Simon Butler

Over the past few months, the Cuban government under President Raul Castro has announced a series of reforms to the island nation’s agriculture and food production policies.
Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Politics of the Chavez Government
By Gregory Wilpert
Verso, 2007
352 pages, $49.95
Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro
By Fabian Escalante
Ocean Press, 2006
RRP $28, 229 pages
On June 5 the Eleventh Circuit of Atlanta’s Court of Appeals upheld the federal convictions for conspiracy against the Cuban Five — five Cuban citizens held in US prisons since their arrest on September 12, 1998.
Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War
By Joe Bageant
Scribe, 2007
$32.95 (pb)
SA Unions secretary Janet Giles may face expulsion from the ALP for giving a speech critical of the ALP state government at a fundraising dinner organised by the Communist Party of Australia (CPA).
After a spirited march through the Adelaide CBD, 1500 unionists rallied on the steps of the South Australian parliament on April 1 to protest the state Labor government’s plans to dismantle the workers’ compensation laws.
On February 6, senior management announced the pending closure of the Tonsley Park Mitsubishi plant. Citing $1.5 billion in losses over the past decade, Mitsubishi Australia executive Robert McEniry explained to the Australian on the same day that the closure “was a commercial decision and a commercially responsible decision”.
The Unlucky Australians
By Frank Hardy
One Day Hill, 2006
Revised and Updated Edition By Eric Hobsbawm
Abacus, 2007
368 pages, $27.95(pb)
Venezuelan charge d’affaires Nelson Davila was the feature speaker at a seminar and film showing co-sponsored by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network and the Australia Cuba Friendship Society on August 11. More than 60 people attended the event, which discussed the gains of the Venezuelan revolution and its impact on the struggle for social justice throughout Latin America.
Eighty people gathered on the steps of Parliament House on August 4 to mark Hiroshima Day, chanting “Land rights — yes! Uranium — no! Johnny Howard has got to go!”
By Andrew McGahan
Allen & Unwin, 2006
304 pages, $29.95 (pb)
The Unknown Terrorist
By Richard Flanagan
Picador, 2006
RRP $32.95
Up to 20,000 people mobilised for a four-hour march through Caracas on November 20. The demonstration, led by campesinos (peasants), was in support of the reelection of revolutionary Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the December 3 election.
Before we descended into the mine, our mini-bus (or micro) dropped us at the local “miner’s market” so we could buy sticks of dynamite, bags of coca leaves and a few 2-litre bottles of soft drink. These were gifts for some of the miners we were about to visit underground who still work the Cerro Rico — the famous mountain of silver that towers over the city of Potosi, located 4100 metres above sea level in the Bolivian Andes.


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