The activists of the Venezuela YCW (JOCV) held their XXVII National Council (NC) in the city of Sanare, Lara State, on April 8-9-10, 2022, with the participation of many people, among them 34 young official delegates from 5 regions of the country (Caracas, Bolivar, Lara, Portugueza and Zulia), with the support of adult collaborators and a representative of the International YCW Secretariat as guests.
The NC was held in memory of our companion Paul Priou, a great reference for the YCW of Venezuela who left this world a few months ago but who remains present in the heart of every young worker as mentioned by Elibeth Villaroel during the official opening of this XXVII NC.
The JOCV had developed an extensive process of preparation, in times of pandemic, convening all current activists, former leaders and adult collaborators, in the national territory and outside the country, in order to enrich the process and the conduct of this NC, despite the impacts created by the international economic blockade and the internal crisis that the country is facing.
For the JOCV, this XXVII NC constituted a historic step that made visible the mobilization and self-management capacity of its activists to continue to drive the struggles and demands of the working youth of Venezuela, seven years after the last NC held in 2015; it renewed our strength by reaffirming the bases for the construction of a new National Action Plan for the period 2022-2024.
The agenda focused on four priority aspects through which the activists expressed their SEE - JUDGE - ACT.
Analysis of the reality
Based on the testimonies and daily experience of young workers, the main problems in the country are the following:
1. Deterioration and inefficiency of basic services;
2. Very low wages, never seen in Venezuelan history;
3. Increase of work in the non-formal economy;
4. Young people emigrating to other countries;
5. Deteriorating education system and quality.
The JOCV wants to develop multiple strategies and means to deepen the analysis of this reality through investigation, testimonies and the multiplication of spaces and meetings at national level.
In spite of these analyzed and shared realities, the young workers of Venezuela dream and aspire to change this reality collectively and through their actions and struggles.
Action and struggle of young workers
After identifying the problems faced by young workers, we then specified why, how and where they act, towards where and through which actions it is necessary to continue the struggles. We highlighted some experiences of action that illustrate these struggles and allow the dreams and aspirations of young people to become reality through their actions.
The most significant experiences transmitted during the NC were the following:
- Experiences related to the production of collective food in community areas and neighborhoods; young people engaged in animal husbandry to have some food for their homes. There are various experiences that seek ways to resist and act in the face of the crisis in the country.
- Experiences of young people who organize themselves to address solutions in the neighborhoods, facing the problems of poor public services and community management.
- Experiences of students, who take action in order to complete their studies and fight together against the poor quality of education, especially in middle and high schools.
- Experiences of young workers who find themselves in collective entrepreneurship or informal work.
The NC unanimously approved the new “banners of fight” that will appear in the new national action plan 2022 - 2024.
A new national coordination
Finally, the NC reflected on the importance of coordinating actions in their various dimensions and the need to support them. The base groups, teams of activists and the national team are called to strengthen the struggles and militant actions. The XXVII National Council elected new leaders who will take on the task of implementing the decisions of the NC and strengthening solidarity links at the international level.
The activists named hereafter integrate the new national coordination: Elibeth Villarroel, Marienny Caruci, Rosa Briceño, Ben Gonzales, Hugo Zambrano, Arquímedes Astudillo, Belkys Guilarte as national extension worker, and Gerardo Valdovinos as national advisor. In addition to implementing the decisions of the NC and its national action plan, this team will be tasked with preparing the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Venezuela YCW to be held in 2023, as unanimously requested by the young workers present at the NC.
International solidarity was present during the XXVII NC
Messages of solidarity and contributions were sent from Asia, Europe and the Americas by activists from various YCW movements and several organizations, and these were passed on to the participating delegates. The JOCV expresses its thanks for the solidarity that helped to make this XXVII Council possible, as well as to all those who participated in the online dissemination of its outcomes in May.
After the participation of the international secretariat through its spokesperson, who shared some challenges for the Venezuela YCW and said:
“Greetings to all,
The International YCW is here to represent the voice of the young workers of the world, based on their realities and actions; it is very important to remember that the International YCW is here because we are fighting for justice in the world of work; we need a just world and a dignified life for all young workers. The International YCW is here to help the Venezuela YCW strengthen its actions and reinforce its methodology. It is also very important to listen to the reality of the young workers here in the Venezuela YCW and to connect these realities with the different realities lived by the young workers in the world.
The XXVII National Council of the Venezuelan YCW is very important for the national movement to have a clear direction and, on the other hand, to strengthen the actions that respond to the realities of the young workers in the base groups. The step that the JOCV has taken is very important to move forward and change the reality here in Venezuela.”
This is what Leizyl Salem, treasurer of the International YCW, said during her participation in the XXVII National Council of the YCW in Venezuela.
Venezuela YCW National Team
Venezuela, June 9, 2022