Latin America

Is Venezuela burning? A debate February 2014

As anti-government protests continue in Venezuela, Mike Gonzalez argues that only a deepening of the Bolivarian revolution can save it. Below, Federico Fuentes responds

Chile’s fractured social movement November 2013

Protests for better healthcare on an archipelago off the coast of Chile demonstrate the successes of local mobilisations, but also the failures of the larger social movement, write Rosalind Adams and Charlotte Sexauer

Allende’s socialist internet September 2013

Leigh Phillips tells the story of Cybersyn, Chile’s experiment in non-centralised economic planning which was cut short by the 1973 coup

Chile: The first dictatorship of globalisation September 2013

When General Pinochet overthrew Salvador Allende’s left-wing government in Chile, Mike Gatehouse was among the thousands of activists arrested. On the 40th anniversary of the coup he describes the hope and then the horror of the time

Ructions in Rio July 2013

The scale of the protests rocking Brazil took everyone by surprise - even the demonstrators themselves. Sue Branford and Hilary Wainwright investigate where they came from and where are they going

Brazil: The giant has awoken June 2013

Matthew Richmond writes on Brazil's growing mass movement

Rio’s iron heel June 2013

As host of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, the Brazilian government is trying to ‘pacify’ the gangs in Rio’s favelas. But, Mike Davis reports, the needs of the favelados have taken a back seat

Venezuela: Different priorities April 2013

Jeffrey R Webber looks at the myths and the realities of the late Hugo Chávez’s impact on Venezuela, and considers the challenges ahead

Venezuela: The revolution begins today March 2013

The death of Hugo Chávez is a fundamental test for the Boliviarian Revolution, writes Uruguayan anthropologist Daniel Chavez

Hugo Chávez: A giant has left us March 2013

As the forces of reaction get ready to step up their offensive while trying their best to conceal their delight at Chávez’s death, Pablo Navarrete remembers his true legacy

Cherán: the secession of a Mexican village February 2013

Mike Aiken reports from the mountain community of Cherán which in 2011 responded to government inaction over illegal logging by setting up barricades and establishing their own autonomous local democracy

That Cuba feeling October 2012

Fifty years ago this month the world came close to nuclear Armageddon. Paul Anderson looks back at the Cuban missile crisis and anti-nuclear campaigning since

Paraguay: A well-rehearsed coup September 2012

Francisco Dominguez examines the background to the overthrow of the legitimate president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, and calls for the restoration of democratic rule

Argentina: Que se vayan todos! – They all must go! May 2012

Francesca Fiorentini looks back at the social movements that emerged from Argentina’s debt crisis a decade ago and asks what we can learn for today’s struggles

Venezuela’s hip-hop revolutionaries March 2012

Jody McIntyre and Pablo Navarrete report on Venezuela’s Hip Hop Revolución movement

Cuba and the ‘updating of socialism’ December 2011

Stephen Wilkinson asks what transforming Cuba’s economy will mean. Below, Sandra Lewis responds

Back to Rio September 2011

Sue Branford looks at Brazil’s unsustainable development – and the potential for a new direction

Chile’s winter awakening September 2011

As student protests continue to rock Chile's neoliberal consensus, Roberto Navarrete sets the revolt in context

Youth rises against bloodshed in Mexico, armed with poetry and art April 2011

Maria Felix and Siobhan McGuirk report on the growing protest backlash against the war on drugs in Mexico.

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Process at Twelve April 2011

Two articles exploring current developments in Venezuela are introduced by Red Pepper's Latin America editor Pablo Navarrete.

Venezuela: Putting People First April 2011

Jennie Bremner on the positive example provided by Venezuela and the need for solidarity.

The path for Venezuela can not be neoliberalism or Stalinism April 2011

An interview with Edgardo Lander.

Women’s work: Codemuh March 2011

Maria Luisa Regalado profiles the Honduran feminist workers’ organisation Codemuh and its role in the civil society resistance to the 2009 coup

Mexico: The casualties of war February 2011

Behind the bloody headlines of Mexico’s war on drugs, creeping militarism and corruption is silencing public dissent. Government policy failures are leading to social breakdown, writes Siobhan McGuirk with Maria Felix

Kanaval: Mardi Gras in a Haitian town February 2011

Leah Gordon documents Haiti's unique and political Mardi Gras tradition

Aftershock in Haiti December 2010

‘Disaster capitalism’ got a hold in Haiti, says Gary Dunion

Indigenous insight December 2010

Victor Figueroa Clark talks to Hugo Blanco, an ecosocialist and indigenous activist from Peru

Lula’s legacy October 2010

Sue Branford asks what Lula has delivered in his eight years in power

The Bolivian Road to Socialism September 2010

Mike Geddes argues we can learn from the Bolivian experiences of working in and against the state

Dealing with the devil September 2010

Bertie Russell is sceptical as to whether states can ever be used to move beyond capitalism

South of the Border July 2010

Oliver Stone's new documentary chronicles the emergence of progressive governments in Latin America. Roberto Navarrete talks to him and Tariq Ali, one of the film's scriptwriters.

Left tide July 2010

Samuel Grove reviews South of the Border, directed by Oliver Stone

Based out June 2010

Foreign bases have been a mainstay of global US military domination for decades. But in Latin America they have been closing fast and a new deal to use seven Colombian military bases is, paradoxically, a sign of US weakness in the region, writes Grace Livingstone

The agroecological activist May 2010

Alex Kawakami is an agronomist and activist with Brazil's Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST). James O'Nions spoke to him about how the MST organises and its vision of 'agroecology'

The community revolution January 2010

While international debate focuses on President Chávez, institutions of popular democracy are taking root in Venezuela's barrios. Pablo Navarrete introduces the importance of community councils, while Steve Ellner assesses their prospects for deepening the 'Bolivarian revolution'

Understanding Haiti January 2010

James O'Nions says the tragedy of Haiti doesn't just lie with the recent earthquake

Profiting From Haiti’s crisis January 2010

Benjamin Dangl on disaster capitalism in Washington's backyard

Honduras: another critical day September 2009

James Wilde says there are signs that finally the US may be exerting its considerable influence on the Honduran establishment

Honduras suspends civil rights September 2009

As president Manuel Zelaya urges supporters to march, the Honduran junta ban protests and suspend other civil rights

Day 87 in Honduras September 2009

Film-maker Oscar Estrada's observations on resistance in Honduras

Honduras: from repression to resistance September 2009

Juan Almendares reports on the growing resistance movement to the Honduras coup

Honduras: civil rights and civil war September 2009

James Wilde says civil war is now looking inevitable

A long day in Honduras closes September 2009

James Wilde reports from Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Wednesday 23 September)

Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela August 2009

Derek Wall reviews Pablo Navarrete's new documentary

OAS meeting concludes and Zelaya plans his return July 2009

James Wilde reports from Honduras

An Irishman in Honduras July 2009

Peace worker James Wilde describes the situation in Honduras

Honduras: A coup with no future July 2009

If Obama's government wants to send a powerful message about the sincerity behind the US rhetoric on liberty, democracy, and respect for the rule of law, it needs to accompany words with actions says Victor Figueroa-Clark and Pablo Navarrete

Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution June 2009

Helen Yaffe explores impact of Che Guevara as an economist and politician

After the handshake June 2009

How far do Barak Obama's policies point to a real change in US/Latin American relations asks Grace Livingstone

An exception to Lula’s rule March 2009

The movement of landless workers in Brazil is unique in resisting co-option by the Lula government and has retained an impressive self-reliance and independent politics. For Sue Branford it is a beacon for the left worldwide. Here she explains why

The threat of the good example January 2009

Bolivia's experiment with economic and political democracy needs our solidarity and also contains much from which we can learn. Samuel Grove and Pablo Navarrete report

Manu Chao, the neighbourhood singer August 2008

Manu Chao could be the most famous singer that many English speakers have never heard of. Yet he is to the alter-globalisation movement what Bob Dylan was to peace and civil rights in the 1960s. Oscar Reyes caught up with him by a campfire at Glastonbury, where he created a little 'neighbourhood of hope'

No workers’ paradise July 2008

Cuba's not my idea of socialism, says Dave Osler in his retort to Diana Raby

Blood on Britain’s hands June 2008

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear says the British government must reverse its support for the Uribe government and work with other European powers to help find a peaceful and just solution to Colombia's civil war

Cuba: response to Dave Osler May 2008

Diana Raby responds to Dave Osler

If the revolution does not go forward, it will go backwards May 2008

Dave Osler responds to Diana Raby and says it's unforgivable to utilise the slogans of Seattle in describing Cuba

Why Cuba is still important May 2008

Diana Raby argues that those who deny the legitimacy of the Cuban system will never understand why, after 50 years, the revolution is still an ongoing reality

Colombia’s war in the Andes April 2008

Colombia's long-running civil war spilled over the border to Ecuador in a raid against FARC guerrillas in March. Gerard Coffey reports on the aftermath

Por ahora no pudimos January 2008

The defeat of President Hugo Chávez's constitutional reform proposals in December's referendum has triggered a wide debate on the Venezuelan left about the next steps in the country's Bolivarian revolution. Here, two articles by critical chavistas are introduced by Red Pepper's Latin America editor Pablo Navarrete

Why did abstention win? January 2008

The Jacobin vision of revolutions directed from above by vanguards and singular personalities has to be done away with, says Javier Biardeau. The abstainers in the Venezuelan referendum were taking a clear-cut stand against reform proposals that had not involved them

Grass-roots Chávismo awakes January 2008

Letting the grassroots lead is the only way forward from the referendum defeat, says Reinaldo Iturriza López

Democracy diary December 2007

Hilary Wainwright reports from Caracas on Venezuela's referendum - and the next steps towards reform

Searching for Che October 2007

What is the significance of Che Guevara's legacy for contemporary Latin America? Nick Buxton travelled to the place of his death in Vallegrande, Bolivia, to find out

Chile or Venezuela – Which is the Good Democracy? June 2007

Outsiders who are looking for democracy in Latin America, and in particular, interesting experiments in its expansion, may choose to visit Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. In Chile, thus far, you will find a President who calls herself a socialist, twinkles at the edges of the system with some reforms, but not much else. Rodrigo Acuña reports

Popular revolt in Oaxaca December 2006

Luis Hernández Navarro tells the story of revolt, repression and the emergence of new institutions of democratic power in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. He argues that it prefigures the future of popular protest - and power - across the country

Tropical Blair or Axis of Hope? December 2006

Hilary Wainwright returns from Sao Paulo to report on how social movements are preparing for President Lula's second term

Through gritted teeth October 2006

The former head of Brazil's biggest development bank says the government is 'practising the most brutal policy of wealth and income concentration on the planet'. So what does it mean for the onetime hope of the left, President Lula, in this month's election?

Carbon credits and the green desert September 2006

As the struggle for land and water resources in Brazil intensifies, Heidi Bachram discovers that the new carbon market is an added burden for vulnerable communities.

Doing the US’s bidding July 2006

Ex-CIA man Philip Agee sees many parallels between what the US is doing in Venezuela today and its successful efforts to undermine the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the 1980s

Fizzy pop and music July 2006

Gruff Rhys, lead singer and guitarist for the Super Furry Animals, writes a diary from Colombia

Venezuela’s new model army April 2006

It was all very mysterious; but indicative of the seemingly random way things can happen in Venezuela. I had only a few days left in Caracas after the 2006 World Social Forum.

Together Chile’s left can do more January 2006

On 15th January 2006 Chile decided to elect its first female President Michelle Bachelet of the New Labour style Concertación coalition. Dario Kenner interviewed the radical left Presidential candidate Tomás Hirsch to discuss the nature of the left wing alternative offered by the Juntos Podemos (Together we can do more) coalition to the current domination of free market politics. Juntos Podemos is a coalition of fifty five organisations, including the Communist and Humanist Parties, that criticises the neo-liberal model and argues for the redistribution of wealth, participatory democracy and full justice in human rights.

Bolivia at the crossroads December 2005

A deeply divided Bolivia will go to the polls this month. Evo Morales, the coca growers' leader and leader of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), will challenge Tuto Quiroga, a white neoliberal enterpreneur and vice president under the former dictator Hugo Banzer.

Lula’s lament October 2005

The success of the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), or Workers Party, acted as a beacon to the left worldwide. Now it has been revealed that it was governing on the basis of systematic corruption. Hilary Wainwright reports on how the quest for power perverted the PT and subverted democracy

Uruguay: the left is watching you July 2005

In his first 100 days, Uruguay's President has devoted most of his time tiding up the mess left behind by 175 years of governments of the right and centre-right. His priorities have been a comprehensive emergency plan to alleviate extreme poverty and the search of bodies of the "disappeared" during the dirty war of the 1970s. Nevertheless, a part of the left has been left wondering about his policies on abortion, laicism and water services nationalisation

Argentina and the IFIs: better off without them? February 2005

There is a popular saying in Argentina: más vale estar solo que mal acompañado (better to be alone than in bad company). Increasingly Argentines are wondering whether it isn't time to go it alone and leave the International Financial Institutions (IFIs, the IMF, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank) behind.

Chile’s Copper Lady and her detractors January 2005

The Socialist candidate Michelle Bachelet is close to becoming the first woman elected to lead a major Latin American country, after winning more than 45 per cent of the vote in the first round of the country's presidential election on 11 December 2005. But some on Chile’s left are not rejoicing, writes Justin Vogler. He spoke to Thomás Hirsch, who was a presidential candidate for the left-green coalition Juntos Podemos Más (together we can do more).

Forget about Lula? December 2004

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva has failed to implement the radical reforms expected in the wake of his 2002 election victory. So what went wrong? Should Lula's Workers' Party no longer be thought of as a left-wing force? And where does Brazil go from here? Alfredo Saad-Filho and Sue Branford discuss

A continent at the crossroads December 2004

In his introduction to Red Pepper's special features on the region, Pablo Navarrete explains why the left around the world is currently looking to Latin America.

How the British media covers Latin America December 2004

Gerard Coffey reviews British media coverage of Latin America and finds it lacking.

Campesinos take on goliath of globalization December 2004

Will Braun talks to Oscar Olivera about the life and death politics of water, oil and gas in Bolivia.

Chavez sweeps to victory in Venezuela’s referendum September 2004

The referendum victory takes the Venezuelan revolution to a new stage, writes David Raby

Shanties into plough-sharing August 2004

David Raby is impressed by the first moves to make a new model of development in Venezuela

Showdown time in Venezuela August 2004

Hugo Chávez faces a test of his own devising as Venezuelans are given the opportunity to endorse or end his presidency.

Britain toes Washington line in Latin America August 2004

The UK government's policy of ending direct aid to Latin America received fresh confirmation last month in a report published by the Department for International Development (DfID). Increasingly, British aid for the continent will be directed through the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Is Chavez next for the Aristide treatment? April 2004

In April 2002 the US tried a classic military coup in Venezuela, but got their fingers burnt when it was defeated in 48 hours by a popular uprising backed by progressive forces in the military. Between December 2002 and January 2003, Washington incited a bosses' lockout which paralysed the oil industry. But the government regained control

Lula critics expelled from Brazilian Workers Party February 2004

When Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva addressed January's Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico, his words were music to activist ears. Neo-liberalism, he said, was "a perverse model that mistakenly separates the economic from the social, stability from growth, responsibility from justice". "We in Brazil have begun the war against hunger," he continued. "The starving cannot wait."

UK campaigners join Amazon battle February 2004

An international tribal rights group is calling on the Brazilian government to take a stand against corrupt local politicians and Western businesses following the kidnap of three Catholic missionaries who supported indigenous Indians in the northern Amazon.

Interview: Grace Livingstone on Colombia December 2003

The war on terror is a recent global phenomenon, yet in Colombia the idea is at least 40 years old. Colombia's internal conflict has attracted US interest since the early 1960s and, now, Colombia is the third largest recipient of military aid after Israel and Egypt. Mariela Kohon interviews Grace Livingstone, author of Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy and War on Colombia's version of state terrorism

Crunch time for Lula October 2003

"We are following the example given to us by Lula," said Joao Paulo Rodrigues - one of the leaders of Brazil's powerful Landless Movement (MST). "He taught us how to organise the people and to struggle. He is our reference point." Rodrigues was addressing thousands of people marching for agrarian reform in Pontal do Paranapanema, a huge area of disputed land to the extreme west of the state of Sao Paulo. He was defending the MST against accusations of "lawlessness" made by enraged landowners.

Report on Venezuelan Labour: the Process Continues September 2003

Nationalise the Banks! Take over enterprises that have shutdown and run them instead by workers! Refuse to pay the external debt and use the funds to create jobs! Reduce the workweek to 36 hours! Create new enterprises under workers" control! These were some of the demands that emerged from the action programme workshop, which were enthusiastically endorsed by delegates to the first National Congress of the National Union of Workers (UNT) of Venezuela on August 1-2 2003.

Defending Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution” July 2003

In Venezuela, the political climate has become increasingly radical and polarised. Chávez's supporters and opponents no longer seem to speak the same language. As a result, any attempt to analyse what is going on comes up against the problem that the normal sources of information are notoriously biased. Nevertheless, beyond the rhetoric and the confusion, the basic options open to the society are becoming clearer. On the one hand, the hard core of the opposition to Chávez is more evidently committed to neoliberalism; and, on the other, a government characterised by the multiple contradictions typical of populist regimes begins to take important measures, which point in the direction of an alternative.

International solidarity with Venezuela takes off June 2003

Despite the misunderstanding and even hostility expressed by some leftists, the Bolivarian Revolution of President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela is seen more and more as a beacon of hope in a unipolar world. From 10-13 April 2003 - the first anniversary of the short-lived fascist coup against Chávez - thousands gathered in Caracas for an international solidarity meeting.

The Ramonet Affair May 2003

The ongoing campaign by various Venezuelan media outlets to discredit the government of president Hugo Chavez resulted in a rather embarrassing turn of events last month.

What’s happened to Venezuela’s dream of progress? April 2003

Monica Henriquez meets some Venezuelan dissidents

New dawn in Brazil December 2002

By electing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with a huge majority, the Brazilian people have overwhelmingly rejected the "Washington consensus" and given a huge boost to Latin America's burgeoning emancipatory movement.

Guns, threats and exploitation behind the banana trade December 2002

Jan Goodey interviews Guillermo Touma, the leading Ecuadorian trade unionist and human rights activist, exclusively for Red Pepper Online

Mexico City to pilot radical Climate Action Programme December 2002

The capital of Mexico, whose air is one of the smoggiest in the world, is set to become the first city with its own climate action programme. The ambitious 2002-2010 Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area Air Quality Improvement Programme, nicknamed Poraire III, will set a global precedent if it succeeds in its aim to reduce health expenditures through air quality management.

Caribbean Cold War May 1996

As the US runs roughshod over international law, Harold Pinter demands justice for Cuba.





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