Andy Brown

Ecuador - can Lenin deliver his promises?

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We can only guess at the extent of Donald Trump’s knowledge of Latin America, Enlightenment philosophy and Russian revolutionary history. Nonetheless it would be nice to think that the election of the superbly named Lenin Voltaire Moreno Garces as president of Ecuador will have raised a few eyebrows in his administration.

Fidel Castro, Cuba and socialism

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The death of Castro, long time leader of Cuba, last November provoked a polarised response. The establishment denounced him as a dictator who ruined Cuba, while some on the left celebrated him unquestioningly. Andy Brown argues that socialists must retain their critical faculties.

Fidel Castro’s death at the end of last year has provoked two basic reactions. One is the bitter and utterly hypocritical version of the right. Donald Trump said, “Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

We on the left need take no lessons from those whose practice and associates are perfect illustrations, in the past and the present, at home and across the world (in Latin America especially), of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

Spain in Our Hearts

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Eighty years ago Spain was in the first months of a desperate struggle. The army, backed by every reactionary element in Spanish society, had rebelled against the elected Republican government. The Spanish working class rose, both to defend the Republic and to create a new and better society. It was the start of a bitter civil war, described by many as the first confrontation of the Second World War.

Spanish left poll triumph

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Local and regional elections in the Spanish state on 24 May saw a significant battering for the mainstream conservative Popular Party (PP) and Socialist Party (PSOE), as well as significant advances for anti-austerity and social movement forces.

The PP vote dropped from 37 percent in the last equivalent elections to 27 percent. It lost 2.5 million votes.

Paris 1901: Becoming Picasso

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In 1901, a 19-year-old Picasso, his self-confidence so clearly displayed in the self-portrait Yo Picasso, broke into the Paris art scene. This was the capital of the art world in Western Europe and the place where any aspiring artist had to make it. It was the home of the avant garde, with whom Picasso identified at Els Quatre Gats cafe in Barcelona, and among whom he was already making a mark.

It was also the political reference point for many Catalans, who looked north to the more exciting, progressive and forward looking Paris rather than the artistically and politically conservative world in Madrid.

In an exhibition at the Galerie Vollard - from which several exhibits are on display here - Picasso showed works revising many of the themes of Post-Impressionism. He also echoed the styles of great painters before him, from Manet and Renoir through Degas, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Mexico's Revolution

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James D Cockcroft



This book will teach you a lot about Mexico. In particular, it will teach you about decades of struggle and resistance by a diverse and courageous popular movement which has used the tactics of strikes, occupations, popular assemblies, hunger strikes, mobilisations and full-scale uprisings.

Indigenous Struggles: Excluded and Brutalised - But Not Silent

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The remarkable victory of Evo Morales in the Bolivian presidential election has focused attention on the question of indigenous people's rights in Latin America, and their role in social and political struggles in the region.

As the first indigenous person to hold the office, Morales is seen as a representative of the majority Aymara and Quechua people, who have so long been marginalised, exploited and discriminated against. At the same time he is a union leader and a representative of the working class. The relationship between indigenous identity and class is a complex and diverse picture.

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