Latin America

Green Left Report #5 has a focus on WikiLeaks, Ecuador and Julian Assange. It features interviews with Christine Assange, Latin American activist Federico Fuentes, plus features parts of the speeches from Julian Assange and Tariq Ali.

There is also activist news on the battle to save TAFE, the fight against university cuts, the Fullerton Cove blockade against coal seam gas, and around refugee rights.

The seventh Sydney Latin American Film Festival opens on September 6 and runs over 10 days and across four Sydney venues in Circular Quay, Marrickville, Annandale and Bankstown.

Launching the festival will be the internationally acclaimed Argentine film MIA, a deeply moving drama that follows the story of a transvestite living in a Buenos Aires slum and explores the issues of discrimination and the right to happiness.

The statement below was released on August 23 by Craig Murray, a former British ambassador and career diplomat, on the Ecuadorean embassy siege in London. It is reprinted from www.wikileaks.org.

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My name is Craig John Murray. I am a retired British diplomat. I was a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service for over 20 years, and a member of the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over six years.

The 34,000 employees who work at the Polar Business food production conglomerate in Venezuela have denounced what they describe as a violation of their labour and social rights.

The workers accused the company of trying to destabilise the country in the run up to the presidential elections on October 7.

Polls show that President Hugo Chavez is far ahead of his right-wing rival, Henrique Capriles Radonski. Chavez is campaigning on a platform of deepening the socialist transformation of Venezuela.

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 25.

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The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

In May 2008, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez endorsed Plan Socialist Guyana (PGS), drawn up by elected representatives from workers in Venezuela's heavy industry sector in Guyana.

This plan calls for the introduction of workers' control across the state-owned industries grouped in the Guyana Venezuela Corporation(CGV), as well as a shift away from producing raw materials for multinationals towards Venezuela's development needs and taking the needs of communities and the environment into consideration.

British-Pakistani author, journalist and activist Tariq Ali chaired a rally outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on August 19. The rally came before WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange's widely publicised speech. Ali also gave two speeches. In the second, he spoke about why it was that Assange and WikiLeaks had found support in Ecuador and Latin America more generally — and highlighted the revolutionary movements that have swept the continent to challenge US corporate domination.

The Union of South American States (UNASUR) threw its support behind Ecuador in its diplomatic dispute with Britain over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, after a meeting of UNASUR foreign ministers yesterday in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

UNASUR unites 12 South American nations (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela).

On August 16, Ecuador granted Assange diplomatic asylum in its London embassy due to fears his human rights could be violated if extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.

Julian Assange's speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London on August 19. Also features the speeches by a range of WikiLeaks supporters, including renowned writer and veteran activist Tariq Ali who chaired the rally outside the embassy before Assange spoke.

Venezuelan revolutionary Carolus Wimmer speaking in Perth on August 16 as part of a national tour organised by the Communist Party of Australia.

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