latin america

Venezuela: Chavez calls for new international organisation of left parties

By Kiraz Janicke, Caracas

[Read the conference declaration HERE.]

November 23, 2009 – Venezuelanalysis.com – Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez called for the formation of a “Fifth International” of left parties and social movements to confront the challenge posed by the global crisis of capitalism. The president made the announcement during an international conference of more than 50 left organisations from 31 countries held in Caracas over November 19-21.

“I assume responsibility before the world. I think it is time to convene the Fifth International, and I dare to make the call, which I think is a necessity. I dare to request that we create my proposal,” Chavez said.

`Foro Social Latinamericano', Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement launched

Green Left Weekly editorial

November 25, 2009 -- 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, Ecuador and El Salvador, 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. We are proud of the fact that GLW is the only Australian newspaper to have a permanent bureau in Latin America, based in Caracas, Venezuela. 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.

Venezuela: Socialists debate party's direction

PSUV members vote in delegate elections on November 15, 2009.

By Kiraz Janicke, Caracas

November 16, 2009 – Venezuelanalysis.com – The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) held nation-wide delegate elections on November 15 for its First Extraordinary Congress which will be held over the next several weekends in Caracas.

Up for discussion at the congress are the party’s program, principles, organisational structure and most likely the mechanism for selecting candidates for the national parliamentary elections of 2010.

A total of 7800 members competed in the elections for 772 delegate places to the congress. Although the PSUV nominally has nearly 7 million members, voting in the delegate elections was open only to the 2,450,377 “active” members of the party.

A new united movement stops Mexico for a day

By Tamara Pearson

November 14, 2009 -- Mexico City -- In the many metro stations of this giant city, amidst the ugly smell of Pizza Hut and the newspapers vendors yelling out, “Grafico! 3 pesos!”, every day young people crowd around the handwritten posters recruiting for the national police. At 12,000 pesos (US$1000) per month, and with increasing unemployment and harder prospects, the offer is very tempting.

US-Colombia military deal: Threat of imperialist-backed war on Venezuela

By Kiraz Janicke

November 9, 2009 -- Venezuelanalysis.com  -- The possibility of an imperialist-backed war in the Americas came a step closer on October 30, when Colombia and the United States finalised a 10-year accord allowing the US to massively expand its military presence in the Latin American country. The move comes as the US. seeks to regain its hegemony over Latin America – which has declined over the past decade in the context of a continent-wide rebellion against neoliberalism spearheaded by the revolution in Venezuela, led by President Hugo Chavez.

In order to regain control of its “backyard”, the US is increasingly resorting to more interventionist measures. This is reflected by the recent military coup in Honduras, the destabilisation of progressive governments in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Paraguay, and a massive military build up in the region, including new military bases in Panama and the reactivation of the US navy's Fourth Fleet.

Honduras: Why the resistance will boycott the November 29 election; Zelaya on accord

November 10, 2009 -- LeftClick/Latin Radical -- Ricardo Salgado, an Honduran analyst of the ``crisis'' in Honduras, explains to Australian community radio's Warwick Fry the latest developments in Honduras and the postion of the resistance movement. In spite of pressure on the coup regime to recognise the legitimacy of Zelaya as president ten days ago, Zelaya is still trapped inside the Brazilian embassy. The ``agreement'' (designed more to save face for the US and the coup regime rather than the restoration of a democratic solution) has failed. The coup regime has failed to meet the one-week deadline to restore Zelaya to his post as president in a reasonable amount of time to allow a ``clean'' election process.

The National Resistance Front Against the Coup (according to polls supported by more than 70% of the population) has announced that it will not recognised the November 29 presidential election, and the only opposition candidate, Carlos Reyes, has withdrawn his candidature.

Michael Lebowitz on Venezuela: `Socialism requires a new state from below'

November 5, 2009 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- On the question of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, Michael Lebowitz is one of the thinkers who has penetrated deepest into our process. He plunges his scrutinising gaze into its most diverse and conflicting issues, in order to calmly and forcefully reveal its truth with knifelike clarity. He talks like a peasant or a worker who dips into the reality that they experience, that they suffer and feel.

At the Centro Internacional Miranda, I had a chance to converse with Lebowitz, a professor from the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia (Canada).

Honduras: Deal to restore Zelaya collapses under weight of US-coup regime's duplicity


Real News Network report, November 5, 2009: `US-brokered agreement looks to have strengthened coup instead of reversing it'

See also ``Honduras: Why the resistance will boycott the November 29 election; Zelaya on accord''

By Stuart Munckton

November 8, 2009 -- The accord signed on October 30 to resolve the crisis that has brought Honduras to a standstill since the June 28 military coup has collapsed. The coup leader Roberto Micheletti has continued to refuse to accept the accord’s insistence that elected President Manuel Zelaya be reinstated. 

Peru: Government launches attack on Indigenous peoples' organisation

Introduction and translation by Kiraz Janicke

November 4, 2009 --The government of Peru has launched a massive attack on Indigenous peoples through a request to dissolve the Amazon Interethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), Peru's largest and most representative Indigenous organisation. AIDESEP groups numerous regional organisations, representing 65 ethnic groups and has led the struggle against the Garcia governments neoliberal decrees (which are part of the US Free Trade Agreement) aimed at opening up huge swathes of the Amazon to exploitation by transnational logging, mining and oil companies.

Since the Indigneous uprising in Bagua in which an unknown number of Indigneous people were massacred by Peruvian police on June 5, 2009, the leaders of AIDESEP have been facing political persecution, some have been arrested and its president, Alberto Pizango, has been forced to flee and seek asylum in Nicaragua.

Below is a statement below by Andean and Amazonian peoples protesting against the government's attempt to dissolve their organisation.

* * *

Honduras: Two Latin American views on the deal to restore Manuel Zelaya

Honduras: The struggle must be more intense than ever

By Ricardo Salgado

October 30, 2009 -- Cubadebate -- Those who claimed several weeks ago that the president would be restored at the beginning of November, though bound by his hands and feet, in order to legitimate the elections, managed to describe the end that we are witnessing now. But let the record show that it is not the end of the coup; this continues in effect, its purposes prevail; the conditions that brought it about continue just as they were on June 28.

Honduras: Deal signed for Zelaya’s return, but struggle continues


October 30, 2009, report by Democracy Now! reporter Andrés Conteris in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. Conteris has been holed up at the embassy since Zelaya took refuge there in September.
 
* * *

By Stuart Munckton

October 31, 2009 -- After more than 120 days of mass resistance by the poor majority of Honduras, against a coup regime that overthrew elected President Manuel Zelaya, the regime has finally signed an agreement for Zelaya’s reinstatement.

On October 30, Zelaya and the coup regime signed an agreement opening the way for the elected president to take office once more. However, the key demand of the mass resistance for a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution is excluded by the deal until Zelaya leaves office in late January.

The National Resistance Front against the Coup (FNRG) is pledging to continue its campaign of protests around this demand (see statement following this article) and it is unclear whether it will continue with a planned boycott of the November 29 elections.

Cuba: UN for the 18th consecutive year demands end to US blockade

28 October 2009
General Assembly
GA/10877

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

UN General Assembly, for 18th consecutive year, overwhelmingly calls for end to the US economic, trade embargo against Cuba

Vote: 187 in favour to 3 against, with 2 abstentions;

Cuba's 2009 report to United Nations on the US economic blockade


To be presented to the UN General Assembly on October 28, 2009

1. Introduction

Why the international media lies about events in Latin America

Chavez returns toVenezuela following the defeat of the April 2002 coup. Venezuela's private media actively supported the coup with lies and distortions.

By Eric Toussaint, translated by Francesca Denley and Judith Harris

October 21, 2009 -- It may be useful to assess the dangers of the systematically hostile attitude of the overwhelming majority of major European and North American media companies to the current events taking place in Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. This hostility is only matched by an embarrassed, complicit silence towards those involved in the putsch in Honduras and the repression of the Peruvian army against the Indigenous populations of the Amazon.

To demonstrate this, here are a few recent facts:

Hugo Blanco: Indigenous people are the vanguard of the fight to save the Earth

October 13, 2009 -- Socialist Voice -- Peruvian peasant leader Hugo Blanco, who edits the newspaper La Lucha Indigena, was interviewed on August 28, 2009, in Arequipa, in southern Peru. The previous day he gave a presentation at a conference entitled “40 Años de la Reforma Agraria” at the city’s Universidad Nacional de San Agustín.

You said last night that today the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon are in the vanguard of the struggle in Peru. Can you say more about this?

Audio: Attorney Leonard Weinglass on the Cuban Five

Steal This Radio -- Attorney Leonard Weinglass discusses the case of the Cuban Five with Mitchel Cohen. The show first aired on August 11, 2009.

Workers Party of Brazil: The different strategies of the Latin American left

PT partisans. Photo by Mondmann.

By Valter Pomar, secretary of international relations, Workers’ Party (PT) of Brazil

October 10, 2009 -- It has become commonplace to say that there are two lefts in Latin America: one would be “carnivore”, the other “vegetarian”; one would be radical, the other moderate; one would be revolutionary, the other reformist; one would be socialist, the other capitalist.

Dichotomous definitions of this kind are made by spokespersons (official or unofficial) of the US State Department, with the explicit purpose of bringing about discord in the Latin American left, making it fight itself rather than its common enemies.

Honduras: Interview with Juan Barahona, leader of the National Resistance Front Against the Coup

Juan Barahona. Photo: Telesur.

By Pedro Fuentes, Tegucigalpa

October 1, 2009 -- “We will not stop. We will continue to be against the coup until the last day they are in power,” Juan Barahona said in an interview at the headquarters of STYBIS, the beverage workers’ trade union. Barahona is the principal leader of the resistance, together with Carlos Reyes, president of the trade union, a close comrade of Barahona and an independent candidate for the next presidential election. Reyes is injured and cannot participate, which makes Juan appear to be most visible face of the resistance.

Honduras: The threat of a Haiti-style foreign military occupation

Honduras, September 30, 2009.

By Ricardo Arturo Salgado

Tegucigalpa, September 27, 2009 –- Socialist Voice –- The Honduras crisis has sparked great interest among thinkers of both right and left up and down the continent. Many people are reflecting on events, using all the analytical tools their knowledge permits. There is wide scope for speculation, mainly because – for most people – the actions of different forces have been so unexpected in character.

President Manuel Zelaya carried out his return to Honduras in a way that astonished everyone, both the coup makers and most of his followers (myself included). Of course, the countries that are said to have participated in the operation do all they can to deny prior knowledge of his trip.

Venezuela plans deeper popular democracy to address economic crisis

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

September 24, 2009 -- Faced with the growing impact of the global economic crisis, Washington’s intentions to establish seven military bases in Colombia and growing challenges in solving structural problems, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reaffirmed the need to build a new state.

“We have inherited a capitalist state that serves the interests of the bourgeoisie and is still penetrated by interests contrary to the revolution. We need to carry out an internal shake up of the government structures”, Chavez said on September 19 during the second expanded council of ministers meeting, which also involved governors and mayors aligned with the Bolivarian revolution.

The meeting was called to discuss a series of new measures the revolutionary government plans to announce in coming weeks to confront some of the challenges it faces on the economic, political and social fronts. In all, 54 new measures have already been approved by his cabinet.

Global economic crisis

New figures released by the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) showed the national economy contracted by 1% in the first half of the year, including a 2.4% drop in the second quarter.

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