Intl Trade Unions Condemn Recognition of Guaidó

Even a labor group currently at odds with Caracas opposes foreign interference in the matter of the presidency, reports Ivar Andersen.

By Ivar Andersen
in Stockholm
Inter Press Service

More than 60 countries have recognized Juan Guaidó as legitimate interim president. But among international trade unions, support for Venezuelan self-determination is resolute.

On Jan. 23, the leader of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, declared himself interim president of Venezuela. His claim on the presidency was immediately recognized by the United States which, through Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, called for the world to “pick a side.”

On Feb. 4, Sweden joined the U.S. side. “Sweden supports and acknowledges Juan Guaidó as the leader of the National Assembly and, in accordance with the country’s constitution, his attempts to serve as interim President of Venezuela, now responsible for making sure free and fair democratic elections will be called,” Margot Wallström, minister for foreign affairs said, in a statement that stressed the importance of solving the crisis peacefully.

The international trade union movement has chosen a different approach. On the same day as Guaidó declared himself president, the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas released a harsh statement:

Juan Guido sworn in as Venezuela's interim president before a crowd on Jan. 23. (National Assembly)

Juan Guido sworn in as Venezuela’s interim president on Jan. 23. (National Assembly)

“We condemn the unilateral decision adopted today, January 23, by a group of governments of the region, notably led by the USA, to ignore the legitimacy of the government of President Maduro and to recognize the self-proclaimed ’president of the transition’, representative Juan Guaidó.”

Calls for Dialog

The Trade Union Confederation of the Americas is calling upon the government of Venezuela and the opposition to seek out dialog, and for the international community to support this, but also calls the support for Guaidó “a grave act of interference and intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, setting back the region to times we thought belonged to the past, in which coups d’état and military dictatorships were instigated.”

Many national trade union confederations have taken the same position. South Africa’s largest confederations, Cosatu and Saftu, condemn what they both call a “coup attempt.”

Trade unions in Canada are protesting the government’s decision to recognize Guaidó. The trade union confederation CLC writes that it supports “the Venezuelan people’s right to peaceful self-determination.”

The country’s largest trade union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, states that Canada “has chosen to side with Donald Trump and US foreign policy,” while the Canadian Union of Postal Workers calls the Canadian standpoint “deeply disturbing” and “ in direct violation of international law.”

The global union IndustriALL condemns the acknowledgement of Guaidó and “also rejects the external boycott, which has clear political and economic motives that violate Venezuela’s sovereignty.”

Presidential Election 2018

On May 20, 2018, the sitting president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, was reelected for a second, six-year term. The EU and the United States, as well as associations like OAS and the Lima Group, rejected the election process.
In a statement on May 28, the Council of the European Union wrote: “The substantially reduced electoral calendar, bans and other major obstacles to the participation of opposition political parties and their leaders, as well as the non-respect of minimal democratic standards as indicated by numerous reported irregularities, notably the widespread abuse of state resources, voter coercion and unbalanced access to media, led to these elections being neither free nor fair.”
The election result was recognized by some countries, including China, South Africa, Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Turkey.
The voter turnout was 46 percent, the lowest since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1958.

Tense Relationship 

Australian Sharan Burrow, ITUC’s general secretary. (ITUC)

Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary. (ITUC)

Nigerian Ayuba Wabba, ITUC’s president. (ITUC)

Ayuba Wabba, ITUC president. (ITUC)

The relationship between the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Venezuela has been tense for some time, due to the fact that the country’s leadership doesn’t acknowledge ITUC’s affiliate ASI. But the ITUC also opposes foreign interference in the matter of the presidency.

“Concerning the presidency of Venezuela, that is a matter for the people of Venezuela to decide, not any other entity outside of the country,” ITUC’s Director of Communications Tim Noonan told  Arbetet Global.

The ITUC also refers to its statement on Venezuela, which was adopted by the organization’s world congress in December last year, before Guaidó’s challenge.

“The ITUC supports its affiliates in Venezuela in their struggle to strengthen democracy and dialogue, and the workers and people of Venezuela in dealing with the enormous difficulties that they are experiencing due to the economic blockade imposed on Venezuela.”

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO, is in favor of humanitarian aid and UN-led reconciliation efforts. The international department stresses that the LO does not take sides in the question of the presidency, but does take a swing at foreign involvement.

“The unstable political situation is worsened by superpowers like China, the United States, and Russia trying to manoeuvre the political map,” says Åsa Törnlund, union officer responsible for South America.

Ivar Andersen reports  Arbetet Global.

Translation by Cecilia Stude.

This story was originally published by Arbetet Global

22 comments for “Intl Trade Unions Condemn Recognition of Guaidó

  1. Jahaziel Bonilla Rivera
    March 31, 2019 at 14:05

    As a trade unionist in the US and having been born and raised in a colony of the US (Puerto Rico) I can tell you that anything the USA supports, has nothing to do with workers well being and workers rights. The US is a country that is for the rich and by the rich and they support Juan Guido not because they give a damn about democracy but because the Maduro government doesn’t take marching orders from Washington. The interests of the US Empire are not taken into account like they are in Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil Etc.. There has been a shift to the “Right” in the Latin American countries, aided and directed by Washington and Venezuela is the one that has been resisting US meddling in their internal affairs since former president and now national hero Hugo Chavez Frias won office and redirected the Oil export revenues to build schools, hospitals, subsidize meals for students and the elderly and provides free health care with the help of Cuban doctors to those that never had it before under “democratic” governments in the past. The hypocrisy of those in Washington that do nothing to promote or defend workers rights here in the US is truly astonishing. There are more poor people in the US that there are people in Venezuela, workers in the US do not have the right to health care or education (I have a daughter that is a nurse with a Masters and has a $100,000 student loan to pay with interest to the bank). I am saddened by the fact that “progressives countries” like Sweden have jumped on the US bandwagon (Canada too). The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela was won at the ballot just like Washington preaches when it’s convenient to them and have won 90% of every type of election held in the last 20 years…..the ones they lost (regional governments and local councils ) they have accepted the results. Please show me a “dictatorship” that accepts ballot results that go against their favor, also show me a “dictatorship” that allows the opposition to march openly in the streets without gunning the opposition down like Pinochet, Papa Doc Duvalier, Batista Etc. all darlings of Washington , funded and promoted by them. The rest of the world should mind their own business and let Venezuela chart their own destiny regardless of the outcome, it is a sovereign nation and not the US backyard like the infamous “Monroe Doctrine” of 1823 would like for us to believe….

  2. Brian James
    March 25, 2019 at 14:24

    March 14, 2019 Venezuela Coup Leader’s Oil Plans Revealed: Guaidó Hopes to Privatize State-Controlled Industry

    US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó and his right-wing economic advisers drafted plans to privatize Venezuela’s oil industry and open up the oil-rich country to foreign corporations, Reuters reported.

  3. March 25, 2019 at 09:04

    Am I the only one to notice that the statement describing 2018 Venezuelan elections by the Council of the European Union could in large measure also describe OUR elections in the U.S.? QUOTE: ” reduced election calendar [in U.S. CUTS in time for ABSENTEE/EARLY Voting]…major obstacles to oppositional {in U.S. THIRD] parties, reported irregularities [in U.S. computer voting machines that “flip” votes to other candidate, don’t count other votes at all—issues raised for YEARS], voter coercision [in U.S> voter SUPPRESSION of Black, Latino & students access to voting], unbalanced access to the media [in U.S.: empty podium waiting for Trump instead of Bernie Sanders rally, total CENSORSHIP of Third Party candidates].
    It’s ridiculous to claim that wse have the “most free & fair elections” on Earth. In recent article about VENEZUELA, by JOHN PILGER, , published in CONSORTIUM NEWS, former President JIMMY CARTER who travels the world monitorting elections, said, VENEZUELA had one of the fairest elections while OUR OWN ELECTIONS in the U.S> were some of the LEAST free & fair.

    • March 25, 2019 at 12:21

      The US elections are in a class of it’s own, far below any other nation now, or anytime, that I’m aware of. In other countries I know of, election fraud tends to happen in the dark. In the US however, there is openly visible election fraud in every imaginable way you can possibly think of. It’s like watching alive robbery, where the thieves get away with it while the police are watching, and the media pretending everything is perfectly normal. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  4. March 24, 2019 at 09:46

    The warmongers in Washington DC are in control of the government led by a compromised Trump, who is making rash decisions in foreign policy whickkcan only end in disaster

  5. March 24, 2019 at 08:11

    Wow! The Mueller report is in and where is Consortium News’ coverage of the event? Yes, we got the VIPS memo. It’s wonderful.

    Thing is, Matt Taibbi released a detailed expose on WMD and Russiagate journalism fraud (see below). Where is Robert Parry hammering nails in the mainstream media coffins?

    Now is the time to protest this travesty of a mockery of a sham, folks, before the mountain of lies is normalized forevermore…

  6. CitizenOne
    March 23, 2019 at 20:41

    I get it. I mean how measures taken by Venezuela to curtail elections is seen by other nations as a reason for them to side with the USA in declaring the present government as illegitimate.

    But what the heck? How long has the West and the greedy oil money tried to tear down that socialist democracy? How long has America been engaged in a multi decade covert war in many South American countries to overthrow their governments? How many South American countries have we overthrown? And when are we going to normalize relations with Cuba?

    We act like a feudal kingdom declaring sovereign rights over the resources of other nations and the right to subjugate the citizens of those nations under the yoke of “cooperative” governments and if necessary when we encounter difficulty overthrow governments to install dictators who quell civil unrest as the population is denied any of the benefits of its GDP and the newly minted puppet government grows fat off the control afforded by US backing.

    This has happened so many times that I cannot conceive how 65 apparently very stupid nations would sign on to the next corporate CIA backed overthrow of yet another resource rich nation to be robbed of its riches leaving the population starving.

    What we see in the USA and perhaps it is by now the same all over the planet is pure propaganda of the rich corporations influencing the opinions of the leadership of governments. Donald Trump is a prime example with his daily classes held while attending the University of Fox News featuring Professor Sean Hannity ordering him what to do next. Trump may not be a Putin Puppet but he sure is a Hannity Puppet and by relation a puppet of Rupert Moloch

    We organize fake emergency aid trucks attacked by the opposition thugs that wereimediately blamed by the media as Mauro’s doing. Sabotage of the electrical power systems blamed on Maduro even though the timing is extremely suspicious. Attempted assassinations of Chavez and Maduro. US media figures like evangelical Pat Robertson’s network openly calling for Chavez to be assassinated. Local commercial media companies within Venezuela advocating inviting disaster with a hand picked CIA trained operative groomed in the USA for the leadership role in Venezuela. The media outlets reveal they are enemy agencies of the nation and the people.

    How can the World possibly sign onto the BS coming out of Bolton and Pompeo. Pompeo is the hand picked Wichita wonder boy by the Oil Baron Koch Brothers. Pompeo has been their proxy for decades. Now he’s in charge of overthrowing Venezuela and stealing their oil as an act of humanitarian outpouring and deep concern for the well being of the impoverished citizens of Venezuela. Yeah right.

  7. March 23, 2019 at 20:18

    Guido. What a joke that guy is. Betcha Venezuela would love to be in our shoes instead right about now!

  8. evelync
    March 23, 2019 at 18:13

    same old, same old Cold War rhetoric which invented the term “domino effect” to whip up a frenzy against what was a civil war in Vietnam.
    The millions of casualties included the son of the American General who approved the toxic napalm we used to burn the vegetation that is thought to have caused his son’s brain tumor.

    The same old Cold Warriors who cannot abide a country which wants to control its own natural resources.

    The Cold War has never ended, although the story is getting very long in the tooth and people are sick of seeing their tax dollars support these “hard choices”. It never ends well. The best and the brightest never solve the problems they create. they just wreak havoc and move on to the next plunder.

  9. Lois Gagnon
    March 23, 2019 at 18:07

    Russia has given notice to the Trump administration that it will not tolerate US aggression in Venezuela.

    Do these neoliberal leaders of US vassal states have any idea what they are signing up for?

    Check mate on US criminal regime change policy.

  10. María
    March 23, 2019 at 12:15

    Horrible that we don’t see the true MADURO Is a GENOCIDE and venezuelans walking in South America only show us how a government can take it all from you

    • Jahaziel Bonilla Rivera
      March 31, 2019 at 14:37

      Check your grammar Maria…..

  11. Brian James
    March 23, 2019 at 11:39

    21 March 2019 Huge Defeat for Imperialists: The U.S. Broke Its Teeth in Venezuela

    A good place to start to uncover this deception is to ask the question – was the “humanitarian aid” ever humanitarian?

    Mar 19, 2019 ‘The mask of the US is off’: At UN, Anya Parampil speaks on Venezuela regime change war

    US-led regime change war on Venezuela and the right-wing opposition’s use of violence, at a side event at a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on March 19, on a panel titled “Humanitarian crisis in Venezuela: Propaganda vs. reality.”

  12. Jim other
    March 23, 2019 at 09:12

    If Maduro is the dictator he is reputed to be by the MSM and the Trump regime (a minority administration) Guaido would be a dead man. The Venezuelan people should decide how they are governed and by whom. It may be necessary for the Venezuelan people to take up arms and defend themselves, especially if they are invaded by the marines.

  13. Rochelle
    March 23, 2019 at 02:06

    This could get interesting:

    “Interesting” in the same sense as the proverb that says “may you live in interesting times,” of course. Like most people who aren’t neocons, I have no desire to see the world burn. But if the neocons are stopping at nothing to burn it anyway, I would rather see it burn not on their terms.

  14. Steve Abbott
    March 22, 2019 at 22:36

    “…in accordance with the country’s constitution..”
    The exact same formula has been used by Lima group ring-leader and Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, and several other US bootlickers (to be polite). Some even took the risk of naming the relevant article in the Venezuelan constitution; article 233. In every case, however, they must either not have read the four simple paragraphs of that article, or lied outright in hopes that their audiences are too lazy to look it up. It is easily available online, and it makes very clear that Guaidó’s claim is not by any stretch of the imaginstion in accordance with the constitution.

    • Mike Lamb
      March 23, 2019 at 04:07

      Let us place the English translation of Article 233 of the Constitution of Venezuela here:
      I have CAPITALIZED the relevant section.

      1) For the Head of the Legislature to become President there must have been a VALID Presidential election in which a President was elected.
      2) Then between the time of the election of the new President and the inauguration of the new President that elected President must become PERMANENTLY UNAVAILABLE.
      3) With those two conditions fulfilled (a valid election and the permanent unavailability of the elected President) the Head of the Legislature assumes the role of the Presidency and a new election for President MUST be held within 30 days.

      If there was a VALID ELECTION it was in May 2018 and Murdo was elected.
      Maduro has not become permanently unavailable, HOWEVER, on August 4, 2018 (before Juan Guaido became Head of the Legislature) there was an assassination attempt on Maduro, which had it been successful would have triggered Article 33 with the then Head of the Legislature taking the Presidency with a new election within 30 days.
      Maduro survived that assassination attempt and took the oath of office as President of Venezuela January 10, 2019.
      On January 23, 2019, 12 days after Maduro took the oath of office for President and assumed the Presidency of Venezuela Juan Guaido claimed to be the President of Venezuela using Article 233.

      However, Maduro’s swearing in as President on January 10, 2019 nullified the ability of the Head of the Legislature to legally claim to be President of Venezuela.

      Perhaps a “John Robert’s Supreme Court” al la a “William Rehnquist Supreme Court” in the fall of 2000 could declare Guaido President of Venezuela.

      Every country which has accepted Guaido as President of Venezuela has abandoned the Rule of Law and has accepted “Might Makes Right” of “Pirate Nation.”

      “Article 233: The President of the Republic shall become permanently unavailable to serve by reason of any of the following events: death; resignation; removal from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly; abandonment of his position, duly declared by the National Assembly; and recall by popular vote.


      When the President of the Republic becomes permanently unavailable to serve during the first four years of this constitutional term of office, a new election by universal suffrage and direct ballot shall be held within 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the Executive Vice-President shall take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.

      In the cases describes above, the new President shall complete the current constitutional term of office. If the President becomes permanently unavailable to serve during the last two years of his constitutional term of office, the Executive Vice-President shall take over the Presidency of the Republic until such term is completed.”

  15. G
    March 22, 2019 at 20:21

    Yes, money can have a coup personality elected and democracy over ruled.

    Only forty six percent voted because the rightwing boycotted. Oligarchs might have won if they could have agreed on a candidate. But they didn’t. The right boycotted and the Constituent Assembly, the most powerful branch of Venezuelan democratic facets called for an election to maintain order for reasons of national security. An election was held. Nicolas Maduro won.

    Offense is the best defense.

    Cosmic powered biology manifest as human aligned with a vision of evolving scientific understanding could fail. On the other hand, unless something is done soon, humanity is guaranteed to fail.

    Answer this; Why have democrats and republicans been allied over the past seventeen years to destroy Venezuela? Let us examine together that which frightens pirates in search of more free lunches.

    What will empire do when the economy collapses. People know more jobs will just hasten unlivable environmental pollution but they need to support families. What will humanity do? Will we be ready to create a more perfect union out of the chaos we see around us now?

    Seven facet organizational chart here

  16. March 22, 2019 at 18:42

    Announce elections, monitor with international representation and let the people decide. Maduro should not step down, and be allowed to run again. We have had too much propaganda about the irregularities of elections when we don’t like the outcome. Iran and Syria come to mind but I’m sure there are others.

  17. Jeff Harrison
    March 22, 2019 at 18:31

    At one point, Jimmy Carter said that Venezuela had the best electoral system he’d seen. ‘Course St. Obama declared Venezuela a national security threat (how, exactly, does that work? I suspect much the same way that the cheeto-in-chief’s emergency at the Mexico border works, illegitimately) allowing him to impose sanctions and generally making their lives miserable so he can then later blame them for problems that we ultimately caused. If you want to know which states are US vassals, just look at the list of states that are supporting the USs violation of international law. The Swedes are a special case of stupidity. Hello Sweden! All Russia and China were doing was investing in Venezuela and weren’t politically involved until the US executed a creative technique for regime change. But then again, you gave St. Obama a peace prize that shows how low your standards are.

  18. March 22, 2019 at 18:02

    On Feb. 4, Sweden joined the U.S. side. “Sweden supports and acknowledges Juan Guaidó as the leader of the National Assembly and, in accordance with the country’s constitution, his attempts to serve as interim President of Venezuela…”

    To translate into real talk:

    “Sweden supports and acknowledges the Wall Street neo-liberal usurper, Guido, as the leader of the National Assembly and, in accordance with might makes right, his totalitarian attempts to serve as a puppet of the Washington-militarist imperialist machine…”

  19. mike k
    March 22, 2019 at 17:50

    One can only hope that the cowardly backers of US gangsterism will get their comeuppance. Of course the Swedish tools who sold out Assange were eager to jump on the US Mafia bandwagon. Apparently their “democracy” is just as fake as it is here in the US.

Comments are closed.