Venezuela's newly nationalised Kimberly-Clark factory has produced 2,068,800 sanitary towels its the first month since reopening following a worker takeover in July, Venezuelanalysis.com said on August 10. Last month, the Texas-based consumer products giant shut down its operations in the country without warning, firing nearly 1000 workers.
Venezuelans taking part in a voluntary program to boost a slowly developing agricultural sector, described by the US media as "slavery". The United States media’s latest offensive against Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro targets a new sustainability program that transplants urban workers to farmland. Some quarters of the mainstream media have equated it with slave labour.
Former National Assembly member Vestalia Sampedro has officially filed the right-wing Movement for Sowing Right's opposition to same sex civil marriage in Venezuela. Sampedro cited “pro-family” as among the reasons for the conservative group's filing before the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ).
As US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton led a team committed to delegitimising the politics of the late socialist president Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, secret emails published by WikiLeaks reveal. Clinton publicly welcomed improved relations with Venezuela as Secretary of State, but she privately ridiculed the country and continued to support destabilisation efforts, leaked emails show.
Members of the Merida communal council distributing food. Photo by Tamara Pearson. It's been three years now of food shortages, inflation, and queues in Venezuela, and the millions of people involved in community and movement organizing have been the most affected. But they've also defied right-wing and general expectations, and even perhaps the expectations of the Maduro government, and have become stronger and better organized as a result of the hardships.
Warehouses belonging to Kimberly-Clark Corporation — which recently had its factory seized and handed over to the workers — were found to be full of raw materials. This is despite the insistence from the factory's owners that they could not produce goods, Venezuelan industry minister Miguel Perez Abad said on July 15.
Anti-coup rally in Brazil. Since the start of the 21st century, the left has won elections in most Latin American countries in a powerful wave of popular rejection of the disastrous neoliberal policies of the previous regimes. One must however distinguish between two quite different sorts of left governments:
Graffiti on the Kimberly Clark Corporation factory gates reads: "No to the closure".
“Oil didn’t wreck Venezuela’s economy, socialism did.” That’s what Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, of the Washington-based conservative think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote earlier this year in his reflection on Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis. Gobry, a prolific writer for Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, criticised Venezuelan analysts who scapegoat oil, even though he recognised that declining oil prices have aggravated the nation’s difficulties. “The culprit is clear and obvious,” Golbry contends. “The problem is Venezuela's authoritarian socialism.”
Indigenous communities representing various nationalities marched through the streets of Caracas on June 2 to show their support for the government of Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. The groups taking part in the demonstration were responding to a call made by the government to develop grassroots solutions to the economic crisis the country is facing.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a demonstration in support of the government's emergency economic measures emergency measures, Caracas, May 14. Photo via AVN.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa spoke out on June 1 about efforts by right-wing political forces in Latin America to oust democratically-elected governments, saying that it would set a dangerous precedent for democracy in the region. “Right-wing politicians don't just want to return to power, they want to return with a thirst for vengeance,” said Correa during an interview with Ecuador Public Television.
Agustin Otxotorena, a Basque executive living in Caracas, grew tired of constant calls from friends and relatives in Spain telling him that there was no food in Venezuela. So on May 20, he began publishing photos on Facebook of supermarkets in upscale sectors of Caracas filled with goods.
About 20 people gathered at Sydney Town Hall on May 28 to demand, "No to right-wing coups in Brazil, Venezuela" and "US hands off Latin America" The rally was organised by the Latin America Social Forum (LASF), with the support of other solidarity groups.
More than half a million soldiers and civilian militia members took to the streets of Venezuela over May 20 and 21 to defend their national sovereignty amid rumours of international intervention and a potential coup, Venezuela Analysis said on May 23. The drills featured troops, military boats and planes deployed to seven coastal states in Venezuela. They came after President Nicolas Maduro called on the military to rally around the defence of the country’s constitution in the face of foreign aggression.