Following their participation in the international symposium that we coordinated last June on “Progessive governments and post-neoliberalism in Latin America: End of a golden age?” at the University of Grenoble, France, we thought it would be worthwhile going back over the Latin American context with the sociologists Edgardo Lander (Venezuela) and Miriam Lang (Ecuador). Both of them have a sharp critical view, very often at odds concerning the present scene, and both have participated actively in recent years in the debates on the initial balance sheets of the progressive governments of 1998-2015, in particular those of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Miriam’s case and of the Transnational Institute in Edgardo’s case.
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.
Santiago Arconada Rodríguez, Karina Arévalo, Javier Biardeau, Atilio A. Borón, Ana Esther Ceceña, Reinaldo Iturriza, Claudio Katz, Edgardo Lander, Miguel Mazzeo, Claudia Korol, Juan Carlos Monedero, Nildo Ouriques, Isabel Rauber, Maristella Svampa, Marco Teruggi, Zuleima Vergel, Raúl Zibechi
10 August 2017
Venezuela is passing through a period of acute political, economic and social turmoil, which has intensified the debate within the regional and global left about the nature, the legacy and the prospects of the Bolivarian process.
The Latin American left’s unconditional support of Chavismo has reinforced the negative tendencies of the Venezuelan experience. Many leftists around the world have not learned from past mistakes and end up endorsing “mafia governments” such as that of Nicaragua, and that “when the Venezuelan model collapses”, the international left may simply “look elsewhere”.
The current crisis of the Bolivarian project is due to its failure to question the rentier petro-state model. Far from accepting that an alternative to capitalism necessarily had to be a departure from the destructive development model of unlimited growth, the government of President Chávez intensified it to extremes unknown in the country’s previous history.
The fundamental flaw at the heart of UNEP's report "Towards a Green Economy" is its failure to analyse the extraordinarily unequal power relations that exist in today’s world, and the interests at play in the operation of this global economic system.
After last week’s climate summit in Bolivia, it is now possible for the governments to express the agenda of the social movements and the world’s most threatened peoples within the next official climate conference in Mexico.
This publication aims to contribute to a more sophisticated understanding of the emerging climate justice movement and to create resonances between different perspectives and spheres of engagement. The activities around the COP 15 in Copenhagen are a starting point in the creation of such a broad movement
Venezuela has undergone profound political and social changes since Hugo Chávez assumed the presidency in February 1999, which have been reflected in the fundamental pillars of the government’s economic policy.