socialism

Misunderstandings over Cuba run very deep — and not just among the enemies of socialism or those who have had little contact with the country.

Naturally, people are influenced by the corporate media, which wages a ferocious and relentless propaganda campaign against the little independent island.

As former Chilean president Salvador Allende, whose elected government was overthrown in a US military backed coup on September 11, 1973, told the Chilean Senate in 1960: “Day by day and minute by minute … [the corporate media monopolies] misrepresent what is happening in Cuba.”

As Venezuela’s September 26 National Assembly election time approaches, international media have increased negative coverage of the South American nation.

The bombardment of negative, false, distorted and manipulated news about Venezuela in US media has increased in volume and intensity during the last few days.

Venezuela is subjected to this every time an election nears. This international media campaign against the left-wing government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to have a clear and coordinated objective: removing the Chavez from power.

Not long ago, a lot of socialists around the world had little to say about environmental issues. The environmental movement was focused on individual (change your light bulbs) and capitalist (create a market for emissions) solutions to the ecological crisis.

In 2007, immediately after the founding of the Ecosocialist International Network (EIN), I wrote a Canadian Dimension article on the challenges facing ecosocialists.

In it, I discussed two trends that seemed to indicate a new wave of anti-capitalist and pro-ecology action:

A special film screening will take place in Petersham, Sydney on September 28 to celebrate the graduation of the first 18 East Timorese students through Cuba's medical training aid program, which began in East Timor in 2003.

The event will be presented by Dr Tim Anderson of the University of Sydney, who has followed the journeys of these doctors from the start. He will present his films The Doctors of Tomorrow and The Pacific School of Medicine, as well as footage from the recent graduation ceremony.

The Socialist Alliance national council meeting on September 5, involving 72 members from around the country, grappled with the new and intriguing political situation opened up by the August 21 federal election result.

At the time, it was unknown who would form a minority government.

But it was already clear that the result presented a challenge and opportunity for the progressive social movements to mobilise to demand a just, equitable and sustainable response to the big problems facing society.

A series of problems and challenges are facing the Bolivian government of President Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous head of state, and the process of change it leads has emerged. There has been a range of commentary on these challenges. Green Left Weekly publishes these two pieces as part of our ongoing coverage of the Latin American revolution. The article below is by Eduardo Paz Rada, editor of Bolivian-based magazine Patria Grande. It has been translated by Federico Fuentes.

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Many analysts have rushed to give their opinions regarding the “crisis of the MAS” and its consequences.

Yet, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS — the party of President Evo Morales) has always been in crisis — if by crisis we mean internal disputes for power and the existence of personal interests.

Despite this permanent “crisis”, the MAS was able to cohere the majority of plebeian sectors through a kind of corporative alliance.

A huge transformation of agriculture is taking place in Venezuela, a transformation that has lessons for every other country in the world. I had the opportunity in July to visit the country and see the changes that are taking place first hand.

Venezuela’s Law of the Land and Agrarian Development, the Law of Food Sovereignty and Security, and the Law of Integrated Agricultural Health set out the agenda.

With the symptoms of social and environmental crisis all around us — runaway climate change, Third World poverty, seemingly endless wars — it is sometimes easy to feel discouraged about our ability to change “the way things are”. We can forget that millions of ordinary people have many times over said “enough is enough” and come together to take action to change history.

The federal election result was a breakthrough for all who dream of being liberated from the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee politics that has been foisted on Australia for many years.

By denying the major parties a majority mandate, and by swinging strongly to the Greens, the possibility for a very political future has been opened up.

Of course, there are many challenges ahead.

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