Latin American Revolutions

January 26, 2010

Over the last two decades mass movements of the oppressed have arisen across Latin America to challenge neoliberalism and US corporate domination.

These movements are a response to the brutal neoliberal polices enforced in the 1980s and 1990s by the US government and international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

These polices, known as the Washington Consensus, led to an increase in the number of poor in the region by 14 million in the 1990s. Meanwhile, US banks and corporations secured US$1 trillion in profits between 1990 and 2002. In the 1990s, more than US$178 billion-worth of state-owned industries were privatised.

Since the 1990s, popular resistance has grown: mass movements successfully stopped the implementation of neoliberal polices and in a number of countries, pro-US neoliberal governments were defeated and replaced, in some cases, by radical governments. In Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, these governments are seeking to implement popular demands and to link up with the Cuban government to spearhead a Latin America-wide push for pro-people regional integration and unity.

This has led to the spreading of the pro-poor social missions in Venezuela, established with Cuban assistance, to other nations such as Bolivia and Ecuador.

It has also led to a range of new regional institutions that challenge US and corporate domination, such as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA); PetroCaribe; Bank of the South (Bancosur); and the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

US imperialism and its local oligarchies are organising a counter-offensive aimed at rolling back the social gains and regional integration.

This includes supporting coup attempts (Honduras, Venezuela), new military bases (Colombia), funding right-wing pro-US parties to help destabilise and overthrow popular governments; sanctions against popular governments (Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela), and sustained black propaganda campaigns against popular governments and movements.

These tactics aim to promote war in the region, and to destroy the revolutionary movements challenging corporate domination.

Socialist Alliance supports and campaigns for:

  1. Solidarity with Latin American revolutionary movements challenging corporate exploitation, foreign domination and neoliberal policies including in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia and those countries who are seeking to building "socialism for the 21st century".
  2. Every step towards a strengthening of the independence and unity of Latin American nations against imperialist domination including, but not limited to, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), nationalisations, debt cancellations, land reform, government-funded social programs and measures to increase popular participation in decision making.
  3. The creation of broad-based movements that seek to defend democracy and national sovereignty, and oppose attempts by the US or other powers to destroy popular movements and governments.
  4. The Australian government to: reject the US government policies that seek to undermine the sovereignty of Latin American nations; explicitly support the right of Latin American nations to their sovereignty; and pressure the US to cease trying to undermine and overthrow sovereign Latin American governments.
  5. More support for the efforts of Latin Americans and their allies to build the solidarity movements in Australia.

Socialist Alliance opposes and condemns:

  1. All attempts by the United States, other foreign powers or the Latin American elite to reverse the gains won by the mass movements of the oppressed.
  2. The continuing presence of a US base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and the continued, illegal economic blockade of Cuba.
  3. All attempts by US and other foreign powers or local elites to overthrow sovereign governments.
  4. Militarisation of the region by the US and its allies and their drive to war.
  5. The mainstream media’s distorted and false coverage of the popular struggles and governments in Latin America and supports attempts to counter this “media terrorism” by the alternative media and solidarity organisations.