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sábado, enero 15, 2005

National Electoral Council nullifies 2001 election for president of the CTV / CNE invalida a las elecciones presidenciales de CTV en 2001

On Wednesday, Venezuela's National Electoral Commission (CNE), the government body that oversees elections, declared the 2001 CTV presidential election void due to irregularities and failure to supply the necessary voting records to the CNE. (The validity of the election was very controversial in 2001, but the CNE just now got around to ruling on it, I guess.)

The CTV is the largest national union federation in Venezuela and has been closely aligned with the opposition, to the point of working with the National Chamber of Commerce FEDECAMERAS to hold a series of general strikes and engineer the 2002 coup. The CTV (big surprise) refuses to recognize the CNE ruling.

This is another way in which the Venezuelan labor movement is very different from that of the U.S. No government body in the U.S. has authority over internal union elections (though the government can exert power over union operations other ways, e.g., by accusing them of being run by Communists or the mafia). But in Venezuela, the CTV has always been closely (and formally) tied to the political parties, Accion Democratica in particular -- much more so than in the U.S., despite the perpetual complaints about the AFL-CIO being in bed with the Democrats. Thing is, up till Chavez's election the CTV was linked to the ruling political parties, and now they no longer rule...

Lots of politics at play here.

Steve Ellner says that organized labor in Venezuela has had a "historical dependence on political structures, a relationship that tended to undermine class consciousness and the defense of class interests."

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Este miércoles, el Consejo Nacional Electoral de Venezuela (CNE), la sucursal del gobierno que supervisa elecciones, declaró que la elección presidencial de CTV en 2001 no tuvo la legitimidad debido a las irregularidades y a la falta de proveer los documentos de votación necesarios al CNE. (La legitimidad de la elección estaba muy polémica en 2001, pero solamente ahora el CNE ha hecho una decisión.)

El CTV es la federación nacional de sindicatos más grande en Venezuela y se ha alineado con la oposición, trabajando con la Cámara de Negocios nacional FEDECAMERAS para hacer una serie de huelgas generales y para dirigir el golpe de 2002. El CTV (en una sorpresa grande) rechaza reconocer la decisión de CNE.

En este respeto el movimiento sindicalista venezolano es muy diferente de el de los E.E.U.U. Ningún cuerpo del gobierno en los E.E.U.U. tiene la autoridad sobre elecciones internas de los sindicatos (aunque el gobierno puede ejercer su poder sobre operaciones internos de sindicatos en otras maneras, por ejemplo, acusándolos del funcionamiento por Communists o el mafia). Pero en Venezuela, el CTV siempre ha tenido conexiones formal y muy cerca con los partidos políticos, particularmente Acción Democrática -- mucho más que en los E.E.U.U., a pesar de las quejas perpetuas que el AFL-CIO estaba en cama con el Partido Democrático. Pero hasta la elección de Chavez, el CTV fue ligado a los partidos políticos en poder, y ahora no tienen el poder...

Muchos juegos de políticas aquí.

Steve Ellner dice que el movimiento sindicalista en Venezuela ha tenido una "dependencia histórica de las estructuras políticas, una relación que tendió destruir la conciencia de la clase y la defensa de los intereses de la clase." (traducción mía)

Comments:
Who is Steve Ellner? And was there a significant opposition slate in the 2001 CTV elections?

-- C.M.
 
Steve Ellner is a professor who studies Venezuela's economics, politics and history. He lives in Venezuela but right now I believe he's at Duke; here's his bio. I've actually been trying to get in touch with him but haven't heard back yet. Here are some commentaries of his.

And yes, the 2001 CTV elections were hotly contested. From what I know (which is limited!) the main group opposing AD's candidates was the Frente Unitario de los Trabajadores (FUT), which included both Chavistas and moderate oppositionists. FUT's candidate for the CTV presidency was Aristobulo Isturiz.
 
Sorry, got things a bit backwards in my last comment! FUT was the AD party, though it included membership from some other parties. Its candidates were the infamous Carlos Ortega for president, and Manuel Cova for secretary general. The Chavista/independent party was the FBT, whose presidental candidate was Isturiz.
 
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