The Two Bolivias Square Off
With the embers of the “Gas War” of 2003 still glowing, the failure of the government to respond to protestors’ demands has fanned new flames of indignation, reaction and counter-reaction throughout Bolivia in recent weeks. The country has become increasingly polarized as the Right and the Left radicalize their respective agendas.
Red Ballot: Voting for Revolution in Venezuela
Venezuelans waited hours to cast their vote in a referendum to decide not only the future of President Hugo Chávez, but also of the Bolivarian revolution that he has spearheaded. The result was a remarkable mobilization amongst the poor that was a reflection of Chavez’s decision not only to campaign against neoliberalism electorally but actually to govern against neoliberalism.
Canadian crimes in Haiti: Beyond complicity
In light of the graphic and well documented human-rights reports coming out of Haiti, the Canadian government has a number of serious questions to answer. It is doubtful that Canada has ever been so heavily implicated in an illegal intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean as it has in the case of Haiti.
Plan Petroleum in Colombia
Despite U.S. government claims, there is still no evidence that Plan Colombia has achieved its principal goal of dramatically reducing the flow of cocaine to the United States. On the other hand, Plan Colombia’s militarization of Putumayo has contributed significantly to increased oil exploration by multinational companies in this resource-rich region.
All over the world, the international Left – including the global social justice movement – is peering sceptically at Venezuela, unsure of what to make of President Hugo Chávez’ alleged democratic revolution. Is Chávez the next Allende? Is the ‘Bolivarian revolution’ really revolutionary? Is it anti-capitalist? Or does he merely represent another chimera in a long line of populists who rile up the masses with rousing condemnations of US Imperialism, only to quietly cut deals with international capital?
The multitude of Bolivians who were blocking the roads, building barricades and surrounding the presidential palace – the peasants, miners, street venders, unemployed and many others – were the product of at least a half-century of revolutionary struggle against landlords, mine-owners, big-business people and the U.S. Embassy.
Beginning with the social revolution of 1952, which expropriated the mines and landed estates of the oligarchy and destroyed the military, the Bolivian workers and peasants forged their own class-based trade unions and militias. State power, however, was taken by the middle-class National Revolutionary Party (MNR), which began a process of re-establishing capitalist hegemony in alliance with the United States.
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