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Thread: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

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    Default Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Chavez's recent election as president of Venezuela further underlined that the people in Caracas see socialism as the answer to some of their woes and not all but over all is it a success?

    Socialism in South America could be considered to have started with Simon Bolivar, the revolutionary who drove the Spanish out of South America and established Gran Colombia in what is now modern day Colombia and Venezuela. Bolivar was influenced by the French Revolution and by the American Independence movement which he greatly admired and thought to have been one of the greatest political movements. From these admirations he established a number of ideas which formed the basis for modern Latin America and which would go on to influence Che Guevara and others rights up to Chavez. Bolivars legacy however while one of liberation was also one of a dictatorship. Bolivar himself feared being ruled by those of a mixed race which may have lead to him assuming a dictatorship. Aside from all this though, one of Bolivars most enduring ideas is that of a pan American federation of South American states to fight against imperialism and establish a system with good education, health system and legal system.


    Fast foward sixty odd years and Che Guevara enters the frame. The idea of a pan American united front appealed to Che so much so that he was considered the ultimate revolutonary. Through his activities in Bolivia and Venezuela and not withstanding Cuba , his visions are seen to have been crucial in socialism in Latin America. Che can be single handedly attributed with bolstering the health system in Cuba and improving literacy with most Cubans now having a degree of some sorts.

    After Che though Socialism seems to have fallen apart some what in Latin America. Numerous dictatorships posted up with various puppet governments and most notably now with Chavez who is an abject failure. There is a huge poverty in Venezuela with no job creation and people are only getting by through subsidised food. A glaring gaping hole in the national finances is being plugged by oil money ! Is this socialism proper? Are the workers being united through struggle?

    Brazil, long disassociated from the Pan American idea as they are Portugese speaking and see such ideas as foreign have sold themselves out. Dima Roussef is a politician who is centre left however a lot of her policies have seen her move somewhat to the right. A dam construction project in the Amazon has been beset by workers rights issues and long hours for very little pay (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/wo...est.html?_r=2&) . Her environmental policies and rights on LGBT are leaving a lot to be desired.

    Would Che be spinning in his grave?...
    Cause I can’t change, I can’t change the world alone
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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    From the above link

    . We stated that together with the economic crisis and its consequences, in our countries there are the repressive attitudes of the governments that criminalize protests, accusing and even punishing with jail the popular and revolutionary, trade union, educators, student neighborhood and peasant fighters, who are demonstrating in resistance to the policies and measures of the governments in office. Serious blows to public freedoms and democratic rights are taking place, which are added to the old problems from which the working class and peoples are suffering.

    One of the basic tenets of Marxism, a people united through struggle to create a greater good. They are going through economic hardship but there is no bonds being formed as there is so much repression and fear that anything does happen it will be quashed using violence. How do you solve an issue like that? Are they solving an issue like that?
    Cause I can’t change, I can’t change the world alone
    I need you all, everybody, start dreaming of it
    And take your step that’s gonna make a difference and change your world
    - Hotel FM


    www.fluffybiscuits.org - Eccentric,Utopian and a tad mad

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by fluffybiscuits View Post
    Chavez's recent election as president of Venezuela further underlined that the people in Caracas see socialism as the answer to some of their woes and not all but over all is it a success?

    Socialism in South America could be considered to have started with Simon Bolivar, the revolutionary who drove the Spanish out of South America and established Gran Colombia in what is now modern day Colombia and Venezuela. Bolivar was influenced by the French Revolution and by the American Independence movement which he greatly admired and thought to have been one of the greatest political movements. From these admirations he established a number of ideas which formed the basis for modern Latin America and which would go on to influence Che Guevara and others rights up to Chavez. Bolivars legacy however while one of liberation was also one of a dictatorship. Bolivar himself feared being ruled by those of a mixed race which may have lead to him assuming a dictatorship. Aside from all this though, one of Bolivars most enduring ideas is that of a pan American federation of South American states to fight against imperialism and establish a system with good education, health system and legal system.


    Fast foward sixty odd years and Che Guevara enters the frame. The idea of a pan American united front appealed to Che so much so that he was considered the ultimate revolutonary. Through his activities in Bolivia and Venezuela and not withstanding Cuba , his visions are seen to have been crucial in socialism in Latin America. Che can be single handedly attributed with bolstering the health system in Cuba and improving literacy with most Cubans now having a degree of some sorts.

    After Che though Socialism seems to have fallen apart some what in Latin America. Numerous dictatorships posted up with various puppet governments and most notably now with Chavez who is an abject failure. There is a huge poverty in Venezuela with no job creation and people are only getting by through subsidised food. A glaring gaping hole in the national finances is being plugged by oil money ! Is this socialism proper? Are the workers being united through struggle?

    Brazil, long disassociated from the Pan American idea as they are Portugese speaking and see such ideas as foreign have sold themselves out. Dima Roussef is a politician who is centre left however a lot of her policies have seen her move somewhat to the right. A dam construction project in the Amazon has been beset by workers rights issues and long hours for very little pay (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/wo...est.html?_r=2&) . Her environmental policies and rights on LGBT are leaving a lot to be desired.

    Would Che be spinning in his grave?...
    You start off well but then its becomes drivel. You could write for the Irish Times
    And why don't you post up the pamphlet you got those highlighted points of view from??

    Oh and I'd really love some convincing statistics of the poverty levels, unemployments levels and while were at it what about GINI index, and maybe some real information on the state of society in Venezuela. Hows about it?

    I'm a bit riled folks, cause i was gonna open a thread on the impact of Chávez on South American politics but fluff has gotten here first,.

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Definitely spending some time in South America at some stage. Michael D. is doing a great job representing us over there right now. He even bothered to learn Spanish for his trip. Cannot imagine any of the monkeys in the government bothering their arse with lengthy visits to the diaspora and engaging them in their own language. Having a left leaning former emigrant as President could work out very well long term in building up emigrant support for domestic change.

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    As to Fluffy's post, I would disagree with calling Chavez a failure. He and the President of Ecuador are just about keeping South America from becoming a satellite of the US entirely.

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    I believe that latin american socialism is such a broad sweeping term as to render itself redundant. BUT anyway, In the spirit of debate, I do believe that it has achieved certain important things.

    It's improved the lot of the poorest of their societies. (wikipedia is an easy source)

    It's reduced the gap between the richest and the poorest. (same)

    It has produced some interesting experiments in direct democracy, which we would be wanton to ignore. In Porto Alegre (aptly named ) and in Venezuela decisions are being taken at a basic neighbourhood level, which is both educational and liberating.

    It's has unified the latin american countries to such an extent as has not been seen since colonial domination. Something which in turn has lessened the grip of the USA on the contintent (thus limiting coups, poverty, etc.)

    It's given new hope to all leftest movements around the world. Such an example would be that the goal of reducing poverty or the gap between the rich and poor is a worthy cause.

    And following on from that last one, in a way it has shown that neoliberalism is not the be all end all. And that even moderately leftist politics can achieve a level of social justice.

    These are just some thoughts on the issue, Im sure that those achievements can be added to, and maybe it would be worth asking how much we're missing out on in Ireland by passively digesting the bile poured forth by our mainstream (and not so mainstream) media about these flourishing democracies. Maybe we could learn a lot more from their example and apply some of their achievements to home. What think ye?

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    I believe that latin american socialism is such a broad sweeping term as to render itself redundant. BUT anyway, In the spirit of debate, I do believe that it has achieved certain important things.

    It's improved the lot of the poorest of their societies. (wikipedia is an easy source)

    It's reduced the gap between the richest and the poorest. (same)

    It has produced some interesting experiments in direct democracy, which we would be wanton to ignore. In Porto Alegre (aptly named ) and in Venezuela decisions are being taken at a basic neighbourhood level, which is both educational and liberating.

    It's has unified the latin american countries to such an extent as has not been seen since colonial domination. Something which in turn has lessened the grip of the USA on the contintent (thus limiting coups, poverty, etc.)

    It's given new hope to all leftest movements around the world. Such an example would be that the goal of reducing poverty or the gap between the rich and poor is a worthy cause.

    And following on from that last one, in a way it has shown that neoliberalism is not the be all end all. And that even moderately leftist politics can achieve a level of social justice.

    These are just some thoughts on the issue, Im sure that those achievements can be added to, and maybe it would be worth asking how much we're missing out on in Ireland by passively digesting the bile poured forth by our mainstream (and not so mainstream) media about these flourishing democracies. Maybe we could learn a lot more from their example and apply some of their achievements to home. What think ye?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    You start off well but then its becomes drivel. You could write for the Irish Times
    And why don't you post up the pamphlet you got those highlighted points of view from??

    Oh and I'd really love some convincing statistics of the poverty levels, unemployments levels and while were at it what about GINI index, and maybe some real information on the state of society in Venezuela. Hows about it?

    I'm a bit riled folks, cause i was gonna open a thread on the impact of Chávez on South American politics but fluff has gotten here first,.


    Thanks for the endorsement of sorts Im not saying that his implementation of socialism is bad, he has created an excellent health system that is next to nothing in terms of cost and an education system that is one of the best in South America. The one mistake though is that Chavez has become to reliant on the oil money and oil is a finite resources. The money that he is becoming so reliant on is going to run out at some stage and the economy is going to go tits up . Reuters recently did a special report on what is facing anyone whom wants to trace the money

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...88P0N020120926

    Fonden is the largest of a handful of secretive funds that put decisions on how to spend tens of billions of dollars in the hands of Chavez, who has vowed to turn the OPEC nation's economy into a model of oil-financed socialism. Since its founding seven years ago, Fonden has been funneling cash into hundreds of projects personally approved by Chavez but not reviewed by Congress -- from swimming-pool renovations for soldiers, to purchases of Russian fighter jets, to public housing and other projects with broad popular appeal.
    Chavez himself is no spring chicken either. Human rights watch has given numerous accounts on his abuses including curbing free speech and undermining the rights of workers

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/17/v...r-under-ch-vez

    The sources I used were from wikipedia mostly. Socialism in South America could be said to be in its infancy and still learning. To think ot it soley in terms of being anti iimperialist or just in one single context is the mistake. Its the empowering of the people we are looking for. In Venezuela, they are being empowered but all with a smokescreen if tht makes sense...
    Cause I can’t change, I can’t change the world alone
    I need you all, everybody, start dreaming of it
    And take your step that’s gonna make a difference and change your world
    - Hotel FM


    www.fluffybiscuits.org - Eccentric,Utopian and a tad mad

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by fluffybiscuits View Post
    Thanks for the endorsement of sorts Im not saying that his implementation of socialism is bad, he has created an excellent health system that is next to nothing in terms of cost and an education system that is one of the best in South America. The one mistake though is that Chavez has become to reliant on the oil money and oil is a finite resources. The money that he is becoming so reliant on is going to run out at some stage and the economy is going to go tits up . Reuters recently did a special report on what is facing anyone whom wants to trace the money

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...88P0N020120926



    Chavez himself is no spring chicken either. Human rights watch has given numerous accounts on his abuses including curbing free speech and undermining the rights of workers

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/17/v...r-under-ch-vez

    The sources I used were from wikipedia mostly. Socialism in South America could be said to be in its infancy and still learning. To think ot it soley in terms of being anti iimperialist or just in one single context is the mistake. Its the empowering of the people we are looking for. In Venezuela, they are being empowered but all with a smokescreen if tht makes sense...
    I'm not sure it has been a success. Socialism in those countries is doing what socialism every where has done and that is ignoring the need to create jobs and through jobs the wealth and health of a country depends.

    Its no good having the best education if when you finish college you can't get a job, that is what we have here!

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by bernadette View Post
    I'm not sure it has been a success. Socialism in those countries is doing what socialism every where has done and that is ignoring the need to create jobs and through jobs the wealth and health of a country depends.

    Its no good having the best education if when you finish college you can't get a job, that is what we have here!
    We have................oh my God! .......................SOCIALISM????
    But how?? We made absolutely 110% certain that there was no possibility of a socialist ever getting into government. We have a coalition of two reasonable large conservitive parties! How the hell did socialism ever come out of that??

    Ahhh, now is see! We "socialised" the massive gambling debts of banks and bondholders, never having seen a cent of profit in the fat years!

    That kind of socialism!
    "We are hurtling back into a Soviet abyss, into an information vacuum that spells death from our own ignorance. All we have left is the internet, where information is still freely available. For the rest, if you want to go on working as a journalist, it's total servility to Putin. Otherwise, it can be death, the bullet, poison, or trial—whatever our special services, Putin's guard dogs, see fit"
    Murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by bernadette View Post
    I'm not sure it has been a success. Socialism in those countries is doing what socialism every where has done and that is ignoring the need to create jobs and through jobs the wealth and health of a country depends.

    Its no good having the best education if when you finish college you can't get a job, that is what we have here!
    Fluffy, I would take both reuters and especially HRW with a big dosage of salt. Both are funded by the Yanks and their interests.

    In fact HRW blatently lies when it comes to venezuela and south america in general.

    And what is the problem with using oil money to fund social projects and raise some 35% of the population above the poverty line?? Also, its very puzzling why building 250,000 social houses over the last year is seen as a 'bad' 'populist' thing! Its orwellian doublespeak.

    Oh, and the oil reserves are estimated to be the biggest in the world of any country. So i think they'll be lasting another while yet

    And bernadette, Id just like to point out that the unemployment rate in Venezuela is currently at 7.9%. Sounds like they're doing just fine in the jobs department at the minute, doesn't it?

    I wish we had a government that would use our newly found oil to create employment and improve the lot of the poor over here. Now wouldnt that be a good idea??

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Buddha View Post
    We have................oh my God! .......................SOCIALISM????
    But how?? We made absolutely 110% certain that there was no possibility of a socialist ever getting into government. We have a coalition of two reasonable large conservitive parties! How the hell did socialism ever come out of that??

    Ahhh, now is see! We "socialised" the massive gambling debts of banks and bondholders, never having seen a cent of profit in the fat years!

    That kind of socialism!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    Fluffy, I would take both reuters and especially HRW with a big dosage of salt. Both are funded by the Yanks and their interests.

    In fact HRW blatently lies when it comes to venezuela and south america in general.

    And what is the problem with using oil money to fund social projects and raise some 35% of the population above the poverty line?? Also, its very puzzling why building 250,000 social houses over the last year is seen as a 'bad' 'populist' thing! Its orwellian doublespeak.

    Oh, and the oil reserves are estimated to be the biggest in the world of any country. So i think they'll be lasting another while yet

    And bernadette, Id just like to point out that the unemployment rate in Venezuela is currently at 7.9%. Sounds like they're doing just fine in the jobs department at the minute, doesn't it?

    I wish we had a government that would use our newly found oil to create employment and improve the lot of the poor over here. Now wouldnt that be a good idea??
    No,. Sorry I was referring to our unemployment, which is about the only thing we have in common with some South American countries.

    I'm not sure the employment situation or anything else in Venezuela will last longer than the oil, except Chavez. I think he's there until forcibly removed.

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by bernadette View Post
    No,. Sorry I was referring to our unemployment, which is about the only thing we have in common with some South American countries.

    I'm not sure the employment situation or anything else in Venezuela will last longer than the oil, except Chavez. I think he's there until forcibly removed.
    Forcibly removed? Do you mean forcibly removed after being democratically elected in the manner Allende was removed by a US-installed murderous junta in 1973 in Chile? That kind of forcibly removed?
    "We are hurtling back into a Soviet abyss, into an information vacuum that spells death from our own ignorance. All we have left is the internet, where information is still freely available. For the rest, if you want to go on working as a journalist, it's total servility to Putin. Otherwise, it can be death, the bullet, poison, or trial—whatever our special services, Putin's guard dogs, see fit"
    Murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    Fluffy, I would take both reuters and especially HRW with a big dosage of salt. Both are funded by the Yanks and their interests.
    In fact HRW blatently lies when it comes to venezuela and south america in general.

    And what is the problem with using oil money to fund social projects and raise some 35% of the population above the poverty line?? Also, its very puzzling why building 250,000 social houses over the last year is seen as a 'bad' 'populist' thing! Its orwellian doublespeak.

    Oh, and the oil reserves are estimated to be the biggest in the world of any country. So i think they'll be lasting another while yet

    And bernadette, Id just like to point out that the unemployment rate in Venezuela is currently at 7.9%. Sounds like they're doing just fine in the jobs department at the minute, doesn't it?

    I wish we had a government that would use our newly found oil to create employment and improve the lot of the poor over here. Now wouldnt that be a good idea??
    Just a note on your point about Reuters, Reuters cant win it seems with a lot of people. Hareetz reported that there was an accusation from some quarters of their bias against Israel. (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...tilla-1.294780). Such an accusation would make me think they are anything but a mouth piece of the American establishment, in fact quite the opposite. I dug a bit on HRW and will concede you have a valid point there on that one however they have detailed American influence on the Middle East and Latin America.

    There is nothing wrong with using the oil money to fund social changes but teh cost of living is sky high. They have a huge cost of living over there. Using the Big Mac Index the cost of a big mac to a local is in the region of $25! I have no criticism of what Chavez is doing but he has to be more responsible. There is still a huge import market as well and things like grain to mobile phones cost the earth moon and stars. Ther eis a decent report here on the situation of povery in rural areas

    http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/co...tags/venezuela
    Cause I can’t change, I can’t change the world alone
    I need you all, everybody, start dreaming of it
    And take your step that’s gonna make a difference and change your world
    - Hotel FM


    www.fluffybiscuits.org - Eccentric,Utopian and a tad mad

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    Default Re: Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Buddha View Post
    Forcibly removed? Do you mean forcibly removed after being democratically elected in the manner Allende was removed by a US-installed murderous junta in 1973 in Chile? That kind of forcibly removed?
    No although I wouldn't be surprised if there were such an attempt. I meant that I think Chavez will anoint himself leader for life.

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