STUC backs progressive movements in South America

Sam Macartney
Sam Macartney

#STUC16 The STUC sent out a clear message today that we should be backing democratically elected governments in South America against a ‘corporate-wealth’ right wing backlash.

Moving UNISON’s emergency motion, Sam Macartney told delegates: “Over the last couple of decades we have seen huge advances for working people in South America.

“The victory of the Lula led Workers Party in Brazil was the start of a series of events which saw left wing parties winning in Bolivia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Ecuador and of course Chavez’s victory in Venezuela.”

All of these governments introduced policies that benefited the workers and peasants and had huge popular support.

Sam added: “A continental movement was forged over years in struggle against right wing regimes, sometimes bloody military coups which saw thousands disappeared, tortured and murdered. A struggle which had the power of the US state and corporate wealth waged against the people.

“Those gains are now under threat. The right is making a comeback.”

Sam berated the sight of Brazilian senators – themselves under investigation for corruption – voting to impeach President Dilma Rousseff as a ‘disgrace’.

Sam told delegates that one of them dedicated his vote to one of the colonels who led the 1964 coup and who had ordered the torture of Dilma Rousseff.

Similar attempts in Venezuela, with US support are trying to bring down the democratically elected President Maduro.

All this happens under the front of ‘corruption’. But, Sam argued: “Of course the right would want to make out… this was about corruption. … It is not about corruption, it is about a political struggle between the right and left, the rich and poor, the elite versus the people.”

Sam pointed to the problems in Argentina. “The country was bankrupted by the neo-liberals and suffered economic crisis that the left had to tackle.”

Now the new right wing government is rolling back the gains, sacking thousands, slashing services, privatising and “the ‘vulture funds’ being paid off for debts they bought up during the economic meltdown they helped cause.”

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