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Left Politics

Guatemala Blocks Leftist Indigenous Leader From Presidential Race

Guatemala’s notoriously corrupt right-wing government has blocked a prominent leftist Indigenous leader from running in the June 2023 presidential election, in a move that international observers have condemned as an “electoral coup”. Nearly half of Guatemalans (44%) identify as Indigenous. The Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP) is a left-wing party that was created to represent the First Nations who have for so long been ignored by Guatemala’s political system. The MLP is led by Thelma Cabrera, a social movement activist and human rights defender from the Maya Mam community. She has pledged to fight poverty in Guatemala (one of the poorest countries in the region), resist neoliberalism, and establish a plurinational state that gives full rights to Indigenous nations, like Bolivia. The newly created MLP party ran for the first time in the 2019 presidential election.

Perú: Attempts To Remove Castillo Continued Until Abrupt End

Rural teacher and trade unionist Pedro Castillo has had a troubled presidency. From the beginning, he faced attempts by the right wing in parliament, where the extreme right predominates, to remove him. However, he was also weakened by his abandonment of campaign proposals that raised many hopes among Peruvians, the serious shortcomings of his management, repeated signs of ineffectiveness, questioned appointments, and corruption scandals. There were four attempts to remove him from the presidency before Castillo decided to attempt carrying out his own coup against Congress, trying to shut it down in an unconstitutional decision that failed. Castillo surprisingly won the 2021 elections. In a fragmented election, he went to the second round with 19 percent of the votes and narrowly defeated Keiko Fujimori.

Bringing The People’s Voices Into Government

This episode was broadcast LIVE FROM BOGOTÁ with guest Lilia Solano, Vice Minister of Social Dialogue and Equality for the government of Colombia Host Teri Mattson has been in Bogotá since 24 November attending several encuentros organized by Vice Minister Lilia Solano.  In this episode Teri and Lilia discuss the Petro government’s vision of bringing the 1991 Constitutional reform of direct democracy to reality among the Colombian people and the creation of social movements to develop informed citizens, build political formation and continue to create electoral candidates for the continuation of the Pacto Historico.

Hundreds Of Thousands Mobilize In Support Of President AMLO

Mexico City, Mexico - On Sunday, November 27, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans flooded the streets of the capital Mexico City in support of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and his pro-people policies. People of all ages and from all walks of life arrived in the capital from different states of the country to participate in the march called by President AMLO to commemorate his four years in office. Supporters began gathering in the Paseo de la Reforma avenue early in the morning. At around 9 am (local time), they began marching from the Angel of Independence monument to the Zócalo, waving flags and enthusiastically singing the president’s name in chorus: “Obrador, Obrador, Obrador…” Soon, they were joined by the governors, deputies, and senators of the ruling center-left National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party as well as family members of the president. President AMLO also joined the sea of people who were eagerly waiting for him. .

Colombia’s New President Reverses US Coup, Visits Venezuela

Colombia’s first ever left-wing President Gustavo Petro made history on November 1 by visiting his neighbor Venezuela, officially normalizing relations after years of hostility. After a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the two leaders signed a joint declaration pledging to unify the countries and integrate Latin America, following the anti-imperialist model of Simón Bolívar. Petro said it is “suicidal” to divide the countries, “because we are the same people,” in “historically one single Bolivarian nation, reunited.” The presidents symbolically posed for photos in front of large portraits of Bolívar, the revolutionary general who led a successful armed uprising against Spanish colonialism and established many of the modern states of South America.

What Can The Western Left Learn From Lula’s Breathtaking Victory?

The Worker’s Party in Brazil has just won the most contested election in the country’s history. From a jailed politician up until 2019 to now the president elect with the largest amount of votes in the country’s history, Lula built a formidable coalition in order to overcome all obstacles, smears, and illegal use of public funds that would be used against him. The extent to which Bolsonaro moved every lever he could to get reelected cannot be overstated. At the beginning of the year, the federal government pushed through Congress a 50% increase in the direct cash payment program “Auxilio Brasil”, Bolsonaro’s rebranded version of “Bolsa Familia”, a worker’s party program. The move also expanded to include more families on the program. Then, after the first round of voting, his administration used State-owned banks to start offering government-backed micro-loans to beneficiaries of Auxilio Brasil.

ManiFiesta 2022 Ends With A Call To Change The World As We Want It

The ManiFiesta 2022 festival, organized at the Wellington racetrack in the Belgian city of Ostend from September 17-18, concluded with a resolve to mobilize for alternatives for the future. The 12th edition of ManiFiesta was organized by the Solidarity magazine and Medicine For the People (MPLP). Over 14,000 people participated. Around 160 events including political discussions, speeches, debates, book fairs, exhibitions, a food festival, and 35 concerts were organized as part of the festival. Raoul Hedebouw, president of the Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA), Bolivian Vice-President David Choquehuanca, Chris Mitchell from the Enough is Enough movement in the UK, Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, Holocaust survivor Simon Gronowski, British economist Grace Blakeley, author and PTB leader Peter Mertens...

Argentina’s Vice President Survives Assassination Attempt

Argentinian Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner survived an assassination attempt this Thursday, September 1, when a man pointed a gun in her face and made the gesture of pulling the trigger before a crowd of her supporters and security agents surrounded him. The incident occurred late on Thursday evening when Fernández was getting down from her car in front of her home in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta and greeting supporters who have been on vigil there for almost two weeks, showing their support against the political-judicial persecution that is trying to disqualify her from the 2023 presidential race.

Leftist Parties In Turkey Form New Political Coalition

On August 20, left-wing organizations in Turkey formed the Union of Socialist Forces, a new electoral alliance. The alliance comprises the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), the Revolutionary Movement (Devrim Hareketi), the Left Party (Sol Party) and the Communist Movement of Turkey (TKH). In a press conference organized in Ankara last week, the Union of Socialist Forces launched its manifesto regarding the 2023 general elections. The press conference was attended by Ozan Yılmaz of TKP, Ercan Bölükbaşı of Devrim Hareketi, İsmail Hakkı Tombul of the Left Party and Umut Kuruç of TKH. The Union of Socialist Forces has resolved to end the conservative regime in Turkey led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP).

From Resistance To Governing Power In Honduras

A month after the coup d’état I was delegated by the new Front Against the Coup d’état to go to the U.S. to make known what had happened in Honduras. I had been working around international representation and communications in two formations, the National Coordinator of Popular Resistance and the Bloque Popular (Popular Block). These were spaces for coordination amongst the social movements that were confronting the impacts of neoliberalism, specifically the struggle against the Free Trade Agreement, which was impacting everything related to our agricultural capacity. Small and mid-sized Honduran producers had no possibility of competing against the big North American companies who were subsidized by the U.S. government and who generated a completely asymmetrical and unjust competition amongst producers.

Colombia: Francia Márquez Announces Creation Of Ministry Of Equality

Colombia - The Vice President of Colombia, Francia Márquez, symbolically took office in her homeland, in the department of Cauca, where she announced that this week the creation of the Ministry of Equality, which she herself will lead, will be filed in Congress. The formation of this new portfolio will be made to “take on the greatest challenge that Colombia has: inequality”, in the words of the vice-president. In this sense, “the agreement was to create a Ministry of Equality, and this project will be submitted to the Congress this week” and they hope it will be approved urgently”. In the municipality of Suarez (Cauca), the vice president also celebrated being “the first Afro-descendant woman vice president of Colombia and the second Afro-descendant woman vice president in Latin America (…), a daughter of this people”.

Colombia Votes For Vivir Sabroso: Chronicle Of An Historic Election

The night before the elections, Gustavo Petro participated in a ceremony in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, where indigenous spiritual leaders--Arhuaco, Kankuamo, Kogui, and Yukpas peoples--from the "navel of the world", tuned him with ancestral and natural powers to be president. After the dynamic duo of the “Historic Pact”, Petro for President, and Francia Márquez for Vice President, obtained the highest number of votes in a first round in all of Colombian history, on May 29, with 8.5 million, the road to the final election turned into three weeks of high tension, of contending wills and sharp suspense. Immediately, the Colombian corporate media began a campaign in favor of presidential candidate Rodolfo Hernández. They presented him as the possible winner despite having obtained 2.5 million less than Petro, adding his 6 million to the 5 of Federico Gutiérrez, a right-wing candidate who quickly supported Hernández in the second round.

Lessons From Colombia: A Victory For The People

On June 19, Colombians elected the first leftist president and the first Afro-Colombian vice president in history. This was possible, despite being in a repressive state, because of a strong national social movement that organized an effective national strike in the spring of 2021. Clearing the FOG speaks with Charo Mina Rojas, an Afro-Colombian human rights defender and leader in the 2016 peace process, about this victory, the obstacles they faced and how they will counter efforts by the wealthy class to prevent further progress. Activists in the United States have much to learn from the Colombian people's movement and an important role to play in preventing interference by the US government.

Colombia’s New President: What This Victory Means For The Continent

On August 7th a new left of center government will take power in Colombia. Many questions remain to be answered but one thing is clear: this historic election marks a break with a long Colombian history of State violence and monolithic conservatism. On June 19, Gustavo Petro beat his rival, the businessman Rodolfo Hernández, by a margin of 50.44% to 47.03%, after 100% of the country’s polling stations reported their results. Both his opponent and current president Iván Duque recognized the results, congratulating Petro. Despite an information war and decades of violence against the left, over 11 million Colombians successfully mobilized and voted for the historic change. La Unión Patriótica (UP) was one leftist political party that suffered from this political genocide.

Colombia’s First Ever Left-Wing President: What Does It mean?

Gustavo Petro won Colombia’s presidential election on June 19. This will make him the first left-wing leader in the South American nation’s history. In the video, podcast, and written analysis below, Multipolarista editor Benjamin Norton discusses Petro’s historic victory, what it means for Colombia, Latin America, and the world, and how difficult it will be for him to govern. Gustavo Petro won the first round of Colombia’s presidential election on May 29. In the second round, he defeated far-right candidate Rodolfo Hernández, a real estate mogul with an estimated $100 million in wealth. Petro previously served as mayor of the capital Bogotá, and long before that a former guerrilla in the armed socialist group M-19.
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