Empty Venezuelan Streets Send Powerful Message to Maduro as Businesses Go on Strike
“Nobody leave their homes!” was the call made by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) this Friday, October 28. The general strike is supposed to last 12 hours — from six in the morning until six at night — as a way of protesting the government’s refusal to go through with the presidential recall referendum process.
The call precedes the possibility for dialogue between the two sides this Sunday, October 30, but following threats from the government against businesses who choose to join in on the peaceful protest. Part of those threats involved the government “taking over” businesses by force.
Faced with such threats, it isn’t clear which businesses would go through with the strike and if regular workers would clock in. The student movement, meanwhile, made it clear that they would be participating in the strike.
A sector of the National Worker’s Union has joined in on the strike as well.
In a statement titled “Democracy and the Rule of Law Are at Stake in Venezuela,” the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce said that the decision to participate is up to each and every individual business.
Vice President Carlos Larrazábal reiterated that the agency is not taking a stance one way or another. Businesses have the freedom to strike if they want to.
José Luis Montoya, president of the Central Única de Carros Libres, said affiliated drivers will have the freedom to decide if they want to participate as well.
The last time Venezuela had such a strike was December 2, 2002. It was organized by the opposition against Hugo Chávez.
Venezuela during the strike
— Nena (@NENA_07_12) October 28, 2016
— Jhoanna Braca (@JhoaBraca) October 28, 2016
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— Víctor Jiménez Ures (@VAJimenez1) October 28, 2016