Latin America

The results of Colombia’s May 27 presidential election confirmed that a run-off election between Gustavo Petro and Ivan Duque will be required to decide the country’s newest leader. The election is set for June 17.

Ivan Duque, former president Alvaro Uribe's protégée and candidate for the right-wing Grand Alliance for Colombia, ended with 39.14%. Centre-left ex-mayor of Bogota Gustavo Petro, running for the List of Decency coalition, won 25.09%.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro responded rapidly to the European Union’s proposal to impose further sanctions on top government officials following the May 20 presidential and state council elections. The 28-country bloc alleges the vote failed to comply with "minimal democratic standards".

Maduro, who won the presidential election by a landslide despite low voter participation, said on May 28: "This is the European Union that arrogantly wants to put its nose in Venezuela's business." He added, "Enough of this old colonialism."

Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza responded forcefully to the latest round of US sanctions, which follow hard on the heels of socialist candidate Nicolas Maduro’s electoral victory on May 20.

“There is no unilateral measure, no pressure from any foreign power that can intimidate the Venezuelan people,” the top diplomat stated.

Even before Venezuela’s May 20 presidential vote had taken place, the United States —headed by a president who lost the popular vote in an electoral system that systematically disenfranchises millions of poor and non-white voters — rejected the elections as “neither free nor fair”.

The Lima Group, a coalition of 13 right-wing Latin American countries plus Canada, also refused to recognise the results. Among its members are:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections on May 20, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that night.

With 92.6 percent of the votes counted, Maduro had 5.8 million votes, while his closest rival, former governor Henri Falcón getting 1.8 million votes, said CNE President Tibisay Lucena who added that in total, 8.6 million Venezuelans voted, out of an electoral registry of 20.5 million people.

While the voices of Venezuela's right-wing opposition are continuously amplified by the corporate media, rarely are the voices of grassroots activists heard. Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes spoke to Pacha Catalina Guzman, a leading activist with Venezuela’s largest peasant-based organisation, the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ), to get her view on the current economic crisis and how rural communities are organising to deal with the situation.

Hundreds of popular organisations and social movements from across Latin America and the Caribbean met at the Summit of the Peoples in Lima, Peru, over April 10-14.

The summit is a regular parallel to the official Summit of the Americas, which brings together governments from the entire Western Hemisphere.

Venezuela officially boycotted the governmental summit following Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s controversial banning by Peru’s government. This, however, did not dissuade a colourful and multifaceted Venezuelan delegation from attending the parallel summit.

The Brazilian Supreme Court decision jailing former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for 12 years — ruling out the politician leading opinion polls ahead of October elections — has caused an uproar in Brazil, writes Zoe PC.

João Pedro Stedile, leader of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST), sees the latest developments as a continuation of the coup of 2016 that forced out democratically elected president Dilma Rouseff, from Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT). 

Amid several controversies in the voting process, Colombians went to the polls on March 11 to elect 166 legislators to the House of Representatives and 102 senators.

Colombia’s Revolutionary Alternative Force for the Commons (FARC) said on March 8 it was cancelling its presidential election bid.

Pages

Subscribe to Latin America