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Venezuela

Building socialism for the 21st century: interview with Michael A. Lebowitz

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

Michael A. Lebowitz interviewed by Darko Vesić and Aleksandar Stojanović

May 7, 2013 -- Left East,suggested to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Michael Lebowitz.

Darko Vesić and Aleksandar Stojanović: Capitalism has been in crisis for several years now and in response to this crisis the capitalist states practice  so-called austerity measures. If we look at the historical dynamics of capitalism in the last half century, we see that they responded to the crisis of the 1970s with what is now called “neoliberalism”. If the restoration of growth is what must be carried out as a response to the crisis, we can say that neoliberalism of the 1970s was successful. Yet, can we say same of present-day “austerity measures”?

Book excerpt: 'Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The future of 21st century socialism' (Zed Books)

Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism
by Roger Burbach, Michael Fox & Federico Fuentes
Zed Books, 2013.

Below is the Introduction to Latin America's Turbulent Transitions. For more information about the book or to purchase a copy please visit: http://www.zedbooks.co.uk/paperback/latin-americas-turbulent-transitions

May 8, 2013 -- Alborada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Federicio Fuentes' permission -- Latin America today is largely relegated to the back burner of global affairs. The conflicts in the Gulf and the Middle East, the economic crisis gripping Europe, China’s march onto the world scene, and the political dysfunctionality of the United States are the broad trends that shape our headlines. When Latin America does break into the news it is usually over the drug wars or immigration issues.

`Foro Social Latinamericano', May 2013 issue: Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement

Guatemalans remember the genocide conducted by the US-backed dictatorship. The issue is highlighted in the latest edition of Foro Social Latinamerico.

May 7, 2013 -- 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 late president Hugo Chavez: “Time is short. If we don’t change the world now, there may be no 22nd century.”

Venezuela: Reaffirmation, warning and encouragement for the revolution

On April 3, Nicolas Maduro visited Merida state. Crowds filled the central city bridge, equalling crowd sizes when Hugo Chavez spoke in Merida in September in the lead-up to last year’s election. Photo by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/Venezuelanalysis.

By Luis Bilbao, Caracas; translated by Jacqueline Reinel and Fernando Torres

Venezuela: Imperialism prepares fascist movement to defeat revolution

A PSUV office in Anzoategui torched on March 15, part of a coordinated campaign of violence, murder and arson.

By Luis Bilbao, Caracas

April 22, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With cold calculation, the counter-revolutionary command ordered the murder of nine people and numerous acts of violence and destruction since early April 15. The United States is testing out a new way to defeat the Bolivarian Revolution: the creation of a classic fascist movement.

A week before the election victory of Nicolás Maduro on April 14, referring to the attack on artists committed to the revolution, I pointed out the differences between McCarthyism and Nazism-fascism in an article published in the Correo del Orinoco.

Hugo Chávez: Tribune of world’s dispossessed/Tribuna de los desposeídos del mundo

By John Riddell

April 15, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/America XXI -- Hugo Chávez was not only a great Bolivarian patriot; he was a tribune of the world’s dispossessed.

At an anti-imperialist conference in Cairo in 2007, I heard Chávez hailed for his solidarity with Palestinians as “a better Arab than the Arabs”; “closer to us than the Arabs that impose injustice”.

Chávez, the first Latin American president to declare himself of African descent, proclaimed in 2005, “Every day we are much more aware of the roots we have in Africa.”

‘There are no recipes for socialism’: interview with Hugo Moldiz, Bolivian Marxist

Hugo Moldiz interviewed by Coral Wynter and Jim McIlroy

April 24, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Hugo Moldiz is a respected Marxist journalist and author living in La Paz. He has written several books, including Bolivia in the Times of Evo, published by Ocean Sur in 2009. He is editor of the weekly La Epoca and has also contributed many articles to the magazine America XXI. We interviewed him during a recent visit to La Paz, Bolivia. Translation from the Spanish by Coral Wynter.

* * *

What is the significance of the election of an Indigenous president in Bolivia?

Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro promises 'revolution of the revolution', advance to `socialist mode of living'

Solidarity protest in Sydney, April 19, 2013, organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Photos by Peter Boyle.

By Ewan Robertson, Mérida, Venezuela

April 19 2013 -- Venezuelanalysis.com –- Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as Venezuela's president for the constitutional period 2013–2019 today, promising to continue Hugo Chavez’s legacy and spearhead “a revolution of the revolution”.

In the National Assembly in Caracas, Maduro took his presidential oath before assembly president Diosdado Cabello.

“I swear by the whole people of Venezuela, by the supreme commander [Hugo Chavez], that I will abide by and make respected the constitution of the laws of the republic ... to construct an independent, free and socialist nation for all”, Maduro declared.

Revolución Bolivariana inspira a militantes en Filipinas

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3306.]

Por Sonny Melencio

15/04/13 -- America XXI -- El legado del fallecido presidente Hugo Chávez ha sido poderoso para las organizaciones socialistas revolucionarias de todo el mundo. En Filipinas, la Revolución Bolivariana liderada por el comandante Chávez inspiró la construcción de un nuevo partido político, que forma parte de las lecciones y experiencias que renuevan y revitalizan el socialismo en el siglo XXI.

El Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM o Partido de las Masas Trabajadoras) fue construido (o, más precisamente, reconstruido por diversos partidos políticos y grupos de activistas en Filipinas) en 2009. El documento que describe la formación del Partido examinó la experiencia venezolana, la Revolución Bolivariana y las ideas del socialismo del siglo XXI y las hizo guía para la lucha revolucionaria.

Bolivarian Revolution inspires Philippines revolutionaries

PLM members.

By Sonny Melencio

April 15, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The legacy of Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez has been overwhelming for revolutionary socialist organisations all over the world. In the Philippines, the Bolivarian Revolution led by Commandante Chavez inspired us in building a new political party that partakes of lessons and experiences that renews and revitalises socialism in the 21st century.

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM or Party of the Labouring Masses) was built (or, precisely, rebuilt by various political parties and activist groups in the Philippines) in 2009. The concept paper that outlined the formation of the party examined the Venezuelan experience, the Bolivarian Revolution and the ideas of Socialism in the 21st century and made them the guiding light in our conduct of revolutionary struggle.

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network: The Venezuelan people have spoken! Respect the democratic process!

 PSUV election rally. Photo by Tamara Pearson/Venezuelanalysis.

The Venezuelan people have spoken: Nicolas Maduro is president

End the opposition violence! Respect the democratic process!

No US-backed intervention in Venezuela!

April 17, 2013 -- The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network joins with all those voices for democracy and peace to call for an immediate end to the opposition-initiated violence now occurring in Venezuela.

On April 14, a majority of Venezuelans voted for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s (PSUV) presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro. In doing so, they voted to continue the Bolivarian revolution previously led by Hugo Chávez.

Venezuela has one of the most transparent and secure voting systems in the world and the presidential elections were, according to all independent observers, free, fair and constitutional. The election result must be respected.

Understanding Venezuela's election result: 'This time it was up to us to do it alone, and we won'

Election day, April 14, 2013.

By Tamara Pearson, Merida

April 15, 2013 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- Things are chaotic here, as we recover from the surprise, disappointment and a bit of hurt from the election results, but also go out in the street to express our support for those results, and to defend the national electoral system, one of the best and most secure voting systems in the world in a country which just loves to vote.

We move quickly from being sad last night to concerned and determined today, as the caceroles [right-wing protests involving banging pots and pans] sound around the neighbourhoods and the opposition hangs outside the National Electoral Council (CNE) here in Merida, hundreds of them walking around with rocks and glass bottles in their hands, itching to have something to react to.

Still, as the pan-clanging sounds around my neighbourhood and people shout “Out! Out!” (referring to the government), making it just a little hard to think, it is important to understand yesterday’s results, as that helps us to understand the situation we’re in now, and plan for the future.

Eyewitness Venezuela: Maduro wins close victory; Right wing reacts violently

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Merida

April 16, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- The room erupted into cheers when the election result was announced. For hours, the city of Merida's most ardent supporters of socialist presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro had gathered in the local offices of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). However, after a few moments, the closeness of the numbers sank in.

At the time of writing, the National Electoral Council (CNE) had announced that with 99% of votes counted, the PSUV's Maduro won with 50.6%. His closest rival, Henrique Capriles, received 49.1%; giving Maduro a slim 1.5% victory.

In the last presidential elections, Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez defeated Capriles – the candidate of the US-backed right wing hostile to the Chavez-led Boliviaran revolution -- by just over 10%,. Many supporters of the revolution were expecting a similar result.

Last month, a joint Barclays/Datanalisis report gave Maduro a 14.4% lead, while pollster Hinterlaces predicted his victory would be 18%.

Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro, driving the revolution forward

Nicolas Maduro drove a bus to the National Electoral Council to register his candidacy for president.

By Luis Hernández Navarro, translated by Ewan Robertson for Venezuelanalysis.com

March 29, 2013 -- La Jornada -- Nicolas Maduro is a robust, burly man, 1.9 metres tall with a thick black moustache. He drove a metro bus in Caracas for seven years, was foreign minister for six more and is now interim president and candidate for the country’s top office. He is part of the a generation of Latin American leaders like metal worker Lula da Silva and coco-leaf unionist Evo Morales, who entered politics from the trenches of opposition social struggles [translator: in opposition to the neoliberal administrations that governed Latin America before the continent’s "pink tide", which began in the late 1990s].

Venezuela's April 14 presidential election campaign: start of a new era

"We are all Chavez"

By Tamara Pearson, Merida

March 27, 2013 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- Although the results of the presidential elections on April 14, 2013, are quite predictable, Venezuela is are going through a fragile, vulnerable period, with a future that is less predictable. These elections, because of their place in history -- the start of the era of the Bolivarian revolution without Hugo Chavez – have some special characteristics and factors. The significance of these factors, of these weaknesses, opportunities, relationships of power, and so on, goes beyond the voting on April 14.

Chávez, geoestrategia y revolución

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3264]

Por Luis Bilbao

09/03/13 -- America XXI -- No fue a causa del accionar de un individuo que en la última década el damero internacional sufrió un drástico vuelco. Fuerzas desatadas por la lógica interna del capital movilizaron cambios de tal magnitud que, en el fugaz lapso de una década, dibujaron un nuevo mapa geopolítico, todavía no cabalmente interpretado, en el cual Estados Unidos ha perdido su antiguo lugar de centro del equilibrio planetario y jefe inapelable en las cuestiones esenciales de la economía, la política y la guerra.

Alexis Tsipras in London: Q & A on lessons from Hugo Chavez, a left government, the euro, stopping Golden Dawn ...

March 15, 2013 -- Irish Left Review -- The following questions [in bold] and answers took place after a talk SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras gave to SYRIZA’s London branch in Friend’s House in Euston on March 15. The speech itself can be found here. Some of the questions have been condensed to remove lengthy preambles and/or tangents but they remain an accurate reflection of the query posed by the audience member.

Could you give us a few reflections on what we can learn from the left in Latin America and particularly the legacy of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela?

Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka crimes provokes huge protests

 

Student demonstration in Mathurai, Tamil Nadu, March 14, 2013.

By Ron Ridenour

March 21, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The United Nation’s Human Rights Council passed a resolution on March 21, 2013, the third in four years, concerning Sri Lanka’s conduct towards Tamils. The vote was 25 for, 13 against with eight abstentions. Those opposed rejected any criticism of Sri Lanka as “foreign meddling”.[1]

Luis Bilbao: Hugo Chavez, internationalism and revolution

By Luis Bilbao

March 19, 2013 – Links International journal of Socialist Renewal -- It takes more than an individual to upset the international chessboard as dramatically as in the last decade. Forces unleashed by the internal logic of capitalism have drawn a new geopolitical map, not yet fully understood, in which the United States has lost its former place as the planetary centre of gravity and the ultimate arbiter of the key issues of the economy, politics and war.

Yet, though changes of such magnitude were obviously not the work of one person, Hugo Chavez’s hallmark was a profound intuition of this impending change, combined with the will to intervene with a program and a strategy to shift the historical juncture towards consolidating a world suited to human needs.

And, assuredly, his role not only carried decisive weight in the early course of these changes, but will go on to transcend them. No one foresaw as Chavez did the dynamics that were breaking apart imperial power and even imperialism itself, nor acted with such lucidity and courage to position himself as a force leading this dynamic. This is why Venezuela is now in the centre of the world stage.

Panel discussion: The future of the Bolivarian Revolution after Hugo Chavez

March 17, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- The Venezuelan people have made it clear that, despite the tragic death of their revolutionary president Hugo Chavez, they will continue the Bolivarian Revolution, and build "socialism in the 21st century". This episode of the Green Left Report discusses Chavez's legacy in Venezuela, Latin America and globally, why he was despised by Western governments and future prospects for the Bolivarian Revolution.

Panel guests include:

  • Arelis Sumabila, a Venezuelan who worked with Chavez and helped establish the indigenous University of Venezuela;
  • Federico Fuentes, a member of the Venezuelanalysis.com editorial collective who has helped lead Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network brigades. He reported for Green Left Weekly from Venezuela from 2007 to 2010; and
  • Rodrigo Acuna, a PhD candidate in international studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, who writes regularly on Latin American affairs in the Australian press and has been interviewed for ABC and SBS Radio.
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