Latin America

The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples is inviting all friends of Cuba to join the sixth International Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba this May Day.

The brigade runs from April 22 to May 6 this year. It aims to provide a wider understanding of Cuban reality and carry out volunteer work to support agricultural development in Cuba.

The 15-day program includes visits to historical, economic, cultural and social places in Havana and the provinces of Artemisa and Pinar del Rio.

A new twist in the turbulent saga surrounding a proposed roadway through indigenous land has reignited a debate raging throughout Bolivia since the middle of last year.

The controversial highway ― which would cut through the Isiboro-Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) ― has been at the centre of protests and counter-protests. It has polarised Bolivian society and divided indigenous groups that are the heart of the Evo Morales government’s social base.

In a fit of petulant anger, the US government lashed out on January 25 against the outcome of Nicaragua’s recent presidential election. The leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front's (FSLN) Daniel Ortega was easily re-elected president and the FSLN won a majority in the National Assembly.

The article below has been translated by Federico Fuentes. It first appeared in the Latin America-wide magazine America XXI

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“We support the right of self-determination of the habitants of the Falkland Islands [Malvinas]; what the Argentines having been saying recently is, in my opinion, much more similar to colonialism, because these people want to continue being British and the Argentines what them to do something different.”

Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met for its 11th summit in Caracas on February 4 and 5 to discuss advancing the organisation.

ALBA is made up of the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. Formed in 2004, ALBA seeks to develop trade on the basis of solidarity and cooperation.

From January 24-29, the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre was again the staging ground for the World Social Forum (WSF), an annual international gathering of anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist activists. Among the various movements present, one of the most visible was Brazil's Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST), possibly the largest social movement in Latin America.

The Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), held in April, “endorsed for the first time a fundamental change in the political and economic model”, said Cuban political scientist and Temas editor Rafael Hernandez.

This does not mean abandoning Cuba’s socialist project, but renewing this project after two decades of the post-Soviet “Special Period”. This is a deep structural crisis in Cuba’s post-capitalist, centrally-planned economy and an ideological and ethical crisis of the nation’s socialist vocation.

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.

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