Caracas, Venezuela – The delegation from Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) met with Jacobo Torres, May 6, the international relations coordinator for the Central of Bolivarian Socialist Workers (CBST) and a member of the international relations commission of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). He also is a delegate for the working class in the Constituent National Assembly (ANC).
They met Torres at one of the work stations of Corpoelec, the state-run electricity company that provides power to the entire country. In March, far-right terrorists, with the support of the United States, attacked the electrical system, leaving most Venezuelans without power for days. The station where they held their meeting, in the neighborhood of Chacao, had come under attack during this week, with snipers firing on workers and their trucks as they put all of their efforts into repairing the electrical grid.
According to Torres, the opposition had planned to leave Caracas without power for two months in order to stir unrest and break the morale of the revolutionary movement. Thanks to the workers of Corpoelec, the “socialist electric company,” power was restored to most of the capital in five days. The workers defeated the terrorist attacks on the electrical grid in March and are recognized as the heroes they are by the elected government of Maduro.
When discussing with the FRSO delegates the current stage of the Bolivarian process, Torres said that “our battle is for the working class to recover what has been abandoned by the bourgeoisie, to empower the workers” and play the leading role in building a new economy.
Torres also spoke at length on the workers’ militias. The trade unions have contributed over 300,000 militia members to the Bolivarian National Militia, but their militias take on a unique form. They are based in their own workplaces, led by their own union leaders, and are tasked with defending these sites of production and the neighborhoods that surround them. Torres told the delegates that during the worst days of street violence in 2017, the 60 militia members at this one Corpoelec station patrolled the neighborhood daily, and drove off more than one attack intending to cripple their workplace.
Reflecting on the great struggle their movement has been in, Torres said with a smile, “We have done Mao’s Long March many times in the past 20 years.”