Canadian Dimension: Unity, Struggle, and Victory: The Second Assembly of ALBA Social Movements

Photo from Public Domain One way of understanding the situation of Latin America in recent decades is the story of the emergence, strengthening and unification of popular movements. These movements initially arose as defensive mobilizations against the devastating impacts of neoliberalism. Since then, they have been working towards the collective construction of an alternative social ...

Canadian Dimension: Brazilian President Temer Signs Constitutional Amendment Imposing 20 Years of Austerity

Photo from Public Domain Alfredo Saad-Filho is Professor of Political Economy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and was a senior economic affairs officer at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. He has degrees in Economics from the Universities of Brasilia (Brazil) and London (SOAS), and has ...

Canadian Dimension: Fidel Castro Ruz memorial: Santiago de Cuba

Cuban high school students wave flags at a memorial assembly for Fidel Castro in Santiago, December 3, 2016 • Photo by David Hugill Scenes from the Fidel Castro funeral procession and memorial gathering in Santiago de Cuba, December 3, 2016. Produced for Canadian Dimension (Winnipeg, Manitoba). “Thousands begin to line the streets as the memorial ...

Canadian Dimension: History Will be the Judge: Fidel Castro, 1926-2016

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s leader of revolution, has died aged 90. Here is an extract from Tariq Ali‘s introduction to The Declarations of Havana, Verso’s collection of Castro’s speeches. On 26 July 1953 an angry young lawyer, Fidel Castro, led a small band of armed men in an attempt to seize the Moncada barracks in Santiago ...

Canadian Dimension: What Happened to the Pink Tide?

Photo by Eneas De Troya When the ‘pink tide’ of left-leaning governments first rose to power on the back of anti-neoliberal protests across Latin America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the initial reaction from the Left was euphoric. Striving to move beyond the “there is no alternative” mantra, many pinned their hopes on ...

Canadian Dimension: Tribute to Fidel Castro on His 90th Birthday

Photo by Marcelo Montecino On Saturday, August 13, the world will celebrate the 90th birthday of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz, the only individual ever to be acknowledged by the UN as a “World Hero of Solidarity.” It is very hard to think of a more important world leader than Fidel. The contribution he ...

Canadian Dimension: Venezuelan Opposition Unlikely To Secure Recall Referendum Before Year’s End

Photo by Joka Madruga Earlier this week, Venezuela’s national electoral council, known as the CNE, announced that the presidential recall referendum will be proceeding to the next phase, and outlined a timeline for the rest of the process. According to the electoral authority, the next step is to collect 20 percent of the registered voters’ ...

Canadian Dimension: Reactionary Tide in Latin America

Photo by Gabriel Cabral Since the beginning of the 21st cen­tury, the Left has won elections in most Latin American countries, in a powerful wave of popular rejection of the disastrous neoliberal policies of the previous regimes. One must however distinguish between two quite different sorts of left governments: Social-liberal coalitions, which do not break ...

Canadian Dimension: Beyond the Boliburguesía Thesis

Photo by Joka Madruga “Oil didn’t wreck Venezuela’s economy, socialism did.” That’s what Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, of the Washington-based conservative think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote earlier this year in his reflection on Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis. Gobry, a prolific writer for Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other publications, went on to criticize ...

Canadian Dimension: 66% of Brazilians Say Congress Voted Coup for Their Own Benefit

Photo by Senado Federal Less than one quarter of Brazilians think that lawmakers acted with the best interests of the country at heart when approving the coup against Dilma Rousseff. As the interim government of coup-imposed President Michel Temer continues to act as a permanent power rather than a temporary fix while suspended President Dilma ...

Canadian Dimension: Brazil: Coup or Fiasco?

Michel Temer • Photo from Public Domain The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has been suspended from her office while she goes on trial by the Senate. If convicted, she would be removed from office, which is what is meant in Brazil by “impeachment.” Anyone, even Brazilians, who have been trying to follow the last ...

Canadian Dimension: Nicolas Maduro Declares Emergency to Face Foreign Intervention

Photo by Joka Madruga The 60-day state of emergency will be used against threats of intervention by the United States and Colombia, among others, in light of the political assaults on Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency on Friday due to what he called plots from within the ...

Canadian Dimension: The Political Crisis in Brazil

Photo by Jordi Bernabeu Farrús Since the 1980s, Brazil’s Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) has been one of the largest political parties of the left in Latin America. It has held power at the federal level in Brazil, in coalition with other parties, since January 2003, and figured prominently as one of the central ...

Canadian Dimension: A Chill Wind From the North: the US Returns to Latin America

Photo by Carlos Díaz Old familiar dangers lurk in the corners of Latin America. More than a decade of hope — enshrined in the experiments in Venezuela — now seems extinguished. The “pink tide” of electoral victories from Venezuela to Bolivia and upwards to Nicaragua appears to have receded. The Old Right has rejected the ...

Canadian Dimension: Overthrowing Dilma Rousseff

Photo by Rede Brasil Atual Every so often, the bourgeois political system runs into crisis. The machinery of the state jams; the veils of consent are torn asunder and the tools of power appear disturbingly naked. Brazil is living through one of those moments: it is dreamland for social scientists; a nightmare for everyone else. ...

Canadian Dimension: Indigenous Rights Under Attack: Canadian economic and political interests over human rights

Illustration by LargeMarge No one defending their land and territory in Honduras is safe. That was the message that rang loud and clear after Berta Cáceres was murdered in her home on March 3. Cáceres, an Indigenous Lenca woman, mother and grandmother was founder of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras ...

Canadian Dimension: Venezuelan Opposition Launches Campaign to Oust Nicolas Maduro

Photo by Joka Madruga Venezuela’s right-wing opposition launched a campaign Tuesday to remove socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power this year. The plan includes street protests for his immediate resignation, along with plans to hold a presidential recall referendum and to change the constitution so that there are immediate elections. “We call on the entire ...

Canadian Dimension: Brazilian Democracy in Distress: Unpacking Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment

Photo by Senado Federal Alfredo Saad Filho is Professor of Political Economy at the SOAS Department of Development Studies. His research interests include the political economy of neoliberalism, industrial policy, alternative macroeconomic policies, and the labour theory of value and its applications. Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies has opened impeachment procedures against President Dilma Rousseff, of ...

Canadian Dimension: The Roots of the Current Situation in Venezuela

Photo by Diariocritico de Venezuela The current economic, political, and social situation in Venezuela is very complicated, which makes it somewhat difficult for outsiders to make sense of. On the one hand there are many people who defend the Bolivarian revolution, pointing to the successes it has had in reducing poverty and inequality and in ...

Canadian Dimension: Colombia’s Killing Fields: Peace is War

Photo from Public Domain Introduction Colombia has received more US military aid–over $6 billion dollars in the past decade – than any country in the Western Hemisphere. For its part, Colombia allowed the Pentagon to build seven military bases, more than all the other countries in the region combined. There are over 2,000 US military ...

Canadian Dimension: The United States and Venezuela: Decades of Defeats and Destabilization

Photo by David Hernández Introduction US policy toward Venezuela is a microcosm of its larger strategy toward Latin America. The intent is to reverse the region’s independent foreign policy and to restore US dominance; to curtail the diversification of trading and investment partners and re-centre economic relations to the US; to replace regional integration pacts ...

Canadian Dimension: John Pilger: Venezuela’s Struggle Against “a Common Enemy”

Photo by Jorge Paparoni With a “slow-motion coup” underway in Venezuela, John Pilger is interviewed for Telesur, the Latin American TV network, by Mike Albert. Mike Albert: Why would the US want Venezuela’s government overthrown? John Pilger: There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government ...

Canadian Dimension: The Cuban Epic

Photo by John Puddephatt Cuba brought the greatest ideas of social transformation to several generations of Latin Americans. Its revolution touched the youth, convulsed political organizations and shook the left. In the Sixties Castroism broke with all the dogmas, demonstrating that a socialist process was possible on the continent. Ninety miles from Miami the conspiracies ...

Canadian Dimension: After Chávez: The Maduro Government And The ‘Economic War’ in Venezuela

Photo by Valter Campanato Nearly two years after the death of Hugo Chávez, the key question that many on the left are debating, in Venezuela and elsewhere, is whether his successors have been true to his legacy, or whether the ‘revolutionary process’ initiated more than a decade ago has now stalled or even been thrown ...

Canadian Dimension: Bolivia’s Transformation

Photo by Yves Picq It is a sometimes overly rich recipe, starched with violence and populism, but Latin American politics is something to behold. In the Americas, experiments have been run and tried with brutal consequences. Revolutions and counter-revolutions have been plotted and enacted. The good have tended to be a short time in office, ...