Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category

Solidarity with Hugo Chavez
Following his operation in Cuba on Wednesday, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign sends its best wishes to Hugo Chavez in his latest battle to defeat cancer
Hugo Chavez is an inspiration to millions of people worldwide because of his uncompromising stance against injustice and oppression and the tremendous progress he has overseen In Venezuela.
It is incredibly positive that his latest operation has been deemed an initial success.
However as President Chavez and Vice President Nicolas Maduro have explained there remains a long and difficult path ahead.
Our thoughts are with President Chavez, his family and all those Venezuelans who have made their country a beacon of hope and inspiration. At this difficult time, we commit ourselves to stepping up our solidarity with Venezuela’s attempt to build a better world and against those who seek to overturn this social progress.

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Today, a timely anniversary in the lead-up to elections in Venezuela next month, a reminder of the human cost of US interference in Latin America.

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Henrique Capriles Radonsky, the presidential candidate of the right-wing coalition, has been keen to state that he will ensure that social programs to meet the needs of all Venezuelans are put into place. For a taster of what he means in the case of housing, we can take a look at the few houses that have been built under his governorship in the state of Miranda.
This video, from a private TV station strongly opposed to the Chavez government, Globovisión, shows Capriles talking to people who have been given new homes, and then having a look around one of them.
For those who don’t speak Spanish, some of the comments from those who have the homes include:
“Well, there are still a few details to work on, I have no floor in the corridor and the walls need to be plastered and painted.”
Capriles, on entering one of the occupied bedrooms in the house he visits states, “Yes, the only thing missing here is some plastering, painting, and to put in windows.”

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My Spanish isn’t great so if anyone can improve on my perhaps shoddy translation please do, but this reads:

In Latin America and Africa there are no poor countries. There are robbed, plundered and exploited countries, but not poor countries.

It reminded me of this quote from Eduardo Galeano in his magnificent Open Veins of Latin America:

Our defeat was always implicit in the victory of others; our wealth has always generated our poverty by nourishing the prosperity of others – the empires and their native overseers. In the colonial and neocolonial alchemy, gold changes into scrap metal and food into poison.

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Behind the “Express Coup D’Etat” –

What Does it Mean for Paraguay & the Region?


Thursday July 12, 6.30-8.30pm
At the ‘Discus’ Room, Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN

Please circulate widely – come & show your support for democracy & social progress in Latin America!

Speakers to include:

  • Ricardo Medina, member of the Front for the Defence of Democracy in Paraguay (GB), radio journalist, correspondent of Radio Fe y Alegria (Paraguay), researcher of the National Archives of Political History of Richmond & collaborator of the academic journal Latin American Research Review.
  • ·         Richard Gott, writer
  • ·         Jeremy Corbyn MP
  • ·         Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union
  • ·         Francisco Dominguez, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
  • ·         Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition (pers cap)
  • Plus a short film showing & more to be confirmed
Called by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. Supported by Unite the Union with thanks to Thompsons Solicitors.
Please register in advance if possible to info@venezuelasolidarity.co.uk and sign up plus invite people on Facebook here

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This just in from Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in response to yesterday’s ‘coup-by-impeachment’ against progressive Paraguayan president, Fernando Lugo:


Leading British figures with an interest in Latin America have joined the governments of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic in condemning what has been widely termed a “political coup” in Paraguay, where the elected President Lugo has been removed from office by an illegitimate “impeachment” process.

Additionally, concerning reports are already emerging of human rights violations and attacks on progressive and social movements by the new regime as tens of thousands of Paraguayans protest outside the Parliament against the change in government.

Colin Burgon, from Labour Friends of Venezuela, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign andformer Labour MP, said “We share the grave concerns of so many Governments in the region at what has been termed there a ‘political coup’ and support the right of people to protest against it.”

Dr Francisco Dominguez, Head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies at Middlesex University, said “We should totally reject this vicious attack against democracy in Paraguay. This is an attack on democracy in the whole of Latin America.”

Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary of Unite the Union, said “Reports of human rights violations against Lugo supporters, tradeunionists, campesinos and others are deeply concerning. We are fully on the side of democracy and social progress in Paraguay and Latin America.”

Additionally, President Lugo, although accepting that he is now out of office has termed it an “express coup d’etat.” Previous to the decision the Lugo government had declared the procedures against him illegal and unconstitutional, views that have been echoed by UNASUR and ALBA.

According to news reports, Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian President, has called for the expulsion of Paraguay from MERCOSUR and UNASUR as the action has broken the preserving democracy clauses in the organisations. Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic, has said that the ousting of President Lugo was “illegal and undemocratic”.

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Venezuelanalysis carries an interesting report on collaboration between Venezuela’s counter-revolutionary opposition and the Israeli government. Both hope to beat President Hugo Chavez in this year’s elections, though the Chavez government maintains a solid lead in the polls.

Over the weekend, Venezuela’s anti-Chavez minority confirmed reports that one of their own recently met with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and promised to re-establish ties with Israel if the opposition is somehow successful in this year’s presidential election. Speaking on behalf of the opposition’s socalled Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma is said to have promised both economic and political rewards in exchange for Israeli support of MUD presidential hopeful, Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Though the MUD have been totally unable to improve their standing in polls which predict a sweeping electoral victory for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this October 7, Ledezma’s comments in Israel provide a troubling glimpse at wishful opposition thinking in a post-Chavez period.


Though he was in Jerusalem last week for the 28th International Mayors Conference, opposition lawyer and politician Antonio Ledezma took advantage of his publicly-financed trip to meet privately with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as the country’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Asked about the closed-door meetings, Ledezma said  he had used his time in Israel to spread “the message that the Venezuelan nation has respect for Israel”.

Ledezma told reporters he spoke with Netanyahu and Liberman about “the Venezuelan people’s solidarity with the Jewish community” and, “in addition, our (opposition) disposition to reestablish relations with the State of Israel under a new government presided by Henrique Capriles Radonski”.

“In contrast to the current political policy in Venezuela”, he said, “Capriles will re-establish our historical ties”.

Read the rest here.

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