Latin America

Round-up: Will the Real Left Please Stand Up?

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Much confusion has arisen over the so-called "move to the left" in Latin America occurring in recent years.

Leaving aside the fact that "the left" has become a difficult and ill-defined concept in the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there is obviously a new and hopeful mood throughout Latin America. It was created by the emergence of leaders and parties, traditionally associated with progressive causes, who have been notably sceptical of US claims to global hegemony. Particularly significant is the return of Cuba as a player in the continent's politics.

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.

Revolution in the Air

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Chris Harman analyses critical choices facing the Latin American left.

'The US has lost the plot in Latin America.' So said at least one commentator during last month's Summit of the Americas in the Argentinian city of Mar del Plata. Not only was Bush faced with a big and militant demonstration outside led by former football star Diego Maradona, but his plans for a Free Trade Area of the Americas got the thumbs-down from the government leaders assembled inside.

It was symptomatic of a swing to the left throughout South America in the last five years. But how deep is this swing, and where is it going?

South America's New Revolt

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Che Guevara's vision of continental revolution is being revived, argues Chris Harman, but political leadership remains essential.

Nearly four decades after the murder of Che Guevara, a new ferment of revolt is beginning to spread across South America. Three governments have been driven out in three years - in Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia - by spontaneous uprisings. In Peru the Toledo government that took office after the fall of the Fujimori near-dictatorship is being shaken by recurrent rebellion against its economic policies. In Brazil discontent with the policies of the Workers Party government of Lula elected just 20 months ago is giving birth to new left currents.

Latin America: Continent of Discontent

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For the third time in three years a spontaneous uprising has forced a neoliberal president to flee from a presidential palace in South America.

First Jamil Mahuad in Ecuador in January 2000, then De La Rua in Argentina in December 2001, and now Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozado in Bolivia.

When miners armed with sticks of dynamite, clubs and rocks joined the crowds thronging the centre of the capital, La Paz, on 17 October they showed the extent to which the movement against corporate globalisation finds its sharpest practical expression on the streets of Latin America.

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