• The Spectre of Barbarism and its Alternative

    The following two documents are presentations made or prepared for different purposes in Venezuela. The first (‘The Spectre of Barbarism and its Alternative: Eight Theses’) was presented at a conference of Venezuelan intellectuals organized by Centro Internacional Miranda (CIM) in Caracas on ‘The New International Situation and Construction of Socialism in the 21st Century’ on … Keep reading »

  • Two Takes on the Bolivian Uprising in Potosi

    The Andean countries in Latin America have been at the centre of attempts to form anti-neoliberal political alliances and put on the agenda a 21st century socialism. Bolivia has formed an important crucible for these struggles. The battles of miners in the 1980s, the coca farmers from the 1990s on, the water wars in Cochabamba … Keep reading »

  • Map of South America

    Colombia and Venezuela Rattle Their Sabres: Uribe’s Parting Shot

    Outgoing Colombian President, Álvaro Uribe, dropped a figurative bomb in the Andes on Thursday, July 22, just weeks before the scheduled inauguration of President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, Uribe’s former Defence Minister.  At the behest of Bogotá, an extraordinary session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) was convened to hear Colombia’s … Keep reading »

  • The Labour Movement and Socialist Struggle in Venezuela Today

    An Interview with Pedro Eusse In mid-June, 2010, we met with Pedro Eusse, National Secretary of the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) and part of the provisional executive committee of the labour confederation, Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (National Union of Workers, UNT). Revolutionary figures from times past stared down at us from the paintings hung on the … Keep reading »

  • Indigenous Struggle, Ecology, and Capitalist Resource Extraction in Ecuador

    An Interview with Marlon Santi Jeffery R. Webber On July 5, I sat down with Marlon Santi, President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), in his office in Quito. We discussed the increasing contradictions between the demands of the indigenous movement, on the one hand, around water rights and anti-mining resistance, and the positions … Keep reading »

  • Communal Power in Caracas

    An Interview with Wilder Marcano We caught up with Wilder Marcano, director of the network of Comunas in Caracas, on the morning of June 18, 2010. He talked with us just before addressing a crowd of a few hundred representatives of different comunas from around the capital who had gathered in the offices of the Ministry … Keep reading »

  • ‘To Have and To Be’: Building a Socialist-Feminist Economy in Venezuela

    An interview with Lidice Navas A long-time revolutionary activist, Lidice Navas is an important socialist-feminist leader within the PSUV and a candidate for the Latin American parliament, among her many other responsibilities. We met her at the Women’s Development Bank in Caracas on June 18, 2010 to talk about her vision of socialism, the accomplishments of … Keep reading »

  • Workers’ Control and the Contradictions of the Bolivarian Process

    An Interview with Gustavo Martínez On June 10, 2010 we caught up with Gustavo Martinez, a union leader in the worker-controlled, nationalized coffee company, Fama de América, in Caracas, Venezuela. The company has 350 workers at the national level, with two separate plants – one in Caracas and one in Valencia. We sat down with Martínez … Keep reading »

  • Gangs and Violence in Jamaica and Haiti

    When police in Jamaica launched a bloody assault in May on poor neighbourhoods in the country’s capital city, news outlets in Canada responded with an ignorance and insensitivity that is all too common in their coverage of the Caribbean islands. As with Haiti, Jamaica is portrayed as incomprehensibly violent and not quite civilized. Canada’s national … Keep reading »

  • Building Socialism from Below: The Role of the Communes in Venezuela

    An interview with Antenea Jimenez We met with Antenea Jimenez, a former militant with the student movement who is now working with a national network of activists who are trying to build and strengthen the comunas. The comunas are community organizations promoted since 2006 by the Chávez government as a way to consolidate a new form … Keep reading »

  • Bolivia: When Fantasy Trumps Reality

    Under the presidency of Evo Morales, Bolivia has achieved a new constitution incorporating the rights of indigenous peoples, the beginning of land reform, the nationalization of important natural resources and increased state social spending to the poor. We hear nothing of this in the mainstream media. And ironically, although the left is fiercely critical of … Keep reading »

  • Bolivia: Between Mother Earth and an ‘extraction economy’

    The tremendous success of the April 19-22 World People’s Summit on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, has confirmed the well-deserved role of its initiator – Bolivian President Evo Morales – as one of the world’s leading environmental advocates. Since being elected the country’s first indigenous president in 2005, Morales has … Keep reading »