Latin America: neo-liberalism and resistance videos

The class struggle in Latin America has been by turns turbulent and inspiring for more than a decade. From the Zapatistas, the election of Hugo Chavez and the struggles of indigenous peoples against the road building schemes of Evo Morales’ government.

Socialist Resistance hosted a meeting in London to discuss developments in the continent.

Jeffrey Webber is the author of From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales. In his wide-ranging survey of events he offers a potentially controversial view that the Morales government is “neo-liberalism lite”. You can watch his contribution by clicking here or on the image below.


Iain Bruce wrote The Real Venezuela: Making Socialism in the 21st Century and in his talk reflected on the experience of workers’ control in that country. Click on the image below or here to watch it.


  1. The main point in the Links article is that “oerwhelmingly, solidarity activists uncritically supported the anti-highway march. Many argued that only social movements — not governments — can guarantee the success of the process of change… biggest failure of the solidarity movement has been its silence on US and corporate responsibility for the conflict.”

    In his reply to the discussion, the video of which has not been posted, Jeff addressed this issue. The surprising thing would be if the imperialists were not trying to intervene in some way but the construction project is driven by the needs of Brazilian capital to access the Pacific. The Morales regime is their proxy in this and is willing to have a conflict with its own base on the issue. That is most definitely not one in which the internationalist left can be neutral.

    • Webber says that Brazilian capital wants the road, so the left must oppose it.

      Jeff Webber’s sectarian take on Bolivia was adequately exposed by John Riddell:

      But Trotsky answered Webber’s current argument in his 1938 article “Learn To Think: A Friendly Suggestion to Certain Ultra-Leftists.” He wrote:

      “The policy of the proletariat is not at all automatically derived from the policy of the bourgeoisie, bearing only the opposite sign – this would make every sectarian a master strategist….” — Trotsky

  2. Ian,
    Unlike John Riddell, you seem unwilling to engage in a comradely and informed style of debate, where we might assess real bases and merits for agreement and divergence across a range of serious developments in Bolivia. The epithet “sectarian” and a quotation from Trotsky does not get us far I’m afraid. Perhaps have a listen to the talk before pontificating?

    • Jeff, I apologize for the word “sectarian,” which John Riddell does not use in his article. I thought I had deleted the word from my draft, but evidently I clicked the Send button too quickly.

  3. The real problem here is the differing conceptions of the revolutionary process in the semi-colonial world. Fuentes and his comrades take a classsical “stage-ist” version of how the process unfolds: first comes the democratic, anti-imperialist stage, next comes the struggle for socialism, sometime far off in the future. The problem for Fuentes and the Socialist Alliance group is that they are forced into defending each and every turn of the so-called “antiimperialist governments”. In short order this becomes a left cover for every action of such political formations. It would be better for Ian to re-read Trotsky on the Lazaro Cardenas government in Mexico and how the left can combine critical support with criticism (actually, it would be better if Fred Fuentes read it).

    As for Jeff Webbers analysis, with which I have some disagreement (the mass, revolutionary movement has not yet been beaten, though diverted for the time being into the electoral swamp), it could well do with a bit of polishing via the same readings as recommended above.

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