Venezuela

Workers of the World

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No alternative for Latin America

By alan porter

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has claimed victory in his encounter with George Bush at November’s Summit of the Americas. Bush had been using the summit as a vehicle to implement a neoliberal economic zone across the continent, the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

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A new socialist party

The most promising political development in Venezuela this year was the formation of the Party of Revolution and Socialism (PRS). Four hundred people met in Caracas to found the party in July.

The new party consists of existing left organisations, such as Morenoist Opción de Izquierda Revolucionaria (OIR, Revolutionary Left Option), the Opción Clasista de Trabajadores (which groups together workers from the oil industry) and the student collective Activate from the Central University of Venezuela.

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Venezuela’s new union movement

Much of the discussion about Venezuela has focused on the role and policies of the Hugo Chávez government. But the emergence of the Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (National Workers’ Union, UNT) may in the long-run be more important for the workers of Venezuela. Paul Hampton reports.

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Bonapartism in Venezuela

“By Bonapartism we mean a regime in which the economically dominant class, having the qualities necessary for democratic methods of government, finds itself compelled to tolerate – in order to preserve its possessions – the uncontrolled command of a military and police apparatus over it, of a crowned ‘saviour’. This kind of situation is created in periods when the class contradictions have become particularly acute; the aim of Bonapartism is to prevent explosions.”

Leon Trotsky, Again on the question of Bonapartism, March 1935, in Writings 1934-35

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workers’ news Round-up

By Pablo Velasco

china

A former textile worker who posted online reports about a protest demonstrations by steel workers in Chongqing has disappeared and is believed to be in police custody.

Shi Xiaoyu was taken away by police from his home in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, on 20 October, according to Chinese human rights groups. Police arrested him, confiscating his computer and other materials.

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The “military road to socialism”

Paul Hampton reviews Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution by Richard Gott (Verso, 2005)

Richard Gott the journalist is like a courtier who rides round in a stretch limo to visit the poor before returning as a “privileged visitor” to the presidential palace. And for Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, he has nothing but admiration.

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New Venezuelan socialist party to be formed

Four hundred people met in the Caracas Venezuela on 9 July to found a new socialist party by January 2006, when the World Social Forum will meet in the city.

The name currently proposed for the party is the PTRS, the Workers Party for the Socialist Revolution.

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