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Global Left Midweek – August 16, 2023

Reports on women in action in Bulgaria and El Salvador, the election drama in Ecuador, the coup in Niger, and more

Fundación Mujeres
  1. Class Identity and Fighting the Right
  2. African Socialists on Niger Coup
  3. Ecuador Election
  4. Bulgarians Protest Domestic Violence
  5. Latest From Myanmar
  6. Venezuelan Communes
  7. South African Left: A Response to the Amandla! Collective
  8. Haiti: 50th Congress of the Mouvman Peyizan Papay
  9. Women Fighting Abortion Ban in El Salvador
  10. Prabhat Patnaik on Universal Basic Income


Class Identity and Fighting the Right

Federico Fuentes and Pablo Stefanoni / Green Left (Sydney)

Pablo Stefanoni is editor of the progressive Latin American magazine Nueva Sociedad and author of La rebeldía se volvió de derecha? (Has rebellion become a thing of the right?). He spoke about the situation in South America after the left’s victory in Brazil — and the stronger-than-expected showing for the extreme right.

African Socialists on Niger Coup

Links (Sydney)

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This is a collection of statements by African socialists, trade unions and democratic forces on the recent coup in Niger. This includes statements by: Nigeria Labour Congress, Seneplus (Senegal/various), Movement for a Socialist Alternative (Nigeria), and others. This page will be continuously updated.

Ecuador Election

Stephan Kueffner and Marcelo Rochabrun / Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale CA)

Ecuador’s presidential candidates tried to distinguish themselves in a bumpy debate on Sunday, marked by the absence of a replacement for slain candidate Fernando Villavicencio. Polls conducted after Villavicencio’s killing have shown the anti-crime hard-liner Jan Topic gaining ground against leftist Luisa González.

[Portside note: The fatal shooting Monday of Pedro Briones, a local leader of Revolución Ciudadana, the party of former President Rafael Correa, was confirmed by Luisa González, the frontrunner in Sunday’s special presidential election and member of the same party.]

Bulgarians Protest Domestic Violence

Madlen Nikolova / Jacobin (New York)

Last week saw protests in 40 towns across Bulgaria, after courts failed to convict a man who attacked his 18-year-old former partner with a knife. The case pointed to authorities’ failure to confront domestic violence — and the wider misogyny of public life.

Latest From Myanmar

Matthew B. Arnold / The Irrawaddy (Yangon)

Myanmar’s revolution is a sprawling bottom-up revolt initially driven by the imperatives of local self-defense that grew into a national uprising based on shared aspirations for a better future built upon federal democracy. Look around the world and there is no clearer example of a mass movement fighting for a just cause. 

Venezuelan Communes

Reinaldo Iturriza López / Venezuelanalysis (Caracas)

To take on the titanic task of transforming a subordinate and dependent economic structure implies, to put it in Rosa Luxemburg's words, venturing into uncharted territory and facing a thousand problems. The formula discovered by the Bolivarian leadership was the communal councils, Space belonging to the community, primarily occupied by the poorest of the poor.

South African Left: A Response to the Amandla! Collective

Mercia Andrews / Amandla! (Johannesburg)

This article seeks to respond to the questions posed by Amandla! which relate to the South African Left in particular: where is the Left intellectually, programmatically and organisationally? What has happened to it, and why has it become so fragmented and marginal? Renewing an eco-socialist, eco-feminist politics has to be approached as a long march, avoiding shortcuts and opportunistic quick fixes. 

Haiti: 50th Congress of 
the Mouvman Peyizan Papay

Via Campesina (Bagnolet, France)

We were born in 1973 under the dictatorship of Duvalier. This means that the MPP grew up in arid terrain, facing adverse winds and a difficult burden. Many of our members were injured, many died. The criminal State plundered and stole from us. They tried to crush us, scare us, make us disappear, but we are stronger because we are like bamboo, we bend but don’t break.

Women Fighting Abortion Ban in El Salvador

Alice Pistolesi and Monica Pelliccia / Progressive International

Women in El Salvador who were imprisoned for years after suffering miscarriages, stillbirths and other complications are now fighting for the freedom of other women persecuted like them. Mujeres Libres El Salvador provides training and support for women who have been deprived of their liberty, to enable them to reintegrate into society. 

Prabhat Patnaik on Universal Basic Income

Prabhat Patnaik / Peoples Democracy (New Delhi)

If the idea is to have a UBI in real terms, then the only possible meaning one can give to it is in terms of a set of specific rights, to health, education, and such like, which the government has to take on the responsibility for providing.