On National and International Situation

19. Bolivia has emerged as another key pillar of the ongoing leftward shift in Latin America. President Evo Morales, who first won office in December 2005 with 54% vote share and retained office in 2009 with 64% vote after the country adopted a new constitution through referendum, is only the second person of indigenous origin to become a President in Latin America. The indigenous people’s movement continues to play a big role in Bolivia.

20. Confirming and strengthening the continuing broad-based popular momentum for the Left in Latin America, Ecuador’s incumbent President Rafael Correa has secured a thumping victory in the Presidential elections held in February this year. Dedicating his victory to the then Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who had returned to Venezuela after weeks of cancer treatment in Cuba, Correa has called for still greater unity of Latin America to counter a ‘very cruel neo-liberal globalisation’. Apart from achieving a significant reduction in poverty through increased social spending and defaulting on millions of dollars of foreign debt declared illegitimate, the Correa government has taken a bold stand against US intervention as reflected in its decision to refuse permission to US forces to use an airbase in Ecuador, expel American diplomats for meddling in Ecuador’s internal affairs and offer asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who remains at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

21. The ongoing Leftward shift in Latin America is rooted in a long legacy of anti-imperialist and socialist mobilisation. However, the threat from US imperialism has not abated. The military coup in Honduras in June 2009 against President Manuel Zelaya could not have taken place without the overt or covert support of the US. Zelaya was implementing some pro-people policies like raising the minimum wage and affiliating with ALBA. The people of Latin America are however quite vigilant. Trade unions, peasant organizations, women’s organizations, and social movements of Afro-Latin Americans and indigenous people are organizing and mobilizing against their oligarchies and imperialism. In spite of the possibility of setback in individual countries the overall assertion of the Latin American people and the Left continues to gather momentum.

22. Parts of Europe too have been witnessing a resurgence of youth movement and working class struggles lending strength to a potential revival of the Left. This is happening against the backdrop of a severe Eurozone crisis (17 countries of the European Union use Euro as their common currency while 10 EU members still have their own currencies) and governments enforcing harsh austerity measures even as the Eurozone experiences a youth unemployment rate of 22% (more than 30% in Italy, Portugal and Slovakia and more than 50% in Greece and Spain). The best performance of the European Left in recent elections has been witnessed in Greece where Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left, a coalition of more than a dozen Left groups and trends now registered as a party) came close to emerging as the leading party – its vote share increasing from 3.3% in 2004 (the first election it faced) to 16.8% in May 2012 and 26.9% in June 2012. Currently it is the main opposition party with 71 members in the 300-member Greek parliament. The PCF, the French Communist Party too put up a notable performance in the 2012 President election polling 11.10% votes, the highest since 1981. Large sections of the Left in Europe have also come together to operate as the Party of the European Left and it has already held three Congresses since its foundation in 2004.

23. Historically, periods of severe economic crisis have however also been witness to the rise of the extreme right – and the European Left does have to confront the racist anti-immigrant and anti-Islamist politics of the radical right. The elections in Greece for example also witnessed the rise of the Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi outfit which won 7% vote and 18 seats in the Greek parliament.

24. In Africa, the Left had secured a crucial victory with the overcoming of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The South African Communist Party (SACP) is in a tripartite alliance with the ruling African National