In this article Edgardo Lander portrays today's extensive crisis that is facing Venezuela. Because today, after more than a decade of profound political and social transformations, Venezuela is facing its most severe crisis since the civil wars of the 19th century. The significant accomplishments of the Bolivarian Revolution are all at risk. The economy is collapsing, poverty, undernourishment and death rates are increasing. Political polarization and violence could lead to a civil war. All this is seriously aggravated by increasing international isolation, due among other things, to the turn to the right of the governments of Brazil and Argentina, and imperialist actions like the recently imposed financial blockade and threats of military intervention made by Donald Trump.
The Venezuelan economy has halved since 2013. Amidst a deep economic crisis, there have been clashes between government and opposition forces and the recent power-struggle has escalated internationally, with multiple Western states introducing extensive economic sanctions. As the propaganda war reaches its peak, we have invited experts to answer some of the most pressing questions.
Venezuela is passing through a period of acute political, economic and social chaos. Once one of the driving powers behind the new Latin American left, the economy has collapsed and there is a shortage of food and medicine.
What structural or historical factors have caused the current situation? Is there a peaceful and democratic way out of the crisis?
Resistance to privatisation has turned into a powerful force for change. (Re)municipalisation refers to the reclaiming of public ownership of services as well as the creation of new public services. In recent years, our research has identified more than 1,400 successful (re)municipalisation cases involving more than 2,400 cities in 58 countries around the world.
The real-world examples in this book demonstrate that a political economy that curbs the power of big finance and serves people and planet is possible. The ideas shared here are timely and urgent—a call to readiness before the next financial bubble bursts.
Covid-19 has once again demonstrated the significance of safe, accessible and affordable water for all. It has also highlighted enormous disparities in service provision while at the same time dealing a blow to public water and sanitation operators around the world due to massive drops in revenues, rapidly rising costs and concerns about health and safety in the workplace. This book provides the first global overview of the response of public water operators to this crisis, shining a light on the complex challenges they face and how they have responded in different contexts. It looks specifically at ‘public’ water and asks how public ownership and public management have enabled (or not) equitable and democratic emergency services, and how these Covid-19 experiences could contribute to expanded and sustainable forms of public water services in the future.
Support for public services and limits on private profit is at an all-time high in the wake of the pandemic. How do we ensure this prioritisation of public needs and goods becomes permanent? What are the best models of democratic and participatory public services? Join a webinar with trade unionists and activists in Italy, Nigeria and India advancing bold new visions for a public future.
From Austria to Chile, Lagos to London, people are demanding policies that democratize economies and keep public resources in public hands. In just the last decade, more than 2,400 cities in 58 countries have brought privatized resources back under public control. Laura Flanders reports from Amsterdam at The Future is Public, a conference co-hosted by TNI that brings together hundreds of organizers, scholars, and government officials who are working to democratize their municipal and national economies.
An outcry from city governments has helped shelve the European Commission’s power grab over services. The Commission has failed to install a Services Notification Procedure, which would have given it advance veto power over new laws by regional and local governments, and could have further limited local democratic initiatives in areas as varied as affordable housing, energy supply and waste management. The Commission should learn its lesson and support municipalities to enact social and environmental measures, respect their democratic right to regulate, and roll back obstacles that prioritise corporate interests over local residents.
Register now to attend the four-day online conference on shifting narratives around public services, spending and production (PSSP). Confirmed speakers include: Mariana Mazzucato, June Sekera, Abby Innes and Isabel Ortiz among others.
It may not be a new idea, but the speed with which the Green New Deal has gained traction in the US is remarkable. Potential presidential candidates are already embracing the call and it’s firmly on the agenda for the new Congress, with 40 Democratic members demanding a firm plan be drawn up.
The privatisation of public services is a long-standing global trend. But in the wake of the pandemic and through the introduction of contact tracing apps, Big Tech has gone one step further: Large corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are now set to control the very infrastructure that underlies our public health system. In this eye-opening discussion, Arun Kundnani interviews Dr Seda Gürses about the dangers of a system in which we depend on profit-oriented companies for receiving basic health services. How did we get to this point, and how can we imagine a different future?
Towns and cities stand at the heart of the new public future. Between 2000 and 2019, there were over 1400 new cases of “municipalisation” or “remunicipalisation”, the creation of new public enterprises run by local governments or the return of privatised enterprises to municipal hands. This trend occurred across 2400 locales in 58 countries.
Privatisation and public services: A conversation with current and former UN Special Rapporteurs.Join us for an online discussion on 19th October 2020 bringing together for the first time current and former UN Special Rapporteurs to reflect on the impacts of privatisation and on renewed momentum and strategies for the public provision of services related to economic, social and cultural rights such as health, education, water sanitation and housing.
The rural communities in the Västernorrland county of Northern Sweden are not used to being in the national spotlight, but in 2017 their struggle to stop cutbacks in maternity and emergency care made national news. What are the lessons for all those involved in building counter-power in rural areas of the Global North?
Webinar recording with outgoing UN rapporteur, Philip Alston in conversation with trade unionists and activists in Italy, Nigeria and India sharing analysis on the impacts of privatisation in a time of COVID-19 and the strategies for resistance and also constructing participatory public alternatives.
Multistakeholderism has become a new buzzword for global governance, shaping standards for products, setting the rules for global initiatives and increasingly entering every arena of global governance including the UN. They are driven by transnational corporations to consolidate power and profits and have disturbing implications for democracy, accountability and for communities most affected by corporate human rights violations.