Fred Fuentes - Bolivia, Pt.1

[note: although the sound quality is adequate there is still some distortion]

Fred (Frederico) Fuentes, based in Latin America talks about the recent referendum in Bolivia, called by the first elected indigenous president, Evo Morales. In spite of right wing calls to challenge the political empowerment of this man (with threats to secede from the central government and form 'autonomous' states) the referendum actually strengthened the position of a President who is introducing moderate reforms that act to phase out the negative influence of multi-national corporations and global privatisation.

11.6Mb 128kbps mono 12:41 mins


Fred Fuentes - Bolivia, Pt.2

On the situation in Bolivia, Fred Fuentes looks at the role of the military, which after several hundred years of dominating the politics of countries like Bolivia seems to be changing with a new era of social reform.

9.5 Mb 128kbps mono 10:20 Mins


El Salvador - Lara Pullin on '09 elections and human rights

Lara Pullin, speaking for the Canberra committee of the FMLN, talks further about the importance of next year's elections in El Salvador to the Salvadoran people. The government coalition is trying everything to sabotage the FMLN's 20 point lead in the polls, including the separation of the Presidential election from the local elections with a two month gap. The UN is scrutinising closely the claims of the FMLN that the ARENA led coalition has failed to respect the terms of the Peace Accord of 1992. The FMLN has respected the Accord meticulously, but the ARENA government has failed on a number of counts.

15.8Mb 128kbps mono 17:18 mins


Timor Leste - Peter Murphy and the Timorese budget decisions

Peter Murphy of the SEARCH foundation has been involved with Timor Leste since 1975. In this interview he talks about the controversial budget put to the Timorese Parliament by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. Some parliamentarians in his governing AMP coalition have raised eyebrows, and the decision to dip into the Oil Fund to prop up the budget for an amount more than double what is laid down in the constitutional guidelines has been questioned both within Timor Leste and by international advisors and observers.
Peter also comments on more recent findings of the investigation into the attempt on the life of President Jose Ramos Horta on February 11, and suggests that there should be an independent international investigation.
13Mb. 126kbps mono 14mins 19 secs.

El Salvador - Burke Stansbury on the regional context

Burke tells us why the governing ARENA party is pulling out all the stops in its effort to continue in power in El Salvador. With the 2009 elections coming up early next year the opposition FMLN is showing a twenty point lead in all the polls.
The FMLN is not rushing into a radical makeover of the economy - decades of conservative and reactionary rule have made neo-conservative policy institutional structures. Next year's FMLN presidential candidate, Mauricio Funes is proposing moderate reforsm. But in the Latin American context it will mean that El Salvador will join the growing number of Latin American countries liberating themselves from US hegemomy and intervention, with the ability to develop themselves freely away from the the influence and impositions of the IMF the World Bank, and Washington.

14Mb 128kbps mono 14mins 9seconds.


El Salvador - Historical Repeat? - Burke Stansbury and CISPES

Burke Stansbury on the US. harassment of CISPES

CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador was established in the USA in the 1980s when US trained Death Squads were systematically killing opposition to the US backed military regime in ritual terrorist assassinations. When US citizens organize themselves to resist the brutality of US foreign policy they came under scrutiny by the US police and intelligence services. It seems that old habits die hard. Current members of the CISPES have been investigated and harassed by the FBI because they have brought to public attention the return of Death Squad tactics in El Salvador, to break down opposition to the US backed government there with overtly terroristic tactics. In a previous interview Burke Stansbury gained an admission from the US Ambassador in El Salvador that the US had actively intervened in the 2004 elections.

It remains to be seen whether the US is trying to influence the results of next year's elections, but the fingerprints are all over the return of the Death Squads and the more recent harassment of CISPES.

Burke, and CISPES can be contacted at

12.3Mb. 128kbps. mono 13 minutes


Caracas on the Line - Fred Fuentes on the coming elections.

Fred Fuentes is back in Caracas after a quick speaking tour of Australia, and already plugged in to the always volatile world of Venezuelan politics. He talks with community radio about the lead up to the regional elections coming up this November, and the prospects of the VSUP (the Venezuelan United Socialist Party) that is the core party of President Hugo Chavez' government coalition. The Chavista project of building grassroots democracy in Venezuela from the bottom up continues, but there are challenges ahead.

15Mb. 128kbps. mono 16mins


Timor - A closer look at Truth and Friendship; Clinton Fernandes

Clinton Fernandes travels frequently to Timor Leste. He lectures for the Australian Defense Force Academy at the University of New South Wales, and has scrutinised the Commission for Truth and Friendship report more closely and critically than most. He believes it is disappointing yet, a stepping stone for further action for justice for the people of Timor Leste, who seem to have been left out of the political equation.

9Mb. 128kbps. 9mins 45 secs


Timor; Truth and Friendship, but little Justice - Damien Kingsbury

Professor Damien Kingsbury, political scientist and observer of Timor Leste comments about the outcome of the recently released report of the Truth and Friendship Commission on the horrific reprisals visited upon the people of Timor Leste by Indonesian militias, in the wake of the 1999 independence referendum. The results were predictable, but disappointing to the people of Timor Leste, who have yet to find justice after the long years of brutal Indonesian occupation.

8.7 Mb. 128kbps mono 9mins 15 seconds