First published June 2012 in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 227
On 16 April and 1 May respectively Argentina and Bolivia reclaimed ownership of energy companies privatised by Spanish corporations during the neoliberal assault of the 1990s. Sharp reactions from the Spanish state and the European Union underline the conflict of interest between those exploited for their resources and labour, and imperialism, which lives off this plunder.
Bolivia and Argentina have distinct histories, but both have long been trapped in the web of financial dealings woven by the imperialist powers. In their national struggles to throw off these parasitic ties, the clash of nationalisation versus privatisation of the main industries has been key. Nationalisation immediately places the surpluses of these industries at the disposal of the state, but provokes intense hostility from domestic and transnational capital which battle to repossess the property or demand huge compensation.
First published on 26 June2012 by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism
On 21 June 2012, Paraguay’s reactionary Chamber of Deputies voted 76-1 to impeach President Fernando Lugo. The Senate confirmed this with a 39-4 vote the following day.
This ‘constitutional coup’, reminiscent of the removal of President Zelaya in Honduras in 2009, has been condemned across South America. Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba refuse to recognise the change and Venezuela will cease providing oil.Brazil and Argentina have called their ambassadors home and Uruguay has expressed concern. On 25 June, the Mercosur trade bloc suspended Paraguay from taking part in a summit in Argentina.
By Sam McGill. First published in June 2012 in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 227
Tensions are building in the run-up to the Venezuelan presidential elections in October. Hugo Chavez of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is standing for his third term. Opposing him is Henrique Capriles Radonski, from the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (Mesa de unidad democratica or MUD).
First published by Granma International on 14 June 2012
U.S. functionary Ricardo Zúñiga, grandson of the right-wing Honduran politician of the same name - known for his support to the military dictatorship of Colonel Oswaldo López – has been appointed director of Western Hemisphere Affairs by Barack Obama, having previously run destabilization operations for the U. S. Interests Section in Havana, before going on to supervise these activities from Washington.
Zúñiga is a traveling salesman, distributing the most backward, anti-Cuban ideas wherever he lands. Assuming this new position, Zúñiga is taking the place of Dan Restrepo, of Colombian origin, who was booted after his poor showing at the recent Summit of the Americas, where Obama lost face as a result of both his inability to address Latin American aspirations and the scandalous behavior of his security guards.
Much of the information reproduced below is taken from an article first published by Reuters on 15 April 2012
Unprecedented Latin American opposition to U.S. sanctions on Cuba left President Barack Obama isolated at the Organisation of American States (OAS) summit in Cartagena, Colombia on Sunday 15 April and illustrated Washington's declining influence in the region.
‘For how long are we going to be the backwards periphery, exploited and denigrated? Enough! Here we are putting down the fundamental building block for South American unity, independence and development. If we hesitate, we are lost!’ (Simon Bolivar)
On 2 December 2011 the 33 independent countries across the Americas – with the exception of the US and Canada – founded the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). CELAC is designed to counter the Organisation of American States, which the US has used as a tool for protecting its interests in Latin America since 1948. The new alliance is committed to promoting economic and social development across the region and undermining the unequal terms of trade with Europe and the US.
By Tamara Pearson orginally published by www.venezuelanalysis.com on April 17th 2012
Venezuela’s Barrio Adentro Health Mission now involves 12,898 Cuban and Venezuelan doctors, 4,595 dentists, 7,772 nurses, 6702 community medical surgeries, 551 medical diagnostic centres, 580 rehabilitation rooms, 33 high technology centres, and 459 optometrist centres, according to Vice-president Elias Jaua. The mission, which provides free health consultations, exams and x-rays, rehabilitation therapy, medicine, specialised assistance, and preventative care, among others, celebrated the ninth anniversary of its creation in April 2012.
Amidst international media speculation about his health, on 5 July 2011, President Chavez address Venezuelans from Miraflores Presidential Palace, Caracas as part of a civic-military parade to mark 200 years of Independence from Spanish colonialism. Chavez had returned from Cuba the previous day, following an emergency operation to remove a pelvic abscess and small tumour discovered by Cuban doctors whilst he was on a tour of Latin American countries promoting further regional integration. Chavez has now returned to Cuba for further treatment.
“ I swear to you that we will win this battle...we'll win it together. The battle for life, the homeland and the revolution!”
With these words, Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, addressed 100,000 Venezuelans from Miraflores presidential palace, Caracas as part of a civic-military parade to mark 200 years of Independence from Spanish rule. His return to Venezuela muffled frenzied media speculation surrounding his health and ability to lead the Bolivarian Revolution, for now.