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Marcel JUCOThe introduction below was given at a recent Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! discussion forum in Newcastle following discussion with Colombian comrades from JUCO - Youth Communist Party of Colombia, at the World festival of Youth and Students in Quite, Ecuador in December 2013. It summarizes the history and highlights some key issues in the struggle for national liberation that has raged for decades in Colombia. 

What resources does Colombia have? In 2010, the agricultural sector contributed 7 percent of GDP, accounting for almost $20 billion. there are immense plantations of bananas, sugar cane, rice, cotton, soybeans and sorghum, and large cattle farms that produce meat and dairy products.Coffee, Flowers, are also key exports. The production of tropical fruits, palm oil, timber, shrimp, palm hearts and asparagus is increasing rapidly, with significant export potential.The world’s largest open cast coal mine is located on the peninsula of La Guajira and produces nearly 32 million tons per year, making Colombia the world’s 10th largest coal producer. The two primary destinations for Colombian coal are the Netherlands and the United States.Colombia is the third-largest crude oil producer in South America, with an average 915,000 barrels/day in 2011. Exports of oil and derivatives reached $28 billion in 2011, with main destinations being the United States and the Caribbean. Colombia is the 7th largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S.

Private foreign investment has played a key role in the development of Colombia’s energy sector. The Government has promoted this participation through special incentives, including legal stability contracts and special tax deductions. No wonder there has been such a bloodthirsty battle over the control of these resources.

Promotion of Free Trade:

Colombia is an important market for America’s farmers and ranchers. In 2010, the United States exported $832 million of agricultural products to Colombia, the second highest export total in South America. President Uribe and his successor President Santos have been central to promoting free trade in Colombia, pushing many of the agreements.

 The U.S.-Colombia trade agreements went into effect on May 15, 2012. immediately eliminated duties on almost 70 percent of U.S. farm exports including wheat, barley, soy-beans, flour, beef, bacon, peanuts, whey, cotton, and the vast majority of processed products.

 The International Trade Commission (ITC) has estimated that the Agreement will expand exports of U.S. goods alone by more than $1.1 billion and will increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion. (this is from office of the US http://www.ustr.gov/uscolombiatpa/facts)

 Group of Three (G-3) UK France ad Germany also have trade agreements with Colombia and signed a similar agreement with the European Union last summer. European Free trade association - EFTA commenced joint free trade negotiations with Colombia and Peru in 2007, which entered into force in 2011, the EFTA is – Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Norway)

The effect of this Free Trade – flooding Colombian markets with cheap imports whilst brutally extracting primary resources at favourable prices.Colombian Sen. Jorge Robledo.. "Colombia used to be self-sufficient in food production, but now it is importing around 10 million tons of food" a year, he said. imports are 40 percent cheaper than items produced locally.

.An Oxfam report in 2011 estimates that the with the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement CTPA average income of 1.8 million grossly under-protected small farmers will fall by 16 percent.The study concludes that 400,000 farmers who now live below the minimum wage will see their incomes drop by up to 70 percent and will thus be forced out of their livelihoods.This economic backdrop is exacerbating the causes of the civil war that has raged for over 50 years. The imperialists and their lackeys in the Colombian government are ever more desperate to obliterate insurgency in Colombia and resistance by military means or negotiating them into a corner. The methods depend on the needs at the time, military destruction with proven support from the US is effective but bad for publicity, peace talks provide a cover in order to justify international trade agreements.

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More Doctors program Brazil

Brasilia, 31 March Presna Latina

The "More Doctors" Program will have about 13,235 health experts in April, to assist about 46 million Brazilians, the country's President Dilma Rousseff stated today.We are going to fulfill the objectives proposed almost one year ago,  when we conceive the "More Doctors" program, to expand free health care  throughout Brazil, Rousseff said in her usual Monday radio program Coffee with the President.

We have now 9,490 physicians distributed in 3,025 municipalities and 31 special indigenous districts, ensuring direct health care to 33 million citizens near their houses, the president stressed.

We will resolve with this the 80 percent of people's health problems, because doctors provide the first medical aid, reducing emergency 
services at hospitals.Rousseff stated that recent researches confirm the positive results of this program, which includes national and foreign physicians.

The presence of Cuban physicians in Brazil was achieved after the signing in July of an agreement between the Pan-American health 
Organization and authorities from this nation

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 17 www.cubanews.ain.cu

Cuban medics in Brazil

 Some 1 684 Cuban doctors made up the seventh medical contingent to offer services in Brazil, making it up for a total of 11 thousand 430 physicians as agreed to between Cuba and the Brazilian government as part of the program known More Doctors.

Nearly 100 percent of all those Cuban specialists have met internationalist missions in previous occasions, according to Granma newspaper.

During a ceremony with the doctors on Sunday, Cuban Health Minister Roberto Morales said that the professionals have expressed their commitment to their mission, since most of them had just finished their work in Venezuela.

Brazilian health official Angela Cristina Pistelli, who is advisor to the cabinet of the Labor and Education Secretariat at Brazil's Health Ministry stressed the importance of the Cuban mission , which  has the support of over 80 percent of the Brazilian people.

The ceremony was attended by the general secretary of the Cuban Workers' Confederation Ulises Guilarte and deputy health minister Marcia Cobas, along Brazilian and Cuban health officials.

Call to action from CISPES - Wednesday 12 March 2014

Committee in solidarity with the people of El Salvador


It’s hard to believe that only two days have passed since the FMLN’s thrilling victory on Sunday night – so much has happened in the meantime. The right-wing is moving swiftly to derail the democratic process and stop Salvador Sanchez Ceren from being announced as president – we need your help.

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venezuela banner2

Join us on Wednesday 5 March for a day of solidarity with the Venezuelan people who are under attack from US imperialism, private media agencies and Latin American right-wing extremists who distort the truth about what is happening in Venezuela.

They deceive the world by presenting civilian deaths at the hands of right-wing paramilitary groups, and the destruction of schools and power stations, as covert government actions designed to blame the opposition. They portray the lack of certain foods and the high price of others, which are actually the result of economic sabotage and hoarding by large private corporations, as the responsibility of the Bolivarian government’s misguided and inefficient economic and social policies.
They lie when they claim that the Venezuelan right are acting in favour of democracy, economic prosperity and against dictatorship. In reality their actions are part of a destabilisation plan, promoting violence and US military intervention in a country with one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Venezuela, along with other Latin American countries, has set out to build a more just, democratic, Bolivarian and anti-imperialist society. This is necessary to liberate the oppressed and excluded - the vast majority of those in our Latin America - from the small ruling class which acts in the interests of the imperialists. 
On Wednesday 5 March we will also be paying a heartfelt tribute to comandante Hugo Chavez, on the first anniversary of his death. A tribute to a Bolivarian leader who, with his struggle, determination and social conscience in favour of the poor, helped to forge the dream of independence and sovereignty for people across Latin America and the world.

Day: Wednesday 5 March

Time: 5 to 7pm

Place: Trafalgar Square


Join us!!

Called by:  Venezuela Solidarity Network
                   Bolivia action group
                   Revolutionary Communist Group
                   Rock around the Blockade
                   Movimiento Micaela Bastidas UK
                   Marcha Patriotica Britain

We also encourage everyone to participate in the following event:

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Cuban Foreign Minister, Burno Rodriguez Parrilla addresses a press conference
Cuban Foreign Minister, Burno Rodriguez Parrilla addresses a press conference

By Helen Yaffe*

On 28-29th January 2014, Havana hosts the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC in Spanish), with the participation of the heads of states, chancellors and other representatives of all 33 independent nations in the region. The Summit rounds off Cuba’s one-year presidency of CELAC, which focussed on combating regional poverty, hunger and inequality. Cuba is part of CELAC’s three member troika, along with Chile, which held the presidency in 2012 and Costa Rica which takes over in 2014. Over 30 documents are being drawn up for discussion and analysis, including a Plan of Action, and standards and principles which will govern cooperation. The Summit was preceded by two days of discussions by national experts on 25-26 January and a meeting of chancellors on 27 January. The Summit is expected to emit specific statements, for example, demanding that Britain return Las Islas Malvinas (the Falkland Islands) to Argentina and that the US blockade of Cuba be lifted.

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RCG in QuitoAlerta Alerta que camina, la juventud del mundo por America Latina!

(Watch out watch out, the youth of the world are marching for Latin America!)

This was the chant and message ringing out around the World Festival Of Youth & Students, held in Quito, Ecuador, this December. Our organisation the Revolutionary Communist Group, fundraised to send a delegation of three comrades from London, Newcastle and Glasgow. They were able to speak with and interview anti-imperialists from around the world and bring back with them awealth of information and inspiration for the fight against the cuts and imperialism here in Britain, the belly of the Beast.

The gains and achievements of socialist Cuba, the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the movement for socialism in Ecuador and Bolivia show in practice that socialism is the only system capable of meeting the needs of humanity. This lesson must be taken up in Britain where thousands are being punished by cuts to welfare while the ruling class plan their next imperialist venture abroad. To successfully resist the war on welfare and peoples abroad we must support the struggle for welfare and freedom from imperialism taking place across Latin America.

2014 will be a key year in the fight for socialism in Latin America. From the Colombian Peace talks and upcoming elections in Bolivia and Ecuador, to the student movements in Chile and the fight for against economic sabotage on the streets of Venezuela, Latin America is on the frontline of the battle for socialism globally. These social movements are fighting for a real alternative to racism, war and poverty-for a collective socialist society. Their fight is our fight! Another world is possible! Another world is being built!

Come to the meetings listed below, get involved, get active in Britain as real solidarity with Cuba and the revolutionary movements internationally is building a movement for socialism here.

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18 World festivalDuring 7-13 December, three supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group will be in Quito, Ecuador at the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students 

As the capitalist crisis bites in Britain, spreading war, poverty, austerity and despair worldwide,  To successfully resist the war on welfare and peoples abroad we must support the war for welfare and for people’s freedom taking place across Latin America.

We will be blogging from the festival, putting you in contact with activists from all over the globe, gaining an insight into the citizens’ revolution in Ecuador and the movement towards socialism across Latin America today.

Visit the blog at:


Please share widely. We will organise report-back meetings in January, details will be posted here soon.


www.venezuelanalysis.com 30 OctoberNo to the blockade

Venezuela condemned the United States embargo against Cuba on Tuesday, as the United Nations General Assembly again called for an end to the 53 year-old trade restrictions.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted for the 22ndconsecutive year to reject the US embargo, with 188 nations opposed the embargo and three abstentions. Only the US and Israel voted in favour of the continuation of the embargo, which has been in place since 1960. The UNGA resolution is non-binding.

“Such measures are in violation of the right to peace, development and security, while contravening the rules of the multilateral trading system,” Venezuela's permanent ambassador to the UN, Samuel Moncada, stated. Moncada also argued that the embargo is impeding the pursuit of the UN  Millennium Development Goals.

Moncada called on the US to comply “with the resolutions that the General Assembly has overwhelmingly adopted since 1991, that lead to immediate and definitive lifting of this inhumane blockade implemented for more than fifty years”.

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