The Democratic Coordinator movement is a group of people who are asking Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected president of Venezuela in 1998 and 2000, to step down from the presidency. They claim that through his serious of reforms, called the Bolivarian Revolution, he is trying to seize power in Venezuela, and they consider him to be an authoritarian Marxist and a dictator. In the elections of 1998 and 2000, Chavez was elected into office on a social democratic platform that included tax restructuring on foreign oil companies, land reform, an attempt to reduce poverty, and a strong stand against government corruption. This platform was the basis of the re-organized constitution of Venezuela, which was adopted in 1999 by popular referendum. Chavez’s platform also advocated the re-organization of the state oil monopoly, PDVSA, to ensure that more of the revenue generated from the oil went to the government for social programs, and less went into the pockets of management. As it is, 50% of the state’s revenue and 70% of the country’s export revenue are derived from PDVSA’s oil exports. This platform of progressive reforms has provoked a response from the elite in Venezuela, including large landowners, business owners, and the white-collar management of PDVSA. These groups united to create the Democratic Coordinator, the primary mechanism of opposition to Chavez’s popular reforms. This group includes the CTV trade union, as well as the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Fedecamaras), media owners, and other middle-class and wealthy citizens against Chavez’s reform agenda. It is these groups who have called the “strike” against Chavez, which has been reported very favorably among media sources in the US. However, the term strike in itself is a misnomer. The situation in Venezuela would be more accurately labeled a managerial lockout. Strikes are a withholding of labor by the workers of a shop or industry in an attempt by the workers to make a gain. This withholding of labor stops production, and forces the demands of workers to be taken seriously by management. Currently in Venezuela however, the organization of people calling for the work stoppage is not composed of the workers themselves, but of business owners and managers of the state oil company. By walking out of their jobs, the managers make it nearly impossible for the workers, who want to work, to do so. A strike is a voluntary withholding of labor; an involuntary withholding of labor is a lockout. This current “strike” in Venezuela is no more a strike than the ILWU’s lockout was in late 2002. In both cases, the workers wanted to resume work, but were denied the opportunity to do so by a large coalition of management. The difference is that in the US, the ILWU faced a large coalition of management in the PMA, but only a lockout in one industry. In Venezuela, workers are facing a cross platform lockout that spreads over a few different industries. This is a prime example of organized capital waging a war against a democratically elected government, as well as against the working class of Venezuela. In fact, the only workers actively participating in the so-called strike in Venezuela are the white-collar managers of PDVSA. This group will lose the most if Chavez’s restructuring plan takes effect. In fact, the April 2002 “strike” of the same nature was largely based on a similar gripe; the raises in salary of white-collar workers would be cut. The current restructuring plan would adjust the salaries of white-collar workers even more, with less money going to management and more money going to the Venezuelan government for social programs. Despite the strike’s crippling effects on PDVSA and other particular industries, many businesses have remained open and disregarded the bogus call to strike. Small businesses cannot afford to close as long as large companies can. The result is that a large amount of economic activity has continued despite the lockout. Chavez has turned the tide, and despite the business classes attempt to sabotage it, his agenda of social reform and aid to the poor will continue. And although the Democratic Coordinator has pushed an intense propaganda machine to build support for their agenda, the majority of the country is still in large support of Chavez. This includes the working class, the rural and urban poor, and the military. In a country where over 80% of the population lives below the poverty line, it is easy to see why Chavez’s platform of increased social programs, increased democracy, and land reform has stood the test of four general strikes, as well as an armed coup that removed him from power for about two days. In a country that was previously ravaged by austerity programs and neo-liberal reforms, Chavez has found a wide umbrella of support to address and fix these problems. Despite the attempts to incapacitate his government by the local and global economic elite, he has continued as the leader of a social democratic revolution in Venezuela.