The decree of expropriation of Venepal in January this year was a major turning point in the Venezuelan revolution. The decision to nationalise Venepal and put it under the administration of the workers, and the very high profile way in which the decision was taken, was bound to have an impact amongst other groups of workers in the same situation.

Splits in the PRI and the official unions, growth of the opposition PRD and the May Day Inter-Union Confederation, emergence of new guerrilla groups, economic crisis. An analysis of the situation facing Mexico in 1997.

On the surface it would seem that the Mexican economy has fully recovered from the currency collapse of 1994/95, and some international analysts are even saying Mexico is the example the Asian economies should use to get out of their recession as quick as possible. Reality, however is slightly different. And the regime is increasingly using repression to try and keep people quiet.

The strike at the UNAM was broken up by police and thugs, but the struggle is just beginning! On 9th February, almost 300,000 people, above all workers and their families, took to the streets in defence of political prisoners and to demand a satisfactory solution for the student movement.

It is now more than a month since the federal police arrested more than 800 members of the students' General Strike Committee. There are still 150 students in jail and they are only being released with very expensive of up to 5,000 dollars. Despite these difficult conditions, on March 10th, more than 20,000 students marched through the northern part of the capital and sorrounded the jail where the arrested students are being held.