The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) was held in Durban from November 28 to December 11. The statement below was published on December 11 in response to the conference's outcomes by Climate Justice Now!, a network of organisations and movements from across the globe committed to the fight for social, ecological and gender justice.
Despite the crushing victory of incumbent Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the October 23 Argentine presidential elections, the campaign and results also demonstrated that an important social and political left alternative continues to exist. The unpredictable consequences of the global economic crisis and the reaction by Cristina’s mixed social base to future policy decisions may prove important challenges to her new government.
A summit of huge importance was held in Venezuela on December 2-3. Two hundred years after Latin America’s independence fighters first raised the battle cry for a united Latin America, 33 heads of states from across the region came together to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). For Latin America, the summit represented a further step away from its traditional role as the United States’ backyard and its emergence as a player in its own right in international politics. Resources
The Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), held April 17-21, coincided with the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s historic defeat of the US-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs and Fidel Castro’s proclamation of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution. When Fidel, 85, made a surprise appearance at the Congress closing session, many of the thousand delegates were overcome with emotion as aides helped him to his seat next to President Raul Castro.
Seven years after being launched by the Venezuelan and Cuban governments, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) has become an important voice on the global stage willing to stand up and denounce capitalism. ALBA has grown to include eight Latin American and Caribbean countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
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
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
“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.
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 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.