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FRSO delegation attends President Maduro’s speech to international trade unionists

By staff |
September 1, 2019
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Maduro holds a "No más Trump!" sign as hundreds of trade unionists chant
Maduro holds a "No más Trump!" sign as hundreds of trade unionists chant. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Caracas, Venezuela - President Nicolás Maduro spoke to labor delegates from 25 countries August 31. They were gathered at the 1st International Meeting of Workers in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its Government and its People. The conference consists of labor union delegations from nearly all of Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, Jared Hamil and Gabriella Killpack, trade unionists and members of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), are participating.

“No más Trump!” rang out as the trade unionists waited at the union assembly. Then Francisco Torrealba, president of the Venezuelan Workers Confederation, introduced President Maduro. The crowd turned rowdy, shouting, "Obrera del mundo! Luchando por la paz! Y nuestro presidente se llama Nicolás!" [Workers of the world! Struggling for peace! Our president is named Nicolás!].

"Greetings to my former co-workers from the Metro!" shouted back President Maduro to his fellow trade unionists from his old job as a bus driver.

Maduro then spoke solemnly about U.S. economic sanctions, "This year we have been facing many hurdles. It has been a very rough year. We face difficult questions. And this year it may be possible to overcome all these difficulties and redesign the path of the Bolivarian revolution in all its various dimensions."

President Maduro addressed head on the actions of U.S. President Trump and his disgraced National Security Advisor John Bolton. Trump and Bolton failed in their attempt to violently overthrow the Venezuelan government on April 30 of this year.

"I never hear the U.S. officials, because you know they are always talking about Venezuela, I never hear them talking about the problems that the people of the U.S. are facing - the surge of violence in the U.S., the hundreds of thousands of workers that live in the streets, or the more than 30 deaths in El Paso recently? These murders were on the very same day the U.S. government tried to bad mouth Venezuela and imposed the latest criminal sanctions,” Maduro said.

Earlier that morning, before Maduro’s speech, trade union delegates from around the world and Venezuela met to discuss proposals and points of unity in solidarity with Venezuela. This includes days of action in their home countries against the criminal U.S. economic blockade of Venezuela.

Jared Hamil of the FRSO addressed the assembly, "The multinational working class of the United States has the same enemy as the working class of Venezuela - Donald Trump! We are with you. We will campaign to end the U.S. sanctions. You have many friends around the world!”

Delegates spoke of the economic situation in each of their countries, the declining power of the U.S. empire and the decline of other countries like Britain, France and Spain, as well as the necessity to fight imperialism.

President Maduro explained two important points of unity to the international audience, “America belongs to all of us, not just the United States!” and “Workers of the world unite, Karl Marx said this, it is as true today as it was then. The working class today is in a better situation to take up socialism."

President Maduro ended strong, speaking directly to Venezuelan workers, “Only the struggle in the union movement for workers’ rights can take the whole working class to a higher level of consciousness."

Maduro, sometimes called “The Worker President,” proposed a second conference to unite more working-class and grassroots forces against U.S. attacks and economic sanctions. He emphasized, “This is our proposal. I say, as a worker and a leader, as a worker leader. If they ask me, ‘What is your social class?’ I say I am from the working class! I have faith in humanity and faith in the future."