Venezuela: Union leaders imprisoned

The ITUC and its regional organisation for the Americas, TUCA, deplore the sentencing of Venezuelan union leader Gabriel Blanco and five other trade union officials to 16 years imprisonment.

Gabriel Blanco, the Communications Director of the Caracas branch of ITUC affiliate ASI, was initially detained by military intelligence in July 2022.

In a joint letter to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, ITUC Acting General Secretary Luc Triangle and TUCA General Secretary Rafael Freire described the sentencing as “arbitrary and in violation of the most basic rights of individuals, as well as constituting a serious breach of the right to trade union activity”.

They also emphasised that the government’s actions in this case have been damaging to efforts to establish effective social dialogue and address recommendations made by the ILO’s main supervisory bodies about the situation in Venezuela.

The ITUC and TUCA have pledged to support all efforts to overturn the sentences and to ensure respect for fundamental human and trade union rights in Venezuela.