web analytics

Meanwhile, in some good news…

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, September 28th, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: democratic participation, International, socialism, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Over the past few weeks there have been a few mainstream  reports on Cuba (e.g. here, here, here and here). They all report that the Cuban state is going to lay off about half a million or a million employees. And this is  reported in terms of that final victory (yawn…yet again) of market capitalism over the failed idea of the command economy.

And as such, sorely and completely misses the point.

Cuba isn’t about to become a repeat of 1990’s Russia. And it isn’t about to become a miniature China where economic freedom is exercised within the constraints of a political straight-jacket.

The laid off government employees will be receiving training and education on industrial democracy. That is,  on how to take control. And on how to form and operate worker collectives and cooperatives and (presumably) on how to take control of other formally state controlled aspects life.  In other words, the Cuba state is embarking on a journey towards levels of decentralisation and democratisation inspired by the Bolivarian Revolution, that our state here would meet with truncheons, tear gas and rubber bullets at a bare minimum were we to demand anything remotely similar.

And while Cuba sets out on its journey from the starting point of a command economy, Venezuela has already  embarked on the same journey from the very different starting point of market capitalism.

Which could be read as having a bob each way. Which is just fine by me. The challenges and obstacles that each population will encounter will be different. For example, I assume that unlike in Venezuala,  Cubans will not have to contend with Trotskyist elements vying to impose their particular vanguardist agenda on the revolution or with a belligerent bureaucracy pulling the chain at every turn. Neither will they have to deal with an old but still powerful elite engaged in well funded and widespread monkey-wrenching as it hankers after a return to ‘the good old days’.

But as well as the various challenges, there are unique possibilities arising from the make-up, motivations and relative strengths and weaknesses inherent to the respective populations given their recent divergent socio-politico cultures and history.

I’m just quietly hopeful that one or the other, or even both populations can successfully negotiate whatever hazards lie ahead and achieve that holy grail of a withered state and  21C socialism.

In the meantime, I don’t expect to see any positive reporting by our msm on events as they unfold. Rather, I just expect the tried and tired same old, same old by way of media reports. That is, I’ll have to continue reading between the lines of anything connected with the Bolivarian Revolution as though I was alive in the old Soviet Union and relying on Pravda for my information from abroad instead of living in a Social Democracy with a supposedly free (ie informative) press. Oh, and I’ll take an occasional on-line gander at the English Correo del Orinoco (which yes, is page after page of Chavez in what some might see as a ridiculously over the top positive light. But given that the majority of the press in Venezuela is rabidly anti-Chavez, I can kind of excuse that as an  editorial line.)

12 comments on “Meanwhile, in some good news… ”

  1. Juan Manuel Santos 1

    I’ll have to continue reading between the lines of anything connected with the Bolivarian Revolution as though I was alive in the old Soviet Union and relying on Pravda for my information from abroad

    Thanks for this. For all Chavez’s faults I still find it incredibly frustrating to read stuff in the mainstream press that I know for a fact is lies and agitprop. It’s quite simple why it happens – in a horribly unequal and class-ridden society like Venezuela’s, foreign journalists tend to associate only with the wealthy elite who despise Chavez, and frequently don’t even leave their hotels. Very few reporters go into the barrios and talk to ordinary people or their community leaders. Hence we get this one-sided caricature of the Bolivarian revolution, entirely narrated by the quasi-fascist Venezuelan elite.

  2. Justin 2

    Hugo Chavez has so much faith in democracy, that he gerrymanders the electoral system in his favour, politicises the police and military, confiscates private property, shuts down opposition and offers cheap appliances to the poor as part of his election campaign, as support falters. All while Venezuela’s economy is the poorest performing in the region (-2% annual growth), and inflation runs at 30%, and it has record levels of crime, and increasing social unrest.

    Brazil taking a market-led centre-left approach looks at 6.5% growth and sustainable poverty reduction from 12% to 4% of the population, as 25 million people have moved into the middle class (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/sep/26/brazil-economy-petrobras-privatisation). The success of its neighbours will hopefully in my view provide Venezuelans with gentle inspiration to look beyond the failure of extreme market-capitalism and far-left socialism.

    • Bill 2.1

      And just as you, Justin hope that Venezuelans will receive gentle inspiration to look beyond the failure of extreme market-capitalism and far left socialism, not realising for one moment that that is in fact what the Bolivarian Revolution is all about, I hope something will provide you with gentle inspiration to think beyond the face value of the mainstream reportage and beyond the unquestioned swallowing of simple spoon fed orthodoxies.

    • Augustus 2.2

      And how many of the poor have appliances in Brazil?

    • Bored 2.3

      Having read a bit of history of South and Central America you note that the indigenous inhabitants and the poor have since the conquest been exploited in the most deplorable way, everywhere. To see in Venezuela and Bolivia the “Indians” in charge gives me some hope that they can overcome the historic repression and exploitation that has come with colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. Non of these “isms” has done native Americans anything other than injury, why would they regard “market capitalism” afresh with any justified hope? I suspect they might just use their own constructs, perhaps reclaiming stolen land for their own use trumps any need to “grow” GDP etc.

    • Bored 2.4

      Actually reading the Guardian article is somewhat alarming. It appears that as we head towards declining oil and gas the energy rush has headed for Brazil, on top of the bio deisel rush to clear and replant the Amazon rain forest. One thing can be predicted for sure, the money that comes in will go out with the energy resources, the locals will get a little and soon it will all be gone, and they will be left with zippo living in a desert. Marvellous thing industrialised man, centrist, extreme left or right, same result.

      • Bill 2.4.1

        Here’s a thought.

        What if we had, instead of the so-called ‘alternative’ of a parliamentary and corporatised Maori Party, a vehicle that encouraged the development of a genuine synthesis of the highest (ie the most democratic and equitable) denominators from Maori/Pasifika cultures and socialist ideals; ie, a Pacifika version of the Bolivarian Revolution grounded in Pacific rather than Latin American indigenous cultures?

        Where’d you stand? For or against?

        just asking

        edit. To avoid confusion, I should point out that that’s intended as a general question and not aimed at you Bored….or any other specific person.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1

          There’s no real point in us holding on to British/European culture but to be able to answer the question I’d have to know more about Maori/Pasifika culture.

        • Bored 2.4.1.2

          No issues Bill, I did not want to open that debate but it had occured, as it has to you what the parallels are between the American Indian experience and that of Pasifikans. I hope to hell we can achieve the cultural blend here that has not happened there.

  3. Puddleglum 3

    One of the most trashed and unequal parts of the globe is South and Central America – that comes with being America’s back yard. Good luck to them and here’s hoping they can keep the wolves’ snouts out of their affairs for long enough to try their own solutions. it can’t be worse than what they’ve been through with all our ‘help’.

    Forever the optimist.

  4. Malcolm 4

    Bill, I really don’t get your cheerleading for Chavez and the so-called Bolivarian revolution. It’s an anti-working class, populist statist regime. The articles below show the real nature of supposed socialism for the 21st century. Most are from Venezuelan libertarians (not Trotskyists!). Real socialism involves destroying the social relation of capital, destroying the system based on commodity production, money, and wage labour. Self-management does not automatically lead to a transcending of capitalist social relations.

    http://libcom.org/library/venezuela-vetelca-story-first-ever-bolivarian-factory

    http://libcom.org/library/revolution-delayed-10-years-hugo-ch%C3%A1vez%E2%80%99s-rule-charles-reeve-el-libertario

    http://libcom.org/library/the-myth-co-management-venezuela-reflections-alcasa-invepal

    http://libcom.org/news/steel-workers-strike-venezuela-attacked-chavez-state-02042008

    http://libcom.org/news/workers-struggle-betrayed-hands-state-union-venezuela-20082007

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New law passed to reduce gun harm
    The Government’s commitment to combatting firearms violence has reached another significant milestone today with the passage of the Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new law helps to reduce firearm-related crime by targeting possession, use, or carriage of firearms by people whose actions and behaviours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill passes third reading
    Legislation to repeal the ‘Three Strikes’ law has passed its third reading in Parliament. “The Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill ends an anomaly in New Zealand’s justice system that dictates what sentence judges must hand down irrespective of relevant factors,” Justice Minister Kiri Allan said. “The three strikes law was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government working on preliminary steps to improve support for abuse survivors
    Work is under way on preliminary steps to improve the Government’s support for survivors of abuse in care while a new, independent redress system is designed, Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins says. These steps – recommended by the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry – include rapid payments for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Remarks upon 77th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki Online Forum 77 years ago today, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Three days earlier, on the 6th of August 1945, the same fate had befallen the people of Hiroshima.  Tens of thousands died instantly. In the years that followed 340,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Govt signs NZ–USA agreement launching new opportunities for space sector
    An agreement signed today between the New Zealand and United States governments will provide new opportunities for our space sector and closer collaboration with NASA, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said. Stuart Nash signed the Framework Agreement with United States Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman. The signing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Govt strengthens emergency management cooperation between NZ and the US
    An agreement signed today between New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will strengthen global emergency management capability, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to continually strengthening our emergency management system, and this Memorandum of Cooperation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand to stay at Orange as winter continues
    New Zealand will remain at the Orange traffic light setting, while hospitalisations remain elevated and pressure on the health system continues through winter. “There’s still significant pressure on hospitals from winter illnesses, so our current measures have an ongoing role to play in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Path paved for communities to reshape streets
    Streets will soon be able to be transformed from unsafe and inaccessible corridors to vibrant places for all transport modes thanks to new legislation proposed today, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood. “We need to make it safe, quicker and more attractive for people to walk, ride and take public transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Boost for agricultural and horticultural science in schools
    More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Government is committing $1.6 million over five years to the initiative through the Ministry for Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Bumper breeding season boosts Kākāpō population
    Kākāpō numbers have increased from 197 to 252 in the 2022 breeding season, and there are now more of the endangered parrots than there have been for almost 50 years, Conservation Minister Poto Williams announced today. The flightless, nocturnal parrot is a taonga of Ngāi Tahu and a species unique ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Relationship with Malaysia to be elevated to Strategic Partnership
    The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, to open up opportunities for greater co-operation and connections in areas like regional security and economic development. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met her Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today during a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety
    With additional trains operating across the network, powered by the Government’s investment in rail, there is need for a renewed focus on rail safety, Transport Minister Michael Wood emphasised at the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022. “Over the last five years the Government has invested significantly to improve level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Awards support Pacific women
    I am honoured to support the 2022 Women in Governance Awards, celebrating governance leaders, directors, change-makers, and rising stars in the community, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. For the second consecutive year, MPP is proudly sponsoring the Pacific Governance Leader category, recognising Pacific women in governance and presented to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
    Today Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash turned the sod for the new Whakatāne Commercial Boat Harbour, cut the ribbon for the revitalised Whakatāne Wharf, and inspected work underway to develop the old Whakatāne Army Hall into a visitor centre, all of which are part of the $36.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government determined to get a better deal for consumers
    New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies and while the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, a Commerce Commission review finds that  changes are needed to make it more competitive. “New Zealand is facing the same global cost of living and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government exceeds Mana in Mahi target
    Mana in Mahi reaches a milestone surpassing 5,000 participants 75 per cent of participants who had been on a benefit for two or more years haven’t gone back onto a benefit 89 per cent who have a training pathway are working towards a qualification at NZQA level 3 or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government opens new research and innovation hub
    The Government has invested $7.7 million in a research innovation hub which was officially opened today by Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Dr Ayesha Verrall. The new facility named Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Labs comprises 560 square metres of new laboratory space for research staff and is based at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Unemployment remains low and wages rise despite volatile global environment
    Unemployment has remained near record lows thanks to the Government’s economic plan to support households and businesses through the challenging global environment, resulting in more people in work and wages rising. Stats NZ figures show the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in the June quarter, with 96,000 people classed out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First ever climate adaptation plan lays foundations for resilient communities
    Action to address the risks identified in the 2020 climate change risk assessment, protecting lives, livelihoods, homes, businesses and infrastructure A joined up approach that will support community-based adaptation with national policies and legislation Providing all New Zealanders with information about local climate risks via a new online data ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health and addiction services making a difference for Māori
    Māori with mental health and addiction challenges have easier access to care thanks to twenty-nine Kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services across Aotearoa, Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says. “Labour is the first government to take mental health seriously for all New Zealanders. We know that Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Data and Statistics Bill Passes its Third Reading
    A Bill which updates New Zealand’s statistics legislation for the 21st century has passed its third and final reading today, Minister of Statistics David Clark said. The Data and Statistics Act replaces the Statistics Act, which has been in effect since 1975. “In the last few decades, national data and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further moves to improve the lives of disabled people
    The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament today, marking a significant milestone to improve the lives of disabled people. “The Bill aims to address accessibility barriers that prevent disabled people, tāngata whaikaha and their whānau, and others with accessibility needs from living independently,” said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit
    Kia ora koutou, da jia hao It’s great to be back at this year’s China Business Summit. I would first like to acknowledge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, His Excellency Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, and parliamentary colleagues both current and former the Right Honourable Winston Peters, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further changes to CCCFA Regulations will improve safe access to credit
    Narrowing the expenses considered by lenders Relaxing the assumptions that lenders were required to make about credit cards and buy-now pay-later schemes. Helping make debt refinancing or debt consolidation more accessible if appropriate for borrowers The Government is clarifying the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (CCCFA) Regulations, to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government prioritises firearm prohibition orders to reduce gun harm
    The Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill will be passed through all remaining stages by the end of next week, Police Minister Chris Hipkins said. The Justice Select Committee has received public feedback and finalised its report more quickly than planned. It reported back to the House on Friday.  “The Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • National plan to protect kauri commences
    The Government has stepped up activity to protect kauri, with a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) coming into effect today, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister James Shaw said. “We have a duty to ensure this magnificent species endures for future generations and also for the health of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for Samoa’s Climate Change Plan and rebuild of Savalalo Market
     Prime Minister Ardern met with members of Samoa’s Cabinet in Apia, today, announcing the launch of a new climate change partnership and confirming support for the rebuild of the capital’s main market, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Reconnecting with ASEAN and Malaysia
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for the Indo-Pacific region today for talks on security and economic issues at meetings of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, and during bilateral engagements in Malaysia. “Engaging in person with our regional partners is a key part of our reconnecting strategy as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement to the 2022 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    United Nations Headquarters, New York City  Thank you, Mr President. Ngā mihi ki a koutou. I extend my warm congratulations to you and assure you of the full cooperation of the New Zealand delegation. I will get right to it. In spite of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 10,000 more permanent public homes added under the Labour Government
    A major milestone of 10,037 additional public homes has been achieved since Labour came into office, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods confirmed today. “It’s extremely satisfying and a testament to our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need public housing, that we have delivered these warm, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sanctions on Russian armed forces and weapons manufacturers
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has announced further sanctions on the armed forces and military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation. “President Putin and the Russian military are responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which is a grave breach of fundamental international law,” Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government plan to boost health workers
    Easing the process for overseas nurses and provision of up to $10,000 in financial support for international nurses for NZ registration costs. Provide for the costs of reregistration for New Zealand nurses who want to return to work. Covering international doctors’ salaries during their six-week clinical induction courses and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Today marks one year since Government’s Dawn Raids apology
    A new  future between Pacific Aotearoa and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is the essence of a Dawn Raids Apology anniversary event in Auckland this month, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. One year ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Speech to China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tuia ngā waka, Tuia ngā wawata, Tuia ngā hou-kura Let us bind our connection, let us bind our vision, let us bind our shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. This year marks a significant milestone in the New Zealand – China relationship.   Fifty years ago – 1972 – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islands Language Week will close generational gap
    It’s Cook Islands Language week and the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio wants the community to focus on what it means to keep the language alive across the generations. “Our Cook Islands community in Aotearoa have decided to focus on the same theme as last years; ‘ Ātuitui’ia ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago