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Bolivia

Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon -- Patrimonial-Hacendado power and capitalist accumulation

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

December 2012 -- This essay first appeared in English in five parts at Richard Fidler's Life on the Left and has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Álvaro García Linera is one of Latin America’s leading Marxist intellectuals. He is also the vice-president of Bolivia — the “co-pilot”, as he says, to President Evo Morales, and an articulate exponent of the government’s policies and strategic orientation.

In a recent book-length essay, Geopolitics of the Amazon: Patrimonial-Hacendado Power and Capitalist Accumulation, published in September 2012, García Linera discusses a controversial issue of central importance to the development process in Latin America, and explains how Bolivia is attempting to address the intersection between economic development and environmental protection.

The issues he addresses are of great importance not only in Bolivia but throughout Latin America, and in fact in most of the countries of the imperialist periphery. They are especially important to understand in the “First World,” where there is an increasing campaign in parts of the left to turn against the progressive and anticapitalist governments in Latin America on the ground of their alleged “extractivism.”

Doha climate talks: Bolivia declares, 'The climate is not for sale!'

The following address was presented on December 5 by Jose Antonio Zamora Guitierrez (pictured), minister of environment and water for the Plurinational State of Bolivia, to the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP18) in Doha, Qatar. 

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December 5, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Mr. President of the COP, distinguished heads of state of countries of the world, ministers, officials, delegates and representatives of social organisations, Indigenous peoples and communities and farmers of the world, receive a greeting from the Plurinational State of Bolivia and our president, Evo Morales Ayma.

The planet and humanity are in serious danger of extinction. The forests are in danger, biodiversity is in danger, the rivers and the oceans are in danger, the Earth is in danger. This beautiful human community inhabiting our Mother Earth is in danger due to the climate crisis.

Is Venezuela a 'one off'? A response to Richard Seymour's must-read analysis

Supporters of the Bolivarian revolution mobilise in their millions. Caracas, October 3, 2012.

Click HERE for more coverage and analysis of the Venezuelan revolutionary process.

By Stuart Munckton

October 13, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Richard Seymour has written a very interesting analysis on Venezuela that is a must read for a number of reasons. It is open ended in its assessments and deliberately poses as many questions as it seeks to answer. Fair enough, as the revolution is open ended and poses questions that only the struggle will answer.

It is far superior to the article written by the British Socialist Workers Party (SWP) Latin American "expert" Mike Gonzalez, that acknowledged reforms, victory against the right, but then presented the ongoing struggles in a basically distorted "from below counterposed to Chavez" line.

Marta Harnecker: Conquering a new popular hegemony

"In recent years, and in increasingly more countries, growing multitudes have rebelled against the existing order and without a defined leadership have taken over plazas, streets, highways, towns, parliament, but, despite having mobilized hundreds of thousands of people, neither the magnitude of its size nor its combativeness have enabled these multitudes to go beyond simple popular revolts. They have brought down presidents, but they have not been capable of conquering power in order to begin a process of deep social transformation." -- Marta Harnecker.

Read more by Marta HarneckerFor more discussion on revolutionary organisation, click HERE.

By Marta Harnecker, translated by Federico Fuentes

This article seeks to reflect on the issues raised during the roundtable discussion, “State, revolution and the construction of hegemony”, that occurred at the VI International Forum on Philosophy, held between November 28 and December 2, 2011, in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Logically, here I once again repeat some ideas that I have expressed in other writings, but have ordered them differently, while further refining some of them. It was written in July 2012 and first published in English at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

Bolivia: Who's the real 'outlaw'? Behind Bolivia’s nationalisation of a Canadian mine

By Paul Kellogg

September 5, 2012 -- PolEcon.net, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- For Canada's Financial Post, the actions of the Bolivian government in nationalising a Canadian mine this northern summer confirmed the country’s status as an “outlaw nation” (Grace 2012). But for less-biased observers, the reality was a little different.

Responding to pressure from local Indigenous communities the Bolivian government confirmed on August 2 that it would expropriate the operations of a Canadian-owned mining project. This represents, in the short term, the success of local social movements in putting an end to violence created by the tactics of the corporation, and in the long term, one small step towards ending 500 years of foreign powers stripping the country of its natural resources.

Paraguay: Coup at heart of struggle over Latin America

By Federico Fuentes

July 15, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- The June 22 coup carried out against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was an important blow to progressive movements across Latin America. The struggle against the coup is far from over, but learning the lessons of it are important. This requires placing the coup in the context of the turbulent process of change occurring in Latin America

Latin America is in a period of transition. It is characterised, on the one hand, by the decline of the United States' influence. This is particularly the case with the unravelling of the neoliberal model implanted that was more firmly implanted more firmly in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s than in any other region of the South.

On the other hand, left and progressive forces have made significant advances, including winning government in some cases. This has been accompanied by a growing process of political and economic integration of the region.

Rise of the new left

Video: Pablo Solon on what’s next after Rio+20

June 26, 2012 -- Pablo Solon, former climate change negotiator for Bolivia and now head of Focus on the Global South, discusses what next for the international movement in defence of the environment. For more on the Rio+20 talks, click HERE.

Paraguay: Obama’s second Latin American coup; left governments condemn coup

June 25, 2012, Democracy Now! report on the coup against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo. Transcript available here.

By Shamus Cooke

June 23, 2012 -- Workers Action -- The coup against Paraguay’s democratically elected president is not only a blow to democracy, but an attack against the working and poor population who supported and elected President Fernando Lugo, whom they see as a bulwark against the wealthy elite who’ve dominated the country for decades.

[Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was ousted in what he has described as a parliamentary coup. On June 23, the Paraguayan Senate voted 39-to-4 to impeach Lugo, saying he had failed in his duty to maintain social order following a recent land dispute that resulted in the deaths of six police officers and 11 peasant farmers. A former priest, Lugo was once called the "Bishop of the Poor" and was known for defending peasant rights. Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay have all condemned Lugo’s ouster.]

`Foro Social Latinamericano', Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement, May 2012 issue

May 18, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For environmentalists, Indigenous rights activists, feminists, socialists and all progressive people, Latin America is a source of hope and inspiration today. The people of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, among others, are showing that radical social change is possible and a better, more just society can be imagined and built.

The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.

Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly is strongly committed to supporting the growing “people’s power” movement in Latin America. Through our weekly articles on developments in the region, GLW strives to counter the corporate media’s many lies about Latin America’s revolutions, and to give a voice in English to the people’s movements for change.

The continent-wide rebellion is weakening imperialism’s power. As a result, it is taking increasingly threatening steps to push back the power of the people. Our solidarity, to help the people of Latin America defend and extend their tremendous achievements, is vital.

Debate: Neoliberalism in disguise in Bolivia?

Location of the indigenous territory and national park known as TIPNIS.

[For more on Bolivia, click HERE.]

The following article is a reply to Jeffery Webber's article, “Revolution against ‘Progress’: the TIPNIS Struggle and Class Contradictions in Bolivia”, in International Socialism 133 (winter), www.isj.org.uk/?id=780. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission. It first appeared in International Socialism (134). International Socialism is associated with the British Socialist Workers' Party.

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By Federico Fuentes

March 27, 2012 -- International Socialism -- For more than a decade Bolivia has been rocked by mass upsurges and mobilisations that have posed the necessity and possibility of fundamental political and social transformation.1 In 2005 the social movements that led the country’s water and gas wars managed to elect a government that since then has presided over a process of change that has brought major advances.

`Foro Social Latinamericano', Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement, Feb.-March 2012 issue

February 27, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For environmentalists, Indigenous rights activists, feminists, socialists and all progressive people, Latin America is a source of hope and inspiration today. The people of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, among others, are showing that radical social change is possible and a better, more just society can be imagined and built.

The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.

Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly is strongly committed to supporting the growing “people’s power” movement in Latin America. Through our weekly articles on developments in the region, GLW strives to counter the corporate media’s many lies about Latin America’s revolutions, and to give a voice in English to the people’s movements for change.

Bolivia: Challenges face Morales' goal of 'governing by obeying the people'

A march by indigenous group Conisur in favour of a controversial highway being built through Indigenous lands.

By Federico Fuentes

February 19, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- A new twist in the turbulent saga surrounding a proposed roadway through Indigenous land has reignited a debate raging throughout Bolivia since the middle of last year. The controversial highway ― which would cut through the Isiboro-Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) ― has been at the centre of protests and counter-protests. It has polarised Bolivian society and divided Indigenous groups that are the heart of the Evo Morales government’s social base.

Bolivia’s García Linera: ‘Moving beyond capitalism is a universal task’

Alvaro García Linera

Introduction by translator Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

February 19, 2012  -- First published in Axis of Logic, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Bolivia’s vice-president Álvaro García Linera brought a message of hope and anti-imperialist commitment to Mexico in the first week of February. Speaking to an overflow assembly of students and university personnel at Mexico City’s UNAM (National Autonomous University), he said that the government led by President Evo Morales welcomes social-movement protests and conflict. The more, the better.

The struggle is our nourishment, our peace. It does not overwhelm us. Absolute calm frightens us. Our opponents believe the struggle will wear us down. On the contrary, it nourishes us.

The UNAM’s Economics Research Institute (IIE) sponsored the vice-president’s address on “Bolivia: Achievements and Challenges of Transformation.”

Pablo Solon on Rio+20: For an international campaign against the commodification of nature

For a bottom-up international campaign against the commodification and financialisation of Nature

By Pablo Solon

January 28, 2012 -- The document for the Rio+20 conference of the United Nations (June 20-22, 2012) -- entitled The Future We Want -- was published in January 2012. Its main purpose is to promote a “Green Economy”. In the document's "zero draft", this concept of the Green Economy is left deliberately vague: there is no clear definition provided and no clarity on the usage of this term. In reality, however, it aims to promote the further commodification and financialisation of nature by introducing new market mechanisms like the as carbon markets that were first introduced a decade ago through the Kyoto Protocol and REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) programs which put a monetary price on carbon storage in forests.

Latin America’s new left in power: the governments of Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa

Presidents Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Evo Morales (Bolivia).

By Steve Ellner

January 2012 -- Latin American Perspectives, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Most political analysts place the governments of Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador) in the same category but without defining their common characteristics.

Beginning with the publication of Leftovers in 2008, critics of the left sought to overcome the shortcoming by characterising the three presidents as “populist leftists”, which they distinguished from the “good leftists” taking in such moderates as Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. According to the book’s co-editors Jorge Castañeda and Marco Morales, the salient features of the populist left consist of a radical discourse devoid of ideological substance, disrespect for democratic institutions, pronounced authoritarian tendencies and vituperations against the United States designed to pay political dividends at the expense of their nation’s economic interests (Castañeda and Morales, 2008).

Workers’ governments and socialist strategy — a discussion

"The FSLN government in Nicaragua immediately after the fall of the Somoza dictatorship may qualify as a workers' government" -- David Camfield.

January 17, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A discussion is taking place at John Riddell's website on the demand for a workers' government and issues raised in the article by Riddell, "A ‘workers’ government’ as a step toward socialism". Below are article-length responses from David Camfield and Nathan Rao, a comment by Tim K, and a response by John Riddell.

Workers’ governments and the crisis of politics

By David Camfield, an editor of New Socialist Webzine

January 10, 2012 -- John Riddell is right that, “The Comintern’s decisions on governmental policy were rooted in a political environment that no longer exists.”

Bolivia's proposals on the 'rights of nature' for Rio+20

December 19, 2011 -- The proposals developed by the Plurinational State of Bolivia bring together and build upon the progress made in the World Charter for Nature  (1982), the Rio Declaration (1992), the Earth Charter (2000) and the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (2010).

[The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is scheduled for June 20-22, 2012, in Brazil. It marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.]

I. A DEEPER COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Durban climate talks: How not to tackle climate change and call it a success

By Nele Marien

[Environmental policy analyst Nele Marien helped organise the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth and was climate change negotiator for Bolivia during from 2009 until November 2011.]

December 13, 2011 -- For Whom the Bell Tolls, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- The official package deal coming out of the Durban climate talks consisted of four main documents, apart of several other decisions, most of them less critical:

Durban talks: Rich polluters impose 'new regime of climate apartheid'; Pablo Solon: 'Kyoto Protocol now a zombie'

Protesters block the halls at the Durban International Conference Centre, December 9, 2011. Photo from Earth Negotiations Bulletin.)

Antidote is Cochabamba Peoples’ Agreement

By Climate Justice Now!, Durban

December 11, 2011 –- Decisions resulting from the UN COP17 climate summit in Durban constitute a crime against humanity, according to Climate Justice Now! a broad coalition of social movements and civil society. Here in South Africa, where the world was inspired by the liberation struggle of the country’s black majority, the richest nations have cynically created a new regime of climate apartheid.

“Delaying real action until 2020 is a crime of global proportions”, said Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International. “An increase in global temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius, permitted under this plan, is a death sentence for Africa, small island states, and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. This summit has amplified climate apartheid, whereby the richest 1% of the world have decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%.”

Durban climate talks: 'Rich-country negotiators are comitting ecocide' -- Pablo Solon; Voices from the streets of Durban

December 3, 2011 -- OneWorldTV -- Pablo Solon, former Bolivian ambassador to the UN climate talks, speaks during the December 3 day of action in Durban, during the COP17 talks.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

 

December 5, 2011 -- Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting live from Durban, South Africa, where critical talks on fighting climate change have entered their second week. Key issues here at the United Nations Climate Change Conference remain unresolved, including the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty with enforceable provisions designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Delegates are also debating how to form a Green Climate Fund to support developing nations most affected by climate change.

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