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Venezuela

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.

'Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions': compelling contribution to our understanding of the 'pink tide'

Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Socialism
By Roger Burbach, Michael Fox and Federico Fuentes
Fernwood Publishing and Zed Books, 2013. Order Here

Review by Richard Fidler

March 11, 2013 -- Climate & Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Latin America was the first region targeted by the neoliberal phase of capitalism, and it suffered some of its worst consequences. But it is in Latin America that neoliberalism has been most contested in recent years by new social movements of landless peasants, Indigenous communities and urban unemployed.

In a number of countries, this powerful democratic ferment has led to the election of anti-neoliberal, anti-imperialist governments — a process that started with the initial electoral victory of Hugo Chávez Frias in the late 1990s.

Hugo Chavez presente!

March 6, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Venezuela's revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez has died. The Venezuelan people will face the enormous challenge of continuing their socialist revolution without unifying and mobilising figure of Chavez, who has been at the forefront of deepening and extending its radical course.

Green Left Weekly's Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, reported from Venezuela:

Venezuelan media today announced that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died.

At approximately 5.30pm local time on March 5, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro addressed the nation, stating that after nearly three months of treatment in Cuba and Venezuela, Chavez passed away in the Dr. Carlos Arvelo military hospital in Caracas.

“Those who die for life, can’t be called dead”, he stated, after announcing that the president has lost his two year battle with cancer.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Die Linke salute Hugo Chavez's socialist vision

Above: March 6 press conference by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Front de Gauche, Left Front) on the death of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez Frias.

l’Humanité interview with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, spokesperson Front de Gauche (Left Front), France, translated by Dick Nichols

March 7, 2013 -- You have always supported the revolutionary process in the Venezuela, why?

We need to place the Bolivarian Revolution in its continental and historical context. The collapse of state communism was presented to the whole world as the end of history for communist and socialist sentiment and aspiration. But the flame flared up again in South America because the new age of capitalism had made that continent its proving ground. Neoliberalism was tried out there by military dictatorships on the one hand and by Operation Condor and CIA acts of violence on the other. The policies which then got applied were the same everywhere: free and unbridled competition, monetarism and deregulation, leading the whole continent to disaster. It is in this context that the revolutionary flame flared up again. Bolivarian Venezuela has occupied a special place: not only has been it been built on democratic foundations, but it has outmaneuvered the criminal plans of the opponent by peaceful and popular action.

African solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution and tributes to Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez's funeral, March 8, 2013.

[Below are statements issued by left and progressive organisations in Africa. More will be posted as they come to hand.]

* * *

Taking forward the revolutionary life and symbolism of hugo Rafael Chavez Frias

March 10, 2013 -- The Democratic Left Front (DLF) of South Africa joins the millions of poor and working people and their mass movements in Venezuela, the Caribbean, Latin America and across the world who celebrate the revolutionary and emancipatory life and symbolism of Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías. Since his tragic passing away on March 5, our hearts have drawn inspiration and courage from his example and symbolism.

As the 9 million people who attended his funeral on March 8 showed, Chavez represented and personified immense hope and possibility: hope for the wretched of the Earth, hope and faith in the ability of the mass of exploited and oppressed people to self-organise and challenge inordinate power relations in society, and thereby be their own liberators, and realistic hope in the possibility of constructing a socialist alternative to the barbarism of capitalism.

Eyewitness Venezuela: 'The people will become Chavez'; Millions farewell Chavez, declare 'the revolution is not dead'

March 9, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- VenezuelAnalysis journalist and Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network activist Tamara Pearson's passionate and insightful report on the feeling among the Venezuelan people after the passing of President Hugo Chavez, the antics of the right-wing opposition, the determination to continue the revolution, and the importance of solidarity. Plus pictures from the outpouring of grief and solidarity in the wake of Chavez's death. [More video coverage below.]

Media lies exposed: Venezuela's economic and social performance under Hugo Chávez, in graphs

Jim McIlroy, an activist from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, interviewed by ABC TV News, on March 8, 2013, on the significance of Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez. He successfully refutes the misinformation of the hostile "interviewer".

March 10, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Following the tragic death of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez from cancer after 14 years in office, the world's big-business media has gone into overdrive to dishonestly describe Chavez's record as being "authoritarian", "dictatorial" and having made the Venezuelan economy a "basket case", as was rudely interjected by an Australian Broadcasting Corporation "journalist" in the video above. Such media lies have been refuted by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and VenezuelAnalysis.

Marta Harnecker: 'Chavez's legacy: with the people, building a socialist alternative to capitalism'

Thousands turn out in Caracas to remember Chavez.

By Marta Harnecker, translated by Yoshie Furuhashi for MRZine

March 6, 2013 -- La Segunda -- When Hugo Chávez triumphed in the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already floundering. The choice then was whether to re-establish the neoliberal capitalist model -- clearly with some changes including greater concern for social issues, but still motivated by the same logic of profit seeking -- or to go ahead and try to build another model.

Hugo Chavez Frias – visionary, fighter, companero (Asia-Pacific left statements) (updated Mar. 17)

[Below are statements issued by socialist and progressive organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. More will be posted as they come to hand.]

* * *

Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

March 6, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance in Australia expresses its deepest sympathies with the people and government of Venezuela on the death of Companero Hugo Chavez Frias on March 5. His passing is a huge loss for all peoples, across Latin America and the globe, struggling for a world free of inequality, exploitation and oppression.

It is testament to Hugo Chavez’s great leadership that, while mourning his death, we are also confident that the Bolivarian Revolution and the new movement for socialism of the 21st century that Chavez inspired will be continued by the mass of people, to whom he worked so hard to give power.

Hugo Chavez, undefeated! Why the rich and powerful hated Chavez

'So let the corporate media lie about Chavez in their cynical way. Ignore them, and watch (or rewatch) the inspiring story of the People Power that defeated the 2002 coup, as told in the powerful Irish documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.'

By Derrick O'Keefe

March 6, 2013 -- Rabble.ca, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Hugo Chavez has died -- undefeated. Yes, undefeated. Chavez, no matter how many times the corporate media and the cheerleaders of the status quo call him a dictator, was elected repeatedly with overwhelming majorities.

No matter how many times this slur is moronically or mendaciously repeated, people know the truth. No less than former US president Jimmy Carter certified Venezuela's elections as amongst the most fair and transparent his organisation has ever observed. And the voter turnouts that elected Chavez were far, far higher than those in the US.

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