[Marxism] US Latinos and the Bolivarian Revolution

Fernando Torres fernandotorresm19 at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 7 09:17:01 MST 2006


As the Bolivarian Revolultion spreads across South and
Central American, the imperial  machine will increase
efforts to destabilize and eventually derail this
historic event. Progressives in the US are faced with
the task and responsibility of building a broad-based,
non sectarian, solidarity movement. A key component of
this movement must be the US Latino population.

US Latinos have grown to over 40 million people:
today, there are more Spanish-speaking people in the
US than Canadians in Canada.  Today there are more
latinos in the US than Blacks. Most of the population
is of mexican origin (about 23 million), followed by
Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Central and South American.
Assimilation levels vary, and these folks follow
events in their country of origin. Additionally, over
half of the latino population is under 35 years of
age.

As events continue to unfold, the latino community
will deepen their split, with the Antichavista
venezuelans reaching out for financial, political and
military support, pretty much as Cubans in the 60s and
Central Americans in the 80s. But this time it won't
be so easy for these right wing exiles. On the one
hand, the change taking place started (not that it
will stay that way for ever) thru the electoral
process and this "legitimizes" Bolivarianism. On the
other, even these right wing exiles are not immune to
the current xenophobic climate. And Chavez's very
adroit attempts to create a social base in the US
among the urban poor thru heating oil subsidies throws
another wrench in the right wingers attempts to win
Latinos to their cause.

Things to watch in coming months. Colombian elections,
congressional in march, presidential in may. Right
wing Harvard MBA Alvaro Uribe manipulated the Supreme
Court to allow him to run for a Second Term. His
neoliberal model has resulted in some economic growth
and continued impoverishment of workers, while most of
the countryside remains in control of various
guerrilla organizations, and rightwing paramilitary
organizations get a slap on the wrist for their
terrorist campaigns. A major candidate is Antonio
Navarro Wolf, former M19 commander, and now heading
the Polo Democratico Independiente (in the late 80s.
M19 converged Colombian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian
guerrilla movements in the Batallon Bolivar).  But
regardless of electoral results two things are very
clear regarding Colombia. One is the impact of Chavez
in neighboring Venezuela: even the weekly Semana named
Chavez Man of 2005. And two the importance Colombia
plays in military plans for a potential invasion of
Venezuela. Those more interested in seeing US
counterinsurgency plans for Colombia should read
"Imperial Grunts" by Rober D. Kaplan. It paints a very
accurate picture of US counter insurgency in that
nation.

Fernando Torres


		
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