Monday, February 20, 2017

Venezuela's Communist Party (PCV) denounces efforts to exclude it from elections

The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) is going to challenge new electoral authority rules in court this week which threaten to exclude it from elections. During the weekend the party denounced the new National Electoral Council (CNE) rules which require parties to submit full membership lists for publication on the authority’s website — or be deregistered and barred from elections. 
According to the Communist Party of Venezuela the recent decision is based on a 1965 law, when the then bourgeois governments (including Romulo Betancourt's one) had unleashed numerous persecutions against members of the Communist Party which was outlawed. The General Secretary of PCV Oscar Figuera stated that the Party will seek an injuction from the Supreme Justice Tribunal against the rule of the National Electoral Council.

The Communist Party of Venezuela holds two seats in the opposition-controlled, 167-member National Assembly, and forms part of the Great Patriotic Pole bloc led by President Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party. 

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM) Pavel Blanco expressed his “total solidarity with the glorious Communist Party of Venezuela". As Secretary Blanco stated, “under no argument is it permissible for a communist party to be outlawed and deprived of its electoral rights. It would leave much to desire from the Maduro government if it acted against the PCV”.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dad of transit labor leader dead at 83

Warren Samuelsen, the father of transit labor leader John Samuelsen, died Sunday. He was 83.

Samuelsen, a retired and hardscrabble Brooklyn native who toiled in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, was treated for infections following a recent heart surgery. No cause of death has been determined.
“He was a typical salt of the Earth, throwback Brooklyn, blue-collar guy,” said his son, John Samuelsen, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100.
Samuelsen — Bunky to those who knew him — was a union member with the old Amalgamated Meat Cutters Local 174.
“He was monstrously strong from doing that type of hard work,” his son said. “Even in the end, up until the last couple of days, he still had some of that physical strength.
“He just fought like hell to the end.”
Samuelsen would leave for work at 3:30 a.m. from his Gerritsen Beach home to drive trucks and lug 180-pound slabs of beef into the plant. John Samuelsen said he realized the value of labor organizations, even though his father was less politically minded than his mother, a benefits administrator for the bakery drivers’ union.
“The union was putting dinner on the table every night and we knew that,” John Samuelsen said.
Outside of the meat market, Samuelsen said his dad was a “man’s man” — a Mets fan since the Brooklyn Dodgers left town — and a piano player with a love of blues and Fats Waller.
Warren Samuelsen is survived by his wife, Theresa; five children; eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

John Samuelsen, the president of Transport Workers Union, with his late father, Warren (left), and family.