latin america

Venezuela’s presidential elections: an imperfect victory

People celebrate the Hugo Chavez's victory outside the Miraflores Palace. Photo by Tamara Pearson/Venezuelanalysis.com.

By Tamara Pearson

October 8, 2012 – Venezuelanalysis.com -- Last night, we were squashed and pushed as the crowd surged into the Miraflores Palace to hear Hugo Chavez’s victory speech. People were so happy, they didn’t mind their feet being trodden on, the humidity of the air and the sweat of bodies and all the standing up, they were exuberant and they shouted and danced and jumped up and down and yelled out to strangers and threw beer up in the air, and even a few shoes.

Yet, among them, I felt a bit down, because the results were quite close, because more than 6 million people supported, by voting for the opposition led by Henrique Capriles, selfishness (he had focused his campaign on Venezuela ending its solidarity with other countries) and the destruction and sale of their country.

Solidarity statements: 'A vital victory for Chavez, Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution'

Brigadistas from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade get ready for the massive march in Caracas, October 4, 2012. For eyewitness accounts from AVSN members, join the AVSN Facebook page.

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network statement on the October 7, 2012, presidential elections

October 9, 2012 -- AVSN/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Three days after more than 3 million people took over the streets of Caracas in a huge show of support for Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez and his socialist platform, Chavez has won the October 7 Venezuelan elections with more than 55% of the vote, against right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’ 44%. A record 81% of the 19,119,809 registered voters in Venezuela participated in the election.

Venezuela: Chavez re-elected on platform to deepen revolution; 3 million people mobilise in support

Green Left TV -- Coral Wynter, an organiser of the 2012 Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade, gives her impression of the massive October 4 final rally in support of Hugo Chavez in the October 7 presidential elections. For more eyewitness accounts from AVSN members, join the AVSN Facebook page.

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

October 9, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Venezuelanalysis.com -- Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez has won the October 7 Venezuelan elections with over 54% of the vote against 45% of the vote for right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. The National Electoral Council's Tibisay Lucena announced more than 80% of the 19,119,809 registered voters in Venezuela participated in the election.

Venezuelanalysis' Ewen Robertson reports from Merida:

Venezuela's election: Participatory, passionate democracy vs. Western democratic decline; Eyewitness reports

October 3, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) "brigadista" Ryan Mallett-Outrim reports on a Chavista rally which the brigade members attended in Maracay, Aragua, on October 3, just four days before the 2012 Venezuelan presidential election. The Australian solidarity activists were warmly welcomed in the massive crowd. For more eyewitness reports, photos and videos from the AVSN brigade visit the AVSN Facebook page and the AVSN website.

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

By Ewan Robertson, Venezuela

September 28, 2012 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- I’ve witnessed the self-assured superiority of Paris, the imperial arrogance of Washington, the capitalist decadence of New York’s Manhattan, parliamentary elections in Germany and my fair share of elections in Britain. In none of them have I encountered a democratic political culture as profound as Venezuela’s.

Australia: Cuba's literacy program a success for Aboriginal community (+ photo essay)

Jose Chala Leblanch In Wilcannia, with his local footy jumper. Photo shared by Jose Chala Leblanch.

See also "Los! Hau Bele! -- `Yo! Si Puedo' comes to Timor Leste: Cuba assists the eradication of illiteracy". For more examples of revolutionary Cuba's internationalism, click HERE.

By Fred Fuentes

September 29, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sixteen Aboriginal adults in the remote Australian town of Wilcannia, in outback New South Wales, are the first graduates of a groundbreaking trial literacy program that would not have been possible without the help of a tiny Caribbean country — Cuba.

Colombia peace talks: Interview with FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko)

Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko).

September 27, 2012 -- The following interview with top comandante of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples’ Army) Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko) was conducted by Carlos Lozano, editor of the Colombian weekly newspaper VOZ. It was translated into English by John Catalinotto for the US-based socialist newspaper Workers' World. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in the interests of informing the discussion around the peace talks in Colombia.

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“The President repeats that he is not thinking of repeating the mistakes of the past and we hope this is so. You know that the biggest mistake of all the earlier peace processes has been to come to the table to demand we surrender”, Comandante Timoleón Jiménez told the editor of VOZ.

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.

Report to the UN: Cuba and the world versus the US blockade, 2012

September 21, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For 21 consecutive times a resolution titled “The necessity of ending the financial and commercial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba” will be voted on by the United Nations General Assembly at the end of October 2012.

"The blockade is a unilateral policy, rejected both inside the United States and by the international community. The United States must lift it, immediately and unconditionally. Once again, Cuba appreciates and requests the support of the international community in order to put an end to this unfair, illegal and inhuman policy”, states the report.

Cuba appreciates the denunciation of the blockade and asks for your solidarity. For more information visit http://www.cubavsbloqueo.cu. For comments and support you can join Twitter #cubavsbloqueo (https://twitter.com/cubavsbloque).

Sincere regards,

Abelardo Cueto Sosa, ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in India

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UN General Assembly's adoption of Cuba's resolution against the blockade between 1992 and 2011

Colombia: What prospects for the peace negotiations between FARC and government?

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fighters walk in San Isidro, Colombia, May 30.

See also "Colombia: The end for guerrilla warfare?" For more coverage of Colombia, click HERE.

By Anthony Boynton, Bogota

September 12, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The government of Colombia on September 4 announced that it had begun peace negotiations with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia (FARC, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The news was quickly confirmed by the FARC. Although FARC still leads thousands of armed fighters and has the financial resources to continue fighting, the decimation of its leadership combined with its political isolation has brought it to the point of no return. It has entered a new peace process with the government of Juan Manuel Santos with far less than it had to bargain with when it sat down at the negotiating table with the government of Andres Pastrana more than a decade ago.

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

September 9, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Providing facts and analysis, and publicising and organising Latin America solidarity activities in Australia, Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has sought to promote greater understanding and solidarity between the people of Australia and Latin America.

We are therefore delighted to publish Latin America Social Forum (Foro Social Latinamericano), a Spanish-language supplement produced regularly by the Latin America Social Forum in Sydney.

We hope the supplement will help build stronger links and solidarity between the Spanish-speaking communities in Australia and all those involved in the urgent struggles for the people and the planet. In the words of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez: “Time is short. If we don’t change the world now, there may be no 22nd century.”

GLW and Links congratulates the Latin America Social Forum for this important publication, and looks forward to continuing to help build solidarity in Australia, and around the world, with Latin America’s movements for freedom, democracy, sustainability and justice.

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Green Left Report: Christine Assange, Federico Fuentes on Ecuador and WikiLeaks, Tariq Ali on Latin America

September 3, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- Special guests Christine Assange, Federico Fuentes on Ecuador and WikiLeaks, plus satire with Carlo Sands. Activist news features Tariq Ali on Latin America and Julian Assange from Ecuador's London embassy.

Produced by Green Left TV. Subscribe on YouTube and support media of the 99%.

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.

Venezuelan communist talks about struggle for socialism

GreenLeftTV -- Venezuelan revolutionary Carolus Wimmer speaking in Perth on August 16, 2012, part of a national tour organised by the Communist Party of Australia.

By Jim McIlroy

August 14, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Carolus Wimmer, a longstanding member of the Latin American Parliament and international relations secretary of the Communist Party of Venezuela, spoke at a Sydney forum on Latin America in revolt on August 11, part of a national speaking tour sponsored by the Communist Party of Australia. During his Australian tour, he also addressed meetings in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

At the Sydney forum, Wimmer took up the question, “What progress has been made toward socialism by the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela?” He said Latin America is still dominated by US imperialism, supported by Britain and Europe. He described the Bolivarian Revolution, which began in Venezuela in 1999, as “an anti-imperialist struggle, with the goal of anti-capitalism and socialism”.

He said:

Revolutionary democracy in the economy? Venezuela’s workers' control movement

The workers at Grafitos del Orinico are proud of their collectively run factory. Photo by Ewan Robertson.

See also "Venezuela: Discussing the workers' control movement: An interview with 'Cayapa' radio show". For more discussion of workers' control, click HERE. For more on developments in Venezuela, click HERE. Ewan Robertson was a member of the  Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) solidarity brigade to Venezuela,  April 25 to May 5, 2011.

By Ewan Robertson

August 3, 2012 -- Venezuelanalysis -- Walking into the plush corporate style boardroom, I greeted workers from the Grafitos del Orinoco factory before sitting down to conduct the interview. On the white board next to the door, the latest decision of the workers’ factory assembly was still in evidence: whether to pay themselves an end of year bonus. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the workers had reached an almost unanimous consensus, with only one of the factory's fifty-five workers not in favour.

Tariq Ali: Why Ecuador supports Wikileaks and Assange's rights

August 20, 2012 -- /Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "Why is it that an Australian, facing prosecution from a European country, decides to appeal for asylum to a South American republic?" Tariq Ali asked and eloquently answered this important question when he spoke outside the embassy of Ecuador in London on August 19, 2012. Ali spoke just before Wikileaks founder Julian Assange addressed the press and supporters from the balcony of the embassy, where he has been granted political asylum by the progressive government of Ecuador.

Ricardo Patiño Aroca: Why Ecuador granted Julian Assange political asylum

Telesur English, August 16, 2012 -- The Ecuadorian community in London gathered outside their embassy in London to join Assange's supporters.

By Ricardo Patiño Aroca, Ecuador's foreign minister; translated from the Spanish by WikiLeaks Press

August 16, 2012 -- On June 19, 2012, the Australian national Mr. Julian Assange appeared at the premises of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to request that the Ecuadorean State provide him with diplomatic protection, thus invoking the existing Diplomatic Asylum rules.

The applicant had made his asylum request based on his fear of eventual political persecution by a third country, the same country whom could use his extradition to the Kingdom of Sweden to enable an expedited subsequent extradition.

Cuba's internationalism: 11,000 doctors graduate; 5315 Cuban and 5694 from 59 other countries

By José A. de la Osa, Havana

July 19, 2012 -- Granma.cu -- This July, 11,000 students are to receive their degrees as doctors of medicine; 5315 Cubans and 5694 students from 59 other countries, the highest total in the history of Cuba and an eloquent example of internationalist solidarity. These young graduates completed their studies free of charge in Medical Science Universities recognised for their high scientific level and social commitment to the poorest in the world.

Countries with the largest number of graduates are Bolivia, with more than 2400; Nicaragua, 429; Peru, 453; Ecuador, 308; Guatemala, 170; and Colombia, 175.

According to information given to Granma by the Advanced Medical Studies Department attached to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), the total of this year’s graduates amounts to 32,171 health professionals, both Cuban and from other countries, including the careers of medicine, dentistry, psychology, nursing and health technology, which has 21 units.

Mexico: Movement fights 'imposition' of PRI’s Enrique Pena Nieto

Protest against the "imposition" of PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, July 2012. Photo from #YoSoy132.

[More coverage of Mexico at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal HERE.]

By Dan La Botz

July 29, 2012 -- New Politics, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Mexico's presidential election that took place on July 2 is over—but it is not done. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have been marching every week for almost a month in Mexico City and other cities throughout the country against what they call the “imposition” by Mexican election authorities of Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) as president of Mexico.

Washington and the Cuban Revolution: Ballad of a never-ending policy -- triumph and reaction


[This is the second in a series of articles by Ike Nahem. The first can be found HERE. For more articles on Cuba, click HERE.]

By Ike Nahem

July 22, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On January 1, 1959, Cuban revolutionaries, led by Fidel Castro, swept into power and established a provisional revolutionary government across the length of the island, overthrowing the exceedingly venal military regime of Fulgencio Batista.

The revolutionaries (including such remarkable figures as Juan Almeida, Raul Castro, Camilo Cienfuegos, Ernesto Che Guevara, Armando Hart, Celia Sanchez and Haydee Santamaria) marched into Havana, culminating a three-year campaign that combined rural guerrilla war with a vast urban revolutionary underground.

Book excerpt: Barry Sheppard on the triumph and defeat of the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution

The Nicaraguan people celebrate victory over the Somoza dictatorship in central Managua, July 20, 1979.

By Barry Sheppard

July 19, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal --The following are two chapters from volume 2 of my political memoir about my time in the US Socialist Workers Party (SWP). They give an overview of the triumph and eventual collapse of the Nicaraguan revolution (1979 through the 1980s) under the blows of US imperialism’s war against the small and impoverished country.

It is important for socialists today to not forget the victories and defeats of the past, and their lessons for the future. One of the lessons of the Nicaraguan revolution, like the Paris Commune, the Russian, Chinese, Yugoslavian, Vietnamese and Cuban and other revolutions, as well as revolutionary upsurges that didn’t take power, like the German one (1917 to 1923), the May-June 1968 near revolution in France, the Portuguese revolutionary events of 1974-1975, the Prague Spring of 1968, the rise of the Polish workers in 1970, etc. is the power of the workers and peasants when they enter the stage of history in their own name and interests.

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