Lula to Latin America: We Will ‘Defeat Neoliberalism Again’

Source:  TeleSUR
November 16 2017

lula nov 2017Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva declared that the struggle against neoliberalism in Latin America will continue. | Photo: EFE

Thousands of leftists from across Latin America amassed in Uruguay to march “against neoliberalism” and “in defense of democracy.”

“Temer out!” and “Macri out!” were among the demands chanted by thousands of Latin Americans marching in the name of progress through Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, on Thursday.

RELATED:  Mujica: ‘Militant’ Latin America Must Reject Neoliberalism

The mass mobilization, part of the three-day Continental Conference For Democracy And Against Neoliberalism, drew thousands to rally “against neoliberalism” — including free trade agreements — and “in defense of democracy.”

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, in a message broadcast to the assembled crowds, said: “In all our countries we have already defeated the neoliberal project once and I have no doubt that we will be able to defeat it again.”

It was da Silva, along with late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and late Brazilian president Nestor Kirchner, who 12 years ago defeated the U.S.-initiated Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Chavez Kirch Lula.jpg

Latin American countries fought together “to defeat the military dictatorships of the continent” and “the disastrous neoliberal governments of the ’80s and ’90s,” da Silva continued.

“Union movements, social movements and progressive parties were building the great popular victories of the last decade. The progressive governments of the region, in close harmony with the popular movements, resolved to promote great economic, social and cultural changes conquering an unprecedented dignity for our peoples.”  Da Silva also noted that the lessons of yesterday are just as relevant today: in particular in Brazil, which experienced “a violent blow to democracy” during last year’s right-wing coup.

The conference is set to continue for the next two days, attempting to interlink “struggles against the offensive of conservative and capitalist sectors in the continent,” according to the official website.

RELATED:  Lula’s Caravan of Hope Reaches Final Destination

Last week, former Uruguay President Jose ‘Pepe’ Mujica called on “militant” Latin American organizations to join the meeting in order to share their knowledge of the various struggles on the continent and how best to win them.

The conference’s organizing group, comprising dozens of leftist organizations from across the continent, first met in November 2015 in the Cuban capital, Havana. In 2016, the same groups organized actions in a number of countries to mark their reorganization

Latin America Celebrates Centenary of Russian Revolution

Source: TeleSUR
November 7 2017

venezuelans gather for October revolution 100th.pngVenezuelans gather to celebrate the 100 years of the October Revolution.
| Photo: Twitter / PartidoPSUV

Bolivian President Evo Morales congratulated the Russian people on the 100th anniversary of their revolution.

Thousands across Latin America are mobilizing and celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Russian Revolution with various events throughout the region.

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In Venezuela, workers are marching from Caracas’ Autonomous National Telephone Company to the Miraflores Presidential Palace.

“We, as revolutionaries and socialist, join in this global commemoration,” said Freddy Bernal, a member of the National Directorate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, who called for the mobilization.

In Peru, the Communist Party is hosting an event at the Auditorium of the Telephone Workers’ Union of Peru to celebrate the Russian Revolution. A series of events are also being held in Uruguay.

Meanwhile in Bolivia, President Evo Morales congratulated the Russian people on the 100th anniversary of their revolution, describing it as an example in the fight against tyranny and inequality.

“The Russian Revolution triumphed on this day, one hundred years ago. United, peasants and workers managed to form the first socialist state in the world,” Morales posted on his Twitter account.

The Bolivian government is slated to host an international meeting titled “A 100 years of the Russian Revolution,” in which its influence on left-wing movements in Latin America will be analyzed. Bolivia’s Vice-President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, is also scheduled to give a keynote address at the Central Bank auditorium in La Paz for the occasion.

Other events are taking place until Thursday in Peru, Chile, Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.

Russia’s October Socialist Revolution took place on Oct. 25, 1917, according to the Julian calendar, or on Nov. 7, according to the Gregorian.

It was the second phase of the 1917 Revolution, which was preceded by a mass women’s protest as they took to Nevsky Prospekt, the main avenue of the former Russian capital of Petrograd, to protest their immiseration. Within three or four days, the Tsarist monarchy was vanquished

Rafael Correa: Lenin Moreno is a ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ who was ‘With the Opposition

Source:  TeleSUR
October 5 2017

rafael correa 4.jpgFormer President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. | Photo: EFE

Ecuador’s former president defended Vice President Jorge Glas, who faces corruption accusations, and blasted President Moreno as a “traitor.”

Former President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, denounced his Alianza Pais successor Lenin Moreno as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and expressed support for the current Vice President who is accused of alleged corruption.

RELATED:  Ecuador VP Jorge Glas Sentenced to Pretrial Detention

Accusations without evidence

In an interview with CNN Español following President Moreno’s decision to place Vice President Jorge Glas in pre-trial detention to face corruption accusations, Correa called the charges against Glas “a vulgar political persecution” that is the same thing “they used in Brazil against Dilma,” referring to the ousting of Brazil’s elected president, Dilma Rousseff on the basis of corruption charges in a move many called an “institutional coup.”

He defended the Vice President, saying that the accusations are without evidence. “Glas is a person that does not steal or allow theft, but for this one makes enemies,” he said.

As for President Moreno, Correa said that the current President had deceived him for ten years as a close political ally, who served in his government only to turn on him as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” once assuming power himself.

The founding leader of Ecuador’s Citizen’s Revolution argues that Moreno and his allies “were never with us, but were with the opposition.”

“Moreno cheated me for ten years. He is a person that was with the opposition,” Correa said.

Moreno had previously served as Correa’s Vice President from 2007 to 2013.

Underscoring the abrupt shift that Moreno took after assuming office, Correa said “I went from being the ‘eternal president’ to the ‘corrupt,’” referring to Lenin’s praising words at the inauguration dubbing Correa Ecuador’s “eternal president.”

RELATED:  Ecuador Names Maria Alejandra Vicuna Acting Vice President

Correa also criticized Moreno’s upcoming consultation, which he said had the ultimate aim of preventing Correa from returning to power by eliminating indefinite presidential reelections through constitutional changes.

With Glas relieved of his duties, it was announced on Wednesday that former Housing Minister Maria Alejandra Vicuna would be taking on the role as acting Vice President.

The prosecuted Vice President, Jorge Glas, is a close supporter of Correa, and has said that the charges against him are simply a “retaliation” for criticizing the direction Moreno was taking the country.

IMF to visit Ecuador

Moreno has promoted a policy of “dialogue” with the country’s right-wing opposition,” and announced on Wednesday that the International Monetary Fund would be visiting the country to asses the economic situation. The decision marks a departure from Correa’s policies, which largely rejected the influence of international organizations in Ecuador’s economy in favor of independence.

“A wide range of measures” need to be taken, Moreno said about the upcoming IMF visit.

What did Che Guevara Fight For?

Source:  Moorbey’s Blog / The Dawn News

September 26, 2017

Che Guevara’s daughter reminds us of the reasons behind his revolutionary struggle

By: Aleida Guevara March

che 5.jpgPhoto credit: Politico Scope

In order to speak about the Che Guevara we need time and space, but in order to explain his existence in our times we just need to look around us. If we ask what he was fighting for, the immediate answer is: for a better world. But what does this mean? Decent houses for everyone, free and high-quality education in equal conditions, accessible healthcare for all of the population, peace that would enable us to destine the available resources to research how to have better life. But, what do we really have?

Che’s view of youth

To Che Guevara, youth is the clay with which we can model the New Man. But, what are we actually doing to youth? What kind of life are we offering them? What example are we setting for them? Who can inspire them to perfect their conduct? These are many questions and there are practically no answers—at least not the answers that youth need.

He said: “How long will we continue to have this order that is based on an absurd sense of caste—that is a question I can’t answer, but it is time for our rulers to dedicate less time to propagandizing their virtues as a regime and destine more money—much, much more money—to fund works for the benefit of society”.

What do you think about that? We could say the same thing to many rulers who do a bad job at governing many of our peoples, to begin with.

“… but those people who tackle things head on, who lead by example—to follow or to get others to follow you is a difficult task at times, but it is enormously easier than to push other to get them walking…”

Where do we want to go? What do we need? If we don’t fight for what we need, who will do it for us? It is undeniable that we have strength and courage, but we need unity, we need to organize that strength in order to conquer what we need to modify what doesn’t work, at least for the majority of the people.

“… to be quintessentially human, to be so human that we approach the best qualities of humanity, to purify what’s best in mankind through work, study, the exercise of continuous solidarity with the people and with all the peoples in the world…”

“… to develop sensibility to the maximum, to the point that we feel distressed when a man is killed in any corner of the world, and to feel enthusiasm when in any corner of the world a new flag of freedom is risen”.

That’s what we want for our youth, and it is very important to keep it in mind it now that we’re raising our voices to claim for the life of a young man like Santiago Maldonado, who recently disappeared in Argentina for being on the side of the Mapuche people and defending their rights. What message are they trying to send with the forced disapparition of this young man? Fear, that’s what they want us to feel in order to paralyze us, to silence us.

We can and must fight for that better world

I remember the first time I was in Brazil. Imagine this young woman arriving in Sao Paulo and being told to not roll down the window of the car she’s travelling in, who feels fear for her driver whenever the car has to make a stop at a corner, which is when they assault you, who sees the eyes of a child high on drugs asking for something to eat—my reaction was immediate and I repeat what I said back then: it is better to die trying to change that reality than to avoid dying of hunger. But then I remembered that I come from a different culture, a different people, where the life of a human being, and especially of a child, is sacred, it is the most important thing. I thought I was reacting like this because I am Cuban, and I was raised by the socialist Revolution that we have, but I was wrong.

Later on in my journey I met Mrs. Rosa, in Rio Grande do Sul. She’s a member of the Landless People’s Movement of Brazil. This humble peasant not only said what I was thinking, but she died defending a piece of land with which to feed her children. Mrs. Rosa proved to me that we indeed can and must fight for that better world, no matter where we come from, or which culture we carry with us—what matters and what prevails is the need to live.

“Let me tell you, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a true revolutionary without this virtue” .

A virtue that is indispensable to be able to give our best for a just cause, even risking our lives. I truly believe in this and I have seen it in the dedication of many men and women, luckily, in many parts of the world.

“And we, the exploited of the world, what role do we play? The peoples of three continents are watching and learning their lesson from Vietnam. Because, with the threat of war, imperialists blackmail the entire humanity: not fearing war is the right answer”.

“Under the slogan ‘We Won’t Allow Another Cuba’ there’s a hidden possibility of widespread aggressions, such as the one perpetrated against Dominican Republic or, previously, the Panama massacre, and the clear sign that yankee troops are willing to intervene anywhere in Latin America where the established order is altered and their interests are threatened”.

The OAS and the UN

“This policy has almost absolute impunity: the OAS is a comfortable mask, however discredited; the UN has a degree of incompetence that borders ridicule or tragedy; the armies of every country in Latin America are ready to intervene to crush their peoples. The internationale of crime and betrayal has been formed de facto”.

Luckily for us, it is not like that anymore for all the peoples, but unfortunately in many the army is still a tool to crush the just claims of our people and one wonders where these men come from, who attack their own people. We’ve seen pictures of these uniformed men repressing demonstrations, attacking youth, women and even children without vacillation, and what do the Magna Cartas say about this? Because I know for a fact that many of them state that the army exists to defend the people and what happens in fact is exactly the opposite—so, whose side is violating the law?

When reading Che’s words today, 50 years after his death, many things still resonate with what we see day to day, the relevance of his thoughts is strong and we should turn to him for answers more often.

There’s plenty to do, and the road is long and difficult, but we can and we must change many things to achieve the full dignity that human beings require in order to live. I always remember something that an Argentine mother had written on the tombstone of her daughter when she found her remains: “if I die, don’t cry for me; do what I did and in you I’ll live”. That is exactly what we owe to the men and women who have given their strength to us through their example, and encourage us to take action. Go on comrades, let’s live in such a way that, when our days come to an end, we don’t feel pain for the years that passed in vain, let’s feel the joy of leaving something beautiful for those to come.

Until Victory Always!

aleida guevara 2.jpg

Brazil’s Lula Surges in Polls Ahead of 2018 Election

Source:  TeleSUR
Ocvtober 1 2017

He was credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and tackling hunger.

lula 10.jpgFormer Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva | Photo: AFP

Roughly 35 percent of voters will support the former president in the first round of the 2018 general election.

Despite being sentenced to nine years and six months over alleged corruption charges in Operation Car Wash investigations, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva continues to broaden his lead in the upcoming 2018 presidential election, according to the latest Datafolha poll.

RELATED:   Lula Calls for Policies Centered on the Working Class to Push Brazil Forward

Published in Folha de Sao Paulo on Saturday, the survey indicated that 35 percent of voters would support the former president in the first round of voting. That’s a five percent increase from the last poll released in June.

The Datafolha poll also indicated that Lula would defeat all presidential candidates in a runoff vote.

While right-wing congressman and presidential hopeful Jair Bolsonaro trailed in polling by 17 percent of voting intentions, former environment minister Marina Silva was behind by 13 percent.

Meanwhile, Sao Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria held only eight percent of voting intentions each, Reuters reported. Both are members of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB, which is allied with right-wing President Michel Temer.

Lula’s two-term presidency (2003-2010) was marked by a slew of social programs. He was credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and tackling hunger.

The Family Allowance

One of his most ambitious and successful programs was the Family Allowance. Launched in 2003, the program provides stipends to families living below the poverty line. In turn, those families must prove that their children are attending school and have been vaccinated.

The program’s objective is to empower Brazil’s working class, ensuring that impoverished families are able to eat, purchase hygienic materials and have access to other basic necessities.

“The poor are not the problem, the poor are the solution, when we include the poor everything improves,” Lula told teleSUR in an exclusive interview.

Nevertheless, the popular Brazilian leader may be prohibited from running for re-election if his conviction is upheld by judge Sergio Moro, another possible presidential hopeful. If so, Datafolha’s poll also indicates that 26 percent of voters would back any candidate endorsed by Lula.

Brazil: President Temer’s Popularity Plummets to Just 3%

Source:  TeleSUR
September 28 2017

Temer is the most unpopular Brazilian leader since the country’s dictatorship.

temer sept2017.jpgBrazil’s President Michel Temer reacts during press statement at the Planalto
Palace in Brasilia, Brazil. | Photo: Reuters

Brazilian President Michel Temer’s popularity has plummeted down to just 3 percent, according to a new poll published Thursday.

RELATED: Brazil President’s Attorney in Corruption Case Resigns Due to ‘Ethical’ Dilemma

The president, embroiled in a number of corruption charges, is the most unpopular Brazilian leader since the country’s dictatorship, which lasted from 1964 to 1985.

The results from the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics poll are based on surveys with some 2,000 residents in 126 Brazilian cities, taken between Sept. 15 and 20.

The poll found that those who see Temer’s management as “bad” or “very bad” has jumped to 77 percent from 70 percent in July. The survey also found that no female respondent had rated his administration as “very good.”

In the latest charges, Temer is accused of paying bribes to keep a jailed politician from testifying. He is also accused of leading a group in Congress that took millions of dollars in bribes from companies seeking state contracts.

RELATED:  Brazilian Chamber of Deputies Debate Charges Against Temer

Widely condemned

Temer defeated the first charge of bribery but may face trial for his involvement in the “Gang of the Lower House.”

Since he was appointed president, Temer has pushed through a series of neoliberal reforms, which have been widely condemned by women’s groups, Indigenous organizations, labor unions and environmental activists.

Yesterday, Indigenous people and social movements gathered in Rio de Janeiro to protest against an auction carried out by Temer’s government to sell their ancestral lands in Minas Gerais to mining companies.

Lula Calls for Policies Centered on the Working Class to Push Brazil Forward

Source:  TeleSUR
September 4 2017

Lula caravan of hope 4.jpgLula greets people from Banabuiu, a countryside town in the state of
Ceara, Brazil. | Photo: @CarlosZarattini

As Lula’s Caravan of Hope tour winds down, the former President vows to fight for the rights of the poorest.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in an exclusive interview with teleSUR, has called for the restoration of the social policies implemented during the 12 years of the Workers’ Party, or PT, government in Brazil.

RELATED: Lula Draws Biggest Crowd Yet and Blasts ‘Sellout’ Temer Government

These policies, he said, are the only way to set the country towards growing economic development.

The poor are the solution

The former president recalled that his government was able to advance a social and work policy that resulted in the creation of 22 million jobs and about 6 million microentrepreneurs. Lula affirmed that it is through the creation of jobs, that the economy will be re-energized and will advance the country’s development.

“The poor are not the problem, the poor are the solution, when we include the poor everything improves,” said the Brazilian popular leader.

Lula has been carrying out a “Caravan of Hope” bus tour across northeastern Brazil. A much poorer region than the rest of the country, the northeast has been a reliable base for the Workers Party and Lula, who was born in the poverty-blighted state of Pernambuco.

The need to be with the people

“I learned that someone who wants to govern this country must walk and meet with the people to create a government program that (works alongside) social movements” the leader said. “Traveling is learning again.”

Lula explained that in order to do politics, one has to be with the people, adding that the caravan has allowed him to know firsthand the current situation in the country, where “conditions have now deteriorated (because) policies of inclusion are being decimated by the government.”

The Brazilian ex-president said that the trial against him — a number of corruption allegations that he has said there is no evidence for — is part of a campaign against him, but despite it, he will continue to defend the rights of the poorest.

RELATED: Lula’s Caravan of Hope Reaches Final Destination

Lula has also said that the allegations have been planted against him so that he is barred from running for president in the upcoming elections, given that he holds the lead in polls.

As such, Lula condemned the actions of the country’s justice system, saying they only respond to the interests of the small, ruling elites that have been the only ones to benefit from the economic policies of de facto president, Michel Temer.