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Puerto Rico: Washington's 'Greece' -- Party of the Working People fights austerity

Rafael Bernabe, spokesperson for the Partido del Pueblo Trabajador. He was its candidate for governor in 2012.

By Rafael Bernabe

July 2015 -- New Politics, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Partido del Pueblo Trabajador—the Party of the Working People (PPT)—is a political project of the Puerto Rican left addressed to working people in the context of the island’s deep economic crisis. It would be hard to exaggerate the gravity of Puerto Rico’s present social and economic situation, which can only be compared to the impact of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

United States/Cuba: Cuban embassy opens in Washington

Democracy Now! July 20, 2015 -- Report from the opening of Cuba's new embassy. Transcript available HERE.

By Robert Craven and Olivia Marple

July 20, 2015 -- COHA, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Amid cheers of “Cuba sí, bloqueo no” (Cuba yes, embargo no), hundreds gathered on Washington, DC’s busy 16th Street to bear witness to the symbolic close to one of the more misguided chapters of US foreign policy. Trumpeting fanfare sounded as Cuban honour guard soldiers raised their country’s flag above what is now Cuba’s embassy in the United States.

Cuba's foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla presided over the flag raising and was accompanied by a large US delegation led by assistant secretary of state Roberta Jacobson.[1]

“It’s a new beginning, it’s a new opportunity for the people of Cuba,” said Karla Ramos, one of the spectators, in an interview with COHA, mirroring the sentiments of many others there to celebrate this momentous occasion 54 years in the making.

Venezuela: Millions vote in socialist party primaries

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro at the campaign close for primary elections for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, June 26, 2015. Photo: AVN.

June 28, 2015 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Millions of members of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) hit the ballot box on June 28 to vote for the left-wing party’s candidates for parliamentary elections to be held in December. "Here are these candidates, they are men and women who come from the people, they were nominated by the grassroots (of the party), now it is up to you to choose,” stated Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on June 26 during an event to celebrate the close of campaign.

Cuba 'will always be ready to help sister nations', says ICAP president

A Cuban literacy program operating in an Aboriginal community in Wilcannia, NSW.

June 15, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, post at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, attended the recent national consultation of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society. Green Left Weekly's Denis Rogatyuk spoke with her about recent developments of the Cuban Revolution.

* * *

Cuba has just been removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. How do you think this will affect Cuba’s relations with the United States?

First of all, there is no reason to have Cuba on such a list. We should have never been there. However, the US decided to do this back in 1992. On May 29, the removal was approved.

We consider this a very positive step in eliminating the different obstacles to forging stable bilateral relations with the US.

Balance de elecciones y resistencia en México

Contingente OPT-PYME en un desfile de protesta por la desaparición de los 43 estudiantes.

Haga clic aquí para más información sobre México.

Por Nevin Siders Vogt, corrección de estilo de Ayla Huerta Miranda

22 de junio 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A la luz de las recientes elecciones a la mitad del sexenio y la creciente coyuntura entre las campañas de justicia por los 43 desaparecidos, los movimientos de resistencia luchan firmes contra la privatización de recursos naturales y las industrias nacionalizadas.

Mexico: President and his party re-elected; left divided and defeated

 Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Click the following links for more by Dan La Botz, and more on Mexico.

By Dan La Botz

June 15, 2015 -- New Politics, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Despite widespread disillusionment with the political system, an organised attempt to prevent the election from taking place in a few states and continuing economic doldrums, President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) were the big winners in Mexico's June 7 election, followed by the conservative National Action Party (PAN). Both parties are committed to continuing the deepening of the country's neoliberal, free-market economic reforms.

Mexico: Elections and resistance

OPT-SME contingent in a parade protesting the disappearance of the 43 students. 

Click HERE for more on Mexico.

By Nevin Siders Vogt, Mexico City

June 22, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – With the growing intersection among the campaigns for justice for the 43 disappeared students and the resistance movements’ struggle against the privatisation of natural resources and nationalised industries, the rhythm of resistance activities has not slackened over the last year, despite the mid-term elections. This is why the People’s and Worker’s Political Organization (OPT) sees the urgency to taking stock and projecting what immediate steps to take. This report is based on the gathering Mexico City’s OPT branch in Tlalpan organised preparatory to the campaigns it will participate in for the latter half of the year.

Elections

The world press covered the elections held throughout the country on June 7. Governors of half of the states were contested, along with half of each chamber of the national legislature and a large number of local officials in all jurisdictions. The capital, Mexico City, is demarcated into 16 districts (Delegaciones), and all 16 district heads changed.

Desmond Tutu reminded: 'Stand with Venezuela's right, you choose the side of the oppressor'

By Lucas Koerner

June 16, 2015 -- Venezuelanalysis.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In an op-ed published in the Spanish daily El Pais, titled "Free the Prisoners of Conscience in Venezuela", the renowned South African Archbishop and anti-apartheid militant Desmond Tutu foresakes neutrality in order to unabashedly take the side of the oppressor, namely the United States and the Venezuelan right wing.

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

IMG_0286

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.

El dilema populista, el pragmatismo y la izquierda en el poder en Venezuela

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4439.]

Por Steve Ellner

02-06-2015 -- Rebelion -- Los izquierdistas en Venezuela han formulado varias explicaciones sobre los retos actuales, y el descontento creciente que enfrenta el país, el cual aumenta la posibilidad de que la oposición se apodere del control de la Asamblea Nacional en las elecciones al final de este año. En la lista de explicaciones está la comparación desfavorable de las cualidades superiores del liderazgo de Hugo Chávez con las inferiores de su sucesor Nicolás Maduro. (Este mismo razonamiento es utilizado frecuentemente por los miembros de la oposición, quienes –explícita e implícitamente – atribuyen las deficiencias de Maduro a sus orígenes obreros.) Una segunda explicación es que funcionarios corruptos son los responsables de la crisis económica actual, que incluye la escasez aguda de productos de primera necesidad y una inflación galopante que ha llegado a tres dígitos.

Mexico: Caravana nacional del pueblo autóctono yaqui en defensa del agua, tierra, trabajo y vida

A Juventud Anticapitalista canta mientras espera la llegada de la Caravana yaqui.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4444.]

Nevin Siders Vogt

Mayo 30, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- El pueblo autóctono yaqui organizó una caravana que atravesó el país con el propósito de defender del agua, tierra, trabajo y vida. Culminó en México, D.F., el jueves 21 de mayo.

El autor de este artículo participó en una de las ceremonias de bienvenida ese día: la que celebró la llegada a la Delegación Tlalpan en el sur de la Ciudad; él tomó las fotos.

Al pueblo yaqui se les despojaron en incrementos a lo largo de los siglos desde la conquista española, hecho que aumenta con la dominación norteamericana. Organizaron la Caravana como una aportación en aumentar la unidad entre los que resistan el neoliberalismo depredador.

Como se aprecia en las fotos, la solidaridad expresada por la ceremonia en Tlalpan emprendió la Organización Política del Pueblo y los Trabajadores, la Juventud Anticapitalista y el Sindicato Mexicana de Electricistas. De igual forma el Sindicato de Trabajadores de Transporte de Pasajeros del Distrito Federal prestó su camión para la carvana.

Mexico: National caravan by Indigenous Yaqui in defence of water, land, work and life

Anticapitalist Youth await Yaqui caravan.

Article and photos by Nevin Siders, Mexico City

May 26, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The indigenous Yaqui people held a caravan that crisscrossed the country to defend of water, land, work and life. It culminated in Mexico City on May 21. I participated in one of the welcoming ceremonies that day, in Tlalpan district in the south of the city.

The Yaqui people have been dispossessed by degrees over the centuries since the Spanish conquest, which has only increased since domination by the United States. They organised the caravan as a step toward increasing unity among those who resist neoliberalism and its predatory practices.

As the photos attest, solidarity in the Tlalpan ceremony was organised by the People’s and Worker’s Political Organization (OPT), the Anticapitalist Youth (JA) and the Mexican Electricians’ Union (SME). Use of the caravan bus was donated by the Union of Passenger Transportation Workers in Mexico City (STTP-DF).

Venezuela: Chavismo on the horns of a dilemma

Over three months in the early part of last year, Venezuela was subjected to a campaign of violence and disruption known as the guarimba, organised by elements of the right-wing, US-backed opposition.

For more on Venezuela, click HERE and more by Steve Ellner HERE.

By Steve Ellner

May 22, 2015 -- VenezuelAnalysis, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Leftists in Venezuela put forward a number of different explanations for the pressing economic difficulties and growing discontent that has beset Venezuela and increases the possibility of an opposition takeover of the National Assembly in this year’s elections.

Maduro and the market: Can Chavistas keep the revolution on track?

For more on Venezuela, click HERE and more by Steve Ellner HERE.

By Steve Ellner

May 13, 2015 – versions of this article were published in Red Pepper (April-May issue) and Alborada.net, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission of the author -- It’s a point of honour for Venezuela’s government that despite the sharp plunge in oil prices and acute shortages of goods, President Nicolás Maduro has ruled out austerity measures. In a recent TV interview conducted by former vice-president José Vicente Rangel, Central Bank president Nelson Merentes explained why, when he asked: “Do you remember what happened on February 27, 1989?”

On that date massive nationwide disturbances broke out after the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez announced sharp price hikes and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, setting the stage for the 1992 military uprising led by Hugo Chávez. The memory of February 27 and the decision of the formerly left-leaning Pérez to come to terms with powerful economic groups as a way out of pressing economic difficulties undoubtedly weigh on Maduro’s response to the current situation.

Marta Harnecker interviewed: From Allende’s Chile to Chávez’s Venezuela


For more by or about Marta Harnecker, click HERE.

Marta Harnecker interviewed by Isabel Rauber, introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

April 21, 2015 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Marta Harnecker (above), a Marxist writer and lecturer of Chilean origin, is one of the foremost international exponents of the revolutionary process in Latin America today.

In the following interview she outlines some of the lessons she has derived from her experience with the Popular Unity government of Chile’s Salvador Allende (1970-73) that are applicable to current attempts in Latin America to build “an alternative society to capitalism that is essentially democratic”.

'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

Raúl Castro: 'Cuba will continue to defend the ideas for which our people have sacrificed'

President Raúl Castro Ruz thanked the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean for their solidarity.

By Raúl Castro Ruz, president of Cuba

[Council of State transcript of Castro's speech to the Summit of the Americas in Panama.]

April 14, 2015 -- Granma, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It was high time I spoke here on behalf of Cuba. I was told at first that I could make an eight-minute speech; although I made a great effort, along with my foreign minister, to reduce it to eight minutes, and as I’m owed six summits from which we were excluded, six times eight, 48 (laughter and applause), I asked President Juan Carlos Varela [of Panama] a few moments before entering this magnificent hall, to allow me a few minutes more, especially after we have been hearing so many interesting speeches, and I am not only referring to that of President Obama, but also that of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, President Dilma Rousseff and others.

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network broadsheet: 'Venezuela is not a threat'

“This is how much I care about your sanctions, Mr Obama.” Placard at anti-imperialist rally in Caracas held in the wake of Obama's March 9 declaration.

Click HERE for more on the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network.

April 2015 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialisr Renewal with permission

[The following letter was written by Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and was originally published on March 17.]

By Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela

We are the people of Simon Bolívar, our people believe in peace and respect for all nations.

Freedom and independence

More than two centuries ago, our fathers founded a Republic on the basis that all persons are free and equal under the law.

Our nation made the greatest sacrifices to guarantee South American people their right to choose their rulers and to enforce their own laws today. The historical legacy of our father, Simón Bolívar, is always remembered. Bolívar was a man who gave his life so we would inherit a nation of justice and equality.

We believe in peace, national sovereignty and international law 

Venezuela: 'No more coups! No more interventions! Repeal the Executive Order, Mr. President!'

April 9, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following letter, signed by 30 academics, municipal councillors, trade union officials, journalists, solidarity organisation convenors and political party leaders from around Australia, was initiated by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in Melbourne. It will be handed over the US consulates in Melbourne and Sydney on April 10. If you would like to add your name please email Denis Rogatyuk at denis_rogatyuk@mail.ru.

* * *

President Barack Obama
White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr President,

We, the undersigned individuals and organisations, reject your March 9, 2015, declaration deeming Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.

We also oppose the sanctions your administration has placed on a number of Venezuelan state officials and call for the immediate repeal of your Executive Order on Venezuela.

The reality is that Venezuela today is not at war with any nation, nor does it have military bases outside its borders. In fact, Venezuela is helping to mediate an end to the war in Colombia and has constantly championed peace in the region.

Bolivia: Voters reaffirm ‘process of change’ but warn governing MAS

Bolivia Elections

Voting in Bolivia’s elections, March 29, 2015.

For more on Bolivia, click HERE.

By Richard Fidler

April 6, 2015 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Up to 90% of the electorate voted in Bolivia’s “subnational” elections March 29 for governors, mayors and departmental assembly and municipal council members throughout the country. These were the second such elections to be held since the new constitution came into force in 2009, the first being in 2010.

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