Information about Latin America by Lucia Costa Maia

Information about Latin America

The neoliberal politicians started losing space in Latin America when Hugo Chavez was elected in Venezuela in 1998 followed by several progressive presidents elections which allowed to neutralize “ALCA” (Free Area of Commerce from Americas) and gave advantage to the creation of regional and continental articulations such as “UNASUL” (Union of South American Nations), “CELAC” (Community of Latin States and Caribbean) and MERCOSUL among others, as Latin America jointly improved social conditions like the reduction of poverty.

During this period, the fight against neoliberalism made progress because the Latin-American countries diversified their economic relations, while political, diplomatic and economic relations with China and Russia, allowed them to face the hegemonic project of US imperialism.

However, the conservative politics allied with USA, tries to retake the power and enhance imperialism. The clear intention is to stop the advancement of regional integration that has the objective of liberating the continent from imperial exploitation.

Thus, we saw coup d’ etats in Honduras, Paraguay and Brazil, and the victory of imperialism with the return of neoliberalism in Argentina during the elections. In Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution is still the first target of attacks of imperialism, including armed attacks.

In Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and El Salvador the USA local elites are mobilising resources to retake power. The internal destabilisation and the false complaints for corruption, have been used to establish the coup.

In strategically important Puerto Rico, the US, through financial domination, keeps it subdued to its dominion, repressing with the support of the local conservative parties the movement for its independence. 

Haiti that has been historically explored by France and USA is into a deep crisis with about 80% of its population living under the poverty line and 70% workers being unemployed.

After 53 years of rupture with Cuba, in December of 2014, USA re-established bilateral relations but now Cuba is under threat by President Donald Trump. 

In spite of the conservative offensive provoked by imperialism, important achievements have resulted from the struggle of people and international pressure. By 2015, the US withdrew Cuba from the list of countries that support terrorism. In Colombia, which for more than five decades and with about 200,000 dead, the armed conflict involving the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia came to an end through the agreement signed in Havana. In Venezuela, despite the crisis caused by the imperialist manoeuvres, the government has maintained a call for the Constituent Assembly as a way to deepen the Bolivarian Revolution and defend peace and stability in the country. Ecuador was victorious in the Citizen Revolution with the election of Lenin Moreno supported by the then president Rafael Correa. In Uruguay, the government prioritizes the social aspects with important advances for workers in the area of ​​education, health and labour rights. In Puerto Rico, we had the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera, who had been imprisoned in the United States for exactly 35 years for the “crime” of fighting for the liberation of his homeland. His release was the result of worldwide cries. In Bolivia, the Democratic and Cultural Revolution has advanced in social achievements, which strengthens the leadership of President Evo Morales. Brazil is growing despite the outrages of an illegitimate government, sunk in serious denunciations of resistance. The fight flag is flying for direct elections with the objective of restoring democracy, the sovereignty of our country and for resuming the achievements of the working class and the strengthening of the trade unions. 

UITBB and FLEMACON, affiliated unions of WFTU, are part of all these struggles through their solidarity action, understanding that these are tasks for those at the forefront, fighting for justice, freedom and for a world of equality.

Lúcia Costa Maia                                                  Otoniel Ramirez

President of FLEMACON                                    General Secretary