Venezuela and ALBA: Counter-hegemonic regionalism and higher education for all. ESRC-ECCC 23 Jan 2009. Thomas.Muhr@bristol.ac.uk Centre for Globalisation, Education & Societies (GES). Ricardo Cabrizas (Cuba, 2004) Rafael Correa (Ecuador, associate) Roosevelt Skerrit (Dominica, 2008)
23 Jan 2009
Centre for Globalisation, Education & Societies (GES)
Ricardo Cabrizas (Cuba, 2004)
Rafael Correa (Ecuador, associate)
Roosevelt Skerrit (Dominica, 2008)
Manuel Zelaya (Hondura, 20008)
Evo Morales (Bolivia, 2006)
Hugo Chávez (Venezuela, 2004)
Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua, 2007)
Regionalism = “a state-led or states-led project designed to reorganise a particular regional space along defined economic and political lines” (Payne & Gamble, 1996: 2).
Regionalisation = “the process whereby a geographical area is transformed from a passive object to an active subject capable of articulating the transnational interests of the emerging region” (“regions in the making”) (Hettne, 2003; Hettne & Söderbaum, 2000).
[the concept of ‘grannacional’]
(ALBA: cultural, historico-political; solidarity)
4. A convergence of domestic coalitions and political economy structures across the region, that facilitate the coherent construction of regional political projects.
(ALBA: political and economic simultaneously)
ALBA is the only genuine LAC regionalism.
Venezuelan Foreign Policy Objectives (CBRV; NESD-2001/2007):
Two pillars of foreign policy:
…towards the institutional consolidation of ALBA...appointment of permanent representatives in the ALBA Coordination Headquarters in Caracas as well as of the executives of the ALBA Bank…
…to construct an ALBA economic and monetary zone that protects our countries from the depredation of transnational capital…through the establishment of the SUCRE Common Currency Unit and a Chamber of Payment Compensation … the creation of this Monetary Zone is accompanied by the establishment of a Reserves Stability Fund …
…study the creation of a World Monetary Council that coordinates the realisation of monetary agreements between regional blocs and whose principal functions would be international monetary, financial and banking regulation and the creation of a world currency that guarantees transparency and stability in the flotation of capitals, providing resources for development.
The ‘open’ sub-regionalisms are disappearing (G-3), in decline (CAN, CARICOM),
and a redefined MERCOSUR may be absorbed into the emerging counter-hegemonic structures (ALBA/UNASUR). The case of PETROAMERICA illustrates that ALBA and UNASUR are overlapping projects.
Emerging institutional geography:
ALBA Bank Headquarters in VEN.
Bank of the South Headquarters and sub-offices in VEN, ARG, BOL.
UNASUR Permanent Secretariat in ECU.
BOL-CUB-DOM-HON-NIC-VEN + ECU (associate)
(de jure region)
The (transnational) organised society
social processes of regionalisation
within and beyond the formal region
(de facto region)
direct and participatory construction
of counter-hegemony depends
on local organisation
Higher Education For All (HEFA):
a culture of solidarity and cooperation
(the two pillars cannot be separated: the revolutionary state organises the popular classes and depends on community organisation. The state also extends out into the de facto region, e.g. through GNPs/GNCs)
Free state-provided HE as a public good and constitutional right with a social, cultural (collectivist culture vs entrepreneurial-competitive), political, and economic role for social transformation, rather than specialisation for ‘the market’ and individual social mobility.
a) Scientific & technical capacities for the social popular economy.
b) Social development in the local, i.e. for exercising citizenship and direct democracy (generating “popular power”).
PAR in the communities through the municipalised UBV.
Barrio Cruz Verde
Collective action after the
PAR day: squatting to
move the clinic and use
the thus freed space for
a community centre,
complying with the legal
support by the UBV law
These facilities have been taken
by the community to run the clinic