Juventud Rebelde

More than three million patients have recovered vision thanks to the Operation Milagro. The second phase will expand the attention to the African peoples without decreasing the number of operations on patients from Latin America and countries of ALBA



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Morales and Snowdenwww.voltairenet.org

Unprecedented in the history of international relations, the governments of four European countries - France, Spain, Italy and Portugal - have closed off their airspace this week to the Bolivian president’s airplane. Is this a case of strict compliance with international laws or further proof of the servility of European ’powers’ towards Washington? To better answer this simple question, French pundit Salim Lamrani sets out a list of 25 facts.

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Evo Morales

Agencies in Cochabamba, July 5 Bolivia' s president, Evo Morales, has warned he might close the US embassy in his country, as South America' s leftist leaders rallied to support him over the rerouting of his presidential plane.

Morales again blamed Washington for putting pressure on European countries to refuse to allow his plane to fly through their airspace on Tuesday, forcing it to land in Vienna, in what he called a violation of international law. He had been returning from a summit in Russia during which he had suggested he would be willing to consider a request from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for asylum.

"Being united will defeat American imperialism. We met with the leaders of my party and they asked us for several measures and if necessary, we will close the embassy of the United States," Morales said. "We do not need the embassy of the United States."

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John PilgerImagine the aircraft of the president of France being forced down in Latin America on "suspicion&quo t; that it was carrying a political refugee to safety – and not just any refugee but someone who has provided the people of the world with proof of criminal activity on an epic scale.

Imagine the response from Paris, let alone the "international community" , as the governments of the west call themselves. To a chorus of baying indignation from Whitehall to Washington, Brussels to Madrid, heroic special forces would be dispatched to rescue their leader and, as sport, smash up the source of such flagrant international gangsterism. Editorials would cheer them on, perhaps reminding readers that this kind of piracy was exhibited by the German Reich in the 1930s.

The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales' s plane – denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to "inspect" his aircraft for the "fugitive" ; Edward Snowden – was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name.

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In May 2013 St. Lucia joined fellow OECS member-states Antigua, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the newest member of ALBA (The Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America).

The decision was announced following the VIII Meeting of the ALBA Council of Economic Complementation in Caracas on April 23, which concluded with a seven-point resolution that announced the inclusion of St. Lucia in the regional bloc.

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Embassy protest
Right-wing Capriles supporters who planned a demonstration outside the Venezuelan embassy in South Kensington, London, to oppose the democratically-elected government of Venezuela were thwarted today, Saturday 20 April, by solidarity protesters. Numerous Latin-American and socialist groups agreed the previous night to defend the embassy from reactionaries who refuse to accept the election of Nicolas Maduro as President on Sunday 14 April. Even the British government has now recognised Maduro’s victory.
The call for an emergency demonstration was made during a meeting called by Hands off Venezuela on Friday afternoon. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) activists were among those who responded to news of a second protest planned by the Venezuelan right-wing since the election by calling for a solidarity protest to defend the embassy. On Tuesday 16 April, around 300 supporters of the neo-liberal Capriles surrounded the Venezuelan consulate near Warren Street harassing diplomatic staff and blocking their exit. An embassy statement said: ‘The Diplomatic Police had to intervene to prevent the crowd from attacking a local employee of the Embassy, who they insulted…’ FRFI and other activists were determined to prevent a repeat of this attack on Venezuela’s sovereignty. 
Unfortunately the call for solidarity was not supported by various groups who were not prepared to confront the Venezuelan opposition - those who would destroy the Bolivarian Revolution and reverse the gains made by the Venezuelan working class since 1999. This reticence meant that some 80 supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution were significantly outnumbered by aggressive opposition forces which peaked at 400. However, by arriving two hours earlier, the solidarity protesters were able to claim the space in front of the embassy and protect it from the opposition. This infuriated the opposition. With banners from Cuba and other Latin American countries stuck on the wall as a backdrop, the solidarity protest exposed and opposed the right-wing reactionaries, who arrived in force at 2pm and gave up at 5pm. The walls of the embassy vibrated with our chants in defence of the Bolivarian Revolution, Chavez, Maduro and socialism. FRFI activists made a vital contribution to today’s protest and the arrival of our sound-system tipped the balance in favour of those supporting democracy and revolution in Latin America.
We have no illusions that the Venezuelan bourgeoisie will stop their machinations to undermine the Bolivarian Revolution. When they return to the streets of London, however, we will be ready to defend the struggle for socialism in Venezuela and throughout the world.

Venezuelan opposition violently refuse election resultsStatement from Hands Off Venezuela

On Sunday April 14, Bolivarian candidate Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential election by a narrow margin. With 99.12% of the votes counted, there was a 78.71% turn out, with Maduro receiving 7,505,378 votes (50.66%), and Capriles 7,270,403 votes (49.07%). Opposition candidate Capriles declared that he does not recognise the result and demanded an audit of 100% of the vote.

On Monday April 15 Capriles made a speech, which was broadcast live by all private TV stations as well as CNN Spanish. In it he refused to recognise the election results and called for mobilisations to demand a full manual recount of the vote. These included a national pots and pans banging protest on Monday at 8 pm, marches on the regional offices of the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Tuesday 16, as well as a march on the CNE in Caracas on Wednesday 17.

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Maduro wins 2013 Presidential electionNicolas Maduro, candidate of the Bolivarian Revolution, has won the 14 April snap presidential election with 50.66 percent of the vote against 49.07 percent for his neoliberal challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski. With the turn out at nearly 79 percent of the electorate, the results were announced with 99.12 percent of the votes totalled and were considered an irreversible trend.

Carrying out the premeditated plan exposed by the Bolivarian government, Capriles and the opposition have refused to recognise the result declaring to Nicolas Maduro, ‘The one who has been defeated is you and everything you represent’. The national electoral body, the CNE, will now conduct a citizens’ audit of 100 percent of the ballot boxes, with the backing of both candidates. Maduro stated: ‘Let’s do it! No problem. Perhaps they will find that my victory will be larger’.

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Long live the Bolivarian Revolution!

28 July 1954-5 March 2013


bwd  Set 1/2  fwd

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from complications following surgery for cancer, is a huge loss to the revolutionary movement worldwide, and the Revolutionary Communist group joins with the people of Venezuela in mourning the loss of a great socialist leader.

Hugo Chavez was first elected to power in 1998, following a military coup in 1992; elected again in 2000 under the new, progressive constitution of the Bolivarian Revolution. In 2002 a US-backed coup against him was defeated as working class Venezuelans poured out of the barrios in their hundreds of thousands to defend their president. He was re-elected as president with sweeping majorities in 2006 and again in 2013.

Hugo Chavez was a political giant, under whose leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution and vision of ‘socialism for the 21st century’ the lives of ordinary working class Venezuelans were transformed. In the last ten years, Venezuela has achieved the lowest levels of inequality in the region (excluding Cuba); it has wiped out illiteracy, brought infant mortality down from 25 per 1,000 to 13 per 1,000 live births, slashed levels of extreme poverty, provided free health care and education for all, built hundreds of thousands of units of social housing and ensured that – unlike in Britain – no child goes to school hungry in the morning. Chavez built anti-imperialist alliances, first with Cuba and then, through ALBA and other trade and cooperation treaties, more widely across Latin America and the Caribbean, to challenge the hegemony of the United States and begin to create a new anti-imperialist bloc on the world stage. On the international stage, he challenged the hypocrisy and brutality of a world dominated by the interests of imperialism.

Inevitably, he has attracted the unswerving hatred of Venezuela’s middle classes and their backers in the US and Europe; the vitriol of the international bourgeois press has been relentless. The vultures of reaction have been circling ever since the seriousness of President Chavez’s condition was made public, with counter-revolutionary forces attempting to foment the destabilisation of the Bolivarian Revolution. They perpetrate the big lie - that without Hugo Chavez there can be no Bolivarian Revolution – that it lives or dies with him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the mass popular support, admiration and indeed love Chavez enjoyed as the living embodiment of the aspirations of the Venezuelan people, the Bolivarian Revolution has never been about just one man. It is a revolution being built from below, by the conscious organisation of the Venezuelan working class to transform society from one of neoliberal exploitation, hunger, sickness and poverty for the majority, to one moving towards collective, socialist organisation and production.

The Venezuelan people will not allow these vital gains to be lost. The tremendous popularity of the governing PSUV was demonstrated again in December’s regional elections, where the party won 20 out of 23 states. Under the stewardship of vice-president Nicolas Maduro and National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello, Bolivarian revolutionaries in their own right, the Venezuelan government has begun to implement the Programa Patria manifesto on which Chavez was elected, ‘developing socialism beyond the point of no return’. The battle lines are drawn as the Venezuelan people prepare to fight tooth and nail to defend and develop that revolutionary process. We stand with all those defending the Bolivarian Revolution, mourn with them the loss of a great socialist and revolutionary, and defend the continuing struggle for socialism.

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