution 9855, which sets up a mechanism for every worker in Venezuela to be re-assigned to a job in the agricultural industry for a period of up to 120 days on a mandatory basis.

The CTV voiced its “sharp rejection” of the resolution, and considers it “a brutal militarization of the country’s productive activities”.

A document released by the organization reads:

We call [on workers] to ignore and disobey any order based on Resolution 9855, and our confederation’s committee is evaluating several judicial, administrative and union actions to confront this aberration of governance.

We will attempt to file a motion to nullify [the resolution] for being unconstitutional before the [Supreme Court].

The document points out that the resolution appears to stand in direct violation of article 87 and 89 of the Constitution, which grant Venezuelans the right to work and protects that right from any law that might negatively impact the “progressive nature of labour rights and benefits”.

The CTV’s document also criticized the logic behind the resolution, saying:

Paradoxically, [the government] wants to put out a fire with gasoline [leading to] a destruction of the national economy that has no precedent in Venezuelan contemporary history.

Resolution 9855 came into effect on Tuesday. The resolution allows any company in the agricultural industry to “request” workers from any other company in the country. The workers are selected based on physical, technical and theoretical ability to do agricultural work. The workers and their employers cannot refuse to be re-assigned to agricultural duty. The re-assignments last 60 days, and can be extended for another 60 days.

Borges: Resolution Turns People Into “Merchandise”

National Assembly deputy Julio Borges gave his opinion on Resolution 9855 today in an interview that aired on the Globovision network. saying that it violated the most basic tenets of human dignity.

Borges summarized his opinion on the resolution by saying:

It does away with personal freedom and turns people into merchandise. These are the things we criticize the most about capitalism.

Borges said that the resolution would not have a noticeable effect on food production in the country, since the real problem is that the agricultural lands owned by the government are so mismanaged that they are in a state of complete abandon.

Borges Worried Over Low Protest Turnout

Borges also expressed concern over what he considers to be dwindling number of opposition supporters at opposition rallies. Borges specifically referred to the demonstration in Caracas on Wednesday, during which he noticed a relatively small number of people in attendance.

Borges said:

Last Wednesday, we were probably only 4,000 people.

Borges said that he was “worried” over the possibility that fewer and fewer people were turning up at opposition rallies, and said:

It seems to be that our people, when we say to them, “Let’s get signatures for the referendum!”, it’s impressive how we get two million people in 48 hours to come out and sign around the country and make that sacrifice. Then, you say to them, “The CNE’s put up a barrier, and now we have to validate the signatures!”, and we get 1.3 million people that put in the effort.

Now, when we’ve asked people to come out onto the streets as we did on Wednesday, these protests are not as strong as they used to be. I want to call on the conscience of our supporters, because it’s important that — these street demonstrations — on Wednesday, I think we were about 4,000 people. Let’s remember that before, 10, 20, 30 thousand people used to come out in Caracas.

We must – I’m asking you – we must have a massive presence on the streets.

Freddy Bernal’s Son Almost Murdered

Freddy Bernal, the head of the Comites Locales de Abastecimiento y Produccion [Local Stock and Production Committees] (CLAP) spoke today on his son’s near death experience yesterday.

Bernal said that his son, Mauricio Bernal, was standing outside of his home when he was approached by two individuals. Without saying a word, the individuals shot Mauricio in the chest. Bernal explained what happened next:

Even though he was just wearing shorts and a t-shirt, he was carrying a weapon. My son reacted quickly, and using self-defense techniques was able to down one of the suspects.

Mauricio survived the attack, and one of the suspects was killed while the other fled. The diseased suspect was a man named John C. Reyes, who had “several” convictions in his police record.

Bernal suggested that his son’s experience was somehow connected to opposition attempts to recall Maduro:

The paramilitaries have been infiltrating the whole country. Right-wing sectors can’t find another way to overthrow the president except for violence.

Rodriguez: PSUV Will Ask TSJ to Nullify National Assembly

PSUV National Assembly deputy Hector Rodriguez announced today that the PSUV has asked the nation’s top court, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), to nullify any action by the legislature so long as the deputies from Amazonas are a part of the assembly. The move comes after the opposition-controlled assembly swore in three opposition deputies from Amazonas state despite a TSJ order barring the act.

Rodriguez said:

We’ve introduced requests at the Sala Electoral [Electoral Chamber] and the Sala Constitucional [Constitutional Chamber] so that the court can declare yesterday’s act illegal as well as any acts that come out of an Assembly that is formed illegally, and that it evaluate what are the concrete responsibilities that deputy Ramos Allup bears for these illegal acts.

Rodriguez said that the the opposition in the National Assembly is growing “desperate” because it sees that it is losing the battle against the PSUV, and mocked the opposition by saying:

I’m asking you [the opposition] to be reflective, to be calm, to be measured. Don’t get desperate. It’s not our fault that you’re continually making systematic mistakes.

Allup: TSJ Will Go After Amazonas Deputies

Henry Ramos Allup said today that a decision from the TSJ on the three deputies from Amazonas was “coming soon”, and that the decision will include an order to detain the three deputies.

While no such decision has yet been made, Allup claims to have a source inside the TSJ whom he trusts.

The three deputies from Amazonas were sworn in and joined the National Assembly yesterday in defiance of a TSJ ban. They were elected on December 6, but a December 30 decision by the TSJ has prevented the three from joining the assembly.

MERCOSUR Refuses to Give Venezuelan Presidency

Paraguay, the current president of MERCOSUR, will reach the end of its term tomorrow. The regional body’s rotating presidency is scheduled to go to Venezuela next, but criticism over the Maduro government’s persistent and sustained human rights violations have made some of MERCOSUR’s members hesitant to give the title to Venezuela.

Today, Paraguayan Foreign Affairs minister Eladio Loizaga said that Venezuela would not gain the presidency tomorrow, saying:

I want to make it clear that there will be no transfer of the presidency to the [country] that would be receiving it, which would be Venezuela

Loizaga explained that instead, MERCOSUR’s presidency would become “vacant” tomorrow.


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