After a week of mass protests, road blockades and a general strike in the city of Cochabamba the Bolivian government of Hugo Banzer declared a state of emergency on Saturday April 8th. The main focus of the protests was the decision to sell Cochacamba's public water system to a private corporation which then doubled water rates. The trade unions, peasant unions and students responded to the state of emergency by calling further protests and a general strike.
Once again Ecuador started the year with mass demonstrations and strikes. For ten days the whole of the country was paralysed by peasant road blocks, demonstrations and occupations of government buildings. A year after the revolutionary events of January 2000 very little has changed for the masses of workers and poor peasants who fought for a fundamental change in their living conditions.
The Cuban Revolution of 1959 is one of the most significant events of the last 50 years. The elimination of capitalism and landlordism and the introduction of a nationalised, planned economy allowed collosal advances to be made. But the disappearance of the USSR has had catastrophic consequences for the Cuban economy. David Rey looks at the current perspectives and the tasks of revolutionaries.
Translated from La revolución cubana en la encrucijada de David Rey
The final results of the Ecuadorian elections have meant the victory of the left-supported candidate Lucio Gutierrez. As was the case with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Gutierrez has come to power pushed by the most oppressed and exploited sections of society in Ecuador. The new government will, from the very beginning, be subjected to the pressure of the masses and of imperialism and the Ecuadorian ruling class. It is completely impossible to conciliate these two sets of opposite interests and this will necessarily lead to a new heightening of the class struggle.
The execution of three men who had hijacked a ferry and the harsh sentences handed out to 74 opponents of the Cuban regime in April has generated nearly universal condemnation, at least on the part of the media and most governments. When we analyze this issue, we have to base ourselves on a class position. The interests of the working class come first, both inside and outside Cuba.
After 12 days the General Strike in Bolivia is still going on. the country is close to a standstill thanks to the road blockades organised by the peasant organisations. All the roads to the capital, La Paz, are under the control of the strikers. One of the most militant sections of the working class, the miners, have taken a leading role, keeping the level of militancy very high. Aníbal Montoya (El
Militante-Argentina) analyses the situation.