Latin America’s Left shows a better world is possible – Jess Barnard


“When good news can feel like it’s in short supply for socialists, it’s important to remember that Latin America’s Left continues to show a better world is possible.”

Jess Barnard,

By Jess Barnard, Labour NEC member

When good news can feel like it’s in short supply for socialists, it’s important to remember that Latin America’s Left continues to show a better world is possible – where the planet and public need are put ahead of corporate greed.

The continent is again shifting to the left – with progressive governments being elected in numerous countries.

I was privileged to go to a Workers’ Party Congress prior to Lula returning to the Presidency last year in Brazil, seeing for myself how massive social movements can both resist a right-wing government and provide the base in communities for democracy and social progress to advance.

Our comrades in Bolivia and Honduras have not only defeated far-right coup regimes, but are now getting on with the business of building a better society.

Bolivia, for example, has started to make the right to food a reality through the Bonus Against Hunger initiative, which helped over four million people, whilst partly funding social programme expansion through a wealth tax.

Other policies implemented in the region can be learnt from too – such as Mexico banning fire-and-rehire, or Honduras giving free electricity to the poor.

These priorities are the right ones at this time of health, economic and environmental crises.

Yet – as has happened time and time again in the past – the US Empire is fighting back.

As well as continuing its sanctions, blockades and illegal ‘regime change’ efforts against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, there has been the coup in Peru and intensifying ‘lawfare’ against the Left in Ecuador and Argentina, aimed at stopping progressive forces being able to win at the ballot box.

It’s important that we both offer solidarity against these reactionary attacks and take inspiration from how people across the region are fighting back through mass movements to struggle for independence and sovereignty, standing against neo-liberalism and US domination.

  • LIVERPOOL EVENT: ¡Viva la solidaridad! Latin America Shows a Better World Is Possible. 18.30, Monday October 9. Hard Days Night Hotel (Zygmant Suite), North John Street. Liverpool, L2 6RR.
  • Taking place with with Julia Felmanas, Brazilian Workers’ Party; John McDonnell MP; Claudia Turbet-Delof, Wiphalas Across the World, Bolivia; Richard Burgon MP; Jess Barnard, Labour NEC & more. Register Here
  • This article appears in the special Labour Outlook hard-copy bulletin for Autumn 2023. Download and read it here.
  • If you support Labour Outlook’s work amplifying the voices of left movements and struggles here and internationally, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon.

Featured image: Jess Barnard meets Lula da Silva in Brazil, December 17, 2021. Photo credit: Jess Barnard/twitter

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