One of the most vital features of the Bolivarian revolution underway in Venezuela is the development by workers and their organisations of different forms of workers’ control in their workplaces and communities. The increasing participation and control by workers is taking place at the same time as hundreds of companies have been nationalised.
On November 22, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Vice-President Elias Jaua headed a meeting including the regional vice presidents of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV — the mass party led by Chavez) as well as government vice-presidents. The two groups make up the Council of Vice-Presidents.
The Cuban Communist Party has called its Sixth Congress for April. It has presented a document for discussion that proposes economic and political reforms to be implement over the next five years. The proposals are outlined in the “The Economic and Social Policy Development Project”, a 32-page pamphlet that establishes 291 “lines of action”. The document covers: the economic management model; macroeconomic and foreign economic policies; investment, agro-industrial and energy plans; and initiatives in the tourism, transport, construction and trade sectors.
See also: Philippines workers protest contract labour A successful 2010 Southeast Asia Socialism and Feminism conference was held at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Metro Manila over November 27 and 28. The conference, organised on the theme of “Capitalist Crisis, Socialist Alternatives”, was organised by the Party of the Labouring Masses and the feminist group Transform Asia. It was attended by 100 PLM delegates from Metro Manila, as well as representatives from other organisations.
In the lead-up to the March NSW elections, the Socialist Alliance will campaign under the slogan: “NSW — not for sale! Community need not corporate greed.” It sums up the radical shift in priorities needed in the interest of environmental sustainability and social justice. Labor will get trashed in these elections. The Victorian election result confirms that. The Keneally Labor government is much more on the nose than the Victorian Brumby government was.
The sixth plenum of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist — UCPN(M)) began on November 20 in Gorka District. It was the largest meeting in the party’s history; more then 7000 local members are taking part in discussions. The Nepalese revolution is in a state of limbo. The current government resigned in May, but continues in a caretaker fashion, as no alternative has come forward.
The Rise of the Green Left: Inside the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement By Derek Wall Pluto Press, 190 pages, paperback www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745330365& Review by Mat Ward As the threat of climate catastrophe looms ever larger, Derek Wall has written what he calls "an explicit call to non-violent arms".
It should come as no surprise that Latin America, a region converted into a laboratory for ongoing experiments in social change, has increasingly become the topic of discussion and debate among the broader left. Latin America has not only dealt blows to imperialism but also raised the banner of socialism on a global scale. It is of strategic importance for those fighting for a better world, especially at a time when capitalism is in systemic crisis.
Prominent queer rights and climate activist, Paola Harvey, will stand for the Socialist Alliance in the seat of Keira in the March 2011 NSW elections. Harvey, a resident of Mount Keira and part-time student, is a founding member of Equal Love Wollongong, the organisation leading the struggle for marriage equality, and is a member of the Wollongong Climate Action Network (WCAN). Also a member of Resistance, socialist youth organisation, she is involved in campaigns for youth rights, education and employment.
The Socialist Alliance’s Socialist Ideas Conference on November 20 featured informative presentations and spirited discussion. It reviewed the political situation in Australia and globally. One of the speakers was Greens MLC Mark Parnell. The most animated discussion was about the Greens' political perspectives and relation to community campaigns and grassroots activism. This followed an online debate before the event, about whether a Greens parliamentarian — particularly from the right of the party — should have been invited to speak at a conference promoting socialist ideas.