Jim McIlroy

Citizens across Cuba have thronged the streets of cities and towns to welcome the “Caravan of Liberty”, a convoy of trucks and buses retracing the path of Fidel Castro and the victorious fighters of the Rebel Army, after the declaration of the defeat of the Batista dictatorship on January 1, 1959.

“Say what they like, the new Sambil is not going ahead”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on December 23.

The November 2008 Venezuela solidarity brigade organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) spent its first days meeting community activists and hearing reports on the progress of the Bolivarian revolution.

At a mass rally of PSUV activists in the Poliedro Stadium on November 18, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for “Operation Round Up” to gather the maximum number of votes for candidates of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the November 23 elections for state governors and municipal mayors.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned that the right-wing opposition in his country is planning destabilisation actions during the November 23 elections for state governors and mayors, according to the November 12 Ultimas Noticias.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez released a statement congratulating US president-elect Barack Obama, declaring that, “We are convinced that the time has come to establish new relations between our two countries and in our region, based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, equality and true co-operation”, according to a November 6 Ultimas Noticias article.

BRISBANE — The Brisbane annual consultation of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) was held on October 18, with the theme “516 years of popular resistance in Latin America”. Thirty-five people attended.

The campaign against the jailing of tramways union leader Clarrie O’Shea, in Melbourne in May 1969, for refusing to pay fines imposed under the infamous anti-union penal powers of the time is rich with lessons for today’s campaign against the Australian Building and Construction Commission’s (ABCC) witch hunt of construction unionists.

On September 14, the Yungaba Action Group (YAG) protested at the Bligh Labor government’s community cabinet in Carindale as part of the campaign to save the historic migrant cultural centre from being sold off for private development.

Supporters of a woman’s right to choose rallied outside Liberal anti-abortion Senator George Brandis’s office on September 16. They were protesting against Tasmanian Liberal Senator Guy Bennett’s private member’s bill to end Medicare funding for abortions after 14 weeks’ pregnancy. The bill, due for parliamentary debate on September 17, has been referred to a committee.

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