Latin America continues to move left
By Berta Joubert-Ceci
Jan 22, 2007, 09:49
VENEZUELA initiates new stage of revolution
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa chat while U.S. puppet Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez sits wringing his hands. From Jan. 11 through 15 three leftist Latin American presidents were sworn in. This surely made the White House more nervous about this region of the world.
Early on Jan. 11, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was sworn in at the National Assembly after having won a landslide election on Dec. 3. Ironically, this was the same day that, in the north of the American continent, U.S. President George W. Bush would announce his new policy for more death and destruction in his war on “terrorism” and Iraq.
Several of Chávez’s speeches point to a new stage of the Bolivarian Revolution that will intensify the development of his proposed “Socialism of the 21st Century” in Venezuela. These included a call for the formation of a Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela, a new party that would coalesce all the pro-revolution groups existing in the country; the nationalization of important sectors of the economy, including telecommunications, electricity and the Central Bank—which up to now has been an autonomous entity—and several other measures intended to move toward the construction of a socialist society.
Sandinistas back in office in NICARAGUA
After being sworn in, Chávez flew to Nicaragua to attend the inauguration of President Daniel Ortega. After a lapse of many years, in a completely new situation in the country, the Sandinista Front for National Liberation was back in office on Jan. 11, represented by Ortega. The Sandinistas, who had tried earlier to bring revolutionary change to Nicaragua, had been forced out in 1990 after a contra war sponsored by the U.S. that cost billions of dollars of damage, followed by Washington’s direct intervention in Nicaragua’s elections in support of an opposition it had created.
In fact, the World Court in 1988 actually ruled that the U.S. should pay Nicaragua some $12 billion to $17 billion in reparations for the damage of the contra war—a ruling Washington ignored.
The Nicaraguan masses have suffered terribly—first during the U.S.-contra dirty war and then, after the pro-U.S. regime was installed, by neoliberal economic policies dictated from Wall Street.
Indicating Nicaragua would take an anti-imperialist route, Ortega on his inauguration day signed on to ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. ALBA is the anti-FTAA program for Latin American integration and trade that emphasizes solidarity over profits and has already set up wide areas of cooperation among its members, especially in health and education. There are now four countries in ALBA—Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Read about Ecuador, etc. here.