Caiman del Barrio's blog

Taking refuge in struggle: protests and hunger strikes in four asylum seeker detention centres across the UK

Harmondsworth IRC

A wave of protests and repression has spread across the UK's expansive asylum seeker detention complex, with four centres reporting unrest thus far. Detainee support groups report hunger strikes, sitdown protests and a flurry of organising in Harmondsworth, Colnbrook, Brook House and Campsfield, against both their lack of legal recourse and the squalid conditions in the detention centres.

Salt of the earth: PAH-occupied flat block in Cataluña is a foot in the door of something new for the involuntarily homeless

Occupied Bloc Salt, Salt, Cataluna, Spain

For the last five months, sixteen families – from a broad range of backgrounds and nationalities, almost all victims of bank foreclosures – have been living together in an abandoned, brand new flat block in a ghostly quiet suburb of the Catalan town of Salt in Spain.

Latin Lib News podcast now online!

A new podcast discussing events in Latin America from a Libertarian Communist perspective. This first episode looks at the rise and legacy of Hugo Chávez. He may have died but his project – misleadingly named ‘revolutionary socialism for the 21st century’ – continues unabated in Venezuela.

Venezuela: the killing of Sabino Romero

The official statement of the El Libertario collective following the murder of Sabino Romero, Yukpa indigenous rights activist, in Zulia, Venezuela last night.

Announcing @latinlibnews: keeping you up to speed on Latin America in 140 characters

Announcing a new Twitter account that will provide irregular and brief updates on social movements and news of interest to libertarian communists in Latin America.

Lights in the dark: CNT and CGT members on indefinite strike against redundancies in Catalunya

Striking workers and their families block a road in Granollers

Members of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union and CGT union have gone on indefinite strike and occupied their workplace at the IMESAPI lighting plant in Granollers, Catalunya, Spain, demanding an end to the redundancy plans which would see four of the 21 workers let go.

Hurricane Sandy: Observatorio Crítico launches independent relief effort in Cuba

Translation of appeal for donations from Observatorio Crítico de Cuba, the independent Marxist grouping based in Cuba

The greatest trick the DWP ever pulled was convincing the poor benefits don't exist

From precarious work to precarious benefits to precarious unpaid work...

A personal perspective on workfare and the benefits lottery - something which has caused me no end of stress of late.

A 2012 New Year Resolution: against the politics of abstraction and charity, for the real movement in our interests!

A critical - if somewhat rough - evaluation of the events of 2011 and the anti-cuts movement's relevance to them. The ideas here are ones which I've been mulling for a while, but I've found difficult to articulate, so please be fair in your responses!

Book review: "Venezuela - Revolution as Spectacle" by Rafael Uzcátegui

In times of global austerity and reduced means, the concept of ‘revolution’ is once again in popular discourse, with recent events in North Africa being feted throughout the West. However, Rafael Uzcátegui’s engaging new book – packed, as it is, full of assertion supported by meticulously-sourced fact - stands as a stark reminder of the semantic vacuity of the term, in one Latin American country at least, and the similarities between the self-professed ‘revolutionary government’ of Venezuela and the capitalist economic model.

Venezuela: an election lost is an army gained

As his party loses unilateral control of parliament for the first time since his election, President Hugo Chávez looks to assimilate the working class via military service.

Ecuador: the President who cried "¡Golpe!”

Last Thursday, the world was briefly enthralled by events in Quito, Ecuador, where left-leaning President Rafael Correa called his followers out onto the streets via a hospital telephone, claiming that a police and military coup d’etat was in motion against his regime. However, upon closer examination, a different picture - one of popular anger with austerity measures and mass reduncancy - emerges...

Bi-Polar economics in Venezuela

Polar beer: it tastes like shite, order Solera Verde (or Zulia if they have it)

In another inversion of leftist determinism, an attempt by Chávez' embattled administration to expropriate Venezuela's largest remaining private company was thwarted earlier this month, in part due to organised opposition by employees looking to protect both their jobs and their hard-won working conditions.

Venezuela and the postcolonial post-racism of the international left

A recent exchange with a particularly unpleasant member of the international prochavista left resulted in me meditating on the rhetoric and arguments behind the leftist cheerleading of distant regimes.

Guns before butter: economic and energy solutions in the "socialist paradise" of Venezuela

Faced with multiple crises and headed for a round defeat in the polls, the Venezuelan state's response is all too familiar.

Our men and women in Havana (are requesting good, published material)

"Socialist self-management"

It may seem quite modest to us, but some historical events have taken place in the "socialist paradise" of Cuba, demonstrating positive moves towards the ressucitation of independent, base-level social and workers' movements. Having hosted a long weekend of discussions and workshops, companeros in Havana are expected to open a library in the next couple of days - and they need your help!

No light, no water and now not very much money...what next for Venezuela?

There are whispers as to the extent of the military's loyalty to Chávez

A currency devaluation, military expropriations, demonstrations, resignations, TV channel closures, more demonstrations – it’s been an eventful start to 2010 in Venezuela.

Chavez: When red and yellow don't make green

It may seem like an age ago now in the midst of all the subsequent economic tumult over here, but I wanted to write about Chávez’ recent rhetorical excursion at the emergency Climate Change summit in Copenhagen last month.

Cuba: libertarians warn of impending "wave of repression"

Dudes and girls partying at the Festival de Poesía Sin Fin

Libertarians and Independent activists in the cultural sphere in Cuba are bracing themselves for state repression following an attack on an independent arts festival in Havana.

The first ever Caracas Libertarian Bookfair

From 16-22 November, Caracas-based anarchist newspaper El Libertario hosted the first ever Libertarian Bookfair of its kind in Venezuela. Below is something of an evaluation of the week, plus some analysis of the political spectrum inside the country.