Venezuela's Plebiscite - Lisa MacDonald of the AVSN

Lisa McDonald of the AVSN - the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network. Lisa talks about the details of the constitutional reforms proposed for the narrowly lost plebiscite for Venezuela's constitutional reform last week.


Timorese Independence - celebration and struggle

14 Mb. 128kbps mono 15 mins.

Hernani Da Silva, Ambassador for East Timor to Australia, speaks with Latin Radical's Warwick Fry about the independence day celebrations held last week for Timor Leste, what that day means to him and the people of East Timor, and his own personal experiences of a struggle that dates back to 1975.


Venezuela's Socialist Plebiscite - Fred Fuentes in Caracas

10.1Mb. 96kbps mono 14:50 minutes;

Skype phone interview from Venezuela, Friday December 7 2007.

Fred Fuentes is in Venezuela for the long haul and sends regular reports back to Australia, as well as assisting in setting up brigades from Australia to see conditions in Venezuela on the ground. Fred was in the thick of the huge plebiscite that took place in Venezuela last week, for constitutional reforms designed to institutionalise the sweeping changes the Chavez government is implementing. The plebiscite was narrowly lost, after a ruthless campaign of sabotage and destabilisation by the Venezuelan business class and the CIA, which invested US$8million into the process. Fred gives us an informed and considered assessment of the plebiscite. We get a good analysis of why it did not succeed, what the result means to Venezuela, and most importantly,why the narrow loss was a Pyhrric victory for the Venezuelan right wing opposition.


A new film exploring the Venezuelan revolution


Now the people have awoken: Exploring Venezuela's revolution

A new film exploring the Venezuelan revolution from New Zealand film-makers Activo Productions.



HOBART 6pm, Thursday, December 6, 225 Murray St, Hobart. Ph Mel 0423 978 518
MELBOURNE 4.30pm, Sat, December 8th, Old ETU Offices, Crn Swanston St and Queensberry St, Carlton Ph 0425 289 394 or 0438 447 063
SYDNEY Saturday December 8, 6.30pm Activist Centre, 23 Abercombie St, Chippendale
BLUE MOUNTAINS 7.30pm Mon Dec 10, Tris Elies Red Room, next to Katoomba Station, Katoomba, Ph 4787 7859 for more info.
NEWCASTLE 6.30pm Friday 14 Dec @ Resistance Centre, 472 Hunter St, Newcastle. Ph 4926 5328

Synopsis - Except for beauty queens and oil, Venezuela has never been on the international stage. Now Venezuela is at the center of international controversy: to some it has been stolen by a populist dictator, while for others Venezuela represents the centre of a continent-wide democratic revolution. There is much at stake: Venezuela sits atop the biggest oil reserves in the world and is successfully defiant of US foreign policy. This is a documentary about the Bolivarian Revolution, through the eyes of analysts, and the people who are changing their country and the Latinamerican continent as a whole.

Filmed during the 2006 presidential elections it includes interviews with Noam Chomsky, Eva Golinger, Paul Buchanan, Greg Wilpert and Michael Fox.

Venezuelan referendum: Democracy prevails, the Bolivarian revolution continues

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network statement on Venezuela’s constitutional reforms referendum

December 4, 2007

The December 2 referendum on 69 proposed changes to Venezuela’s constitution resulted in a narrow majority “No” vote. The result was immediately accepted by President Hugo Chavez, who said: “We have fulfilled our promise of respecting our institutions. The umpire has spoken… We declare that we recognise the decision that the people have made. For now we could not do it. …I congratulate my adversaries for their victory. We are prepared for a long battle.''

9,002,439 Venezuelans voted, of which 8,883,746 votes were valid. In the block A vote (the reforms proposed by Chavez), 50.7% voted against and 49.3% voted for. In the block B vote (the reforms proposed by the National Assembly), 51.1% voted against and 48.9% voted for.

This is the first time in 12 national polls since Chavez was elected in 1989 that the opposition has won. Had the proposed constitutional reforms been adopted, they would have significantly extended democracy and social justice in Venezuela. They included the constitutional recognition of new institutions of popular power based on direct democracy, such as the communal councils, and new measures to allow people to directly manage resources and decision-making in their communities. While respecting the right to private property, the reforms recognised new forms of "social property" run by and for the people themselves, and were to give further recognition to the growing number of cooperatives.

The rights of gay men and lesbians would have been recognised in the Constitution, and the voting age reduced to 16 years. The rights and culture of Afro-Venezuelans and indigenous people would also have been Constitutionally protected, and governments would have been obliged to ensure free university education to the entire population. As well, workers' rights would be significantly extended, including a reduction in the working week from 44 to 36 hours, and social security and pensions were guaranteed to approximately 5 million workers in the “informal” economy.

In the words of Robert Hernandez, vice-president of the Venezuelan legislature, the reforms aimed to “transfer greater powers to the people and that's precisely the first step towards socialism. It's not anything other than giving society functions that until now have been privileges of the State."

But the referendum result is far from a fatal blow to the Bolivarian revolution. The fact that 4.3 million people voted for this program of action is in many ways remarkable, a measure of the deepening revolutionary process. As Chavez said after the result was announced: “In the proposals there where some very audacious ideas without precedent.”

High abstention

Exposing as lies the persistent efforts of the international media to portray Chavez as a “dictator”, the December 2 referendum was thoroughly transparent and democratic. “We will accept the results no matter what they are”, Chavez said as he voted on December 2. “This process has been a gain for democracy in Venezuela. Everyone has the right to express themselves, even if it is done crudely sometimes … For most of Venezuela's history the people have been isolated from the political process. Here popular power will have its say.”

While the opposition can claim an electoral victory, it is not a decisive one. A defining feature of the December 2 poll was that participation (55.9% of the voting-age population) was considerably down from the December 2006 presidential election, in which 74% voted. The abstention rate of 44.4% in the constitution reform poll points to the real story of this referendum.

Compared to last year’s presidential elections, the opposition won very few people over, increasing their vote by less than 100,000. The pro-revolution vote dropped by around 2.8 million, but those votes did not go to the opposition, but to abstention. Commenting on this, Chavez said: “We need to work out what were the reasons for this … but I am convinced that the majority of these people are still with us. They did not vote for the opposition, they abstained due to doubts, fears, lack of time and due to lack of our ability to explain.

Confusion and fear were undoubtedly factors in the outcome. The fact that the proposed reforms aimed to provide a legal framework for significant advances in empowering Venezuela's poor majority was a direct threaten the political and economic power of Venezuelan and US corporate elites, who pulled out all stops in their campaign against the reforms.

US-backed opposition

Aided and abetted financially, politically and propagandistically by the US government and corporate media, Venezuela’s privileged elite ran a campaign of disinformation, intimidation and attempted destabilisation in the lead-up to the referendum.

A CIA memo uncovered the week before the referendum revealed that the opposition campaign was funded by the US embassy in Venezuela to the tune of US$8 million for propaganda alone. Contrary to international media portrayals of the Chavez government as restricting free speech, the opposition still controls the majority of media outlets in Venezuela and they used them to spread lies and rumours aimed at instilling fears about the proposed constitutional reforms. It was said, for example, that if the reforms were passed the state would be able to take your children and your home, and that small shops would be nationalised.

But the opposition campaign was not limited to propaganda. A month before the referendum, opposition leaders met with US officials who urged them to “organise acts of economic sabotage against infrastructure, destroy the food transport and delivery chain ... and organise a military coup with all means possible, including bloodshed by means of paramilitary force" to stop the constitutional reforms. (These same defenders of the old constitution carried out a short-lived coup in April 2002 that did away with the constitution altogether and dismissed all the freely elected state powers and institutions, including the congress, attorney-general, governors and mayors.)

In Caracas, two weeks before the referendum, anti-Chavez students violently attacked pro-reform students at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Then, on November 26, anti-Chavez protesters blocking streets in the central Venezuelan state of Carabobo shot three times and killed a worker on a truck full of pro-Chavez workers from local factories who tried to pass the roadblock.

On November 30, the government publicly released a video (see ) revealing the opposition’s strategy of destabilization for the referendum, in which opposition leaders are seen calling on supporters assembled in a church in Caracas to not recognize the results of the referendum and take part in nation-wide protests to overturn the constitutional reforms by “generating a political crisis and crisis of instability”.

These events were consistently ignored or misreported by the international media, which continues to portray the opposition as peaceful “anti-dictatorship” protesters.

International media lies

Following the referendum result, the corporate media will of course be triumphant. Within minutes of the result being announced, Reuters was again pedalling its lies in an article that appeared almost simultaneously in online newspapers around the world, declaring: “Mr Chavez, 53, has said he wants to rule until he dies”. The reforms, said Reuters, would have allowed “Mr Chavez - who has been in office since 1999 - to run for re-election indefinitely, control foreign currency reserves, appoint loyalists over regional elected officials and censor the media if he declares an emergency … [and] boosted his powers to expropriate private property”. The fact that almost every western democracy empowers its government to declare states of emergency (US presidents can declare states of emergency that suspend citizens' normal rights and liberties for up to two years) and that, unlike in Australia and the US, the Venezuelan constitution grants people the ability to recall any elected official, including the president, before their term finishes, was not mentioned.

The Reuters coverage claimed that Chavez still “wields enormous power in a country he has pledged to turn into a socialist state. His supporters dominate Congress, the courts and election authorities … [and] Mr Chavez had tried to make the referendum vote a black-and-white plebiscite on his rule.” This media spin is almost surreal: a “dictator” defeated in an undisputedly democratic election called by his government who immediately accepts the vote just doesn't add up. In Chavez’s own words, the December 2 referendum “demonstrated the credibility of our constitution [adopted in 1999, after Chavez was first elected] and the institutions that it has created, in our political system and Bolivarian democracy. Venezuelan democracy has matured and every process that unfolds allows it to continue to mature.”

The revolution continues

The revolution has won every major battle with the opposition forces since 2002, until this referendum. But alongside the opposition’s recent electoral victory is genuinely mass support for – and increasingly mass “ownership” of – the social missions, the new democratic structures, the economy and all the concrete content of the developing revolution. The opposition have won this election, but it is quite another thing to confront and defeat the increasingly organised and armed working people in an all-out struggle for power.

That around 2.8 million people who voted for Chavez last year were not convinced of the reforms does not amount to a rejection of what is contained in the proposed reforms, but indicates that the revolutionary forces were unable to successfully counter the media offensive and convince millions of Chavez supporters why they should back the reforms. It is in this context that Chavez's statement, “This Bolivarian republic will keep getting stronger. This is not a loss; for me this is another `For now’”, should be understood. The battle of ideas continues.

“We have been a people under fire, a people that has faced an … artillery of lies and rumours”, Chavez said. “However, it has been a massive step forward politically that 49% have voted for a socialist project … We will continue in the battle to construct socialism within the framework of the constitution. The reform proposals will continue to be put forward. It continues to be alive. It will not die.”

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network is organising public events in a number of cities in December to discuss the constitutional reforms and the outcomes of the referendum. Visit for details, and for links to further information about the Venezuelan revolution.

Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange Roberto Perez Australian Tour 2008

Dave Riley's permaculture garden "Little Cuba"

Roberto Perez is featured in the excellent documentary "The Power of Community - How Cuba Survived Peak Oil".
from Robyn Francis

There has been a resounding response to Roberto Perez' visit to Australia in March-April 2008 with groups from NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland registering their interest to host Roberto. A very full draft itinerary has been developed to accommodate these and some additional potential stops factored in which will require local organisations or people to coordinate. The visit will feature 3 or 4 major conference presentations including the International Permaculture Convergence APC9 in Sydney over the Easter weekend.

This update includes information for hosts and convenors including a media kit.

ROBERTO PEREZ - Australian Tour 2008
Update: December 1, 2007

First a big thank you for the resounding response to the news of Roberto's Oz tour to launch the first stage of the Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exhange. Australia is exceptionally privileged to have Roberto take so much time out of his busy life to come and share the Cuban experience with us as the first stage of the Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange.

The flights have been reserved and an itinerary drafted, and now it's time to settle some of the details before the summer holidays slow things down. This includes paying for the air tickets as these are required to get Roberto's visa application in process (this can take up to 6 weeks), also cheap seats on flights are booking out fast.

Background to CAPE - for those new to the list Cuban and Australian permaculturists have developed a special relationship over the years, from the initial Ozzies that went over to teach the first PDC there in the early ‘90's, a visit from Seed Savers and partnerships forged by ongoing volunteers like Pam Morgan. The Cuban's expressed deep gratitude to the Australian permaculture community and have requested support once again to send me over to work with them in developing integrated urban planning and ecovillage strategies. Such an undertaking would be on a completely volunteer basis and an honour to undertake. I have offered to donate 6 weeks of my time and skills to go to Cuba, if the cost of getting there and back can be assisted. In discussions with colleagues on my return from IPC8, Wadzy suggested to first bring Roberto out here for an Australian tour, to raise the funds to cover the full exchange costs - everyone liked the idea including Roberto.

The Cubans insist that I return with Roberto to complete the exchange. So in effect Roberto has agreed to come out here to help raise the money to get me over to Cuba-and I am working hard to get him out here!!! Seems like a fair exchange hey?!

Read background articles about CAPE at
Thanks for your support - Roberto's visit has huge potential to bring communities together and promote the solutions permaculture has to offer in the transition to a low-carbon future.

Draft Itinerary:
4-6 March Auckland NZ
8-18 March: Nthn NSW
Djanbung Gardens Public presentation Fri 14
1-day Workshop Sat 15
Lismore - SCU Date TBC
Other NC presentations e.g. Byron,
19 March: Travel to Sydney - arrive 20th
20-25 Mar APC-9 , Sydney - Penny Pyatt
26-29 Mar Other Sydney and region presentations
e.g. Latin Club?, UWS?, other...
30 Mar NSW Sth Coast - Bega - John Champagne
1 April NE Vic - Dave Arnold
3 April Ballarat/Hepburn - Steve Burns
5 April Melbourne - Petra
7 April Geelong/SW Vic - Fern
9 April Adelaide
11-13 April International Climate Conference (location TBC: Melb/Syd)
14 April Fly to Gold Coast/Nimbin for R&R
16 April Brisbane?
17-20 April Sunshine Coast
Followed by a few days to relax, visit World heritage rainforests etc before returning to Cuba

Havana-Sydney return flight, $3550
Visa and other core travel costs $1000
Domestic travel within Australia approx $1300
Travel Allowance for Roberto $1000
NB Roberto will have limited cash resources and this is the
minimum remuneration for his sundry and personal costs within Australia
Reciprocal exchange visit- flight only $3550
Total Exchange cost: $10,400

(Wadsy was right when he said $10,000 needed to be raised for the whole project) Any funds raised in excess of the basic costs above will go towards sending resources and funds to Cuba to support the permaculture initiatives there.

Sponsorships and Fundraising
Funds are urgently required to secure the flight bookings. Sponsors depositing funds of $500 or more into the CAPE account before Dec 20 may choose to be listed as sponsors on the official tour promotional materials. The purchase
costs for the flight tickets has been temporarily covered through a personal loan which needs to be re-embursed as soon as possible. Funds and donations by cheque/money order payable to ‘CAPE" , mail to PO Box 379, Nimbin NSW 2480. Electronic transfers: Bank: Summerland Credit Union, Cullen St Nimbin; BSB 802-222; Account Number 22267099; Name: Erda Institute Incorporated

Hosts & Convenors
Groups hosting Roberto and convening presentations will need to organise all local transport, accommodation/billeting and take care of any sundry expenses. Each event will need to contribute to the CAPE fund. We recommend convenors budget for $5 per person attending public presentations to be paid into the CAPE fund. Convenors will be responsible for all costs associated with events they are organising, including venue and local promotion.

Media Kit
A media kit will be sent to each convenor with a poster and flyer template/master for local printing and a sample press release for promotion.
All engagements will be promoted on the The site will have a download folder containing each event's posters and promotional materials for easy download and distribution. There is a forum now on the site for communications about the visit and CAPE in general. To make postings or contributions to the forum you have to sign up.

Coordinated by:
Erda institute Inc and Permaculture Education
Djanbung Gardens, PO Box 359 Nimbin 2480 Ph 02-6689 1755 '

in association with the Foundation for Nature and Humanity, Havana, Cuba.

proudly sponsored by:
Permaculture North Inc •

Venezuela in the 21st Century - threats and promises to a Socialist future.

11.7 Mb. 128kbps mono 12:47 mins

Nelson D'Avila, the Venezuelan Charge d'Affaires to Australia and Oceania addresses the Greenleft Weekly dinner in November descibing Venezuela's leadership role in resisting US pressures to eliminate socialism on the planet.


Timor Leste and the Balibo 5 - Jim Dunn speaks

4Mb. 14:39 mins mono 128kbps.

Glebe Coroner's Court handed down a finding last month that the 5 journalists killed at Balibo in Timor Leste in 1975 were murdered by an invading Indonesian force which both the Australian and Indonesian governments at the time were denying was in progress, or even planned. The Coroner recommended that there should be further investigation to establish whether this act constituted a war crime.

Jim Dunn, who was the Australian Consul about that time, and who has since been active in the United Nations and Human Rights bodies to claim justice for the East Timorese people talks about the significance of this finding, and what it means for the Timorese, the Australian and Indonesian governments, and the families of the murdered newsmen.


The Media War against Venezuela - Stuart Munckton

7.4 Mb. 64kbps mono 15:38 mins

Reported rumours of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' dictatorial tendencies seem to be grossly exaggerated, according to Stuart Munckton from the Latin American desk of GreenLeft weekly. International mainstream media coverage of right wing student protests (designed to sabotage the latest plebiscite for constitutional reform) got both the facts and the figures wrong. Stuart explains, quite simply what the reforms are, why a huge majority of the Venezuelan people will vote in favor of them, and why the US State department and the establishment media are in an hysterical feeding frenzy over the possibilities of popularly ratified change.


Venezuela - Australian solidarity. Lisa MacDonald

Venezuela - Australian solidarity. Lisa MacDonald
6.85 Mb. 128kbps mono 7:30mins

Lisa Macdonald of the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network talks with 2NimFM about ways in which Australians can overcome the media spin and distortions about Venezuela's move towards socialism. The AVSN has reliable people on the ground providing regular eyewitness reports that contradict the hysterical accounts of the mainstream international media, and is organising a stream of brigades and study tours for Australians to go there and see for themselves.


El Salvador - Mariposa vs the Death Squads

2.3 Mb. 64 kbps. mono 9 mins. Lara Pullin reports on developments in El Salvador and the continuing struggle of the FMLN to maintain the democratic standards in El Salvador that it fought for for so long. The forces of neoliberalism are pulling no punches as they try to claw back the recent advances made by the burgeoning of governments independent of US influence throughout the whole region. The pro-US neo-liberals are resorting to their old tactics of fear, intimidation, violence and terror.


An Activist remembers - 'Wes' on Timor Leste

28 Mb. 128kbps mono 30 mins.

Rob Wesley-Smith has just come back from one of his many visits to Timor Leste. He is familiar with the area (Same) and the people where Australian troops tried to capture the rebel mutineer, Alfredo Reynado. Wes knows Reynado personally, being one of the few people to meet him when Reynado first came to Australia as a refugee. While not impressed with Reynado's role in recent events, Wes is very critical of the 'modus operandi' of the Australian Defense Forces in Timor Leste.

Wes has been active in defense of the independence of the East Timorese people since the first days of the Indonesian intervention. His involvement goes back to dodging police and ASIO agents to set up and maintain the clandestine radio transmitter, which was the only means the Fretilin/Falintil guerillas had of communicating with the outside world, after Indonesia sealed East Timor off. Wes was also involved in several attempts to smuggle medical supplies to the Fretilin guerillas in 1976. In this interview he recalls half a lifetime of activism for Timor Leste.

(Photo: Former member for Frazer and Timor activist, Ken Fry with Brian Manning and Wes, sending messages of support to Fretilin guerillas just outside Darwin.)

Latin America / Asia Pacific Solidarity Forum

8.4Mb 96kbps mono 12:17mins
Roberto Jorquera reports on the Latin America Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum, with speakers from all around the world, last October 11 - 14. A common thread was the fight against capitalism and imperialism. See the website for CLASS (Centre for Latin American Solidarity and Studies) and Greenleft Weekly: for written reports.

"Solidarity We came and met together from many different countries. We came because we are some of those who have to struggle.


Latin Radical - Radio initiatives

10.1MB 96kbs mono 14:50 mins
Roberto Jorquera talks about community radio in Venezuela, and a unique Australian radio podcast project - an English language Latin American solidarity internet radio hub called "Radio Venceremos" after the clandestine radio transmitter used by the FMLN guerillas of El Salvador during the guerilla war of the 1980s.


Julie Webb Pt.2. Terrorist Raids New Zealand

11.7 Mb. mono 17mins

Julie Webb, correspondent for Narco News ( and Scoop ( returns to New Zealand after 18 months in Mexico, to find herself caught up in a wave of 'anti-terrorist' police actions. NZ police used anti-terrorist legislation to round up and intidate hundreds of people even remotely involved in any kind of social activism. Environmentalists, Maori elders (indeed, whole communities), and peace activists were all targetted in the illegal police raids which were timed to coincide with a parliamentary vote to strengthen 'anti-terrorist' legislation.

Julie's reports can be read at:


and also on the Greenleft Weekly website at:

Julie Webb Pt.1. Terrorist Raids NZ

8.13 Mb 96kbps mono 11:50 mins

Julie Webb, correspondent for Narco News ( and Scoop ( returns to New Zealand after 18 months in Mexico, to find herself caught up in a wave of 'anti-terrorist' police actions. NZ police used anti-terrorist legislation to round up and intidate hundreds of people even remotely involved in any kind of social activism. Environmentalists, Maori elders (indeed, whole communities), and peace activists were all targetted in the illegal police raids which were timed to coincide with a parliamentary vote to strengthen 'anti-terrorist' legislation.

Julie's reports can be read at:


and also on the Greenleft Weekly website at:

Timore Leste --Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson Part 1 - Timor Leste. Cuban Medical Brigades

6.25 Mb. 128kbps mono 6:38mins.

Tim Anderson returns from a two week visit to Timor Leste just after the inauguration of the new government. But before we begin discussion on the economic and political problems of the new East Timorese government, Tim describes the sterling work and achievements of the 300 strong Cuban medical brigade to Timor Leste, and the training of over 800 East Timorese students who will be replacing them over the next ten years.
Original audio source

Tim Anderson Part 2 - Timor Leste. Future of Petroleum Fund

9Mb 128kbps mono 9mins.

The economic ideology of the new East Timorese government raises some concern over the future of the East Timorese Petroleum fund, designed to 'future proof' Timor Leste's economy and avoid the trap of the 'Resource Curse'.
Original audio source

Tim Anderson Part 3 - Timor Leste and Australian Presence.

3.5 Mb 64kbps mono 7:36 mins

Past and recent events seem to indicate that for many Timorese, the Australians may have worn out their welcome. And the Howard government is still trying push Timor Leste towards more privatisation (especially of land) and neo liberal economic policies.
Original audio source

Tim Anderson Part 4 - Timore Leste. Was it a coup?

3Mb. 64kbps mono 6:18 minutes

Tim provides background on some of the key players in the destabilising events of May - July last year. Was it a test of Fretilin's commitment to the people? Or does the Howard government deserve a serve for an opportunistic intervention?

Original audio source

Tim Anderson Part 5 - Timor Leste. Xanana's Problems

6Mb 128kbps mono 6:33 mins.

Tim Anderson talks about the implications of new information about last year's coup plotters coming to light, and what it might mean to the future of the new Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao.

Timor Leste's Petroleum fund

16Mb. 96kbps mono 21:42 mins.

Jennifer Drysdale at the Centre for Environmental Studies at the Australian National University spent 2 years in Timor Leste researching the governance of East Timor's hard won petroleum resources. Now, with the new Timorese Parliament taking control of the Petroleum Fund she talks with Nimbin Community Radio 2NimFm about the past and future prospects for East Timor's budding economy. The lineup of political parties that kept Fretilin out of government campaigned strongly on accusations that Fretilin was 'holding out' on the petroleum fund. Yet, the new parliament shows no signs of changing the Fretilin policy. Jennifer's PhD. research turns Australian media preconceptions on its head, indicating that the Fretilin policy was, in fact, what the people really wanted, and that Fretilin was actually responding to the popular will.

Bolivian President Evo Morales on The Daily Show

Bolivian President Evo Morales interviewed by Jon Stewart.

US grab for Bolivian gas

18Mb 128kbps mono 20 minutes
Latin Radical interviews Stuart Munkton from the Latin American desk of Green Left Weekly. The US Administration is manoevring to depose Bolivia's first indigenous President Evo Morales using similar tactics to the ones they used in the attempted coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002. Direct US intervention into Venezuelan politics was exposed by lawyer-writer Eva Golinger, who will be speaking at this years Latin America and Asia Pacific Forum on October 11-14, on her latest investigations into US designs on the government of Bolivia.


SIGN online petition:US hands off Bolivia! Respect Bolivian sovereignty

We, the undersigned, call on the US government to cease interference into Bolivian affairs, to respect Bolivia's sovereignty and the democratic decisions of the Bolivian people.

We call on governments from around the world to follow the example of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and publicly oppose any US intervention or attempts to remove the elected, legitimate government of Bolivia.

.What they did to Venezuela they are preparing for Bolivia

US hands off Bolivia and Latin America!
Respect national sovereignty and self determination!
The Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network declares its solidarity with the people of Bolivia and support for their right to determine their own government and policies in the face of a US-backed campaign to undermine and overthrow the elected government of President Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president who won a free and fair election in December 2005 with nearly 54% of the vote.
The AVSN has long campaigned in defence of the principle of self determination and sovereignty for Venezuela. Just as the US government conspired with local right-wing forces to briefly overthrow the elected Chavez government in a military coup April 2002, the same forces are today working towards the same end in Bolivia.

As a destabilisation campaign, with violent riots by right-wing forces, unfolds, it has become clear that Bolivia’s democracy is under threat. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with Evo Morales by his side, warned on September 10 that the US was replicating its campaign against his government in Bolivia. Chavez stated that just as Venezuela faced “a coup, driven forward and financed by the government of the United States, the same is occurring in Bolivia”. Chavez insisted that Venezuela would support Bolivia against US aggression and in defence of democracy.

US-Venezuelan lawyer Eva Golinger, who has previously exposed secret US intervention into Venezuela, has revealed that US-funded agencies such as USAID and National Endowment for Democracy, that helped fund and organise groups inside Venezuela that have worked to overthrow the government, are also funding to the tune of US$13.3 million similar groups in Bolivia to the same end.
While the AVSN exists principally to build solidarity with Venezuela, President Chavez has always insisted that the Venezuelan revolution is one part of a struggle across the region for the ability of Latin American countries to determine their own future.

The AVSN recognises the US-backed right-wing campaign to overthrow the Morales government is also aimed at undermining the growing movement for integration in Latin America and isolating the Venezuelan government. After Morales’ election, Bolivia joined the Venezuelan-initiated Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, which challenges US-pushed free trade policies.

We demand that the US cease working to destablise and overthrow governments in Latin America. We congratulate the statements of President Chavez offering support for Bolivia against US aggression, and we add our weight to his call for solidarity. US hands off Latin America!

Julie Webb on the new Mexican Revolution

18.6Mb 64kbps 40minutes 45 seconds

Julie Webb has just returned after 9 months in Mexico where she worked as a correspondent for Narco-News, and a human rights observer on remote Zapatista communities. In that time she saw sub-commandante Marcos in action, met other Zapatista leaders, and was active in fending off violent attempts by landowners to force Zapatista communities off their land and out of their homes. This was done using Zapatista tactics of non-violence. She observed the Zapatista movement supporting the 'other government' - an alternative movement aiming for a government in Mexico based on grass roots democracy and indigenous traditions - which is establishing itself all over Mexico. In the state of Oaxaca the 'Other Government' now ignores the State governor and runs much of the state from grass-roots community organisations. Julie is now in New Zealand and planning to return to Mexico soon.

Direct download: JWebbinterva64.mp3

East Timor. James Dunn reviews the situation

5.2Mb. mono 64kbps 11:13 mins.

Jim Dunn, about to travel to Timor Leste as a consultant to the President of Timor Leste, Jose Ramos Horta, clears up some of the confusion there bout recent events.

Latest GLW coverage on Latin America

VENEZUELA: On August 15 — the third anniversary of President Hugo Chavez’s victory in the recall referendum of 2004 and the 202nd anniversary of Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar’s famous oath not to rest “until the chains of oppression are lifted from my people” — tens of thousands of people turned out to an extraordinary session of Venezuela’s National Assembly (AN) to hear the president’s proposed constitutional reforms. »

Venezuela moves ahead

7.74Mb. mono 64kbps 17 mins August 19 2007

Stuart Munckton of the Greenleft Weekly comments on the sweeping reforms proposed for Venezuela's social system, announced last week by President Hugo Chavez. While the reforms will establish Venezuela as one of the most visionary nations of the 21st Century, with power devolving away from the Central state to grass roots organisations, the capitalist establishment has reacted with shock and horror, as reflected in the mainstream media's view of President Chavez.
Direct download: stuMonkton19_Aug07.mp3

East Timor Update: Helen Hill

Latin Radical - East Timor Update: Helen Hill

4.4Mb mono 128kbps 13mins
Helen Hill analyses the payout against Fretilin in East Timor's post election crisis. It's not as simple as the Australian media makes it appear. Academic Helen steps back from the more turgid debates and takes a considered and well informed opinion about what's going on.



Latin Radical - East Timor 's Constitutional Crisis

Latin Radical - East Timor 's Constitutional Crisis
5.65 Mb. mono 64kbps 12:20 mins.

Interview with two Australian academics who have very different views on Timor Leste's constitutional crisis. Professor Damien Kingsbury has been very critical of the role of the Fretilin party and its General Secretary Mari Alkatiri. But Bob Boughton of the University of New England spent six months there observing the Presidential elections, and he has a different view. Meanwhile, interviews with Jim Dunn (who has just been asked to return as an advisor to President Jose Ramos Horta) and East Timorese leaders, are pending. Watch this space. Did Jose Ramos Horta make a wise decision in appointing Xanana Gusmao the Prime Minister? Australian mainstream media has its knickers in a knot over this one, but it is no joke for the Timorese people.


Latin American & Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum

Melbourne, October 11-14, 2007

“Fighting and organising globally against neoliberalism”

Trade unionists, social movement activists, academics, students, progressive political parties and all interested members of the community are invited to come along to the Latin American & Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum. The four-day forum aims to strengthen international coordination and solidarity with those fighting neoliberalism.

The major forum themes include:

· workers’ rights and the global labour movement,

· campaigning and organising strategies,

· ecological sustainability,

· Indigenous peoples’ struggles,

· histories of movements of resistance,

· anti-capitalist theory and practice,

· alternatives to neo-liberalism and cultural action.

More than 30 representatives from progressive organisations and campaigns in 22 countries will address the forum.

Submissions for workshop presentations are welcome

For more information about the forum, to register for it, or to submit a workshop proposal, visit, email, or write to LAAPISF, PO Box 813, North Melbourne 3051.

Don’t miss it!