Special Section on Latin America
In this symposium:
A NEW ALLIANCE OF DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED GOVERNMENTS with a range of socialist programs is sweeping Latin America. New trade agreements that embrace the possibility of pan-regional alliances are being forged. Venezuela, Ecuador, and to a significant extent Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, and Brazil articulate some policies of uplifting the poor and challenging US and neoliberal hegemony. Other nations are making their way to this list. Among these synergistic movements, no country in Latin America is better positioned to become a democratic socialist state than Bolivia.
LEFTISTS WON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN 2006 across Latin America: starting (at the end of 2005) with the stunning victory of Evo Morales in Bolivia, through the election of Socialist Michele Bachelet in Chile, the predictable reelection of Lula in Brazil and Hugo Chàvez in Venezuela (though Lula, winning less than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, was forced into a runoff), and the runoff victory of Rafael Correa in Ecuador.
EMIR SADER EMBODIES, to the extent any one person can, the trajectory of Latin America’s left movements. A Marxist sociologist with a long track record of studying Latin American politics, currently Executive Secretary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), Sader is Brazilian by birth but fled Brazil at the end of the 1960s as the dictatorship tightened its grip. In Chile, he then participated in the electoral path to socialism preached by Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government, until the 1973 coup forced him to flee again.
ON MARCH 24, 2007, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez announced to a gathering of about 3,000 supporters that he was creating a Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). The following interview was conducted (by the Venezuelean group aporrea) on April 13, 2007, with Orlando Chirino, national organizer of the UNT (Union Nacional de Trabajadores—National Union of Workers). Chirino is the leader of C- Cura–the United Autonomous Revolutionary Class Current—within the PSUV.
THEY GRABBED ME, THEY HIT ME, they yanked me by the hair and threw me in the back of a pickup. They sprayed me with tear gas and held a knife to my back. They said they were going to rape me and throw me in the ocean. They said other police were raping my novia (girlfriend) right then.