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Propaganda as “News”: Ecuador Sells out Indigenous and the Environment to China

A portion of the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador

By Stansfield Smith

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A news article appeared at end of January - “Ecuador To Sell A Third Of Its Amazon Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies” - and has resurfaced again and again on the internet. Posted on progressive websites such as Reader Supported News, Daily Kos, The and, the story often comes with maps of the affected area, and includes pictures of indigenous peoples living peaceably with nature or protesting against oil drilling.

Almost all these stories refer back to an article published three years ago, in March 2013, in the Australian online journal Business Insider:

“Ecuador is planning to auction off three million of the country’s 8.1 million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies, Jonathan Kaiman of The Guardian reports.” And, “Ecuador owed China more than $7 billion — more than a tenth of its GDP — as of last summer. In 2009 China began loaning Ecuador billions of dollars in exchange for oil shipments. It also helped fund two of the country’s biggest hydroelectric infrastructure projects, and China National Petroleum Corp may soon have a 30 per cent stake in a $10 billion oil refinery in Ecuador.”[1]

Is South America’s ‘progressive cycle’ at an end? Neo-developmentalist attempts and socialist projects

Protest by Indigenous Women against Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa in August last year

by Claudio Katz, introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

February 5, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left with permission — In this ambitious and compelling overview of the strategic and programmatic issues at stake in South America today, Argentine political economist Claudio Katz expands on many of the observations he made in an earlier interview while critically analyzing contrasting approaches to development that are being pursued or proposed. Translation from the Spanish and endnotes are by me. – Richard Fidler


Social Movements and Progressive Governments - Building a New Relationship in Latin America

Marta Harnecker (pictured) will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.


By Marta Harnecker, translated by Richard Fidler


January 2016 — Monthly Review, reposted on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission — In recent years a major debate has emerged over the role that new social movements should adopt in relation to the progressive governments that have inspired hope in many Latin American nations. Before addressing this subject directly, though, I want to develop a few ideas.


The situation in the 1980s and ’90s in Latin America was comparable in some respects to the experience of pre-revolutionary Russia in the early twentieth century. The destructive impact on Russia of the imperialist First World War and its horrors was paralleled in Latin America by neoliberalism and its horrors: greater hunger and poverty, an increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, unemployment, the destruction of nature, and the erosion of sovereignty.


Should Ecuador's left work with the right against Rafael Correa?

Banker and opposition leader Guillermo Lasso (second from right) meets with leaders from the Pachakutik political party in their offices in April 2015.

For more on Ecuador, click HERE.

By Pablo Vivanco

August 20, 2015 -- Originally published by TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For a relatively small nation, in terms of size, population and economics, Ecuador has been a major player in contemporary Latin American politics, particularly on the left.

The experience of toppled governments by popular uprisings, led by Indigenous organisations with radical left-oriented politics, has contributed to a regional shift that ushered in the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and later the election of Evo Morales’ Movement Toward Socialism in Bolivia.

Ecuador: Zombie neoliberalism threatens 'Citizen's Revolution'

Rafael Correa (right) with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (left) and Bolivia's President Evo Morales.

For more on Ecuador, click HERE.

By Denis Rogatyuk

August 15, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Ecuador'sPresident Rafael Correa and social movements behind Ecuador’s “Citizens' Revolution” are engaged in yet another battle against the South American country's entrenched elites.

Supporters of Correa marched through the capital of Quito on August 12 to the presidential palace, where they intend to maintain a permanent presence to help defend the elected government.

The next day, violent opposition protests led to 86 police officers being injured, the interior ministry said, along with 20 civilians and three members of the press.

What originally began as demonstrations by the country's right-wing opposition against a proposed new inheritance tax laws targetting the country's richest 2% have now turned into a full-blown attempt at a “soft coup”.

Eyewitness Ecuador: Pro-Correa protesters flood Quito in response to right wing


For more on Ecuador, click HERE.

Story and photos by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Quito

June 15, 2015 -- To Here Knows When, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- After Ecuador’s opposition staged a wave of protests over the weekend, President Rafael Correa struck back today, calling a massive rally of his own in central Quito.

Supporters of Ecuador’s socialist-leaning government packed into the capital’s leafy Plaza Grande to hear the president deliver his first public speech in the capital since opposition protests erupted last week.

'Extractivism' debate continues: Beyond lithium (and other poisons)

The Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia are home to over half the world's lithium deposits.

By Don Fitz

April 17, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Policies that expand “extractivism” in progressive Latin American countries bring up a host of contradictions: How do the short-term benefits of financial gain from extraction compare to its long-term destructiveness? What options are available for reducing poverty without increasing mining, logging and GMO monocultures? Could the climate change effects of extraction actually hurt the world’s poor more than helping them? How can struggles against extractivism chart a path to economies based on human need rather corporate profits?

The lithium fantasy

Eric Toussaint: SYRIZA, Podemos and the way towards power for the people

Click for more on SYRIZA, Podemos, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador

By Eric Toussaint, translated by Adam Clark-Gimmig

February 18, 2015 -- Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Experience proves that left-wing movements can come to be in government, but nevertheless not hold power. Democracy, in other words the exercise of power by the people and for the people, requires much more.

The problem is currently being faced in Greece with SYRIZA, and will have to be faced in Spain with Podemos (if that party wins the general elections in late 2015), as it was faced in the past, in Venezuela with the election of Hugo Chávez as president in December 1998, in Bolivia with Evo Morales in 2005, in Ecuador with Rafael Correa in December 2006, or several decades earlier with Salvador Allende in Chile in 1970 |1|.

ALBA after ten years

By John Riddell

February 23, 2015 --, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The following talk was given at a celebration of ALBA in Toronto, February 21, 2015.

* * *

Today we celebrate a decade of achievement of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA). For 10 years ALBA has stood on the world stage as a defender of peace, solidarity and popular sovereignty.

Before ALBA, Cuba stood alone for many years against the U.S.-led empire. But through ALBA, an alliance of countries, with wide influence and many friends among governments and peoples, now challenges imperialism on a range of issues. While representing only a few small and poor countries, ALBA exercises great moral authority and carries weight in world affairs. ALBA is the most effective international alliance based on solidarity in modern history.

Progressive ‘extractivism’: hope or dystopia?

By Don Fitz

July 4, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The controversy over "extractivism" in Latin America has become a lot hotter. Though social justice and environmental activists have sought a partnership for years, this could become a wedge issue. The debate is core to our conceptualisation of what type of society we are working to build and how we plan to get there.

Cuando el árbol del “antiextractivismo” no deja ver el bosque

Miles de pueblos indígenas dirigidos por la CONAIE (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador) se reúnen en Quito en marzo 2012 Después de una marcha de 15 días exigiendo el fin de minería a cielo abierto y las nuevas concesiones petroleras.

[In English at Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Por Federico Fuentes, traducido del inglés por Carlos Riba García

06-06-2014 -- -- La reciente avalancha de campañas de alto perfil contra proyectos de extracción de materias primas ha abierto una importante y novedosa dinámica en los vastos procesos de cambio que se dan en América del Sur. La comprensión de su naturaleza y significación es decisiva para aprehender las complejidades inherentes al cambio social y mejorar la construcción de solidaridad con las luchas populares.

South America: How ‘anti-extractivism’ misses the forest for the trees

Thousands of indigenous peoples led by CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) converge on Quito in March 2012 after a 15-day march demanding an end to open pit mining and new oil concessions.

By Federico Fuentes

May 20, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, a shorter verson of this article appeared in Green Left Weekly -- A recent spate of high-profile campaigns against projects based on extracting raw materials has opened up an important new dynamic within the broad processes of change sweeping South America. Understanding their nature and significance is crucial to grasping the complexities involved in bringing about social change and how best to build solidarity with peoples’ struggles.

Ecuador: 'Markets are a terrible master', says President Rafael Correa

For more on Ecuador, click HERE.

By Jonathan Nack

April 29, 2014 -- IndyBay, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- Ecuador's President Rafael Correa explained what he means when he describes himself as a “modern socialist” in an interview with PBS TV journalist Charlie Rose on April 15, 2014 (above). “We believe in societies with markets, but not in societies [ruled] by markets – that's the difference... One of the [biggest] problems in the present time is that markets are controlling everything. We believe in society with markets, but society must govern the markets... Markets [are] a very good servant, but a terrible master”, said Correa, during a wide ranging interview with Rose.

Correa said that being a modern socialist means to “look for social justice”. “My political thinking has been influenced by the social doctrine of the Catholic Church and also Liberation Theology."

Ecuador: Some observations on the controversy over oil development in Yasuní-ITT

An aerial view of part of the Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador's northeastern jungle. Photograph by Dolores Ochoa/AP.

[En español.] 

By Gerard Coffey

September 16, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The remarkable proposal by Ecuador to leave about 900 million barrels of heavy crude in the ground in exchange for international contributions amounting to about half its value, was recently abandoned by President Rafael Correa.

The legacy of Chilean socialism and Salvador Allende


For more on Chile click HERE.

By Roger Burbach

September 11, 2013 -- -- The coup d’etat by General Augusto Pinochet in Chile on September 11, 1973, transformed the history of socialism. Almost a thousand days before, Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity coalition had taken office promising a “Chilean Road to Socialism” based on democratic principles. The government launched an agrarian reform program, recognised the right of workers to take over factories and run them collectively, took control of most of the country’s banks and expropriated multinational corporations like Kennecott and ITT, all within the framework of the Chilean constitution.

Robert Austin on 'Latin America's Turbulent Transitions' (video)

June 16, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Latin America expert Robert Austin gives an information-packed review of the new book, Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism, by Roger Burbach, Michael Fox and Federico Fuentes. The book is a detailed exposition and analysis of the powerful social movements challenging Imperialism across the South American continent.

Robert Austin is an honorary fellow at the school of history, philosophy, religion and classics, University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism
By Roger Burbach, Michael Fox & Federico Fuentes
Zed Books, 2013.

Order at Resistance Books.

Evo y Maduro cierran filas en defensa de la unión regional: Respuesta del Alba

Nicolás Maduro y Evo Morales encabezaron un acto organizado por movimientos sociales, sindicales y obreros en apoyo a Venezuela y la Revolución Bolivariana en Cochabamba. Foto: AVN.

[Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

[English at]

Latin America’s progressive governments: origins, nature and challenges

By Pablo Stefanoni, introduction by Richard Fidler

June 13, 2013 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In the following essay, Pablo Stefanoni, an Argentine journalist, thoughtfully explores some of the distinctive features of the politics of the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Stefanoni argues that a “left vs. right” reading of the processes now under way in Latin America does not adequately capture the origins and nature of the new governments purporting to go beyond neoliberalism; a satisfactory analysis must encompass a long-existing national-popular and anti-imperialist tradition, as well as a newer indigenista current building on post-colonial and subalternist readings that in turn complicate our understanding of the trends and challenges. But his central thesis is that a “left agenda” can contribute themes and proposals to the current debates that neither nationalism nor indigenism can adequately address.

Latin America: Evo Morales and Nicolas Maduro defend the region’s union

By America XXI

June 11, 2013 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal – On May 25, Washington’s advance across the region by means of the Pacific Alliance met a counterattack in Bolivia. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro relaunched the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), signed bilateral agreements in 14 strategic fields and denounced the new imperialist offensive against the region.

Transiciones turbulentas en América Latina

Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism
Por Roger Burbach, Michael Fox & Federico Fuentes
Zed Books, 2013.

[English at Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Por Richard Fidler

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