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Socialist Resistance hosts Latin socialists

Friday 30 June 2006, by Andrew Kennedy

The Socialist Resistance day-school on Latin America held on 24 June was the biggest and most successful event independently organised by SR in its four years of existence. Over a hundred people, many of them new to SR, attended the morning plenary addressed by Celia Hart, Michael Lowy and Edouard Diago.

Hart is a Cuban Trotskyist, Lowy a leader of the Fourth International and Diago has recently returned from Venezuela, where he represented the Fourth International. The recurrent theme in a lively discussion was what attitude marxists should adopt towards the governments of Huge Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.

The best attended workshop on Cuba was led by Celia Hart; Resistance has published a book of the writings of this "freelance Trotskyist". The closing plenary, with a platform of Jorge Martin from Hands Off Venezuela, Amancay Colque from Bolivia Solidarity and Andrew Kennedy and Phil Hearse for SR, addressed itself on the one hand to solidarity tasks and on the other to questions such the role of the working class in the revolutionary movement, the oppression of women and the importance of ecologically sustainable development.

A collection at the event raised almost £300, as did the raffle of a 1960 Cuban poster of Che Guevara. Literature sales were also strong at the event, with a quarter of the participants pre-ordering Hart’s book.

One result of the school has been to inspire ideas about how SR can develop wider solidarity work with Cuba and Bolivia as well as with Venezuela. It is also hoped that an interview with Celia will appear in the Morning Star (the daily paper of the left in Britain, founded by the Communist Party). One suggestion for the next day-school is that it should be on the theme of climate change, and should be held in the weeks after a national climate change demonstration on November 4.