By Marinelid Marcano.
Two more oil workers joined a hunger strike protest that two other partners, fired in December 2019 by the Management of the Ayacucho Division of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), began on November 30.
This Wednesday, December 2, Roy Bolivar and Luis Martinez, decided to support the action of Miguel Botelo and Oswaldo Istudy in protest of their contractual claims and human rights that they claim were violated by managers of the oil industry. In another new development, the Red Cross is monitoring and aiding the demonstrators on the scene.
The Venezuelan oil industry under the Nicolas Maduro regime has unraveled, with production dropping to 300,000 oil barrels a day, the lowest level since the 1930s and about 10% of 1999 production levels, the first year of the Bolivarian Revolution of Chavez and Maduro.
Besides, the Maduro regime has arrested two top oil union leaders – Eudis Girot and Guillermo Zarraga- in late November, stirring the pot of oil industry unrest even further.
At the gates of the PDVSA Faja building (named after the Orinoco Oil Belt, the largest concentration of oil known to humanity) located on Jesus Subero Avenue, the workers remain chained, and the first two already look severely impacted by their decision to engage in a hunger strike.
El Pitazo interviewed demonstrator Miguel Botelo by telephone in the afternoon, and he stated he already suffered from dizziness and vomiting.
He explained that so far, they have not received any response or solution from the company. On the contrary, he denied some statements issued in the morning on a radio program by pro-Maduro union organizers Luis Diaz, Carlos Licir, and Jorge Villasana, who assured that the dismissed workers were receiving benefits from PDVSA.
“It is false, they want to deceive people, and we are not going to allow it. That’s why the comrades joined us so that we wouldn’t lose this struggle that we started a year ago,” he said.
He explained that Roy Bolivar is one of the five workers fired in December 2019. But, Luis Martinez is an active worker that in 2014, suffered burns in 60% of his body in a work accident. In the beginning, PDVSA assumed the expenses with the first operations, but the company did not continue to comply, and Martinez has not been able to do the rest of the surgeries.
Botelo said that they continue to strike until they receive a response from the PDVSA management. The Red Cross continues to pay attention by taking signs and hydrating them with serum.