Click on Links masthead to clear previous query from search box

latin america

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.

Cuba's coming co-operative economy?

Havana billboard: “We are working – and you?”

By Marcelo Vieta

July 18, 2012 -- The Bullet -- In 2011, I made two trips to Cuba to study the new co-operatives. In June I was kindly invited by Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, a professor at the University of Havana and one of the country's leading experts on its co-operative movement, to participate in two conferences. In December, Wendy Holm (Canadian agronomist and co-operative facilitator working in Cuba for the last dozen years) extended an invitation to participate in the “Walking the Walk: Cuba's path to a more co-operative and sustainable economy” workshops, again in Havana. Both trips had international guests share experiences and knowledge of the co-operative organisational model with our Cuban hosts. The backdrop was, on both occasions, the recently proposed economic reforms coming out of los nuevos lineamientos (the new guidelines) of the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, completed and released on April 18, 2011.

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

Venezuela: Planning the next six years of the Bolivarian revolution

President Chavez with the plan on the day he registered to stand again for president.

By Tamara Pearson, Merida, Venezuela

July 6, 2012 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- Planning the detail of the transition and revolution towards a socialist and more just society, from community and workers' organisation, to consciousness building, to production and distribution systems, to combating state and judicial corruption and bureaucracy, to agriculture, mining, petroleum, infrastructure and relationships with other countries, is no small task.

The truth is, it has been a hard task writing this analysis. It has required a certain level of restraint to force myself to be selective and pick out only the most salient points of Chavez’s 39-page proposed plan for the 2013-2019 period of the Bolivarian revolution. All of the objectives and strategic points and sub points seemed important, and that in of itself reflects something wonderful, I think.

Mexico: Tens of thousands protest vote fraud, imposition of PRI candidate

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

By Dan La Botz

July 8, 2012 -- New Politics -- Carrying signs denouncing fraud, tens of thousands of students and other voters marched through Mexico City on July 7 to protest what they see as the government’s imposition on the country of presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Peña Nieto received 38 per cent of the vote, compared to 32 per cent for Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the left-of-centre Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and 25 per cent for Josefina Vázquez Mota of the conservative National Action Party (PAN). López Obador claims that the election was fraudulent and has called upon the election authorities to investigate claims of vote buying.

Students, however, have led the protests. In addition to the mass march in Mexico City, they also marched in smaller numbers in several other major Mexican cities, including an impressive demonstration by an estimated 7000 in Guadalajara on July 6. The protest was organised largely through social media by the “I am #132” movement which has dogged Peña Nieto for two months, criticising in particular his close ties to the powerful Televisa television network.

Foro Social Latinamericano, July 2012 issue: Segundo Golpe de Estado Latinoamericano para Obama

July 11, 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.

* * *

Cuba: `Our task is to oppose imperialist threats, to create the best conditions for socialist democracy', reply to Samuel Farber

In an invasion approved by US President John F. Kennedy, on April 17, 1961, 1300 Cuban counter-revolutionaries, armed with US weapons, landed at the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). They hoped to cross the island to Havana with the help of the local population. However it became apparent within the first hour that it would fail.

[For more discussion on Cuba, click HERE.]

By Chris Slee

July 4, 2012 -- Links International Jornal of Socialist Renewal -- In his reply to my critical review of his book, Cuba since the revolution of 1959: a critical assessment, Samuel Farber says: "The driving idea behind Chris Slee's critical review of my recent book ... is that the undemocratic pratices of the Cuban revolutionary regime have been largely a response to the over 50 year old imperialist siege ... and not a defining characteristic of the island's political system... But the Cuban leadership did not adopt the USSR repressive model because Washington 'forced' them to go in that direction. That presumes that the Cuban revolutionary leaders did not have a political ideology of their own".

Washington and the Cuban Revolution: Ballad of a never-ending policy – the myth of the ‘Miami Lobby’

Passengers prepare to board a flight to Cuba from Fort Lauderdale."Ever-growing numbers, at or near majority levels, of Cuban-Americans favour normal relations with Cuba and an end to economic and travel sanctions. It is precisely the growing pressure from Cuban-Americans that led the Obama administration to lift the travel restrictions on that (and only that) section of the US population."

By Ike Nahem

June 15, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The essential continuity of US anti-Cuba policy under the US President Barack Obama’s administration has been a source of mystery and confusion to many who oppose US sanctions. Within the US academic, think-tank and media meritocracies – who often go in and out of government office – many are frustrated, even embarrassed, by Washington’s continued pariah status over Cuba in Latin America and internationally, as registered in annual lopsided, humiliating votes against the US policy in the United Nations General Assembly.

Debate: Cuba has a state bureaucratic *system* – a response to Chris Slee

This article is a reply to "System or siege? Samuel Farber misses the main cause of Cuba's problems", Chris Slee's review of Samuel Farber's Cuba Since The Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment (Haymarket Books 2011).

[For more discussion on Cuba, click HERE.]

By Samuel Farber

June 26, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The driving idea behind Chris Slee’s critical review of my recent book, Cuba Since The Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment (Haymarket Books 2011) is that the undemocratic practices of the Cuban revolutionary regime have been largely a response to the more than 50-year-old imperialist siege by the United States government and not a defining characteristic of the island’s political system.

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.]

Ecuador: ¿Nueva izquierda o nuevo colonialismo?

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/2918.]

Por Federico Fuentes, traducido para Rebelión por Christine Lewis Carroll

25-06-2012 -- Rebelión -- La crítica a los gobiernos radicales de América Latina se ha convertido en moneda corriente entre gran parte de la izquierda internacional. Ninguno se ha escapado de la crítica, pero el gobierno del Presidente Rafael Correa de Ecuador ha sido un blanco significativo.

Pero el problema de la crítica dirigida contra Correa es que carece de cualquier base sólida y desvía la atención del verdadero enemigo.

Correa fue elegido presidente en 2006 después de más de una década de rebeliones, principalmente indígenas, en contra del neoliberalismo.

Durante la campaña electoral, el economista radical prometió reescribir la constitución del país, rechazar cualquier acuerdo de libre comercio con Washington, negarse a pagar las deudas externas ilegítimas y cerrar una base militar estadounidense en suelo ecuatoriano.

Los movimientos sociales habían hecho la campaña en torno a estas demandas, que es a su vez la razón del apoyo mayoritario a Correa en la segunda vuelta electoral contra Álvaro Noboa, el hombre más rico de Ecuador.

NO REDD+! in Rio+20: A declaration to decolonise the earth and the sky

“Against Amazonian Genocide. Xingu (Afro-Brazilian freedom fighter) Lives Forever.” Photo by Anne Petermann/Global Justice Ecology Project. This photo was taken during the People's March through Rio on June 20, 2012, and first appeared at Climate Connections.

For more coverage of the Rio+20, click HERE.

Introduction and notes by Chris Lang

June 19, 2012 -- REDD-Monitor -- Last week, the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD and for Life held a press conference denouncing REDD and the green economy. The press conference was part of the People’s Summit, a nine-day event taking place in parallel to the UN Rio+20 conference.

Ecuador: New left or new colonialism?

Pro-Correa march in Quito on International Women's Day, March 8.

By Federico Fuentes

June 17, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Criticism of Latin America’s radical governments has become common currency among much of the international left. While none have been exempt, Ecuador’s government of President Rafael Correa has been a key target.

But a problem with much of the criticism directed against Correa is that it lacks any solid foundation and misdirects fire away from the real enemy.

Correa was elected president in 2006 after more than a decade of mostly indigenous-led rebellions against neoliberalism.

During his election campaign, the radical economist promised to rewrite the country’s constitution, reject any free trade agreement with Washington, refuse to repay of illegitimate foreign debts and close a US military base on Ecuadorian soil.

The social movements had campaigned around many of these demands, which is why most supported Correa in the second-round presidential run-off against Alvaro Noboa, Ecuador’s richest man.

Since then, Correa has largely carried out these election promises. This explains why he has an approval rating of more than 80%, a June 13 opinion poll found.

Left criticisms

System or siege? Samuel Farber misses the main cause of Cuba's problems

Cuba since the revolution of 1959: a critical assessment
By Samuel Farber
Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2011

Review by Chris Slee

June 13, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Samuel Farber was born in Cuba, but moved to the United States in 1958. He is an emeritus professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and has been involved in the socialist movement for over 50 years. He has written extensively on Cuba, from a point of view highly critical of the Cuban government. His views are promoted by sections of the US left, in particular the International Socialist Organization. While many of his criticisms have some validity, in my view he downplays the achievements of the Cuban revolution, and underestimates the impact of the US blockade in causing the problems and difficulties that Cuba faces.

Eyewitness Cuba: March Against Homophobia celebrates new outlook

Dancing at March Against Homophobia, Cienfuegos, Cuba, May 17, 2012. Photo by Don Fitz.

[See also "Rainbow Cuba: the sexual revolution within the revolution".]

By Don Fitz and Jacquelyn Omotalade, Cienfuegos, Cuba

May 28, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- “This discussion has changed my mind about homosexuality. Now I understand what my lesbian friend went through. When she graduated from medical school in Cuba, she cried. She told me that she could live her life the way she wanted to when she was in Cuba. But now she would return to Honduras as a doctor and would have to hide her lifestyle, hide who she is”.

These were the words of a young woman wearing the medical school bata (white shirt) who identified herself as Honduran. The Honduran medical student spoke at an open forum that was part of the International Day Against Homophobia (May 17, 2012) in Cienfuegos, Cuba. The forum featured Mariela Castro, who is director of the National Sex Education Center and daughter of Cuba’s President Raul Castro.

`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.

Venezuela: Making a ‘state for revolution’ -- the example of community and public media

By Lee Artz

May 1, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela has built mass organisations of workers and communities that have erratically challenged class and market relations—verifying that taking political power is difficult but essential to fundamental social change and that capitalist cultural practices complicate the revolutionary process. This article identifies components of state power, separating state apparatus (government) as a crucial site for instituting social change. The case of democratic, participatory communication and public media access is presented as central to the successes and problems of Venezuela’s 21st century socialism. Drawing on field research in community media in Caracas, this essay highlights some of the politico-cultural challenges and class contradictions in producing and distributing cultural values and social practices for a new socialist hegemony necessary for fundamental social change.

Peter Camejo: Against sectarianism -- the evolution of the Socialist Workers Party, 1978-1983

AGAINST SECTARIANISM

The Evolution of the Socialist Workers Party 1978-1983

by Pedro (Peter) Camejo

During the years 1978-1983, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) of the United States has been making sharp shifts in its policies, political positions, methods of work and internal norms. These shifts reflect an effort by the leadership of the SWP to develop an orientation in the post anti-Vietnam war movement period. Some important steps forward have been taken by the SWP. Two important shifts, which reflect fundamentally positive steps, have been the decision to colonize industry and to recognize the revolutionary proletarian character of the Cuban Communist Party, the FSLN in Nicaragua, the FMLN in El Salvador and the New Jewel Movement in Grenada.

Along with these positive steps, however, there has been a hardening of increasingly sectarian positions which threaten to undermine the positive aspects of the two points mentioned above. This document is a review of the increasingly sectarian positions developed by the SWP in the last five years. Why this is happening is beyond the scope of this document, although it is clearly related to the years of isolation from the broader workers' movement. The development of hardened sectarian political views has occurred quite frequently in groups which have developed within the world Trotskyist current. While the causes of the sectarianism of the SWP are undoubtedly related to these broader questions, this document takes up each political question at its face value, independent of broader judgments.

Video: 'Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre' on the 2002 US-backed coup against Hugo Chavez

Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre (Complete Movie) from Estreito Meio Productions on Vimeo.

April 11, 2012 -- NACLA -- 10 years ago, on April 11, 2002, a group of rebelling military officers, together with opposition leaders and the mainstream media, staged a coup d’état against Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Nineteen protesters were killed in the confusing events of that day. Chávez was jailed. Pedro Carmona, the head of Venezuela’s elite business federation FEDECAMERAS, was sworn in as de facto president, quickly abolishing the country’s 1999 constitution, disbanding the congress and installing a virtual media blackout.

Less than two days later, however, pro-Chávez supporters descended from the poor barrios around Caracas and Venezuela. They surrounded the presidential palace, Miraflores, and demanded that their president be returned. Within a few hours Chávez was back in power.

Due to the myths, lies and media manipulation, the truth about the events of April 11, 2002 is still often overlooked.

Syndicate content

Powered by Drupal - Design by Artinet