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Paraguay: Change is still to come; The first year of Fernando Lugo’s government

Fernando Lugo.

By Adolfo Giméne, translated by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

August 14, 2009 – Asunción -- The anniversary of the first year of Fernando Lugo’s government coincided with a five-day national protest (August 10-15) organised by the United Popular Space (Espacio Unitario Popular, EUP), a coming together of many social organisations and left parties [1], with the support of figures from diverse political sectors, including the governor of the department of San Pedro, Jose Pakova Ledesma, from the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico, PLRA). [Lugo was elected president on April 20, 2008, but did not formally take office until August 15.]

Honduras: Al Giordano -- `The people are organising creatively to topple the coup'


More at The Real News

August 26, 2009, marks 60 days since Honduras' oligarchy overthrew the elected president of the country. As protests against the coup continue without let up, Western governments have refused to do anything concrete to support democracy, or as in the case of the US administration of President Barack Obama, been complicit.

The international corporate mass media has shunned providing coverage of the mass opposition in the streets of Tegucigalpa. This news blackout, and the resulting heightened state repression, has done little to deter the ongoing resistance to the coup inside Honduras.

Honduras: pre-revolutionary situation? Situación pre revolucionaria?

`The people are resisting day in and day out.' Photo by James Rodriguez.

By Ricardo Arturo Salgado, translated by Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

August 22, 2009 -- Pre-revolutionary situation? Some analyses of the situation in Honduras are fairly static. We have to differ with many local and foreign analysts who have tried to understand the situation in Honduras by imposing pre-existing parameters and by using basic concepts of the Marxist dialectic without any scientific criterion. Many have seen a failure of the Honduran grassroots resistance, failing to understand that historical materialism is not a mathematical formula where only variables change, but rather, a way to interpret reality objectively.

Honduras: Asking the right questions to reach better answers

By Ricardo Arturo Salgado, translated from the Spanish by Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

August 21, 2009 -- Tegucigalpa -- A lot has been written on the Honduran situation, more in solidarity with opposition to the coup than in favour of it. The media seems to feed on scandalous news -- no blood, no news. Unless what’s involved is a people on the way to liberation...

A few weeks ago I publicly exposed a potential collapse of the health system in Honduras; today public hospitals have only four basic medicines. They are being told to make emergency purchases from pharmaceutical firms owned by golpistas [coup makers]: Laboratorios Finlay, owned by Jorge Canahuati Larach, who also owns the newspapers el Heraldo and La Prensa, and is an arms supplier; Elías Asfura, owner of  Laboratorios Karnel, also has various TV Channels and now owns the once government-owned Channel 8; MANDOFER, owned by the Andonie Fernández family which also owns Audio Video, a golpista group that includes Radio América.

The coup in Honduras, ALBA and the English-speaking Caribbean

Venezuela and the Caribbean.

By Faiz Ahmed

The military coup carried out by masked soldiers in the early hours of June 28against the democratically elected President of Honduras, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was a bandit act with differing messages intended for different audiences.

One such audience is the oligarchical groupings throughout the hemisphere, who will be emboldened by Washington's tacit tolerance of the coup makers. Another audience is the Latin American leftist and popular governments, who are being told that their agendas can be trumped by non-democratic means.

And there is yet another audience: the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean governments who, like Zelaya, are far from ideologically opposed to capitalism, but are aware of their inability to improve the overall quality of life of their societies within capitalism's current configuration. As a result, many of these island governments are edging towards regional agreements based on principles antithetical to the capitalist system.

Australia: ABC TV's `Foreign Correspondent' program censors Venezuela's majority

By the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

August 12, 2009 -- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Foreign Correspondent current affairs TV program screened on August 11, titled “Hugo Chavez: Total Control” did nothing to shore up the ABC’s reputation for well-informed, accurate reporting. Eric Campbell's report from Venezuela was riddled with inaccuracies, half-truths and transparent biases that need to be corrected.

The program’s main message –- that President Hugo Chavez is “the dominator… aiming for total control” in Venezuela -– is the stock-standard propaganda being peddled by a mainstream media that refuses to recognise or reflect the voices of the poor majority in Venezuela.

What  “evidence” does Foreign Correspondent present for Chavez’s supposed megalomania?

Venezuela: Socialist party prepares for ‘transition to socialism’; PSUV discussion document

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

August 8, 2009 -- On August 1, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) members across the country participated in 1556 local assemblies to discuss the reorganisation of the party’s base into local ``patrols''. 

This push to strengthen revolutionary organising comes at a time when attacks on Venezuela’s revolutionary process revolution “from outside and within have intensified”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, also president of the PSUV, said on August 4.

“Each time that the revolution advances and accelerates its march, the attacks intensify. I will continue to put my foot down on the accelerator of the Bolivarian revolution. That is my role, that is my task and there is no time to lose. Today, in Venezuela, we are creating a true socialist democracy.”

After his re-election in the December 2006 presidential elections, Chavez issued a call to build a “new party… from the base” and at the service “of the people and the revolution, at the service of socialism”.

Honduras coup: Dress rehearsal for imperial coups across Latin America

Mass opposition has surged since the June 28 coup. Photos from Honduran Resists.

By Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

August 8, 2009 -- The people of Honduras have now suffered more than 40 days of military rule. The generals’ June 28 coup, crudely re-packaged in constitutional guise, ousted the country’s elected government and unleashed severe, targeted and relentless repression.

Grassroots protests have matched the regime in endurance and outmatched it in political support within the country and internationally. Its scope and duration is unprecedented in Honduran history. Popular resistance is the main factor affecting the international forces attempting to shape the outcome of the crisis. It weighs heavily on the minds of the coup’s authors and their international backers.

Honduras: Resistance front calls for boycott of the military-business dictatorship; Global day of action called for August 11

Photo by  James Rodríguez.

Call from the National Front against the Coup d'Etat in Honduras to the worldwide working class 

August 3, 2009 -- Tegucigalpa -- June 28 of the this year when the Honduran population was preparing to participate in a popular opinion poll on ... whether or not to convoke a Constitutional Assembly, thousands of soldiers kidnapped the constitutional president of the republic, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and they expelled him to the neighbouring country of Costa Rica; they occupied the Presidential House; they violently closed all of the independent radio and television stations; they persecuted all the functionaries of the government and they implanted a state of siege in the whole country.

The Economist forced to back down over lies on Venezuela and Bolivia

The Economist echoed the lies of the Santa Cruz `autonomy' thugs (captured on video above).

By Francisco Dominguez

August 3, 2009 -- The July 18, 2009, edition of The Economist contained an article on Bolivia ("Bolivia's divisive president. The Permanent Campaign") which asserted that, “Venezuelan troops helped quell a rebellion centred on the airport at Santa Cruz in the east in 2007”. The article did not bother to substantiate such a serious charge against Venezuela and was one of several unjustified and unsubstantiated allegations against the president and government of Bolivia.

Venezuela: `The democratisation of the mass media has begun'

By Kiraz Janicke

Caracas, August 3, 2009 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- The head of Venezuela's telecommunications agency (CONATEL) and minister of housing and infrastructure Diosdado Cabello announced on August 1 the immediate closure of 32 privately owned radio stations and two regional television stations, because their broadcast licences had expired or they had violated regulations. Cabello said the recovered licences would be handed to the community media. The minister said many of the stations were operating illegally and had failed to register or pay fees to CONATEL. Decisions are still pending on a further 206 stations.

Nelson Belfort, president of the Chamber of Radio Broadcasters and the Caracas-based Circuito Nacional Belfort, which owns five of the closed radio stations, described the move as a government "attack" that aims to limit freedom of expression. He said the CNB would appeal the decision.

With Honduras, with all of Latin America -- sign the statement

July 31, 2009 -- We, the undersigned social, political and solidarity organisations, faced with the ongoing coup d’état in Honduras and the imperialist project of installing military bases in Colombia whose objective is to throttle the hope for liberty and emancipation across the Latin American continent,

Declare:

1. Our complete support for the immediate and unrestricted return of President Manuel Zelaya and the restitution of constitutional order, without conditions, to Honduras. Furthermore, we demand the punishment of those responsible for the coup d’état and the recognition of people’s sovereignty to freely decide their future, through referendum, consultation or any other means of participative democracy.

2. We denounce the cynicism shown by the US government and its satellites in the Organisation of America States, with an attitude which speaks of the recognition of the constitutionality of Zelaya’s Presidency at the same time as they reach agreements and hold conversations with the organisers of the coup, and carry out all types of delaying tactics with the objective of demobilising the impressive resistance movement which has been awakened in the interior of Honduras, coordinated in the National Resistance Front against the Coup.

Venezuela: Class struggle intensifies over battle for workers’ control

By Federico Fuentes

Caracas -- July 25, 2009 -- On July 22, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez again declared his complete support for the proposal by industrial workers for a new model of production based on workers’ control.

This push from Chavez, part of the socialist revolution, aims at transforming Venezuela’s basic industry. However, it faces resistance from within the state bureaucracy and the revolutionary movement. Presenting his government’s “Plan Socialist Guayana 2009-2019”, Chavez said the state-owned companies in basic industry have to be transformed into “socialist companies”.

The plan was the result of several weeks of intense discussion among revolutionary workers from the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG). The CVG includes 15 state-owned companies in the industrial Guayana region involved in steel, iron ore, mineral and aluminium production.

The workers’ roundtables were established after a May 21 workshop, where industrial workers raised radical proposals for the socialist transformation of basic industry. Chavez addressed the workshop in support of many of the proposals.

Cuba -- How the workers and peasants made the revolution

Mass rally in Havana, 1959.

July 26, 2009, marks the 56th anniversary of the guerrilla attack on the Moncada military barracks by revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro in 1953, viewed by Cubans as the start of the revolution. 2009 is also the 50th anniversary year of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

Chris Slee, author of Cuba: How the Workers & Peasants Made the Revolution (Resistance Books, 2008), explains how the revolution was made and defended by Cuba’s working people.

[For more coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, click HERE.]

* * *

Workers, peasants and students played an active role before, during and after the insurrection that destroyed the brutal and corrupt US-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship in January 1959. Batista seized power in a coup in March 1952.

Honduras: Defying regime, Zelaya attempts return; Interview with President Manuel `Mel' Zelaya

Protesters confront police and army, July 4. Photo by James Rodríguez.

By Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

Update, July 24, 2009 --  Today, Honduras has been totally paralysed by a general strike, and Honduran resistance activists and protesters are chanting.

Zelaya - get used to it. The people are rising up
(it rhymes in Spanish).

Also common is the resistenCia, resistenCia, resistenCia, el pueblo unido jamas sera vencido (people united will never be overcome) and so on...

This afternoon Zelaya crossed over the frontier at Las Manos north of Esteli. He stood technically just inside Honduran territory, having crossed the chain separating the two countries in the "neutral" strip between them. Zelaya remained there for about two hours, hoping to meet up with members of his family and others who were trying to join him.

Raúl Prada Alcoreza: Analysis of Bolivia's New Political Constitution of the State

Bolivians celebrate their new constitution. President Evo Morales in centre.

The following article by Raúl Prada Alcoreza was originally published in the first issue (June 2008) of Crítica y Emancipación, a biannual Latin American journal of the social sciences. This translation from the Spanish, by Shana Yael Shubs and Ruth Felder, was published this year in a complete English-language version of the journal’s first issue. It was distributed at the recent congress of the Latin American Studies Association, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June. A review of the first issue of Crítica y Emancipación was published at http://tinyurl.com/nuk4jp. This article also appeared at Bolivia Rising.

Melbourne, August 28-29: Latin America Solidarity Conference 2009

People´s Power is changing the world
Latin America Solidarity Conference 2009
August 28-29, 2009 - Victorian Trades Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Major cracks are appearing in the global capitalist system – cracks that are being forced open by the tide of rebellions and revolutions across Latin America.

Venezuela: Marea Socialista -- Firmness and participation needed; The best defence is to deepen revolution

[Translators' note: The following editorials come from Marea Socialista (Socialist Tide), a magazine published by an organised tendency of the same name within Venezuela's United Socialist Party (PSUV), headed by Hugo Chávez.]

Marea Socialista editorial, issue 20, July 12, 2009. Translated by Sean Seymour-Jones for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Preview of new documentary, Chasing Chavez

July 21, 2009 -- This is a taste of a new documentary about Venezuela by Australian-based filmmakers Katrina Channells and Nikolas Lachajczak, which is now in production. It explores Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution through the eyes of Australian Coral Wynter, an activist with the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, as she seeks a meeting with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. Wynter and Jim McIlroy are authors of a new book about Venezuela's participatory democracy, Voices from Venezuela: Behind the Bolivarian Revolution.

 

December 1-9, 2009: Join the solidarity brigade to Venezuela and the see the revolution first hand

The AVSN brigade marches in Caracas, May 1, 2008.

By the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

In a world being devastated by economic crisis, global warming, war and famine, the Bolivarian revolution that is unfolding in Venezuela is an inspiration, an affirmation that “people power” can rapidly change the conditions of life for the majority of people. The Venezuelan people’s remarkable progress over the last 10 years in creating what they call “socialism of the 21st century” proves that another world – a peaceful, democratic and socially just world -- is possible.

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