By Autonomous, Revolutionary, Unitary and Class Tendency (C-cura)
14th of August, Caracas.- Rodney Álvarez, the worker of Ferrominera del Orinoco imprisoned in El Rodeo II jail, has defended his innocence during eight long years. The drive to criminalize him comes all the way from the clique of Francisco Rangel Gómez in the government of the Bolivar state, passing through the higher ranks of the PSUV, the trade union bureaucracy and the corrupt mafias of the justice system.
Álvarez issued a declaration of rebellion this past July 15th, which in the form of an appeal, calls on the “world’s working class and proletariat”.
In this public letter, he tells: “After eight years in prison, I have understood that my case is not criminal; as a citizen, I would have the right to demonstrate my innocence according to the bourgeois laws of the Venezuelan capitalist state… During these eight years, I was taken around different prisons in the country, far away from my family and my life and work companions. The Ferrominera corporation, located in Bolivar state and property of the Venezuelan State, fired me, took away my salary and the benefits that maintained my three children in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.”
The violations to due process, the succession of interruptions of the trial, and the changes in judges whenever the possibility of a sentence was coming close, put in evidence once more that the judicial system denies justice to workers, and is disposed to cover for mafiosi and criminals.
Rodney denounces this was cynically confirmed to him by the prosecuting attorney: “Since eight years ago, I was denied the right to a defense; the process stops and starts again for an eighth time; my co-workers, who had been key witnesses and depositioned for my defense, have been arrested. In the most recent hearing for the trial, the prosecuting attorney who followed the case against my defense asked me, upset and annoyed, “Rodney, what are you waiting for? You don’t want to be with your family? Your union abandoned you on your first defense… You decide how long you want to stay here! We know you’re innocent, and that the murderer is Maicán, but orders say that you have to take responsibility, and we can immediately grant you conditional liberty. You’ve been here for eight years; take this, or you’ll rot here.”
These words, and the conduct of the current judge, Paolette Leon Guevara, show the general putrefaction of the country’s justice system, and that its only interest is to follow the script dictated by the PSUV authorities, with the goal of bending Rodney’s will, under the promise of freedom if he takes part in the frame-up.
In the letter where he declares himself in rebellion, one can see that his morality and fidelity to the facts of July 9th of 2011 are grounded in his memory, finishing the letter with an appeal to the workers of the world:
“I inform the working class and proletariat of the world that I declare myself a rebel. I understand that the persecution by this regime is against the working class; that I am a political prisoner; that I will not play the game of those who captured me; that I will no longer assist to court, that ‘palace of injustice’, and that I will not follow the lead of Judge Paolette Guevara and the prosecuting attorney.”
From C-Cura, we repeat our determined call to combine efforts for the cause of Rodney Álvarez. Among those who stand firm in his support are different sectors of workers, political organizations, trade union and human rights activists, news websites, both inside and outside the country. There have been great efforts to break the censorship on the case imposed by the government and the ruling justice system.
We denounce that pushing behind the scenes of his case are the trade union mafias, directives of the PSUV, and corrupt judges, all directed by Francisco Rangel Gómez’s former administration in Bolivar state, driven to criminalize protests and subjugate workers’ struggles in Guayana and the rest of the country.
The next hearing for Rodney’s case is on August 20th. That is why, in light of Rodney’s declaration of rebellion, the solidarity of the workers’ forces must multiply. We demand his immediate release, and we hold the government responsible for his life and physical integrity. He has already been a victim of three attacks, and the government neglects his medical state. The persecution of workers and trade union leaders is State policy, to weaken working-class struggles. The defense of Rodney continues. We must intensify our denunciations and mobilizations for his cause, and put them at the center of all our activities.