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Venezuela

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.

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.

`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.

* * *

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.

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.

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.]

`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.

Complexities of constructing the socialist alternative

[For more articles by and about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE.]

By Steve Ellner

April 2012 – Science & Society, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- Michael Lebowitz has drawn on the diverse experiences that led to the failure of socialism in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and elsewhere, and those in Venezuela where he has resided for nearly a decade, to bolster his thesis on the need to place the transformation of values at the centre of socialist construction.

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.

Venezuela: 10 years after the failed US-backed coup, the revolution continues

A triumphant Hugo Chavez returns to Caracas after the defeat of the US-backed 2002 coup.

April 12, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The April 2012 broadsheet of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network marks the successful defeat of the US-backed coup aginst Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

* * *

On April 13, 2012, Venezuelans and supporters of democracy across the world will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of a popular uprising that defeated a US-backed coup against President Hugo Chavez. The day is an important reminder that any attempts by foreign governments and the internal opposition to remove Chavez from power -- whether through coups or at the October 7, 2012,  presidential election -- will be met with the popular mobilisation of the people, on the streets and at the ballot box.

On April 11, 2002, the right-wing opposition, backed by the US and private media, organised a military coup that briefly removed Chavezf rom office. The head of the Chamber of Commerce (Fedecamaras) Pedro Carmona was declared president and a decree was issued dissolving the Supreme Court, the constitution and the National Assembly, and fired the ombudsman and the attorney general.

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

February 27, 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.

Latin America’s new left in power: the governments of Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa

Presidents Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Evo Morales (Bolivia).

By Steve Ellner

January 2012 -- Latin American Perspectives, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Most political analysts place the governments of Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador) in the same category but without defining their common characteristics.

Beginning with the publication of Leftovers in 2008, critics of the left sought to overcome the shortcoming by characterising the three presidents as “populist leftists”, which they distinguished from the “good leftists” taking in such moderates as Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. According to the book’s co-editors Jorge Castañeda and Marco Morales, the salient features of the populist left consist of a radical discourse devoid of ideological substance, disrespect for democratic institutions, pronounced authoritarian tendencies and vituperations against the United States designed to pay political dividends at the expense of their nation’s economic interests (Castañeda and Morales, 2008).

Workers’ governments and socialist strategy — a discussion

"The FSLN government in Nicaragua immediately after the fall of the Somoza dictatorship may qualify as a workers' government" -- David Camfield.

January 17, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A discussion is taking place at John Riddell's website on the demand for a workers' government and issues raised in the article by Riddell, "A ‘workers’ government’ as a step toward socialism". Below are article-length responses from David Camfield and Nathan Rao, a comment by Tim K, and a response by John Riddell.

Workers’ governments and the crisis of politics

By David Camfield, an editor of New Socialist Webzine

January 10, 2012 -- John Riddell is right that, “The Comintern’s decisions on governmental policy were rooted in a political environment that no longer exists.”

Latin America: Summit in Venezuela opens 'new phase in history'

By Federico Fuentes

December 3, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A summit of huge importance was held in Venezuela on December 2-3, 2011. Two hundred years after Latin America’s independence fighters first raised the battle cry for a united Latin America, 33 heads of state from across the region came together to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

For Latin America, the summit represented a further step away from its traditional role as the United States’ backyard and its emergence as a player in its own right in international politics.

The importance of this new institution in world politics cannot be overstated. The combined gross domestic product of the countries within CELAC make it the third-largest economic powerhouse in the world. It is also home to the world’s largest oil reserves and the first and third largest global producers of food and energy, respectively.

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