The Communist Party of Venezuela in the Labour and Trade Union Movement

The National Commission for the Working Class and Trade Unionism for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Venezuela

1. Introduction: communist strategy and tactics in the struggle for power in Venezuela

Venezuela is in the attention of the international media. This attention forms part of the campaign by the forces of North American and European imperialism, which looks to manufacture an array of opinions that work towards fulfilling a plan to retake entire control of the country and to once and for all undo all of the progressive experiences in Latin America. Such a plan is fundamentally based on the intrinsic limitations and weaknesses in the class character of these processes.

The programme of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) is still valid in its central aspects, 38 years after its adoption, in defining a strategic line based on the national historical reality that has not changed in its essential characteristics. Our program determines that Venezuelan communists struggle for "(...) a revolution which achieves true independence and democracy, an anti-imperialist, anti-monopolist revolution in favour of socialism. The working class is the main force of this revolution due to its fundamental role in production, (...), its combative nature and organization, and because it is the force which historically pushes towards socialist transformations."

These programmatic criteria are related to the need to resolve, during the very same process of revolutionary struggle, the main historical contradiction which exists between imperialism and the Venezuelan nation, as well as the fundamental contradiction of the capitalist society between capital and labour. As part of this struggle, the PCV has for many years been proposing the creation of a broad national patriotic anti-imperialist front, which combines and vocalises the varied social and political forces interested in breaking imperialist domination, winning national liberation, and opening pathways to the triumph of socialism in our country. A broad front of this nature will only be able to fulfil these tasks if it is led by the exploited and oppressed classes and layers in society: the working class and the forces of the working people of the city and the countryside.

In order to move towards the achieving of our strategic objectives within the current conditions in which the struggle of classes is held in the world and in our country, Venezuelan communists have developed a tactical line - confirmed in the 15th Congress of the PCV - which looks to achieve a consistent accumulation of worker, peasant, community and popular forces so as to establish a correlation of forces in Venezuelan society which is favourable to the working class and to the working people of the city and countryside.

The PCV applies their tactical line alongside a plan of ideological and political offensive in the masses and with organic vigour. This plan involves confronting both the forces of the extreme pro-imperialist right as well as the sell-out forces of reformism. Such reformism, from a position of administrating the bourgeois state, tricks our people with an offer of "21st century socialism," which denies the class struggle and the role of the working class as a revolutionary subject. Furthermore, it ultimately hinders the waking up of a revolutionary consciousness in the working masses, serving definitely the preservation of the capitalist system.

The intense ideological and political struggle which the PCV is embarking on in the masses in order to build and develop a revolutionary option from the labour and popular movement leads the Venezuelan communists to dialectically relate their indisputable distancing from petit bourgeois reformism which todays sits in government with the need for a broad anti-imperialist alliance. Keeping the immediate enemy to defeat clearly in sight and always maintaining and increasing our efforts, we are forging social and political unity [in the Venezuelan working class and popular masses] which allows us to confront this enemy and defeat it. The Venezuelan proletariat, in coordination with all the working people, must be at the vanguard of a broad anti-imperialist struggle. Such a struggle is, ultimately, an anti-capitalist struggle and therefore to be victorious it is essential that the working class lead it.

At its 14th Congress - August 2011 - the PCV concluded that the Venezuelan political process, known as the Bolivarian Revolution, did not constitute a socialist revolution but rather was limited to a series of progressive reforms, fundamentally led by petit bourgeois currents and sectors of the bourgeoisie which looked to control the oil rent under State administration. As such, they challenge national and foreign monopoly capital, principally North American, for the hegemonic control which they traditionally exerted over this rent. The PCV concluded that the only effectively way which the Bolivarian process could move towards the conquest of national liberation and the opening of pathways to socialism was “by depending on a correlation of forces favourable to the working class”, placing a block of revolutionary popular forces at the head of a broad anti-imperialist alliance. Such precision defines the politics of the PCV and the tasks of the Venezuelan communists in the workers’ movement, with diverse tactical adjustments from 2011 up to the present time.

2. Theoretical foundations: Marxism-Leninism and the trade union movement

Communist work at the heart of the trade unions and in the rest of the mass of the working class and workers’ organizations in general is based on the understanding of the dialectical process of class struggle as an economic, ideological, and political expression of the contradictions between classes, in particular between the two fundamental and antagonistic social classes of capitalist society: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

So as to correctly understand the Marxist-Leninist conception of class struggle, one needs to precisely define social classes. In 1919, comrade Lenin in his article ‘A Great Beginning’ was able to summarize - in our view - the most complete and accurate definition of what classes are [1]. Assuming this definition, we understand the class struggle as the motor of the most important historical changes.

From the first moments of the rise of industrial capitalism, the working class was concentrated in large manufacturing centres in subhuman conditions and was impelled to strong defensive and desperate struggle in a disorganized and naive way without any historical perspective. However, soon they realized the need to form workers’ associations, to unite themselves in each factory, in branches of trades and sectors, in national and even international groupings, with these being the seed of the first workers’ unions.

The labour movement at various times in its initial development received the influence of subjectivist and unscientific concepts which tried to offer an explanation of the reality of suffering faced by the working masses without historical solutions, such as utopian socialism and anarchism.

The emergence of scientific socialism, which bought together the general laws of the development of nature, society, and thought, allowed the labour movement to understand the causes of their situation and gave them access to the ideas needed to break their chains and lead mankind towards the abolition of all forms of exploitation and social oppression.

The founders of scientific socialism, Karl Marx and Frederic Engels, apart from carrying out an intensive theoretical and practical study of an international nature through constituting or forming part of revolutionary political organizations, closely followed the development of the trade unions of the time and established criteria regarding the role that such organizations of the labour movement should play in the formation of class consciousness in the working masses despite the roar of class content. However, they always clearly pointed out the differences and the relationship between the unions and the party of class, without making concessions nor giving ground to the anti-party ideas of the anarchism of Bakunin or reformism based on economism.

The Congress of the First International, held in Geneva in 1866, adopted a resolution drawn up by Marx called "The past, the present and the future of the trade unions.” Its main ideas include the following:

− The immediate goal of the trade unions is encapsulated in the needs of the day, in the means of resistance against the incessant attacks of capital. In a word, the goals focus on the issue of wages and the working day.

− On the other hand, trade unions are important tools in the struggle for the abolition of the wage system.

− Trade unions have attended to local and immediate struggles against capital far too often. They have still not understood their strength when it comes to attacking the slave-based system of wage-earners and the current model of production. In the same order of ideas, they have remained too distanced from social and political movements.

− Apart from their original purpose, trade unions must now learn to act in a more conscientious way as centres of working class organization and towards the higher goal of total emancipation. They should support any political or social movement that directly works towards this end.

Similarly, V.I. Lenin, applying the ideas of Marx and Engels to the conditions of his time and working from the principle that Marxism is not a dogma but a guide to action, contributed important insights and clarifications in relation to the role of trade unions in the class struggle and the attitude that the communists should assume towards such mass organizations. We can synthesize the Leninist concepts in the following positions of principle for communists:

- Spontaneous, economicist and trade union careerist trends in the heart of the labour movement must be combated. To assume purely economic goals as the ultimate objectives of working-class struggle distances the working masses from its historical mission. Likewise, trying to assign political status to the economic struggle, in which one believes that this is sufficient for the trade unions or that they don't need the political leadership of the revolutionary party of the proletariat, only disarms the working class in their battle with the exploiting classes which make use of the instruments of power and ideological and political domination they have. “The working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only trade union consciousness, i.e., the conviction that it is necessary to combine in unions, fight the employers, and strive to compel the government to pass necessary labour legislation.

- Political consciousness reaches the working class from outside of the field of worker-employer relations. The revolutionary ideology of the class is led by the party, whose cadres have been trained in the doctrine of scientific socialism and the practical fulfilment of organizational tasks, political struggle and revolutionary agitation. To achieve socialist consciousness and ascend to the revolutionary vanguard, the working class must understand the contradictions present in society and identify conditions and social and political interests which they share with the rest of the exploited and oppressed population. It is unlikely that this can be achieved within the narrow framework of the worker-employer confrontation.

- “Workers’ organizations for economic struggle must be trade union organizations. "All social-democratic worker (i.e. communist) should, as far as possible, support these organizations and work actively in them”.

- Trade unions must be as extensive and ample as possible. All workers who understand the need for unity and organization for the fight against employers and the government which serves the bourgeoisie should participate in them. "The more ample these organizations are, the greater our influence in them with be…"

- Lenin alerts us to outbreaks of "reactionary trends" in the trade union movement and in consequence called communists to fight against tendencies of corporate short-sightedness, of anti-politics, of bureaucracy, and of certain states of poor enthusiasm in the union organisations. However, he recognized that the development of the proletariat "has not been made nor has been able to be made in any country other than by unions and their concerted action with the party of the working class".

- Communists must act in trade unions, even if they are dominated by reactionary tendencies. Arguing with the German "leftist communists” who raised their possibility of their withdrawal from opportunist and chauvinist-dominated unions, Lenin was categorical in stating that "not to act in the bosom of the reactionary trade unions means abandoning the worker masses which are insufficiently developed or backward to the influence of reactionary leaders, agents of the bourgeoisie, of the working aristocracy and the bourgeois-esque workers..." He insisted on the need to fight the labour aristocracy to get our message to the worker masses, "to win over the working class”, stressing that in the trade unions, “the struggle to defeat opportunistic and socially chauvinist employers must be kept to win over the working class".

- Communists should not transfer the work methods that are inherent in the revolutionary party to trade unions and other mass organisations of the working class. Equally, we must be clear that struggles for economic and social conditions which the union movement and other mass organizations assume, are important in the process of accumulating forces. They can help temper the combativeness of the working class against their historical enemies, favouring the formation of class consciousness particularly if such struggles are driven by class-based leadership who expose the essence of the capitalist system.

Another theoretical and practical issue resolved by consequential Marxists, from the first years of Soviet power, particularly by comrade Lenin in combating of opportunistic deviations from Trotsky and Bukarin, is about the role and character of trade unions during the dictatorship of the proletariat and in the complex and contradictory period of the construction of the new society. In these moments, trade unions should preserve their relative independence and ample nature, acting as “schools of communism, schools of administration”. Given this unprecedented historical reality, unions raise new goals and tasks, very different from those which they should meet in societies where the bourgeoisie and prevailing capitalist relations of production exert their dominance.

An approach to a definition of a Marxist trade union movement and an identification of major trends that act inside the labour movement

It is clear that the class struggle manifests itself in economic, political, and theoretical or ideological struggles. Whilst keeping each of these struggles firmly related to the level of development of the class contradictions and, therefore, with different levels of awareness achieved by the working class, each corresponds to different types of organization and methods of struggle, despite being interrelated dialectically.

In such as way, trade union organizations have emerged to fight in the economic struggle and in their midst diverse ideopolitical tendencies are manifested and confront one another. Depending on which tendency exerts its dominance, such organisations can serve or not the liberating struggle of the proletariat, i.e., trade unions do not exist and operate irrespective of the ideological and political struggles involved in the bosom of the working class.

From a Marxist-Leninist point of view, trade unions are the broadest organizations of workers at the level of the class struggle, which unite in an independent and voluntary way to defend their the economic, social, and political interests of the working class against the employers and any factors opposed to their class interests. The trade unions, through the roar of their actions, can and should favour the formation of class-consciousness of the workers.

The most important trends that have been present in the bosom of the organisations of the labour movement are the following. Firstly, the class-conscious trend based on the ideas of scientific socialism, which assumes the class struggle as the engine of history, and which aims to resolve the labour-capital contradiction through the revolutionary triumph of the working class over capital. Secondly, the reformist trend based on bourgeois theories of class conciliation and collaboration, which assumes the raison d ' être of unions as the struggle for reforms without proposing the objective of defeating the capital-dominated system. Thirdly, the anarchic-syndicalist trend based on the anarchist thesis which negates the need for the political organization of the class and has as its objective the automatic suppression of all forms of the State. This latest trend, after being very influential in late 19th century and early 20th, was reduced almost to extinction, and in the bosom of the labour movement on a the global level the confrontation between the trends of the class-conscious trade union movement and the reformist trade unionism exist with ever greater polarization.

In diverse circumstances and historical, national and international moments, trade union organizations are not the only instruments which the working masses can use to struggle against employers, their governments and the capitalist system. In the course of the class struggle, various forms of organizations tend to spring up, some of which have emerged spontaneously and without legal recognition - but with the legitimacy that is conferred to them from the masses in struggle - and others, born under the protection of duly conquered legal instruments. Equally, in these mass organizations of the working class, the confrontation between class-conscious and reformist tendencies is present.

3. General and specific orientations regarding the PCV’s work in the labour and trade union movement. Context and conditions in which we operate among the working class

To contextualize, we reproduce several paragraphs of the document entitled Political Line which was approved at the most recent Congress of the PCV.

"A feature that historically characterizes the Venezuelan working class, particularly the sector of the industrial proletariat, is its numerical weakness as a set of the population and compared to the sectors of employees which work in public administration and services. This weakness is a result of the limited industrial activity which comes from our dependent and rent-based traditional economic model which is based on oil extraction, a role which was assigned to our country in the framework of the international division of labour imposed by the imperialist powers in the first decades of the 20th century."

"To preserve the capitalist relations of production and model of dependent, backward, and rent-based based accumulative capitalism that characterizes our society (...) workers are still subject to all forms of aggressions, declining conditions, harassment and fraudulent attacks which characterise private and public employers, who tend to violate legal provisions with the generalised support and assistance of a good part of the civil service of the Ministry with competence in matters of labour, and by the judicial authorities, almost without exception."

"(...) recurrent episodes of police repression and criminalization of the workers struggle are still being registered (...) Such acts are carried out with impunity and strongly damage our working class due to the weak condition in which the labour and trade union movement of the class finds itself in our country."

"In this context, the reformist trade union tendency- built and sustained from instances of governmental power, and gratefully praised, permitted and protected by private employers- plays a relevant role. These tendencies are the main sectors interested in promoting the reconciliation of classes and the subjugation of the majority of our working class to the dominion of bourgeois ideology..."

"All this previously mentioned generates an accelerated and increased deterioration in the material conditions of life of the working class and the working people. There is a consolidation of the devaluation of work through the falling of real wages, to which we must add the growing process of de-salarization of the wage of workers in recent times... There also exists a tendency to impose, through a posteriori methods, mechanisms of increasingly flexible labour and deregulation which applies to hundreds of thousands of workers in public and private entities (…) The dismantling and increasing re-privatization of nationalized companies and farms recovered by the government of President Chávez is advancing, producing massive layoffs and efforts to destroy trade unions."

"(...) the bourgeoisie demand the imposition of "industrial peace", while the reformist traitors, which manage the crisis of dependent capitalism in favour of capital, act accordingly: in general they declare voids, suffocate or undo labour struggles so as to contribute to the submission of the working class to the pretentions of capital and the State, trying in this way to force the working class to limit themselves to such demands, losing their emancipatory purposes and all independence. Such sectors are determined to weaken the class conscious labour and trade union movement or make it disappear altogether, which is done through practices that deny the freedom of association, limiting and taking advantage of shop floor delegates, and impeding the existence of workers councils unless that subordinate themselves to official or employer control."

"This previously mentioned tendency is facilitated by the fact that the present Organic Law of Work (…) is in essence an instrument for class collaboration in which, despite advances in individual rights, collective rights and the freedom of association and to strike are weakened (...)"

Historical behaviour and a consistent line of the PCV in the trade union movement

The history of the PCV, since its foundation and until now, has been closely associated to the Venezuelan labour and trade union movement. From the 1930’s, the PCV was a leading player in the constitution of the first class conscious trade unions, particularly of the oil workers who put up memorable fights against American, British, and Dutch transnational corporations, as well as against the dictatorships and pseudo-democratic governments which served the interests of those same corporations and condemned Venezuela to imperialist subjugation whilst always pushing the country towards terrible social inequality. Such were the oil strikes of 1936 and 1950, with that of 1936 being a memorable class conscious, anti-imperialist, and democratic moment as iron-fisted workers fought and received ample popular solidarity, completely directed by the new PCV.

The PCV has always proposed the unity of workers’ unions as a strategic necessity, confronting reformist currents of various types that curtail the class independence of the movement. Some of these currents have become hegemonic using coercive and manipulative mechanisms coming from State power and with the direct support of private and public employers, promoting conditions for the division of the trade union movement.

The coherent and consistent historic line of Venezuelan communists in the trade union movement has led them to openly confront agents of American imperialism and the local oligarchy that persistently conspire against the unity of the trade unions and Venezuelan working class. Their purpose is to impose the sole domination of the social-democratic pro-imperialists union leadership, extremely weaken the influence of class conscious leadership among the working masses, and sew anti-communism in the depths of workers’ consciousness.

Imperialism, their lackey local governments, and employer unions knew that to impose the total subjugation of Venezuela to the interests of the transnational oil companies they need to end the prestigious influence of the communists in the major trade unions. As such, the political party Democratic Action (AD) converted itself into an instrument at the service of the imperialist interests and, still not in power, in 1941 forged the first division in the trade union movement in the oil sector, outlawing those trade unions led by the communists. Subsequently, at the beginning of the 1960s, the same party, but now in government, pursued a violent policy of anti-communist segregation, which was dictated by the United States. They developed a plan to divide the only workers federation of trade unions, the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela (CTV), driving all communist trade unionists and other left wing currents out of it, thus making the birth of the Unitary Confederation of Workers of Venezuela (CUTV) necessary. Here starts the organic division of the Venezuelan trade union movement, which still continues today.

As the PCV’s XIII National Organisation and Masses Conference (August 2014) evaluated: "During bipartisan governments arising from the Punto Fijo Pact, the CTV was the Trade Union instrument at the service of oligarchic and imperialist domination in our country. As a counterpart, from the positions of class conscious unionism the Unitary Confederation of Workers of Venezuela (CUTV), under PCV majority leadership, was a consistent benchmark organisation in the defence of the genuine interests of the working class and against the policies at the service of capital which were developed by the governments of AD and Copei. The CUTV later joined the block of social forces which participated in the progressive changes initiated in 1999."

4. For the triumph of class conscious revolutionary movements in Venezuela

The political line of the PCV orientates that the general and fundamental objective of all political, ideological, organizational and mass-based work of the PCV is aimed at producing an accelerated build-up of forces in the labour movement and popular sectors so as to forge a new correlation of forces that helps the working class and the working people to realize their historic mission.

For the purposes of carrying out these objectives, the political line of the PCV also draws up a series of tasks for the organisms of the Party which are grouped in three main areas that are indissolubly interconnected: the strengthening of the Party in the heart of the working class and the workers in general; the strengthening of the working class in the political-ideological and organizational spheres; the construction of policies and instruments of anti-imperialist unity and to advance in the idea of the conquest of socialism. These guidelines originate from a basic orientation: ideological, political, organizational, and mass based work of communists with the working class is obligatory throughout the Party and the Communist Youth, not just for the comrades that are directly involved in the mass organizations of the labour and trade union movement.

The political line of the PCV therefore proposes to resolve key areas so that the working class and the working people may assume a revolutionary role: the issue of class consciousness; the need for a strong organization with class independence; and the unity of the labour and popular movement. From such premises and Leninist principles about the behaviour of communists in the labour and trade union movement emerge the guidelines of the Party in relation to the challenges in the rank and file of the mass movement of the workers.

The need to defend and strengthen the autonomy and independence of the labour and trade union movement from the employers, the State, and the bourgeois and petit-bourgeois parties is shown by the certain fact that there is a generalised tendency to subordinate all the working class organisations and those of the working people in general to the national government and the instances of state power.

For Venezuelan communists, the struggle to advance toward the organic and programmatic unity of the movement of workers must be part of the struggle to transform the Venezuelan trade union movement, rearming it with the principles of class conscious politics. These principles will guide the liberating actions of our class, allowing the trade union movement to transcend the exclusively economic objectives and be a factor of revolutionary transformation in society, a training school in class consciousness for the working masses.

It is therefore essential to make progress in strengthening the class conscious trade union movement, fighting and defeating the reformist and opportunist trends operating in the Venezuelan labour and trade union movement.

Based on the guidelines and decisions emanating from our past congresses and the XIII National Organization and Masses Conference, held in 2014, our party has defined and implemented a series of policies, mechanisms and instruments for the approach and development of our work with the working class and other workers, particularly:

1) to pay special attention to the organizational struggles and processes of the labour movement and the Venezuelan trade unions in their entirety, in particular of the three factors which compose them: union organisations; shop floor delegates (elected advocates of health and safety in the workplace); and Socialist Councils of Workers.

2) to form mass-based political fronts of the PCV for the development of their work in the workplace, in specific areas, and within organizations of the labour and trade union movement. These fronts are: the "Cruz Villegas" Class Conscious Workers’ Current (CCT - CV); the "Emigdio Canizalez Guédez" Class Conscious Collective for Health and Safety at Work; the "Pedro Ortega Diaz" Class Conscious Collective of Labour Lawyers; the "Jesus Faria" Class Conscious Current of Oil Workers; and the "Carmen Conzoño" Class Conscious Current of Education Workers.

3) the constitution and strengthening of the National Front of Working Class Struggle (FNLCT) with different and dissimilar sectors of workers.

The "Cruz Villegas" Class Conscious Workers’ Current (CCT-CV) constitutes a broad organizational tool – going beyond communist militancy – to fight for the strengthening of the class conscious positions in the mass organizations of the working class. It is conceived, together with the rest of the political mass fronts above mentioned, as being a vehicle to challenge and beat reformism in the battle for the leadership and sway over the organizations of the labour and trade union movement.

Regarding the National Front of Working Class Struggle (FNLCT)

In the document entitled ‘The Party of the Revolution’ which was approved at the XIII Extraordinary Congress of the PCV (March 2007) we can find the following extract: "...amongst the tasks of greater significance for the party of the revolution is the formation of a policy capable of conquering the trade union movement so as to cleanse it and eradicate the huge vices incubated within it. These vices are the result of huge reformist perversions, methods developed by employers’ unions, and of populism. We must find a way to definitively break with the atomisation of the movement so as to turn it into a front-line force in the construction of a new society."

Consistent with the above premise and in correspondence with the need to count on a platform where grassroots organisations of the labour and trade union movement can come together, form solidarity, train themselves and fight side by side, and with an eye to building a powerful and ample national movement of class-based orientation, it was decided to constitute the National Front of Working Class Struggle (FNLCT) as an organization which would integrate and bond labour organizations with class independence.

The FNLCT works for the unique interests of accumulating worker, peasant, community and popular forces, and is a central axis of the policies of the party in the struggle of power for the working class and the working people of the city and countryside.

Such initiative is in full development due to the need to build up forces in favour of the revolutionary leadership of our working class, especially as the ultra-right offensive directed by Yankee imperialism against our people is gaining momentum. The FNLCT also has a role to play in confronting and defeating right pro-imperialist trade unionist currents. This Front is, incidentally, the only class conscious alternative to pro-government trade union reformism led by the Bolivarian Socialist Confederation of Workers (CBST), which is unable to place itself at the vanguard of the workers’ struggles as it lacks the necessary independence and autonomy.

The FNLCT assumes the struggle against private and public sector employers, in defence of the workplace demands of an economic, social and labour nature, organising mobilisations for the right to work and against unjustified dismissals, for wage defence and strengthening, against outsourcing and job insecurity, for the respecting of the freedom of trade union association, in defence of the right to strike, for health and safety at work, against the criminalization and prosecution of working-class struggles, among others. But it also denounces the capitalist system and it’s state, proposing that the working class and working people strengthen their consciousness and organisation so as to advance in the conquest of power.

Other political and organizational orientations of the PCV in the workers’ movement

An essential and fundamental aspect of our work in the bosom of labour and trade union organizations is the ideological, political, organizational, and technical and legal training work which looks to provide the leading cadres of the workers’ movement and workers in general with training in the theoretical and methodological arsenal needed for the class struggle. We also look to learn from national and international experiences in order to strengthen our movements and make us effective in fighting the general and particular fights. As such, we are working on the development of a systematic and permanent training programme and expect to activate research and study areas soon, relying on specialized institutions of the party and the international communist movement.

Equally, the work being done by the Communist Youth of Venezuela (JCV) among young workers with the respective specifications regarding the work of communists within the labour and trade union movement in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Party is very important. Through their work among young workers the JCV contributes to the strengthening the political mass fronts of the PCV.

All communist work in the bosom of the labour and trade union movement has, in short, the purpose of strengthening our party. To strengthen it organically with class based quality, constituting workplace branches, especially in the manufacturing centres and major industries. Equally it means strengthening the Party in terms of its influence and leadership in the broad working masses, aiming to win them over for the fight for the new correlation of forces that is needed to defeat the class enemy and for the working class, along with the rest of the working people, to be able to conquer power and become the leading class in society, guaranteeing the progress towards the building of socialism and communism.

The National Commission for the Working Class and Trade Unionism for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Venezuela

Caracas, May 2018

[1] “…Classes are large groups of people differing from each other by the place they occupy in a historically determined system of social production, by their relation (in most cases fixed and formulated in law) to the means of production, by their role in the social organisation of labour, and, consequently, by the dimensions of the share of social wealth of which they dispose and the mode of acquiring it. Classes are groups of people one of which can appropriate the labour of another owing to the different places they occupy in a definite system of social economy.”