Articles by: Federico Fuentes

Venezuela: Socialist election win masks deeper problems

Venezuela: Socialist election win masks deeper problems

With a majority of the opposition boycotting and an abstention rate of almost 70%, the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) obtained 69% of the vote in the country’s December 6 National Assembly (AN) elections. The PSUV and its allies will now hold 253 of the 277 seats in the new parliament. This is in sharp contrast to the[Read More…]

by 12/12/2020 0 comments World
 Why Venezuela’s National Assembly elections matter

 Why Venezuela’s National Assembly elections matter

Venezuelans are set to vote in elections like no other in the country’s recent history when they go to the polls to elect a new National Assembly (AN) on December 6. Ever since Hugo Chavez’s victory in the 1998 presidential election, electoral contests in the South American country have been highly polarised between the pro-Chavez, pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution and the[Read More…]

by 04/12/2020 0 comments World
Reinaldo Iturriza: ‘An important part of Chavismo is demanding its rightful place at the crest of the wave’

Reinaldo Iturriza: ‘An important part of Chavismo is demanding its rightful place at the crest of the wave’

As a revolutionary activist working with Venezuela’s popular movements and a sociologist who has extensively studied and theorised the rise of Chavismo as a political movement of the popular classes, Reinaldo Iturriza is well placed to provide an overview of the current state of play within the country’s Bolivarian Revolution. Iturriza also served as Minister for the Communes and Social[Read More…]

by 05/11/2020 0 comments World
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro holds up a copy of his anti-blockade law.

Venezuela: Maduro’s anti-blockade law deepens debate over revolution’s future

Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) passed a controversial anti-blockade law on October 8. Elected in July 2017, the ANC was an initiative taken by President Nicolas Maduro to counter months of violent right-wing opposition protests. Its official mandate is to promote a national dialogue on reforms to the constitution as a way out of the country’s deep economic and political[Read More…]

by 01/11/2020 0 comments World
 Venezuela: Could rebellion in the ranks spell trouble for Maduro?

 Venezuela: Could rebellion in the ranks spell trouble for Maduro?

Venezuela is no stranger to protests, registering thousands of demonstrations, rallies and strikes each year. As of October 1, about 7000 protests had occurred this year (roughly 25 a day), according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflicts. Unlike before, these protests have by and large not taken place in right-wing opposition strongholds nor necessarily demanded the removal of President[Read More…]

by 21/10/2020 1 comment World
Venezuelans, and especially the elderly, have been encouraged to wear facemasks when out and about, and to try to stay home where possible. Photo: @jacoli44 / Twitter

Bolivia vs Venezuela: COVID-19 response reveals true nature of governments

Government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have put into sharp relief their true nature. This is perhaps no more evident than when we compare Bolivia and Venezuela. Despite having been installed as “interim” president after a coup last November, Jeanine Anez is presented in the media as leading Bolivia’s “transition back to democracy”. On the other hand, Venezuelan president Nicolas[Read More…]

by 03/05/2020 0 comments World
Soldiers question an indigenous woman on the way to buy food. Photo: TeleSUR

COVID-19 crisis: Bolivia’s Movement Towards Socialism says #PutLivesFirst

Given the exponentially rising death toll from COVID-19 and the devastating social and economic effects of brutal lockdowns, what could a humane and progressive response to the global pandemic look like? This is what Bolivia’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) has sought to outline in #PutLivesFirst, its detailed and comprehensive plan for tackling COVID-19 and its social and economic impacts. The[Read More…]

by 27/04/2020 0 comments World
Communities across Venezuela are producing face masks, with local communal councils and communes distributing them for free to families, particularly to those most in need. Photo: Páez Potencia/Facebook

Venezuela: Combatting COVID-19 through solidarity

Despite a deep economic recession, a profound political crisis and international sanctions that have ravaged its health sector, the South American nation of Venezuela is demonstrating that prioritising lives is possible in the battle against COVID-19. As of March 30, Venezuela had 135 confirmed cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus, including three who subsequently died. The battle to[Read More…]

by 13/04/2020 0 comments World
A doctor and members of the local health committee visit a family in Alto de Lidice, Caracas, Venezuela. Photo: Gsus Garcia

Venezuela: Community organisation key to fighting COVID-19

Venezuela has been under a nationwide quarantine since mid-March as the government battles to quash the coronavirus before it overwhelms its health system. In this endeavour, the government of President Nicolas Maduro faces many challenges, not least of which is the state of its embattled health system that has suffered from years of economic sanctions and the return of thousands[Read More…]

by 11/04/2020 0 comments World
Marta Harnecker, presente!

Marta Harnecker, presente!

The international left has lost one of its most lucid intellectual, pedagogical educators and determined activists with the passing of Marta Harnecker on June 14, aged 82. Marta will forever be remembered as one of the most influential and prolific writers on the Latin American left, having written almost 90 books covering a wide array of topics and debates on[Read More…]

by 22/06/2019 0 comments Life/Philosophy
Paéz Mayor, José María 'Chema' Romero (centre) with local residents.

Venezuela: How one local council is working to overcome the crisis through people’s power

In the midst of Venezuela’s prolonged economic crisis, in which state budgets and support for the governing socialists steadily contract, at least one municipal council is bucking the trend. The key, according to the local mayor, has been focusing on people’s power and self-management. Paéz is a rural municipality located in Apure state, along the tense border with Colombia. Opposition-controlled[Read More…]

by 13/05/2019 1 comment World
Altos de Lidice. Photo: Joe Montero.

Venezuela’s crisis: A view from the communes

Within hours of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó calling for street mobilisations to back his attempted military coup against President Nicolás Maduro on April 30, Guaidó’s supporters had looted and set fire to the headquarters of the Indio Caricuao Commune in south-west Caracas. The building was used for local residents’ meetings and housed a commune-run textile enterprise, which funds projects[Read More…]

by 12/05/2019 1 comment World
Colectivos

Who are Venezuela’s colectivos?

The media calls them armed thugs and US Senator Marco Rubio wants them put on the terrorist list, but who are Venezuela’s colectivos (collectives)? Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes met with some of them to find out. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-colectivos Green Left Weekly journalist, Federico Fuentes with Cucaracho, from the colectivo Alexis Vive, in the 23 de Enero barrio in Caracas. Photo by[Read More…]

by 13/04/2019 0 comments World
A community meeting in Santa Teresa, San Fernando de Apure. Photo: Katherine Delgado.

Venezuela: Despite the crisis, Chavez’s legacy endures

Given the media barrage surrounding Venezuela’s “humanitarian crisis”, recent tensions on the Venezuela-Colombia border, and talks of “military options” and coup attempts, it was hard to know what to expect on returning to the country for the first time in five years. I envisaged a country on a knife’s edge, particularly as I arrived in Caracas on March 5. This[Read More…]

by 25/03/2019 0 comments World
Green Left Weekly journalist Federico Fuentes with Maria Paez. Photo: Joe Montero.

Venezuelans: ‘We want to resolve our problems by ourselves’

  “Why don’t you go to Venezuela and speak to people living there to find out what is really going on?” Invariably, any article or post on social media presenting a different view to that pushed by the corporate media would prompt numerous comments such as this — almost always from people not in Venezuela and who, mostly, have never[Read More…]

by 22/03/2019 0 comments World
Brazil: Bolsonaro’s win brings big dangers, but left ‘more united than ever’

Brazil: Bolsonaro’s win brings big dangers, but left ‘more united than ever’

  Brian Mier, editor of Brasil Wire and Voices of the Brazilian Left: Dispatches From a Coup in Progress, spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes about the victory of fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential elections, and what it means for the coming period. *** Much of the media has portrayed Jair Bolsonaro as a kind of “Trump of the Tropics”, but what does Bolsonaro’s[Read More…]

by 06/11/2018 1 comment World
Election observer: ‘The majority have chosen the path they want for Venezuela’

Election observer: ‘The majority have chosen the path they want for Venezuela’

By Eulalia Reyes de Whitney & Federico Fuentes More than 300 international representatives from organisations such as the African Union, the Caribbean Community and the Electoral Experts Council of Latin America, as well as former heads of states, parliamentarians, trade unionists and solidarity activists, were present for Venezuela’s May 20 presidential vote. Among them was Eulalia Reyes de Whitney, a Venezuelan-born activist with the Australia Venezuela[Read More…]

by 27/05/2018 1 comment World
Venezuela: Rural Communities Organise to Confront Economic Crisis

Venezuela: Rural Communities Organise to Confront Economic Crisis

With campaigning for the May 20 presidential elections underway in Venezuela, the United States has stepped up its crusade against the Nicolas Maduro government. Hiding behind claims of a “humanitarian crisis” and “growing dictatorship”, Washington’s aim is to bring down the government by any means. It seems to end the two-decade-long pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution that was initiated by Maduro’s predecessor,[Read More…]

by 27/04/2018 2 comments World
Venezuelan opposition activists clash with the police during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro on April 6, 2017 in Caracas.Violence erupted for a third straight day at protests against the government, escalating tension over moves to keep the leftist leader in power. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO

Standoff In Venezuela

Venezuela has been rocked in recent weeks by almost daily protests and counter-protests, as right-wing opponents of socialist President Nicolas Maduro seek to bring down his government. While the media portrays these events as a popular rebellion against an authoritarian government, supporters of the pro-poor Bolivarian revolution initiated by former president Hugo Chavez say the country is witnessing an escalation[Read More…]

by 16/05/2017 1 comment World
Bolivia To Host Global ‘World Without Walls’ People’s Summit On Migrant And Refugee Rights

Bolivia To Host Global ‘World Without Walls’ People’s Summit On Migrant And Refugee Rights

Bolivia’s government and social movements have announced they will host a global people’s summit on migrants and refugee rights. The “People’s Conference for a World without Walls and Universal Citizenship”, set for June 20 and 21, is expected to draw together immigration experts and pro-migrant and refugee rights organisations and activists from around the world. “Given the alarming situation of[Read More…]

by 02/04/2017 2 comments Human Rights
Workers At Two Of The World’s Biggest Copper Mines Are On Indefinite Strike

Workers At Two Of The World’s Biggest Copper Mines Are On Indefinite Strike

Workers have gone on indefinite strikes at Chile and Peru’s largest copper mines and ignited the potential for further struggles in the sector. The neighbouring South American countries are the world’s first- and second- biggest producers of copper, respectively. Mining companies there have benefitted over the past few years from rising global demand and prices, but workers have seen little[Read More…]

by 20/03/2017 1 comment World
Could An Unlikely Right-Left Alliance Stall Ecuador’s Citizens’ Revolution?

Could An Unlikely Right-Left Alliance Stall Ecuador’s Citizens’ Revolution?

Ecuador will return to the polls on April 2 after a first round presidential vote failed to deliver a decisive victory for Lenin Moreno, the candidate seeking to continue outgoing President Rafael Correa’s pro-poor “Citizens’ Revolution”. Moreno now faces the challenge of ensuring Ecuador does not join the list of countries in the region where the left has recently lost[Read More…]

by 18/03/2017 1 comment World