Caracas on the Line - Fred Fuentes on provocative tests of Venezuelan resolve.

Note: sound quality is poor, due to a bad phone line to Caracas, but the news content is of great interest.

Fred Fuentes on the most recent escalation of hostile manouevres against the Venezuelan government. A US plane invades Venezuelan air space, at the same time that Colombian troops are found inside Venezuelan territory. Then, a day later, 60 more!

And by a strange coincidence, there is a major international media campaign about the FARC (Colombian guerilla movement) computers alleged to have been found when Colombian troops invaded Ecuadorean territory last March.

Washington claims that it establishes a 'compromising' link between the Venezuelan government and the FARC guerillas, but everyone who has read further than the first paragraph of the Interpol examination of the computers recognises an eerie similarity between this finding, and the Bush administration's wolf cry of 'weapons of mass destruction' in the lead up to the war in Iraq.

5.1Mb. 64Kbps mono 11:10mins


Schafik Pt 2. - Salvadoran invites Australian support

Jorge Schafik Handal, son of the FMLN guerilla commander and Presidential candidate of the same name has been in Australia seeking observers for the Salvadoran elections next year, which he believes the governing ARENA coalition will try to steal. In this segment he acknowledges the support he has received from all sectors of Australian society.

23.5Mb. 64kbps mono 25:36 mins

Original audio source

Part Two of two parts. Listen to Part One here

Schafik Pt 1. - A Salvadoran in Australia

Jorge Schafik Handal, son of the guerilla commander, and Salvadoran presidential candidate of the same name, addresses a meeting of Resistance, in Brisbane, where he fields some keen questions from youthful members of the Socialist Alliance, and others. He is on a mission to Australia to garner support for a team of independent observers for next year's elections in El Salvador, which by all indications, the governing ARENA coalition, will try to steal, despite the FMLN's commanding lead in the current polls.

Jorge explains some of the problems confronting the FMLN, and their ways of dealing with them.

14.3Mb. 64 kbps 31:23mins

Original audio source

Part One of two parts. Part Two here

Fred Fuentes - the attempt to Balkanise Latin America

Fred Fuentes, based in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela observes the coordinated efforts of the US to 'split off' resource rich states in Bolivia and Venezuela and Ecuador, as a last ditch attempt to counter the election of left of centre governments, and the growing popularity of these governments in more and more of the Latin American nation states. Venezuela, with the inspired leadership of Hugo Chavez has been able to break the stranglehold of latin american economic dependency. Latin America is finding its own way, independently of the superpower to the north, but the Empire still tries to strike back, using the full bag of tricks.


El Salvador - latest terrorist strike. Lara Pullin

Lara Pullin phones back with breaking news of the political harassment of Human Rights organisations and a Women's organisation. After a series of phone calls making death threats, the offices of the women's organisation was vandalised. Salvadoran police had no interest in investigating because 'nothing had been stolen'.

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El Salvador, Venezuela, and US designs - Lara Pullin

Lara Pullin details the tactics used by the US to maintain its grip on Latin America - from a multimillion dollar police training institution in El Salvador, to a billion dollar military base in Colombia, uncomfortably close to the Venezuelan border.

13.1Mb 128kbps mono 14:20 mins


El Salvador - are Death Squads for Real? - Lara Pullin reports

Lara Pullin with a weekly report, and just in case anyone hasn't realised it yet, the Salvadoran Death Squads are real, they are back, and they are sheltered by their former operatives and sponsors with government posts in the ARENA party.

One of 13 peasant activists who demonstrated against water privatisation laws has been assassinated. The Suchitoto 13 (demonstrators) arrested and threatened under anti-terrorism (!) laws had the terrorism charges dropped, but the Death Squads were able to administer their own version of justice with impunity.

Lara Pullin gives us the background on this latest travesty of human rights.

11.3mb 128kbps mono 12:20 mins


Timor - Literacy and governance - Bob Boughton reports

Bob Boughton, senior lecturer in Adult Education has just returned from Timor Leste where he goes regularly as a government consultant for their Adult Literacy campaign. While the campaign was showing signs of great promise Bob sees progress hamstrung by sudden switches in government policy on the administrative side of things. The campaign has gone backward since Xanana's AMP colition initiated a restructuring of the Public Service. Bob was also in Timor Leste when the Social Democrat party split, and announced its commitment to support Fretilin in the next elections.

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Timor Leste - Fretilin's comeback.

Estanislau Da Silva was a former Prime Minister of Timor Leste, when the Fretilin was the party in government. Before that, he was the Minister for Agriculture in the Fretilin government. He is in Australia this week to attend the launching of a book by a Timorese man, Naldo Rei who grew up in Indonesian occupied Timor Leste, as a committed supporter of the Fretilin led resistance movement.

Estanislau Da Silva spoke to 2NimFM and Latin Radical at a very opportune time. Australian mainstream media is playing down the commitment of the second largest (social democrat) political party to run with Fretilin as a renovated government coalition in next year's elections. But it looks like the beginning of the end of Xanana Gusmao's hastily cobbled together AMP coalition, designed to keep Fretilin out of power after last year's election result, when Fretilin won the largest vote, but was denied the opportunity to try to form a government, by Presidential intervention.

Da Silva does not dwell on this. He moves on and is at his most eloquent and passionate (as a former Minister for Agriculture) when he speaks about the Fretilin party's commitment to resist the pressures of corporate Agribusiness, and a commitment to develop, as far as possible, self sufficiency in basic food products by enabling small farmers. The current government appears to be more interested in encouraging corporate agribusiness investment. Da Silva says Fretilin is committed to resisting corporate pressures to use Timor's precious acreage to grow biofuels - the main factor in a looming global shortage of basic food products. Important, when even corporations like Nestles are saying that there is no such thing as a global food shortage - it is the diversion of food crops to produce biofuels that is causing the rise in food prices.

10.5 Mb 128kbps mono 11:28 min


El Salvadoran appeal to Australia - Lara Pullin, on Schafik Handal

Lara Pullin talks about Jorge Schafik Handal, a visiting dignitary from El Salvador currently touring Australia and bringing us up to date on the situation in El Salvador that is becoming increasingly volatile.

Jorge Schafik Handal is in Australia to invite independent observers to come to next year's elections to frustrate anticipated attempts at fraud, and to ensure that the election results are recognised. The pro US ARENA party, which presently leads a coalition that keeps the FMLN out of power is notorious for fraud, corruption and the use of violence to intimidate opponents. Already a number of public figures associated with the FMLN have been brutally assassinated by Death Squads.

10Mb. mono 64kbps 20 mins


El Salvador - Schafik tours Australia (Spanish version)

Jorge Schafik Handal is the son of the man of the same name, who was chief guerilla commander of the FMLN liberation front (Commandante 'Simon'), during the civil war in El Salvador during the 1980s.

Jorge himself has been a militant of the FMLN for 34 years and an important figure for the front, in his own right. The FMLN is now a legally constituted political party, and according to local polls will win the upcoming 2009 elections by a landslide.

Jorge Schafik Handal is in Australia to invite independent observers to come to next year's elections to frustrate anticipated attempts at fraud, and to ensure that the election results are recognised. The pro US ARENA party, which presently leads a coalition that keeps the FMLN out of power is notorious for fraud, corruption and the use of violence to intimidate opponents. Already a number of public figures associated with the FMLN have been brutally assassinated by Death Squads.

Spanish. English account to follow.

4.9 Mb. 6 mins 96kbps. mono


El Salvador News Pt. 2 - Lara Pullin April 27

4.8Mb mono 96 kbps 6:46 mins

Note: Inferior sound quality

Short cut to Part 1:

Lara Pullin with exciting news from El Salvador. Among other things, FMLN parliamentarian and activist Jorge Schafik Handal, son of the revolutionary guerilla leader Commandante Simon will be visiting Australia to invite independent observers - politicians, unionists, and human rights organisations - to come to next years election in El Salvador, which is promising to become a very dirty campaign.


El Salvador News Pt.1 - Lara Pullin April 27

Note: poor sound quality

Lara Pullin with the most recent news updates from El Salvador. The Suchitoto 13, who demonstrated to stop the privatisation of the water resources of Lake Suchitoto (part of a strategy of North American mining companies) have finally managed to defeat terrorism charges, with the harsh penalties they entail. But they are still fighting further legal harassment, and other popular organisations, unions and grassroots communities continue to be assailed by the neo-liberal, neo-conservative ARENA government.

74.7 Mb. mono 96kbps 10mins