Latin America’s Struggle: Opposing US Intervention, Neo-liberalism & the Far-right – Tim Young


“Across the Latin American continent key political struggles are taking place to oppose US intervention, the imposition & effects of neo-liberalism, & the often-deadly activities of the far-right.”

Tim Young, Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America

By Tim Young, Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America

Across the Latin American continent key political struggles are taking place to oppose United States intervention, the imposition and effects of neoliberalism and the often-deadly activities of the far Right.

Since mainstream media consistently misreport what is actually happening, nothing is better than hearing directly from activists on the ground or those in close touch with the reality of those struggles.

Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America, supported by a range of solidarity organisations, progressive groups and publications, are therefore delighted to host an important meeting with updates on what is currently happening in Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Guillaume Long, former foreign minister of Ecuador will be providing an overview of the challenges currently facing the continent. The recent loss of the presidential election by left-wing economist Andres Arauz to conservative banker Guillermo Lasso perhaps typifies the choices that many Latin American countries face: a progressive programme shunning a neoliberal economic and political agenda or a road towards an unregulated free-market economy and increasing social, regional and ethnic inequalities.

With the recent election victory of President Arce and the Movement Towards Socialism party, though, Bolivia has pulled back from the coup regime of Jeanine Añez and its neoliberal and racist agenda. Camilla Escalante, journalist with Telesur and the Bolivian Kawsachun News will be on hand to report on the march of social progress under the Movement for Socialism and the progress it has made since its historic electoral victory in October 2020.

Francesca Emanuele, a Peruvian journalist and activist, will provide an overview and some key details about the Left’s stunning Presidential election victory which was only just confirmed last month. In a tightly fought contest, rural schoolteacher and union activist stunned right-wing Keiko Fujimori and her Popular Force party in the election’s second round, winning by the narrow margin of 50.13% to Fujimori’s 49.87%. But Fujimori’s baseless challenge to the result and right-wing forces’ unwillingness to accept the result indicates the struggles ahead to implement a progressive agenda.

Brazil, meanwhile, is seeing growing resistance to far-right President Bolsonaro. Growing dissatisfaction with his appalling mismanagement of the pandemic saw protests in late July in 350 areas across Brazil, including 20 major cities, demanding his resignation. In August Brazil reported over 20 million cases and has now recorded a staggering 559,000 deaths, the second-highest death toll globally after the United States. Natalia Urban of Brasilwire (a member of our Wire coalition, bringing progressive perspectives and grassroots stories from Brazil) will update the meeting on the current challenges to Bolsonaro and future prospects, now that Lula has been freed and is invigorating the broad opposition to the president.

From Argentina, Gabriel Rodriguez of the International Transport Workers’ Federation will be on hand to discuss both the alternatives to neo-liberalism and how resistance to it has developed over the last three decades.

While all Latin American countries have suffered the effects of US political and economic activities in the region over the last two centuries, three countries in particular are currently experiencing the severe aggression by their neighbour to the north.

Dr Francisco Dominguez of the Latin American Studies Department of Middlesex University will provide an overview of the effects of US sanctions – which have been condemned by the United Nations as illegal coercive measures – on the region, but particularly Venezuela and Nicaragua.

In the Caribbean, Cuba of course has suffered the effects of a US blockade since the early 1960s. This year its annual resolution against the US blockade was opposed by only the US and Israel, but sanctions remain in place.  Bernard Regan of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign will be on hand to explain why we must stand against the criminal US blockade.

From Cuba’s revolution in 1959, to the Allende Government in Chile in the 1970s, to the Sandinista and Bolivarian revolutions in Nicaragua and Venezuela respectively in the 1980s and 1990s, through to the recent victories in Bolivia and Peru, Latin America’s left has inspired socialists across the globe that a better world is possible.

Let’s give them all the international solidarity they need and deserve.

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