HOV logo BANNER

Last weekend the Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM) of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) was held in snowy Scarborough, Britain. Hands Off Venezuela supporters had a busy weekend as there was a motion lined up for discussion on Venezuela as well as a debate against the privatisation of the BBC and the opposition to the war in Iraq. Saturday afternoon saw a discussion of a motion on Venezuela that criticised both the role of the Venezuelan media owners in the coup against Chavez in 2002, and the use of the British media in limiting and misrepresenting information on events in Venezuela. The resolution also recognised the support of working people and the poor for the Chavez government as expressed in the presidential recall referendum in August 2004 as well as how this support was the result of the progressive social programmes implemented by the government. The motion also agreed to further the issue of the Venezuelan revolution within the labour movement, to participate in a trade union delegation to Venezuela, to build links with Venezuelan trade unionists and to work for these aims with the Hands Off Venezuela campaign.

The motion was presented by a speaker from the National Executive Committee and had favourable amendments from the Book Branch and London Central that had speakers supporting it. After a very interesting debate, the ADM agreed to support the motion.

ADM also saw the biggest fringe meeting in the form of a joint meeting between Hands Off Venezuela, Justice for Colombia and Cuba Solidarity Campaign. More than 30 attended a meeting chaired by NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear and with 3 speakers: Jorge Martin, International Secretary of HOV, Carlos Cruz, Colombian Journalist and Jesus Gonzales, Economic counsellor of the Cuban Embassy.

Jorge Martin speaking

Jorge Martin outlined the necessity of supporting the Venezuelan Revolution by trade unionists internationally and explained the situation in Venezuela. Carlos Cruz, on the other hand explained the difficult conditions for trade unionists and journalists in neighbouring Colombia and the Cuban speaker gave a good account of the economic and social situation in the island. A couple of NUJ members who are supporters of the Colombian Solidarity Campaign reported on the incident in Bristol when the Colombian vice-president got red paint thrown at him in protest of the role of his government in the assassination of trade unionists in that country.

The weekend in Scarborough was a good opportunity for HOV supports to advertise the campaign, sell material and ensure that the NUJ is fully behind the inspiring Venezuelan Revolution. In the coming months we will have speakers in as many branches and chapels as possible to start a debate about the media in Venezuela and the need for international support for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution.

 

Full text of the motion passed:

ADM notes the results of the referendum last August in Venezuela which gives its president Hugo Chávez an overwhelming victory and a stronger mandate for his “revolution of the poor”.

 ADM further notes that these results confirm that Chávez’s social programmes on literacy, health care, job training, land reform and subsidised food is popular with the working people and the poor.

 ADM regrets that medias in Venezuela played a major role in attempting to unseat Chávez. The five private channels and the ten national newspapers used their near monopoly of the media to blast Chavez for destroying the economy, antagonising the US government and expropriating private property. This partisan approach of media owners has resulted in journalists’ and media workers’ lives being daily at risk with constant harassment, physical and verbal aggression.

 ADM also notes the use of British media in limiting the information on developments in Venezuela misrepresenting, for example, the land reforms.

ADM recalls that an IFJ mission to Venezuela in 2002 concluded by calling on the wider trade union movement to support media professionals striving to maintain journalistic integrity in the face of intolerable pressures. Both our sister union the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Prensa and the Colegio of Periodistas declared their strong opposition to the manipulation of the media by all sides and called for new initiatives to create editorial standards that will stand up to political and commercial pressure from owners and politicians alike.

 ADM reaffirms its opposition to any attempt by US backed groups to destabilise Chavez and instructs the NEC to support the IFJ affiliate SNTP in defending its members against the intimidation they have endured during recent years, and carrying out the urgent dialogue between government, media and journalists needed to restore public confidence and maintain ethical and professional standards in their work.

 ADM agrees to support any wider trade union initiative to highlight the issue of Venezuela within the British labour movement, including the participation in a trade union delegation to meet and build links with Venezuelan trade unionists. Furthermore, this ADM pledges to work with trade union endorsed campaign such as “Hands Off Venezuela” to further the above aims.

Last weekend the Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM) of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) was held in snowy Scarborough, Britain. Hands Off Venezuela supporters had a busy weekend as there was a motion lined up for discussion on Venezuela as well as a debate against the privatisation of the BBC and the opposition to the war in Iraq. Saturday afternoon saw a discussion of a motion on Venezuela that criticised both the role of the Venezuelan media owners in the coup against Chavez in 2002, and the use of the British media in limiting and misrepresenting information on events in Venezuela. The resolution also recognised the support of working people and the poor for the Chavez government as expressed in the presidential recall referendum in August 2004 as well as how this support was the result of the progressive social programmes implemented by the government. The motion also agreed to further the issue of the Venezuelan revolution within the labour movement, to participate in a trade union delegation to Venezuela, to build links with Venezuelan trade unionists and to work for these aims with the Hands Off Venezuela campaign.

The motion was presented by a speaker from the National Executive Committee and had favourable amendments from the Book Branch and London Central that had speakers supporting it. After a very interesting debate, the ADM agreed to support the motion.

ADM also saw the biggest fringe meeting in the form of a joint meeting between Hands Off Venezuela, Justice for Colombia and Cuba Solidarity Campaign. More than 30 attended a meeting chaired by NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear and with 3 speakers: Jorge Martin, International Secretary of HOV, Carlos Cruz, Colombian Journalist and Jesus Gonzales, Economic counsellor of the Cuban Embassy.

Jorge Martin speaking

Jorge Martin outlined the necessity of supporting the Venezuelan Revolution by trade unionists internationally and explained the situation in Venezuela. Carlos Cruz, on the other hand explained the difficult conditions for trade unionists and journalists in neighbouring Colombia and the Cuban speaker gave a good account of the economic and social situation in the island. A couple of NUJ members who are supporters of the Colombian Solidarity Campaign reported on the incident in Bristol when the Colombian vice-president got red paint thrown at him in protest of the role of his government in the assassination of trade unionists in that country.

The weekend in Scarborough was a good opportunity for HOV supports to advertise the campaign, sell material and ensure that the NUJ is fully behind the inspiring Venezuelan Revolution. In the coming months we will have speakers in as many branches and chapels as possible to start a debate about the media in Venezuela and the need for international support for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution.

 

Full text of the motion passed:

ADM notes the results of the referendum last August in Venezuela which gives its president Hugo Chávez an overwhelming victory and a stronger mandate for his “revolution of the poor”.

 ADM further notes that these results confirm that Chávez’s social programmes on literacy, health care, job training, land reform and subsidised food is popular with the working people and the poor.

 ADM regrets that medias in Venezuela played a major role in attempting to unseat Chávez. The five private channels and the ten national newspapers used their near monopoly of the media to blast Chavez for destroying the economy, antagonising the US government and expropriating private property. This partisan approach of media owners has resulted in journalists’ and media workers’ lives being daily at risk with constant harassment, physical and verbal aggression.

 ADM also notes the use of British media in limiting the information on developments in Venezuela misrepresenting, for example, the land reforms.

ADM recalls that an IFJ mission to Venezuela in 2002 concluded by calling on the wider trade union movement to support media professionals striving to maintain journalistic integrity in the face of intolerable pressures. Both our sister union the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Prensa and the Colegio of Periodistas declared their strong opposition to the manipulation of the media by all sides and called for new initiatives to create editorial standards that will stand up to political and commercial pressure from owners and politicians alike.

 ADM reaffirms its opposition to any attempt by US backed groups to destabilise Chavez and instructs the NEC to support the IFJ affiliate SNTP in defending its members against the intimidation they have endured during recent years, and carrying out the urgent dialogue between government, media and journalists needed to restore public confidence and maintain ethical and professional standards in their work.

 ADM agrees to support any wider trade union initiative to highlight the issue of Venezuela within the British labour movement, including the participation in a trade union delegation to meet and build links with Venezuelan trade unionists. Furthermore, this ADM pledges to work with trade union endorsed campaign such as “Hands Off Venezuela” to further the above aims.

Join / affiliate to the campaign!

Make a donation!

Hands Off Venezuela's financial resources are limited so we rely on our supporters around the world.  Please make a donation of any size towards building the campaign