Communist World News

Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category

May Day Marches around the world

In Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America on May 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm

WORLD — Hundreds of thousands of people around the world march on May Day for better working conditions, pay, or against capitalism.

Thousands of workers protested in the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and other Asian nations, with demands for wage hikes amid soaring oil prices a common theme, Associated Press reports. In Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, nearly ten thousand protesters marched dressed in red toward the presidential palace which was blocked by the police.

In Greece thousands of people marched in the capital city of Athens to protest the austerity measures that have crippled the country. Marches and protests are planned in other European countries as well. In Germany May Day is often preceded by riots in the night before, especially in Berlin and Hamburg. This year left-wing youths merely threw bottles and fireworks at police cars.

In other countries, May Day has been co-opted by the establishment to promote themselves. In Russia around 100,000 people marched including president Medvedev and president-elect Putin in the capital city of Moscow. The May Day march in Moscow targeted opposition groups.

 

 

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Colombian soldiers charged with killing of civilians

In Latin America on April 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm

BOGOTA, Colombia — Hundred Colombian soldiers have been charged with the killing of civilians between 2002 and 2008.

In the fight against the Marxist-Leninist FARC, Colombian soldiers are said to have killed circa 50 civilians, including peasants, labour leaders, and workers, and disguised them as guerrilla soldiers in order to boost their success rate.

The Prosecutor General’s office implicated colonels, commanders, deputy commanders and professional soldiers in the scandal. Since the scandal was exposed in 2008, hundreds of members of Colombia’s armed forces have been tried for the crime and incidents continue to be reported.

The killings are alleged to have taken place mostly in the departments of Caldas, Quindio, and Risaralda, in the heart of Colombia’s coffee growing region.

Source: 1

Colombian forces kill three FARC guerrillas

In Latin America on April 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm

BOGOTA, Colombia — The Colombian army is said to have killed three FARC guerrillas in a military operation, in the Nariño Department in southwest Colombia, as well as capturing three other guerrillas.

The Colombian army targeted an alleged FARC base, where they are said to have kill three guerrillas, and captured another three guerrillas, as well as confiscating arms, ammunition, explosives, and a laptop, according to reports.

Colombian troops are said to have found housing for up to 18 guerrillas in eleven cabins at the small encampment.

Source: 1

Four Guerrillas killed, one captured by Colombian army

In Latin America on April 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

 TEORAMA , Colombia — The Colombian armed forces are said to have killed four guerrilla combatants of the FARC and capturing one, as well as uncovering a large weapon cache with more than 7,000 rounds of ammunition, explosives, six rifles, and one handgun.

The fighting between the FARC insurgents and the Colombian army are reported to have taken place near or in  Teorama municipality in the Norte de Santander Department near the Venezuelan border.

A 20-year-old female insurgent voluntarily surrendered herself to soldiers, according to reports.

Source: 1

Mixed Support For Argentina to Nationalize Energy Company

In Latin America on April 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

HAVANA, CUBA — Cuba on Friday expressed support to Argentina for its decision to expropriate a majority share of Spanish-owned oil company Repsol YPF, saying it is lawful.

Argentina has the “right to exercise permanent sovereignty over all its natural resources,” the Cuban Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the country’s official daily Granma.

On Monday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez announced a bill, under whichArgentina would expropriate 51 percent of YPF stakes.

The brief Cuban statement accused Repsol of purchasing its controlling interest in YPF for less than its value.

The Spanish company is a key partner of Cuba’s in its efforts to explore for oil off its northern coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company is currently drilling some 18 miles offshore in what has been billed as the start of exploration in a vast area thought to harbor billions of barrels of oil.

Argentina’s decision also won support of Venezuela and Nicaragua, among other LatinAmerican nations.

But it has not only angered Spain but also Mexico, which has shares in Repsol throughits state-owned oil company Pemex.

Mark Toner said the United States was very concerned about Argentina’s bid to seize the company, controlled by Spanish energy group Repsol, and had raised its concerns with the highest levels of the Argentine government.

“Frankly, the more we look at this we view it as a negative development,” Toner told a news briefing.

– Viktor

The failure of Venezuela’s “hybrid socialism,” critics say

In Latin America on April 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm

CARACAS, Venezuela — Basic goods are becoming more scarce in Venezuelan shops as the government imposes rigid price controls to keep products affordable, the New York Times reports.

Many shops lack consumer goods such as toilet paper, beef, sugar, chicken, or milk, according to Datanálisis. The polling bureau said powdered milk could not be found in 42 percent of the stores, while liquid milk is even harder to find.

This is the consequence of the price controls imposed by the Venezuelan government that aims at keeping products affordable. The result is that prices are so low, businesses are unable to make a profit, and therefore produce less. Chavez defended this policy saying: “We are not asking them to lose money, just that they make money in a rational way, that they don’t rob the people.” More recently, it is reported the military has seized crops by farmers, which is reminiscent of the forced requisition of peasants during war communism (1918-1921) under the Bolshevik regime in Russia. Chavez has threatened to nationalise any company that is not capable of maintaining a proper production level to keep its products on the market.

An example of a declining industry is that of coffee. Prior to 2009 Venezuela was a large coffee exporter, but was compelled to import large quantities of coffee to compensate the decline in production. Price controls keep profits close to or below what it costs farmers to grow and harvest the coffee, compelling the farmers to forfeit on using production enhancing products to save money.

Critics assert that the shortages are a consequence of attempting a hybrid of a profit-driven capitalist economy and socialism. Many revolutionary leftist groups, including the Communist Party of Venezuela, have criticised or clashed with Chavez.

Source: 1

9 killed in combat in west Colombia

In Latin America on April 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

Bogota, Colombia — At least six soldiers and three guerrillas were killed in a fire fight between Colombian forces and the left-wing FARC in the western Colombian department of Choco Saturday.

The FARC is said to have attacked to disable energy towers near Carmen de Atrato, a small town located on the highway connecting Medellin to the Choco capital of Quibdo.

The guerrillas took advantage of a landslide which made it difficult for the Colombian army to send reinforcements.

Peruvian miners trapped

In Latin America on April 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Peru — Rescue worker worked through the night to try to get to nine miners who have been trapped in a mine in southern Peru,  in the Cabeza de Negro mine, since Thursday.

According to Edgar Ortega, second in command at Peru’s civil defense agency, rescue workers are roughly two meters away. The rescue workers consist of local miners, police and firefighters, as well as a specialized search-and-rescue team from Lima. The miners, who have been trapped since Thursday, have received oxygen, food, and water through a tube, which has also allowed them to stay in contact with the outside world. Ortega cautioned there are still risks involved, including the possibility of landslides, as workers clear debris.

 

 

Students killed by home-made bomb, raises concern about radicalisation and alleged guerrilla infiltration

In Latin America on April 8, 2012 at 11:51 am

Bogota, Colombia — The death of three Colombian university students at the hand of their own home-made bomb has raised concerns about radicalisation of students and the influence of radical left groups in universities.

Three students were killed by a home-made bomb

Oscar Arcos, Daniel Andres Garzon, and another person identified as Zaida tragically died in an explosion in a Bogota apartment, Monday last week. Their ages ranged from 19 till 22.  The young men studied at the School of Social Sciences of the Francisco Jose de Caldas District University. Local press also said the police found propaganda material belonging to various Colombian guerrilla groups including Colombia’s largest the FARC. Another unnamed student was wounded and another nine people were treated for shrapnel wounds and hearing damage.

The incident occurred a week after a 24-year old student died during university riots in the city of Tunia in central Colombia, who is said to have died at the hands of a self-made grenade. The so-called potato bomb exploded in his hand and he sustained fatal injuries. Six other students were wounded.

These incidents have sparked fear of guerrilla infiltration in universities. Government secretary of Bogota, Antonio Navarro Wolff, said guerrilla groups are infiltrating Colombian universities, last week. “The events in Tunja and Bogota are related … There’s something strange about what happened in Tunja, and I think the [students killed in Bogota] were making bombs for a protest in solidarity with the students of Tunja,” he commented. The accusations of guerrilla infiltration come amid ongoing student protests over education reform. Navarro Wolff denied students are forming urban guerrilla groups.

Hugo Chavez update: Chavez accuses Western powers of imperialism, and vows to overcome cancer

In Latin America on April 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Caracas, Venezuela — Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez accused the US government and its Western allies of imperialism when he claimed they are provoking violence in Syria in an effort to topple its government on Friday.

Chavez claimed he had spoken with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who told him the security situation in his country is improving and hopes the violence will come to an end soon. “He told me there have been more than 2,000 soldier martyrs and a larger number of innocent people who have died as a result of the terrorist plan to remove him from power,” Chavez said in a phone call broadcast live on Venezuela’s state television. “The pressure by the Yankee empire and its allies continues, trying to use arms to topple President Bashar Assad, using terrorism,” he added.

Chavez has been a vocal ally of Bashar’s regime throughout and the Venezuelan regime has aided Syrian repression by sending shipments of Venezuelan diesel fuel to Syria. Chavez, who has long had an antagonistic relationship with the US government, has repeatedly accused Washington of trying to stir up violence in Syria similar to the fighting in Libya that led to the ouster and killing of his ally Moammar Gadhafi.

A day earlier on Thursday, Chavez dramatically prayed for his survival from cancer when he attended a Mass. “Give me life even if it’s … painful life. I don’t care. Christ, give me your crown. Give it to me, I will bleed. … Give me life because I still have things to do for these people,” he said. “Don’t take me yet.”

He then emotionally addressed a crowd. Chavez claims he has become more spiritual after being diagnosed with cancer. “Today I’m more Christian than ever. I’ve entrusted myself to the hands of Christ,” he said. “I’m clinging to life and I ask God, Christ my lord, to continue giving us life.”

The 57-year old Venezuelan leader has received radiation treatment in Cuba. Chavez has vowed to overcome cancer and is running for re-election in October.