Latin America

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has criticised the US State Department’s “absurd” decision to threaten Latin American countries with sanctions should they engage in trade with Iran.

Chavez made the comments on the state VTV channel after State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland warned Latin American countries they would be liable to US sanctions if they were to use Iranian banks or purchase Iranian oil.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the United States’ decision to expel the Venezuelan consul general in Miami as “arbitrary and unjustified” on January 9. Chavez derided the move as “another demonstration of the arrogance of ridiculous imperialism”.

Venezuelan diplomat Livia Acosta Noguera had reportedly been working in the US since March when she was ordered to leave on January 8 amid claims that she had discussed the possibility of orchestrating cyber attacks against the US government whilst serving as vice-secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico.

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.

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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.

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