Venezuelan teachers have been “heating up” the streets of the country for a week with the aim of being heard by the Chavista leadership and cause positive changes that result in better salaries and working conditions.
By La Patilla
Jan 18, 2023
In the states of Aragua, Lara, Barinas, Sucre, Guárico, Apure, Anzoátegui, Sucre, Falcón and Táchira, teachers did not miss the appointment to protest this Wednesday, January 18th.
In both Aragua and Sucre, fathers, mothers and representatives of various institutions joined the educators’ protests to obtain a salary increase and improvements in working conditions.
Likewise, in the “cradle of Chávez” (Barinas State), anti-riot teams from the PNB and GNB left in the early hours of the day to position themselves around the meeting point of the protesters in this plains state.
While in Táchira, active and retired janitors from the Governor’s Office demonstrated with empty pots, banners and slogans asking for salary demands.
For his part, Falcón State also took to the roads, demanding a decent salary to the rhythm of slogans, banners and empty pots.
Humanitarian Crisis At The Luis Razetti Hospital In Barcelona
This wave of protest was joined by the parents of the patients from the Children’s Oncology Unit of the Luis Razetti Hospital in Barcelona, Anzoátegui State, who closed the “Vía Alterna” protesting the declining conditions of the healthcare center and established their protest spot.
They assure that they have not had air conditioning for several months, the children have gone for three weeks without receiving chemotherapy and there are also none of the necessary supplies to care for them. A two-year-old boy died during the early hours of this Wednesday.
Chavismo Launched The “Colectivos” Against The Teachers In Apure State
Apure State teachers were harried, intimidated and attacked while protesting for their rights by chavista armed groups (Colectivos).
It was stated that while they were concentrated on the “Paseo Libertador” in San Fernando de Apure (the state capital), the armed radicals arrived to intimidate those who protested for fair wages.
“We are not afraid, we stand solid here in this fight (…) we cannot continue with starvation wages,” explained one of those present.
As usual, teachers from the plains state decided to intermittently block the way at the main corner of the boulevard, an action rejected by the director of the Apure State Police.
Not Even La Vuelta Al Táchira Stopped The Fight
Unions of workers of the Territorial Polytechnic University of Mérida (UPTM Kleber Ramírez), were present on Centenario Avenue at the height of the Shopping Center in the city of Ejido to peacefully protest for a decent wage.
Taking advantage of the passage of the fourth stage of the “Vuelta del Táchira” (Táchira Cycling Tour), they made visible the problems that affect the university community.
Professor Beatriz Meza said that “university workers are experiencing a situation of calamity, the salary is not enough even to get to the facilities of this house of studies.”
At the regional level, the teachers of both basic education and the University of Los Andes and other universities in the entity, undertook an agenda of active protest.
Gasoline, Another Headache
The lack of fuel in the different municipalities of the Monagas State has worsened even more with the passing of the days, to the point that to resupply in the service stations can take more than a week. Such a situation has arisen in the municipalities of Cedeño, Punceres, Aguasay, Libertador and Ezequiel Zamora.
Despite the announcements by the Chavista governor, Ernesto Luna, the shortage of fuel in its two modalities (subsidized and “dollarized”) has been the norm since December.
In towns like Caicara in the Cedeño municipality, there is only one “dollarized” (fuel can only be paid in U.S. dollars cash) service station and they were without supplies for nearly two weeks.
“Yesterday was when the cistern arrived at the only gas station we have with an international gas price. Since December 27th, no fuel had been supplied. The fuel situation is terrible in this municipality and, as is well known, this town is mostly agricultural. How do the producers manage to get around if they don’t have gasoline?” asked the councilor for that jurisdiction, Xavier Figuera.
Workers Rose Up Against Bernal Protesting The Miserable Wages
With banners and empty pots this Wednesday, workers who depend on the regional government in Táchira, protested peacefully in front of the governor’s office to demand decent wages, despite the deployment of officials in riot gear.
The 27 bolivars a week they receive forced them to join the street actions that have been taking place throughout the country for more than a week. They demand from the Chavista governor, Freddy Bernal, an immediate response to the repeated requests for salary demands.
María Victoria Barreno, representative of the Táchira State Workers Union (SOBETA), stated that they adhere to article 68 of the Constitution. “We are asking for the dignity of our salary, which allows us to live according to the condition of each worker. There are workers who are earning a salary of 27 bolivars a week, as is my case.” This salary is not even enough for the payment of public transport.
“There are those who say that this situation is caused by the “blockade”. No, it’s because of the looting, because on the other hand we see officials who are earning salaries in dollars. Please, put your hands on your heart, but now the working class is united and set (to protest), but for the dignity of their families,” emphasized the employee of the Táchira regional government.
Read More: La Patilla – Guilds accompany the teachers’ struggle and warn Maduro that they “lost their fear”