Caracas to host world meeting of left parties, October 7-9, 2009

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

September 5, 2009 -- Caracas will play host to one of the most important international gatherings of left parties in years, when delegates from across the world meet for the First International Meeting of Left Parties over October 7-9, 2009.

The meeting has been called by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), a mass revolutionary party headed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The gathering was agreed upon at the recent Sao Paulo Forum (FSP) held in Mexico City over August 20-22. There, the PSUV delegation presented the proposal to organise an international meeting of left parties.

The FSP was first established in 1990 at the initiative of the Workers’ Party (PT) of Brazil. At the time, the PT had a good reputation on the international left. It was forged out of the workers’ struggles against the Brazilian dictatorship and had developed into a mass workers’ party that spoke of the need to break with capitalism. Since then, the FSP has evolved in a reformist direction, although several important revolutionary parties such as the Cuban Communist Party continue to be involved.

Some of the member parties — like the PT — are now in government in Latin America and are carrying out policies they once strongly denounced.

The new call by the PSUV for an international gathering of left parties comes in a different context. In August 2007, Chavez said it was necessary to convene ``a meeting of left parties of Latin America and organise a type of international, an organisation of parties and movements of the left in Latin American and the Caribbean”. He added that “there is a resurgence of the consciousness of the peoples; the movements, leaders and leaderships of this new left, of this new project, this need to continue to grow”.

There is a revival of socialist ideas that, at least in Venezuela, has become embodied in the actions of millions who are fighting to create “socialism of the 21st century”. Millions more people worldwide look to Venezuela as proof that revolutionary change is possible. The challenge is to see how this force can be organised, in each country and internationally, into a powerful force capable of defeating capitalism.

[This article first appeared in Green Left Weekly, issue #809, September 9, 2009.]


A conference of "Left" Parties implies some common denominator. What is "Left"? Are social-democratic parties "Left"? A conference of Revolutionary "Left" parties would at least delineate something. To delineate nothing is
to unify confusion.


I am commenting on behalf of the 'Latin American Friendship Association'(LAFA),Tamilnadu,India. We have brought very many books on the political developments in Cuba,Venezuela& Bolivia in Tamil.LAFA has many left minded writers,translators and political activists as its members. In september 2006 we brought out eight books on the achievements of Cuba,in celebration of Com Fidel's 80TH BIRTHDAY. We have brought out Michael Lebowitz's 'Build It Now Socialism' and Ben Dangle's book 'Price of Fire ' on Bolivia in Tamil. We, are very happy that left parties of the world are invited to Caracas to discuss on building 21st century socialism. The contribution of left parties of Latin America in building 21st century socialism 'especially by PSUV of Venezuela, is very significant.. But we are pained and disappointed by the support given by Cuba,Bolivia,Nicaragua and Venezuela to the GENOCIDAL KILLINGS OF TAMILS BY THE SINHALA CHAUVANIST GOVERNMENT . Recently President Chavez has praised SriLankan President Rajapakse IN Libia as: "The leadership provided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in defeating LTTE terrorism a task which was deemed impossible by the world at large is a glowing example to other countries beset with the same problem" It is anachronistic that a President Chavez who wants to build 21st century socialism could support and praise Rajapakse who has successfully carried out ethinic cleansing of Tamils in the name of 'War on terror'. Very many articles have appeared in your journal and Green Left weekly in support of the struggle of Tamils exposing the genocidal killings by Governmant of Srilanka for the fifty years. We, the Friends of Latin America, are very disappointed by the silence of Latin American LEFT Intellectuals and left parties for not openly condemning the stand taken by Cuba,Bolivia,Nicaragua and Venezuela in support of President Rajapakse . How can the left parties of Latin America watch in silence the support extended by their progressive Governmnts to Rajapakse in wiping out Tamil race ? We strongly condemn the praise and support extended to Rajapakse by President Chavez . Is it that the Tamils are excluded from Socialist world of 21st century being built by Left Parties of Latin America?