Stuart Munckton

Two-hundred people protested outside the Wellington District Court on October 17 to protest the arrest of four Wellington men appearing in the court following massive police raids on the homes of many social activists two days earlier, according to a NarcoNews.com article by Julie Web-Pullman. Aotearoa Indymedia reported on October 17 that 80 people protested in Christchurch and 30 in Melbourne on October 16, and 50 protested in Rotorua and 30 in Sydney the following day.
On October 3 Caribbean Net News reported that the South American nation Guyana, which borders Venezuela to its west, will soon benefit from a US$12.5 million debt write-off by Venezuela under an agreement expected to be finalised in the near future.
According to an October 8 report from Venezuela’s Presidential Press Office report, a new poll conducted by polling company Seijas has revealed that only 3.4% of Venezuelans think capitalism is the best system of government; 22.6% said it was preferable to socialism and 62.7% said they preferred socialism to capitalism.
As the 40th anniversary of the death of Argentinean-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, murdered in Bolivia on October 9, 1967, on the orders of the CIA, arrives, there is increasing evidence that his spirit of struggle against injustice continues to get stronger in Latin America.
As it Happened: Che Guevara — the body and legend
SBS, Friday October 12, 8.30pm
The Motorcycle Diaries
SBS, Saturday October 13, 10.15pm
Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, led by socialist President Hugo Chavez, has captured the imagination of people around the world and sparked widespread commentary on the nature of the process of social change under way in the oil-rich South American nation.
“The Venezuelan economy in the Chavez years”, a study released in July by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, reveals massive social gains for the poor and working people in Venezuela as a result of the pro-people polices promoted by the government of socialist President Hugo Chavez. The study, by Mark Weisbrot and Luis Sandoval, also provides a detailed look at the state of the Venezuelan economy, which has experienced significant economic growth. The authors argue that, contrary to suggestions widely made in the corporate media (which the authors refer to as “conventional wisdom”), this growth is unlikely to end any time soon.
“The innovative offer by the government of Ecuador to refrain from exploiting its largest oil reserve, in exchange for international compensation for nature conservation, is attracting increasing support”, according to an August 23 IPS article. The initiative relates to the untapped Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha (ITT) oil reserve, which is located in Yasuni National Park in the Amazon. According IPS, the park is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. It was created in 1979 and covers 982,000 hectares.
The lead singer of rock band U2, “Sir” Bono, was awarded his honourary Knighthood Commander of the Order of the British Empire in March. In an example of the power of the corporate media to paint black as white, the multi-millionaire Bono has somehow gotten a reputation as a progressive social activist, standing up for the downtrodden of the world.
“Thousands of government supporters converged on Venezuela’s National Assembly, carrying banners reading ‘Yes to the reform, on the path to 21st Century Socialism’”, the BBC’s website reported on August 16, as Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez announced proposed constitutional reforms to provide a legal framework for the increasingly radical direction of the revolutionary process led by his government. This process aims to create a system of popular power and socialism.
The Venezuelan revolution, led by socialist President Hugo Chavez, has captured the imagination of millions of people around the world with its increasingly successful challenge to US imperialism and US-backed neoliberal policies that have caused widespread impoverishment across Latin America. Since Chavez’s re-election in December on an explicitly socialist platform, there has been a struggle to significantly “deepen” the revolutionary process towards creating a “socialism of the 21st century”.
According to a June 25 Venezuelanalysis.com report, the formation of the new United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has entered a new phase. Officials and party militants had met in Caracas the previous weekend at the “National Meeting of Candidates for PSUV Militants in Caracas”. According to the report, “Record numbers of Venezuelans have registered to be members of the new party” and the grassroots process of forming the PSUV “continues with wide participation”.