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Venezuela

Immanuel Wallerstein: Libya and the world left

By Immanuel Wallerstein

March 15, 2011 -- There is so much hypocrisy and so much confused analysis about what is going on in Libya that one hardly knows where to begin. The most neglected aspect of the situation is the deep division in the world left. Several left Latin American states, and most notably Venezuela, are fulsome in their support of Colonel Gaddafi. But the spokespersons of the world left in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and indeed North America, decidedly don’t agree.

Hugo Chavez’s analysis seems to focus primarily, indeed exclusively, on the fact that the United States and western Europe have been issuing threats and condemnations of the Gaddafi regime. Gaddafi, Chavez and some others insist that the Western world wishes to invade Libya and “steal” Libya’s oil. The whole analysis misses entirely what has been happening, and reflects badly on Chavez’s judgment – and indeed on his reputation with the rest of the world left.

First Egypt, next Venezuela? The real threat to democracy in Venezuela comes from Washington

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is a hero in the Arab world. Lebanese and Palestinian students carry a picture of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez as they protest Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, January 12, 2009.

"The Arab revolt represents both an 'economic revolt' and a 'democratic, nationalist and anti-colonial revolution', Santiago Alba Rico and Alma Allende said, that 'provides the socialist left and pan-Arabists in the region with an unexpected opportunity'. They said: 'the Arab people, who have returned to the world stage, need the support of their Latin American brothers'."

By Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes

Venezuela: United Socialist Party of Venezuela defines new strategies

By Tamara Pearson, Mérida

January 24, 2011 — Venezuelanalysis.com — On Janurary 21, 2011, over one thousand members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) met with President Chavez and decided on five key strategic lines for the next two years. The discussion included recognition of important weaknesses in the party and steps for activating the Patriotic Pole coalition.

Chavez, president of Venezuela and also of the governing PSUV, presented the document, Strategic Lines of Political Action of the PSUV for 2011-2012 to the “National Assembly of Socialists” in Vargas state, where around 1440 party leaders were present.

Chavez originally proposed the strategic lines in a draft document in December last year to a meeting of the national PSUV leadership.

PSUV legislator Jesus Farias, speaking to YVKE, said the idea of the “Socialist Assembly” was to “relaunch the project that the PSUV represents, in unity with other political organisations and social groups”. He said the “reflection and establishment of new lines of action for the PSUV is related to a need to strengthen the party as a great machine of agitation and propaganda”.

What if the state of the world were measured by its majority?

What real democracy looks like: a communal council in Merida votes for its electoral commission in July 2010. Photo by Tamara Pearson.

By Tamara Pearson, Merida, Venezuela

December 30, 2010 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- The rich and their golf courses. From their perspective the whole world is one -- a wonderland of hillocks and streams and games made just for them, watered without thought for drought, and the world’s poor nowhere to be seen. But a bit of the map has said it doesn’t want to be a golf course. The rich, sweaty and sulking, arm themselves with reports, statistics, surveys, foundations, institutes and “causes” and set out to prove that Venezuela is burning and broken, its economy rumbling, its health system out of order, and its politics repressive.

In fact, Venezuela has the worst economy in the world, according to a Newsweek study in August 2010.

Michael Lebowitz and Marta Harnecker: 21st century socialism -- the strategy of the left and the Latin American experience


Part 1: Michael Lebowitz.

December 13, 2010 -- Thessaloniki, Greece -- Socialist Project/LeftStreamed -- Marta Harnecker and Michael Lebowitz were invited by the N. Poulantzas Institute and Transform magazine to present lectures on “21st century socialism: the strategy of the left and the Latin American experience”.

Los seres humanos como centro de nuestro socialismo

[English at http://links.org.au/node/2042.]

Por Federico Fuentes, traducido por Janet Duckworth

Resena sobre libro, La alternativa socialista: el verdadero desarrollo humano, de Michael Lebowitz

Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- La llegada de la crisis económica mundial a mediados de 2008, simbolizada por el colapso de algunas de las empresas más icónicas de Wall Street, condujo a un incremento vertiginoso de las ventas de El Capital, la obra maestra de Carlos Marx, porque mucha gente buscó una explicación de los acontecimientos apocalípticos que se estaban desarrollando.

Venezuela: Food sovereignty project launched

Food Sovereignty Venezuela -- Jose, a campesina leader from one of Venezuela's most prominent campesina organisations, the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ) tells of his work with campesinos in Portegeusa State. He describes life and land ownership possibilities before and after the revolution and the some of the surprises that are revealed in his ongoing quest of helping the poor reclaim their land. Special thanks to the great translations of Venezuelan activist Yasmin Tovar and the  stunning background music of Ali Primera, renowned Venezuelan singer of revolutionary tales.

By Lisa Macdonald

Women and revolutionary transformation in Venezuela

Yoly Fernandez (left) during her 2009 Australian tour, organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network.

By Coral Wynter

Yoly Fernandez lives in a barrio in the city of Valencia in Venezuela. She has been involved in community politics all her life and is a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), headed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. Fernandez works in Mission MERCAL, the government agency that sells subsidised food to the population. I interviewed her in May 2010.

* * *

How has the life of women improved over the last 10 years of the Chavez government?

Our lives have improved enormously, mainly in the area of humane values; not so much at the level of work or even at the political level. I say humane because now the role of women is valued, not as an object but as a subject, as mother, wife, daughter and sister.

Putting humans back into socialism

Review by Federico Fuentes

The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development
By Michael Lebowitz
Monthly Review Press, 2010

December 5, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- The onset of the global economic crisis in mid 2008, symbolised by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s most iconic companies, led to soaring sales of Karl Marx’s seminal work Das Kapital, as many sought explanations to the tumultuous events unfolding. Although written more than 100 years ago, this devastating and insightful dissection of how capital functions is still a powerful tool for people looking to understand and change the world.

Marx’s aim was to provide a handbook for working-class activists that unravelled the logic of capital and its inherently exploitative nature. Marx said this was necessary because as long as workers did not understand that capital was the result of their exploitation, they would not be able to defeat their enemy.

The state, social movements and revolution in Latin America

By Federico Fuentes

November 28, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- It should come as no surprise that Latin America, a region converted into a laboratory for ongoing experiments in social change, has increasingly become the topic of discussion and debate among the broader left.

Latin America has not only dealt blows to imperialism but also raised the banner of socialism on a global scale. It is of strategic importance for those fighting for a better world, especially at a time when capitalism is in systemic crisis.

Latin America’s landscape of powerful social movements, left governments of various shades, revolutionary insurrections, and growing expressions of indigenous resistance and worker control, provides a perfect scenario for leftists to learn about, and debate, revolutionary strategy and tactics.

This should not simply be an academic debate. It should look at how to best build solidarity with these movements for change and gain insight for struggles at home.

Of late, burning dispute has opened up, mostly among those writing from an anti-capitalist orientation: a debate over the complex relationship, or “dance” as Ben Dangl calls it, between social movements and states in Latin America.

Join the May Day 2011 solidarity brigade to Venezuela! April 25–May 4, 2011

Photo taken by AVSN brigadista Raul Burbano during the September 2010 solidarity brigade to Venezuela. 

Join the May Day 2011 solidarity brigade to Venezuela! April 25–May 4, 2011

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network invites you to observe first-hand the inspiring Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. The sweeping social changes being carried out by Venezuela’s “people’s power” movements are radically transforming life for the majority in that country - workers, women, Indigenous people, young people and all those who have suffered the injustices of poverty, exploitation and exclusion that accompany corporate globalisation.

Along the way, this remarkable revolution is showing the rest of the world that a more rational, socially just and sustainable future is possible.     

Haiti nine months after the quake: Poor tell West, ‘Nothing! Nothing! We’ve seen nothing!’

By Isabeau Doucet

October 28, 2010 -- Pambazuka News -- "Nothing! Nothing! We’ve seen nothing!", chanted the crowd of internally displaced people (IDP). They were pursuing former US president Bill Clinton from his photo-op in their squalid camp on his way to the third Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) meeting in downtown Port-au-Prince on October 6, 2010.

The crowd protesting Clinton was from the IDP camp on the golf course of the former Pétionville Club, a bourgeois enclave created by US marines when they first occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Ironically, the camp is considered one of the capital’s best, thanks to the attention brought to it by actor Sean Penn.

Roma punks rise at the right time

“To hell with your double standards — we’re coming rougher every time!”Gogol Bordello’s film clip for their defiant immigrant rights song “Immigraniada".

By Stuart Munckton

October 26, 2010“My next guests are a gypsy punk rock band that have been called the world’s most visionary band”, US TV show host Jay Leno said when he introduced Gogol Bordello to close the October 13, 2010. Jay Leno Show.

The US-based band, led by a charismatic Roma (or “gypsy”) refugee from the Ukraine, Eugene Hutz, performed “Pala Tute”, the opening track from this year’s Transcontinental Hustle.

If “most visionary” is an exaggeration, Gogol Bordello could at least lay claim to being one of the most interesting and important acts in popular music right now.

Ecuador, Venezuela: Danger south of the border

Supporters of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa celebrate his return following defeat of the attempted coup.

By Paul Kellogg

October 26, 2010 -- Polecon.net -- It is not difficult to see that the events of September 30, in the Latin American country of Ecuador, amounted to an attempted right-wing coup d’état. Mass mobilisations in the streets and plazas of Quito (the capital) and other cities – in conjunction with action by sections of the armed forces which stayed loyal to the government – stopped the coup before the day was out. But those few hours highlighted, again, the deep dangers facing those fighting for progressive change in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Remarkably, the first task is to re-assert that in fact a coup attempt took place. In the wake of the failure of the coup, commentator after commentator was trying to minimise what happened. Peruvian “libertarian” Álvaro Vargas Llosa – darling of the World Economic Forum and outspoken critic of Che Guevara and the current governments of Bolivia and Venezuela – insists that it was not a coup just an “ill-advised, violent protest by the police against a law that cut their benefits”.[1]

Borges: W kierunku demokratyzacji i jedności ruchu robotniczego

[2008-07-19]
W ostatnich wyborach w związku zawodowym Narodowa Unia Sił Nauczycielskich (Sindicato Nacional Fuerza Magisterial, Sinafum), skupiającym istotną część nauczycieli, zdecydowane zwycięstwo odniósł Orlando Pérez, zwolennik pozostania Sinafum w federacji związkowej Narodowa Unia Robotników (Unión Nacional de Trabajadores, UNT). Wybory ogłoszono także w Krajowej Federacji Pracowników Sektora Publicznego (Federación Nacional de Trabajadores del Sector Empleados Públicos, Fentrasep), do której należy około 90 proc. urzędników. Mają się one odbyć 1 października. Komisja Krajowa UNT wyznaczyła w sierpniu kongres i wybór nowych władz. Te informacje, podobnie jak pogłębianie się procesu rewolucyjnego, to świetne wiadomości dla wenezuelskich robotników.

Ecuador: Coup attempt encouraged by Washington

Huge numbers of people took to the streets of Quito, demanding the liberation of their president.

By Mark Weisbrot

October 1, 2010 -- the Guardian -- In June of last year, when the Honduran military overthrew the social-democratic government of Manuel Zelaya, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador took it personally. "We have intelligence reports that say that after Zelaya, I'm next," said Correa.

A new opportunity for Venezuela’s socialists


More at The Real News
Greg Wilpert discusses the September 26, 2010, election results on the Real News Network, on October 3. For transcript, visit HERE.

By Gregory Wilpert

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