Sunday, September 24, 2006

Frontline Latin America Vol 2, 4

Frontline Latin America Vol 2, No 4 (Sept-Dec 2006) was on sale in Albert Square for the anti-war march. Last time I saw it was on the March anti-war demo and I bought it off the same guy, who I suspect to be its editor. Seems like a worthy effort to me, especially with its short Spanish section at the back. It's the publication of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign. The lead calls for US out of Colombia and Middle East, but is really about the failure of 'Plan Colombia'. Basically it's failed in its stated objectives, as much coca is produced as before, mostly controlled by the right-wing paramilataries of the AUC. If you want in-depth news of Colombia here's the place to go, but there's a wider context as well. Diana Raby in 'The big split' diagnoses a developing division into two camps in Latin American politics with a progressive bloc around Mercosur and a conservative bloc including Mexico, the central American republics, Colombia, Peru (with Chile vacillating between). Both blocs contain divisions: in the left bloc between Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia and the other more mreformist regimes. This geopolitical division is the result of 'intense political and social confrontations ... caused by twenty years of neoliberal policies and the popular response to them.' The author argues to defend the reformist regimes and the Mercosur project.

D.L.Raby is the author of a new Pluto Press book, Democracy and Revolution (which I couldn't find on Amazon), reviewed elsewhere in the paper by Andy Higginbottom, which seems to seek to make Venezuela and Cuba the paradigms of revolution for the 21st century rather than the old Russian example. Higginbottom sums it up as revolutionary-democratic populism, which he doesn't agree with, but does praise as a contribution to the debate.

Finally, out of much else, there's a lengthy analysis of Uribe's landslide re-election in Colombia back in May (63% vote, although turnout was around 40%) Arturo Garcia puts it down to in-depth political corruption and the role of the media. However the democratic left in the shape of the Polo Democratico Alternativo (PDA) headed by academic Carlos Gaviria. He received 2,609,412 votes, the best election result for the left. The author also detects a political crisis in the Colombian right, in the uribista coalition, which is held together by the distribution of loot rather than a political vision.

There's a site for a cheap (£6) annual subscription, but it doesn't seem to lead to online articles or an archive. The Colombia Solidarity Campaign website seemed empty. Shame.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chavez supports Uribe.

Frontline Latin America makes no distinction between grassroots struggles and pseudo-progressive leaders. Morales breaks strikes (Castro many, many more).

5 October 2006 at 16:30  

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