Venezuela after Chavez: is the Bolivarian revolution under threat?

Francisco-DominguezThe death of Hugo Chavez has led to a period of turmoil and uncertainty in Venezuela with the opposition backed by the Obama administration calling into question the legitimacy of elections won by his chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro, with the intention to destabilise the Bolivarian Revolution.
Francisco Dominguez is Head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies at Middlesex University and Secretary of the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign.  He will look at the achievements of the Chavez era, the current political, social and economic situation in Venezuela and the future of the Bolivarian revolution at a time of great changes in Latin America.


The US Militarisation of Latin America

The Latin American social democratic model, which places the fight against poverty and exclusion at the centre of its policies, is perceived as a threat by the neo-liberal economic and political hegemony, and the emergence of left wing governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Cuba, and of left-leaning governments in Brazil and Argentina, has greatly alarmed the US. In response, the US has progressively militarised the region, and in addition to its many bases in neighbouring countries, has recently signed a ‘Defence Cooperation Agreement’ with the right wing government of Colombia establishing seven bases within its borders. The US Fourth Fleet has also been reactivated, and patrols the surrounding seas. Francisco Dominguez, Head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies at Middlesex University, has broadcast and published extensively on the region, and will discuss this alarming development and its implications.


What price Democracy? The hidden forces behind the Honduran coup

In June last year, Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected President of Honduras, was kidnapped in a military coup, and flown to Costa Rica. Honduras has long been an ally of the US, which is its chief trading partner, and maintains a military base in the country. However, during his presidency, Zelaya had moved sharply to the left, and there was a strong perception that he was becoming allied to the radical forces in Latin America. Following the coup, in complete contradiction to its avowed defence of democracy, the US took very timid and insubstantial steps against his abductors, and the future remains uncertain. Francisco Dominguez is the Head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies at Middlesex University, and has broadcast and published extensively on issues within the region. He will discuss the current situation within Honduras, and its implications for the global political order.