Celebrate Hugo Chavez’s legacy 25 years on

The struggle against US intervention in Venezuela continues, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

TWENTY-FIVE years ago later this year Hugo Chavez won the presidential election in Venezuela and paved the way to a sustained period — marked sometimes by setbacks of course, as any struggle is — of electoral victories by leftist forces in South America against powerful local elites buttressed by the United States.

As the annual Latin America conference meets today to discuss how progressive mass movements across the region are again resisting neoliberalism and US domination in their struggles for independence and sovereignty, Venezuela’s achievements in the Chavez period in this respect stand out as an example.
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Dead-end government – a bankruptcy of ideas

This year must see determined resistance to Tory austerity, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

THE fact that, in a year in which will mark the 13th anniversary of the Conservative Party returning to office, we are discussing another crisis — and another round of austerity being introduced in the name of responding to it — is truly illustrative of both this government’s skewed priorities and its bankruptcy of ideas.

From the Cameron Cabinet with the Lib Dems (which made austerity its flagship policy) throughout the tenures of Theresa May and Boris Johnson (who continued it while talking about Brexit a lot), as well as the short-lived Truss era (when a particularly haphazard version of it was attempted) and Rishi Sunak today, making the majority pay in order to protect the wealth of the class which the Tories represent has been a thread of continuity.
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Time to end the US blockage against Venezuela.

Opposing US and UK sanction on Venezuela will remain a top international priority in 2023, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

AS Venezuela enters the latter half of President Nicolas Maduro’s second term in office, the time is ripe for an overview of where the country currently stands, especially regarding ongoing attempts from the US and its allies (including the British government) to force regime change.

Since 2017, in pursuit of an anti-Maduro uprising in Venezuela, the US has levied an oil embargo, financial and secondary sanctions and a range of other measures targeting sectors such as banking, mining and food imports, amounting to a blockade akin to that imposed against Cuba since the 1960s.
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Tory austerity is still devastating Britain

Reports from Crisis, the Trussell Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation show that the inhumane Tories are leading us deeper into a social emergency, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

THE situation facing Britain is nothing less than a social emergency. Currently, 14.5 million people are living in poverty in Britain, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s figures that were released in September.

In terms of children specifically, the latest numbers tell us that almost one in three children are living in poverty (31 per cent).
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Seize the moment and force the Tories out

Liz Truss’s remarkable implosion has devastated the Conservatives’ poll lead despite their parliamentary majority – now is the time to build links between unions, campaigns and the left representatives in public office, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

OVER five decades of political activity in Britain, I have seen plenty of governments that I didn’t think much of. But while there have been many unpopular administrations, it’s hard to remember any quite as shambolic and widely discredited as this one.
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Free Alex Saab

KEN LIVINGSTONE writes of the case of the illegally detained Venezuelan diplomat now facing a possible 20-year jail sentence in the US

THE imprisonment of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab in Florida since October 2021 exemplifies the US’s vicious assault on Venezuela and its disregard for international law.

According to Venezuelan government sources, Saab was arrested at a refuelling stop in Cape Verde in June 2020 by order of the US while he was carrying out official duties as a Venezuelan special envoy.
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Confront Truss with a radical agenda

There is a genuine appetite for real change among the wider public, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

THERE are many things the Conservative Party’s leadership election did not offer: an unexpected outcome being one of them.

In a contest so often dominated by talk of which figures turned on the previous prime minister, it was hard to find anything vaguely substantial in the way of actual politics.

That the European Research Group faction of MPs backed Liz Truss, who called for a Remain vote in 2016, in order to stop a pro-Leave Rishi Sunak is indicative of how many endorsements and alliances have been based purely on recent events.
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Truss and Sunak both will punish the poorest

The Tory leadership contest is a reactionary race to the bottom, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

BRITISH politics all too often produces a race to the bottom, and there can be fewer better examples than the Conservative Party’s current leadership election.

If nothing else, the tone of the contest is proving true to the agenda that has run through their tenure in government: making the majority pay for the greed of the class that funds them, rolling back our hard-won rights, spreading division and siding with reaction across the world.
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Centrica and Shell’s obscene profits are a line in the sand

Bumper profits for energy giants while millions are in fuel poverty shows the system is broken — it is clearly time to renationalise these industries and we must support all those who are fighting for this goal, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

HIS WEEK it was announced that Shell made record profits of nearly £10 billion between April and June and promised to give shareholders payouts worth £6.5bn.

It made adjusted profits of £9.5bn during the second quarter of the year, beating its previous high — set only between January and March earlier this year — by 26 per cent.
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Stand with Lula and social progress in Brazil

Lula and his supporters are taking to the streets to rally for democracy and against hunger in Brazil, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

PRESIDENTIAL elections due in October in Brazil have the potential to not only transform that country, but also the whole of Latin America, and indeed the world.

As part of the build-up to those vital elections, the former president, historic leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) and candidate for the Together for Brazil coalition, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is fronting up massive rallies and other campaign events, whose central themes are the defence of democracy and the fight against hunger.
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