Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Open Letter to President Chavez From Iranian Labour and Student Activists

By Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Mr Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias,
President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela



Dear Mr President:

We hear the news of the release of two of the FARC's hostages with renewed hope for the future of Colombia. The release of Clara Rojas and Consuela Gonzalez is not only a joyous event for their families but a development with great potentials for Colombian society.

Even the most right-wing news agencies in the world acknowledge Your Excellency's crucial role in negotiating the release of these two captives. The negotiation process that you have gone through has been a difficult one - requiring uncommon patience on Your Excellency's part. We sincerely hope that many more people will be reunited with their families and friends through your positive intervention in bridging the communication gap between the FARC and the Uribe government.

Your Excellency, we believe that your negotiation and persuasion skills can be put to further use in the release of captives in other parts of the globe. In particular, as you have developed very close relations with successive Iranian presidents, we hope that you can use your influence to help free the genuine trade unionists, democrats and socialists locked up in Iran.

Today there are many workers, students, women and journalists in Iran's prisons. In December 2007 around 40 students were arrested for demanding freedom, liberty and singing the Internationale. Over thirty of them are still in prison - with rumours that Saeed Habibi may have committed suicide. Iran's jails are also full of labour activists who have tried to set up trade unions and organise workers in their struggles to improve their pay and conditions. Mahmood Salehi and Mansour Osanloo are two such organisers. Salehi, who has just one kidney, is in a critical state. He was arrested in 2004 because he tried to organise a May Day rally. Osanloo is the leader of the Vahed Bus Company trade union. He tried to re-launch the trade union and raise the workers' low wages. He was beaten up by vigilantes connected to the regime and imprisoned.

Your Excellency, we believe that your close relations with the Islamic Republic's leaders, together with your undoubted persuasion skills, can help free these prisoners. These are not criminals: they are people who merely protested for better rights for workers, students, women, journalists and other sections of society. We are sure that your intervention in this regard, with a government that is much friendlier to Venezuela than Uribe's Colombia, can bring about a positive outcome.

Yours respectfully,
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
Workers' Action Committee (Iran)
Militaant, journal of revolutionary socialist youth in Iran
January 13, 2008
RENEGADE EYE

52 comments:

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

muy buena carta felicidades

sonia said...

I can easily imagine a similar letter, written by German Jews to Stalin in 1940 (when Hitler and Stalin were pals, just like Chavez and Ahmadinejad now), asking him to help liberate them.

Human naivety is amazing.

Eitan said...

I don't think the Iranian mujahadeen writing this are naive at all. They know exactly what they're doing and exactly what they're actions may lead to (unlike of Jews living in Germany in the early to mid 30's).

BTW: it's "naivette."

Farmer John said...

LOL! As Hugo was securing the release of 2 hostages, FARC was kidnapping 6 more.

btw - Try singing the 2nd verse of the Internationale next time.

There are no supreme saviours,
Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune.
Producers, let's save ourselves!

Graeme said...

Sonia, Ahmadinejad isn't Hitler and Chavez isn't Stalin. The comparison just doesn't work. Why does everything have to be compared to WWII?

I don't see much of a chance of this happening. (it would be better if they took Chavez to task for befriending such a knob-job like Ahmadinejad. Calling Chavez "your excellency" is kind of creepy.

azgoddess said...

what ever it takes - whom ever can accomplish - i wish them luck and peace

Eitan said...

Ren: Maybe you should start monitoring your comments..."Anonymous" has been posting doodoo...

Renegade Eye said...

eitan: Anonymous has no choice. Anybody with such crappy politics, wouldn't dare do differently.

Farmer: Chavez doesn't control the FARC.

Graeme: I don't know what protocal you use to write to the president of Venezuela. Something might be lost in translation. You are correct about Sonia.

Sonia: Your analogy is silly.

Té la mà Maria - Reus : Thank you.

AZ Goddess: Atleast we know revolution in Iran, will be anti-Mullah.

Farmer John said...

Farmer: Chavez doesn't control the FARC.

You're right. He's simply their landlord, weapon's supplier and drug exporter.... but he doesn't "control" them.

troutsky said...

Chavez knows the Colombian companeros are caught between two corrupt forces. Lets analyze the structural reasons these people suffer so much violent conflict instead of the simplistic Farmer rhetoric.Natural resources including oil, a social movement that desires the right to self-determination,including strong labor leaders.

CB said...

Ren,

I'm looking forward to your review of Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism. I haven't read it, but in hearing him promote it, he has the correct historical linkages.

I look forward to discussing it!

Eitan said...

troutsky: you're kidding, right!?

Well, it's either that or...But yes, Mr. Trotsky would probably have been proud of that comment(not that that does you much credit).

(apologies to Ren: a Trotsky fan in name; a fan of human decency and democracy in reality;)

Renegade Eye said...

Craig: It's has been too long since your last post at your blog. I'm sure your readers want to read your election thoughts. Are you dumping Fred?

See this. If liberals are fascist, why is your blog still up? Why can you vote? Why are you allowed to leaflet? Why are you not underground? Goldberg takes fascism lightly. He is clueless. Read Trotsky's essay about fascism. He was against Hitler a decade before Churchill.

Farmer: I doubt it is true about FARC. Castro has hated them for years, and toldd Chavez to distance himself. Why mention FARC without a word about death squads.

Troutsky: Chavez called for expropriating food suppliers who hoarde food, the same week he called to slow the revolution.

Eitan: Troutsky is a good guy.

JDHURF said...

A great and admirable letter, although the constant reference to Chavez as "Your Excellency" was a bit much. I hope that Chavez obliges.

Farmer John said...

Why mention FARC without a word about death squads.

Why mention death squads when FARC is responsible for ~100,000 deaths? Sounds to me like the death squads are "deserved".

The FARC have killed an estimated 100,000 people in Colombia, most of them civilians, and caused the displacement of over two million Colombians from their normal places of residence. Some of the killing has been especially gruesome, from the massacre of seven peasants in 2004 (that was the object of a strong U.N. resolution of condemnation) to the cold-blooded execution of eleven provincial deputies in 2007, after five years of captivity. The Red Cross determined they had been shot in the head at close range, after their release had been promised by the FARC.

A 2005 U.N. report stated: “For year 2004 the FARC continued to commit grave breaches of human rights such as murder, torture and hostage-taking affecting civilians, including women, boys and girls and ethnic groups”. Human Rights Watch has denounced their use of gas cylinder mortars against the civilian population. By Executive Order 13224 of President Bush, of October 2001, the U.S. designated the FARC as a terrorist organization, an example followed by the European Union.--
Gustavo Coronel

Farmer John said...

a bit more...

Protection money is extorted from peasants who live in FARC-controlled areas. In later years more income has been coming to the group from drug trafficking, an estimated $400 million per year. Venezuela is the transit country of choice for about 300 tons of cocaine being shipped every year to the U.S. and Europe by FARC operators. The Russian mafia has established close contacts with the group. Frank Cilluffo, from CSIS, testified to the U.S. Congress in 2000 that Russian planes fly into the Colombian jungle carrying arms and ammunitions to the guerrillas in exchange for cocaine. Brazilian drug lords and Venezuelan military commanders have also been reported to work closely with the terrorists.

Farmer John said...

In the last 10 years, FARC (et al) killed 1,250 of the 23,150 hostages they took.

...and you want to talk to me about "death squads"? LOL!

Mehmet Çagatay said...

Hi,

John, your answer to Ren’s question (Why mention FARC without a word about death squads) reminded me Jodi Dean’s (An American professor, teaching political theory… I’ve used to lurk around her blog nearly for 2 years) last post in her blog:

http://jdeanicite.typepad.com/i_cite/2008/01/qualification.html

Why not? Even Times magazine sometimes allocate their time to the death squads:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1616991,00.html

Renegade Eye said...

I will write more later.

The Deputy Chair of the Parliament of Venezuela writes to the Iranian Ambassodor to Venezuela, urging the Iranian government to resolve the cases of Mahmoud Salehi and Mansour Osanloo.

FARC's tactics as kidnapping, play into the hands of the Colombian government. They are doomed to start, by being based outside the cities.

Renegade Eye said...

The fighting in Colombia goes back to the 1940s. The fights from then, are still happening. You had the Conservative Party and the Catholic Church, indulging in anti-Semitism and taking land from political opponents.

The real revolutionary movement, doesn't screw around in jungles. The emerging trade union militancy is the most progressive movement.

The FARC would sell out anything in a minute. Look at Nepal. In India multinationals make the biggest profits in Maoist controlled area.

Graeme said...

In last month's Harper's (i think it was last month's anyway) there is an excerpt of a Dutch women's journal that she wrote when she was a member of FARC. She talked about widespread AIDS and a horrible hierarchy. They are a cult.

sonia said...

Ren: The FARC would sell out anything in a minute. Look at Nepal. In India multinationals make the biggest profits in Maoist controlled area.

Graeme: she was a member of FARC. She talked about widespread AIDS and a horrible hierarchy. They are a cult.


You're both 100% right. But I am afraid that Latin American leftists are so driven insane by their hatred of the United States, that this reality doesn't even enter their consciousness. They will never fight against FARC. All the FARC leaders have to do is to claim to be against "gringo exploiters" and the Che Guevara-worshipping Latin American leftist youth are flocking to join their ranks...

Eitan said...

Ren: I'm afraid a couple of my comments have got lost. Could you look into it?

Thanks!

sonia said...

Eitan: a couple of my comments have got lost. Could you look into it?

... and while you're at it, could you also look for my slippers ? You should find Eitan's comments under your sofa, and my slippers under your rug...

Thanks!

Renegade Eye said...

Eitan: Try again and see Sonia's comments.

Sonia: The local Maoists here support FARC. They are hard to get into a discussion of program.

Liberal White Boy said...

In your last post some one criticized Sonia's Ass. I find such critics highly anti-Semitic. There is nothing what so ever wrong with the ass displayed on Sonia's blog. It is what is going on between her ears that is the problem (If anyone cares.)

Eitan said...

lwb: I find that comment highly offensive b/s I've come to appreciate Sonia. I made a comment attacking her appearing nude and she good-naturedly replied to the extent that it was her own business. What her "ass" (that just shows your level of intelligence) looks like is her business. Not yours,certainly not mine. You should respect peoples' privacy if their to respect yours.

As far as her political views, I agree with Sonia wholeheartedly. Lemme ask you a short Q though: do peoples' political agendas have anything to do with their I.Q. in your opinion?

Eitan said...

*they're*

Ren: you gotta appreciate my spelling awareness;)

Liberal White Boy said...

You are completely wrong Eitan, Sonia put her ass out there for us all to see and I made a judgment that it was a nice ass. What is the problem with that? I think most liberals such as me appreciate nice asses. If you agree with Sonia's views then politically like Sonia, you are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. And some of my favorite women most of which were smarter than I, were loose as the goose.

Eitan said...

How did you come to the conclusion that it's only the liberals who appreciate femine beauty? And yes, I agree with Sonia's views.

I hate quoting it but you're forcing me to...

"And some of my favorite women most of which were smarter than I...

How old are you, bud!? 60? 70? Now I think I understand the "ass" commnent;)

Renegade Eye said...

This discussion of Sonia is over my head.


OT: See this.

Daniel Owen said...

Death to Chavez and all state-capitalist enemies of free working people!

Eitan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eitan said...

Death to...is always going to be a hateful statement. This is what I innitially meant to say;)

Renegade Eye said...

Daniel Owen: First thing is thank you for commenting on my blog. I hope you'll return.

Hugo Chavez has many contradictions. Still your calling for his death puts you in the camp with the reactionaries, who tried to stage a coup in 2002 against him. All your rhetoric amounts to siding with imperialism. Are you pro-terrorist?

Eitan: Don't you renounce terrorism?

Daniel Owen said...

Nah, that puts me in the revolutionary camp. See this thread here:

http://www.urban75.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=236636

Castroite-style state-capitalism in South America is very dangerous as it is both very demagogic, very spineless when it comes to fighting capitalism's worst excesses, and very violently anti-working class.

Don't forget the Venezuelan oil workers who Chavez attacked. Nationalisation is a middle class shell game, as is the welfare state. Both should be opposed.

Daniel Owen said...

And lumping me (and the anti-Chavez working class resistance in Venezuela) with the reactionary old-guard of Venezuela is a normal Bolshevik strategy. Next you'll be telling me the Kronstadt sailors were counter-revolutionary Whites. Oh wait...

Of course I'm not siding with imperialism. As Mr Mao once said -- if you're given two options, take the third. I choose neither the left nor right wings of capital, neither foreign or domestic rulers.

Eitan said...

Yes, I (d)enounce terrorism. I've never promoted it in the first place. If you're referring to my avatar, the Lehi was an Jewish underground fighting unit which sporadically attacked British army units and Arab instigators throughout the 30's. Some may consider it to have been "terrorist" or "extreme" in nature. I defer.

Renegade Eye said...

Hugo Chavez has been through something like 12 democratic elections.

I think Venezuela will have more affect on Cuba, than Cuba will have on Venezuela.

I think there is quite a bit wrong in Venezuela. Atleast Chavez provided an opening, for revolutionaries to work. If he doesn't move from populism, he faces being overthrown like Allende.

The incident with the oil workers, had to do with a reactionary governor. Chavez has house cleaning to do. His worst enemies are not the extreme right opposition, but his so called friends.

Ché Bob said...

Farmer John lacks all credibility for the way in which he chooses his "facts." The Paramilitary Death Squads in Colombia are responsible for 70-75% of all human rights violations in Colombia.

And, besides the money funneled to them through the drug trade, they are being paid directly by U.S. companies like Chiquita and Drummond. Most importantly, the billions of dollars the U.S. government has given to the Colombian government through Plan Colombia ultimately ends up in the hands of paramilitaries. Each time these death dogs add a simple armband with the letters "A.U.C." on it they commit crimes directly through U.S. taxpaying dollars.

Additionally, the FARC have no ideology despite Maoist fantasies! They are ruthless, murderous fucks and desire no special considerations. The FARC recently entered the village of people with whom a friend of mine is providing accompaniment. The kill as viciously and indiscriminately as the paramilitaries, they just don't do it as often and with our money!

This however does not mean that they are sponsored or supported by Chavez. It's just crazy to listen to such wild fascinations based in deterministic conjecture. Farmer John, like Sonia, have proven they cannot be taken seriously, but others here are also dangerously ideological. The facts are out there, what we choose to do with them is a different story.

Adios Farmer!

troutsky said...

eitan: What did you find ridiculous in my comment? Hard to reply to ad hominem attack.

Daniel: I spent time interviewing the head of the CNT oil workers union in Venezuela. He is far from progressive, you should be aware of many contradictions in Latin American politics.Your comments are the perfect example of dogmatic anarchism leading our movement for democracy astray.

sonia said...

Troutsky,

Your comments are the perfect example of dogmatic anarchism leading our movement for democracy astray.

I am afraid it's not "dogmatic anarchists" who are leading "your" movement astray, but rather pragmatic totalitarians, whose real goal is to enslave and oppress humanity.

And anarchists are like the canaries in a coal mine. When they are exterminated (like Lenin exterminated Russian anarchists in the early 1918), others inevitably follow...

Renegade Eye said...

Sonia: You mean disarmed bandits.

The anarchist group you are talking about, existed until Stalin annihilated them in 1927.

sonia said...

The anarchist group you are talking about, existed until Stalin annihilated them in 1927.

I'm not talking about that group. I was talking about anarchist groups in Moscow and Petrograd whose members were arrested and executed by Cheka in the winter and spring of 1918. Btw, you won't find info on those crimes on Marxist.com...

Farmer John said...

The Paramilitary Death Squads in Colombia are responsible for 70-75% of all human rights violations in Colombia So says Che Stoopid.

Farmer John, like Sonia, have proven they cannot be taken seriously, but others here are also dangerously ideological. What "proof"? LOL! Delusions of grandeur.

Ché Bob said...

Farmer,

I fear you are such a dishonest person that even if you were presented with facts, you wouldn't bother to read them. But just in case, here is just one such set of facts. If you need more proof, do your damned homework, evidence abounds!

Renegade Eye said...

Farmer: Your source says paramilitary. I'm not certain that pertains to the FARC or death squads. The numbers are in line with what Troutsky and Che said,

Sonia: Did you read in Marxist.com, about Lenin's friendship with Kropotkin?

Farmer John said...

What came first the guerilla or the paramilitary? There would be no War on Terror were there no terrorists targetting innocent civilians. The WoT is a job for paramilitaries.

And it sounds like the paramilitaries are succeeding in wiping out the guerillas, to me. Hooray! I'll not cry for their victims, for their victims aren't likely to be innocent bystanders.

I'm sure the Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan are dying in much greater numbers than US, Afghan and Paki forces. I hope that CIA and Blackwater have at least a 2:1 kill ratio (But it's more likely 50:1) Hooray!

So just who is responsible for the killings in Columbia? IMO, it's a bunch of commie clown drug dealers and kidnappers who refuse to compromise with the vast majority of the Columbian people and submit to democratic rule. Columbia will be a much better place when they finally lay down their weapons and start fighting their battles in the courts (like the ACLU) rather than the jungles.

Columbia could be a beautiful place. All they need is for these FARC and ELN neanderthals to join the 21st century. Because they aren't going to win. They're going to slow bleed for another 50 years. Till the last rat chokes on his own vomit.

Farmer John said...

There's going to be a war between Columbia and Venezuela soon. And Chavez is going to be funnelling billions of weapons/arms to insurgents in Columbia to help fight it. Hundreds of thousands more innocent Columbians are going to die, needlessly. All because idiots like you deny reality and think you can force everyone on the planet to share and share alike. It ain't gonna happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

Farmer John said...

Thomas Malthus, "Essay on the Principle of Population"

"A man who is born into a world already possessed, if he cannot get subsistence from his parents on whom he has a just demand, and if the society do not want his labour, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food, and, in fact, has no business to be where he is. At nature's mighty feast there is no vacant cover for him. She tells him to be gone, and will quickly execute her own orders, if he does not work upon the compassion of some of her guests. If these guests get up and make room for him, other intruders immediately appear demanding the same favour. The report of a provision for all that come, fills the hall with numerous claimants. The order and harmony of the feast is disturbed, the plenty that before reigned is changed into scarcity; and the happiness of the guests is destroyed by the spectacle of misery and dependence in every part of the hall, and by the clamorous importunity of those, who are justly enraged at not finding the provision which they had been taught to expect. The guests learn too late their error, in counter-acting those strict orders to all intruders, issued by the great mistress of the feast, who, wishing that all guests should have plenty, and knowing she could not provide for unlimited numbers, humanely refused to admit fresh comers when her table was already full."

Farmer John said...

Columbia could sustain millions more people in prosperity were it not for these commie clown deniers of reality. And Guyana could too, if Chavez weren't preventing them from developing their rich oil and gas resources... preventing them not out of love for the indigenous peoples, but preventing them out of his own personal avarice and greed. Venezuela's riches aren't enough for Chavez. He won't rest until all of South America and the Carribean are his. But don't believe me. Just listen to his speaches about the "Bolivarian Republic". Plan ALBA is still in it's nascent stages. It's not merely an economic bloc. It's a Defensive Alliance.

While I'm sure you admire and applaud these efforts, they are as futile as attempting to drain a lake with a leaky bucket. Mother nature and Malthus' Principles don't give a sh*t about social justice or fairness. You can't fool Mother Nature, Che Bob.

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