Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Government must act to deal with extreme chaos in Ciudad Guayana ... winds of change are desperately needed!

VHeadline Venezuela News reports: Trade unions at the Matanzas unit if the giant state-owned Siderurgica del Orinoco (SIDOR) steel works in Ciudad Guayana, have given notice that they will join professional associations, students and other civilian protest organizations to express their total rejection of regional insecurity and the poor quality of basic services, electricity, water supplies and transport.

Telling regional authorities that they are NOT prepared to mourn the imminent death of the Guayana development region of southeastern Venezuela, they are organizing a mass protest to highlight the incredible state of corporate and government "negligence and carelessness" in Ciudad Guayana, where thefts, robberies, kidnappings etc., are daily occurrences along with an electricity power grid that collapses at the drop of a hat and public water supplies that are described as substantially more than just "leaky."

Protest organizer, Yunnis Hernandez, says he is "appalled" by current conditions in wshat had once been heralded as Venezuela's showcase industrial capital ... "the streets are full of garbage, there is complete anarchy in public services, housing projects have been abandoned, most neighborhoods are without water, there are no traffic controls and there is rampant insecurity ... that is what we have to live with on a daily basis!"

Hernandez has invited all union leaders and public and private company employees to take to the streets to demand immediate solutions to the situation which is affecting the future of thousands of jobs. He insists that lawyers, students, administrators, unemployed, workers, trade unionists and many others should join this protest action to draw the attention of national and regional authorities to such critical governmental neglect. "We have had to raise our voice of protest, because it seems that regional leaders are not prepared to assume their responsibilities."

"Aside from political differences which have caused these calamities, we have to show that the increased levels of crime do not make sense to people, or indeed political ideologies that lead absolutely nowhere."

In 2007, Hernandez says, many workers on the payroll of state-owned businesses such as CVG-Alcasa, CVG-Venalum, CVG-Ferrominera, Edelca and Sidor died at the hands of crime, not including many many others killed in the sea of violence. We have been struggling for the right to a collective bargaining agreement but we are constantly thwarted by mafia gangs in the criminal underworld ... just last Friday a Sidor worker was slain."

This year alone, 463 people have been violently killed in Bolivar State, 10 people have been kidnapped for ransom. All the while, the beleagured population has to suffer multiple blackouts which are now virtually a daily occurrence as well as cuts in water supplies.

CVG-Sidor union spokesman Jose Luis Alcocer says there is a critical need to implement a plan of prevention and to reinvigorate the regional development of Guayana to open up new jobs. "The high unemployment rate is directly attributable to corruption and organized crime ... more importantly, this sort of affairs does not offer the best platform for further education in schools and universities."

"We are aware this the problem is very much bound up in a culture of negligence and abandonment but it is the responsibility of any government to take action to deal with situations of extreme chaos in our city ... we desperately need winds of change."


VHeadline Venezuela News
vheadline@gmail.com

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Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.

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