espite the government reaching an agreement with indigenous protesters on all 16 demands raised on their 10-week march onto the capital, La Paz, the underlying differences are far from resolved. On October 24, Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly approved a new law banning the building of any highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). See also: Bolivia: Solidarity activists need to support process
Latin America & the Caribbean
The recent march in Bolivia by some indigenous organisations against the government’s proposed highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) has raised much debate among international solidarity activists. Such debates have occurred since the election of Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005 on the back of mass uprisings. See also: Bolivia: Rumble over jungle far from over
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered the expropriation of the British agricultural company Agroflora. The company is a subsidiary of Britain’s Vestey Group that focuses on the commercial production of beef. Chavez said the company’s 290,000 hectares of farmland would be expropriated and brought under direct “operational and administrative control” of the state through the country’s Food Security and Sovereignty Law. This law allows the government to forcefully expropriate land in “exceptional circumstances” relating to issues of national food security and the public good.
“The crisis of the capitalist system has provoked the indignados movement [the ‘outraged’, as they are known in Spain] that has arisen in one country after another across the globe,” Elisa Osori, a national directorate member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) said. The PSUV is a mass party headed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. A revolutionary process in Venezuela is redistributing the nation’s oil wealth, bring industries and resources under public ownership and promoting direct, participatory democracy.
Venezuela’s socialist president Hugo Chavez has likened the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States to Venezuela’s February 1989 Caracazo riots against neoliberal policies that are widely seen as the start of Venezuela's revolutionary process. Chavez made the comments by phone on the television program Dando y Dando on October 5.
The Venezuelan government returned more than 15,800 hectares of ancestral lands to the indigenous Yukpa people on October 12, as Venezuela celebrated “Indigenous Resistance Day” with public events and marches across the country. Originally designated by then-US president Franklin Roosevelt as “Columbus Day” in 1937, October 12 is the date that Christopher Columbus first “discovered” the Americas. The anniversary was re-named “Day of Indigenous Resistance” by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002 to commemorate indigenous struggle against European invasion and colonisation.
September 25 will go down as one of the darkest days in Bolivia since Evo Morales was elected as the country’s first indigenous president almost six years ago. After more than 40 days of indigenous protesters marching, police officers moved in to repress those opposed to the government’s proposed highway that would run through the Isiboro-Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). The controversial highway has met with both opposition and support from the many indigenous and social organisations that form the Morales government’s support base.
September 25 will go down as one of the darkest days in Bolivia since Evo Morales was elected as the country’s first indigenous president almost six years ago. After more than 40 days of indigenous protesters marching, police officers moved in to repress those opposed to the government’s proposed highway that would run through the Isiboro-Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). See also NGOs wrong over Morales, Amazon
“The process of building socialism, as shown in Venezuela, is very complex. It is often a matter of two steps forward, one step back,” said John Cleary, coordinator of the May Day 2011 solidarity brigade to Venezuela, at a forum at the Brisbane Activist Centre on September 17. The Brisbane forum, sponsored by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), heard a report from Cleary about his recent trip to Venezuela, and to Bolivia on the brigade that followed.
Statements, articles, letters and petitions have been circulating on the internet for the past month calling for an end to the "destruction of the Amazon". The target of these initiatives has not been transnational corporations or the powerful governments that back them, but the government of Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales. See also: Bolivia: Conflict deepens over Amazon highway plan