Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 March 2007

Latin America

A tale of two tours

YOU WOULD rarely have a bigger contrast between Presidents George Bush and Hugo Chávez on their recent tours around Latin America. "Son como el d'a y la noche" as people say there: as different as night and day.

Kevin Simpson

Bush, head of the world's superpower that spends over half of the total world budget on arms, planned the tour to repair his tattered, bloodied image at home and abroad. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez knows how much Bush is hated particularly in Latin America, and planned his trip simultaneously so that Bush's humiliation would be multiplied ten-fold.

Despite the massive resources and power at his disposal, Bush failed miserably in his aims. In doing so the US president handed president Chávez an ideal opportunity to boost his support amongst workers and poor peasants even further in the Latin American states he visited.

Bush only visited the capitals of the few Latin American countries that have right-wing leaders or those who feel they are secure enough in power to at least talk to the US president.

Colombia was one of the most important stops for Bush. çlvaro Uribe, the president, is one of Bush's biggest fans internationally. Incredibly, despite being the guest of a friendly regime, Bush had to be surrounded by a wall of iron of 20,000 Colombian soldiers and 7,000 police on top of the normal US protection squad of thousands of secret service agents.

Despite all Bush's propaganda nonsense about "democracy" and "freedom", he gives unconditional support to Uribe who is renowned internationally for being completely corrupt and for brutal repression against trade unionists and opposition activists. Colombia is the main recipient of military aid from the US outside the Middle East.

'Aid' scandal

Bush has given over $3.9 billion in the last six years in the so-called 'Plan Colombia II'. This is mainly military aid supposedly to use against the drug trade and the 'narco-terrorism' of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) that controls parts of Colombia.

There has been no sign of a halt to this aid despite the scandal known as the 'parapolitica' that has gripped Colombia over the last few years. This has involved MPs linked to right-wing paramilitaries, and has uncovered "assassinations, kidnappings, extortion and buying of votes." (El Pais, 12 March 2007)

What of Chávez? His first port of call was to the poorest sections of society in Bolivia. He was greeted by thunderous applause from thousands of workers and poor peasants in the remote flood affected Amazonian province of Beni there. Chávez, accompanied by Bolivian president Evo Morales and the president of the Cuban Popular Assembly (parliament), brought aid consisting of two helicopters, 40 tractors, thousands of blankets and a large team of Cuban doctors.

To a massive cheering, he quoted Tupac Katari, a famous leader of the indigenous people in Latin America. Katari had said just before he died: "I will return and I will be millions". These words have thundered down the generations and particularly over the last decade as workers, students, the landless and indigenous people across Latin America have risen up against the neo-liberal economic madness that has been visited upon them by imperialism.

Echoing the hatred of the masses over the poverty and destitution caused by neo-liberalism, Chávez said: "We are millions and we are Tupac Katari-made millions and we will struggle for our future. This struggle will not end."

Anti-imperialist presidents like Hugo Chávez and Bolivia's Evo Morales, owe their elections to the millions that have moved into struggle in Latin America.

The only guarantee of a future for the workers and peasants of the continent is the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with a democratic socialist federation of Latin American states.

Workers' control and management of a planned economy would provide the basis for returning the land to the peasantry and ending the centuries long oppression of the indigenous people. This would be a fitting tribute to the sacrifice of Tupac Katari and the nameless millions who have fought against feudal and imperialist oppression.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 22 March 2007:

Labour's NHS plans: not what the doctors ordered!

Divisive forgery shocks health campaign

War and terrorism

End Iraq hell

Blair (and Tories) get their Trident vote

Will Bush bomb Iran?

Socialist Party campaigns

Public anger sees off BNP

May Day greetings - support the socialist

Keep the market out of education!

International Socialist Resistance

Young people get organised

Socialist Party news and analysis

Passenger protests force some improvements

Budget: Who are the real scroungers?

Water charges to be delayed?

Socialist Party women's day school a success

What we think

Private equity deals - fight free-market vultures

Marxist analysis: history

How was the slave trade abolished?

International socialist news and analysis

Rifondazione Comunista - its future?

A tale of two tours

"Bush out of Iraq and Lula out of Haiti"

Greece: The struggle to defend free education

Workplace news and analysis

Burslem postal workers continue the fight

Defend UNISON health activist

Greenwich single status scandal

TUC try to cut conference childcare provision

Amicus and TGWU to merge

Fight university job cuts

Lobby for migrant workers' rights


Home   |   The Socialist 22 March 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleMore bad news from media mogul Murdoch


triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: US gun control

triangleSalford Socialist Party: US gun control, the NRA and protest

triangleSyria: No ceasefire for 'hell on earth' eastern Goutha

Hugo Chávez:

triangleChávez wins majority but right-wing gains ground

triangleWorld recession, revolution and counter-revolution in Latin America


triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

Evo Morales:

triangleFast News





Spain: millions on streets against sexism and capitalist oppression



Italian elections create huge political shake-up



Japan - toxic legacy of the Fukushima disaster



Syria: No ceasefire for 'hell on earth' eastern Goutha



United States: young people demand change after latest mass shooting



Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail


South Africa

South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism



France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people



Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed



Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed


South Africa

Cape Town drought



May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression


Tamil Solidarity

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime



Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!



Stop the war on the Kurds

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018