On September 16, there was a massive general strike of Colombian workers and peasants. Below is an interview with Javier Correa, president of the National Union of Food Industry Workers of Columbia (SINALTRAINAL), while he was on a speaking tour of Europe. He is appealing for the solidarity of workers and youth in other countries with his union’s struggle against the Colombian government’s brutal campaign of repression and to seek justice for the murders of trade unionists in the company in which he works: Coca Cola. (Interview by the Asturian supporters of El Militante in Spain, September 26, 2002). The original Spanish text is available at: Entrevista a Javier Correa, presidente del Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Agroalimentaria de Colombia

In a week's time the second round of the Brazilian elections are to be held. In the first round Lula, the candidate of the PT came first by a large margin and looks set to win the second round. In this article Dario Castro analyses the results of the first round and looks at the situation a PT government will be facing, with the mounting debt and the huge pressure it would face both from the bourgeois on the one side and the workers on the other.

To scenes of wild rejoicing on the streets, the people of Brazil celebrated the landslide victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of the Workers’ Party (PT). This was undoubtedly a heavy blow struck by the masses against the corrupt and degenerate oligarchy that has ruled Brazil for decades. It has caused shock waves that will reverberate throughout the whole of Latin America and beyond. Now however a period opens up in which the PT government will come under enormous pressure from two sides, the bourgeoisie and the workers and poor. Alan Woods outlines the tasks facing the Brazilian working class.

On August 13 the Chilean Trade Union Confederation (CUT) called a one-day general strike. This was the first general strike since the fall of the Pinochet dictatorship. It marks the beginning of a new epoch and has to be seen within the context of the general situation in the whole of the South American sub-continent.

Haiti celebrated the 200th anniversary of its independence on January 1, 2004. The history of Haiti is a long history of colonial struggle against imperialism and has recently been the scene of deep political and social unrest. It is not yet clear what the outcome of the situation in Haiti will be, what is clear however, is that the workers and peasants of Haiti can only rely on themselves to solve the problems they face.

Interview with Diego Escobar, a Colombian Trade Unionist, a local representative of ASONAL-Judicial. Diego knows very well what it means to be persecuted by the vicious Colombian ruling class. We interviewed him while he was attending the UNISON Delegate Conference 2004.

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